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Modesty Blaise (Widescreen) (Bilingual)

Monica Vitti , Terence Stamp , Joseph Losey    Unrated   DVD
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
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A pop-art explosion that makes Austin Powers look demure, Modesty Blaise is a bizarre relic from the heyday of Swinging London. Based on a comic book, the movie is strong on psychedelic art direction, long on camp (especially Dirk Bogarde's aristocratic, white-haired villain), and thin on plot--and what plot there is cannot possibly be deciphered. Italian actress Monica Vitti, the ennui-weary star of many Antonioni classics, makes an odd choice for stylish spy Modesty Blaise (a female 007 without portfolio), especially given her uncertain command of English. The gifted director Joseph Losey, not noted for his humor, apes various New Wave techniques in his approach, even allowing Vitti and costar Terence Stamp to warble an off-key song. But the most coherent contribution is the jazzy swing of John Dankworth's score, which you won't be able to get out of your head, even if you want to. --Robert Horton

From the Back Cover

Her entire appearance changes with a finger snap. She thrashes villains without missing a spiked-heel step. Welcome to the mad, mod world of sexy, stylish intrigue as British comic strip character Modesty Blaise comes to life in this outrageous spoof.

Hired by the government to prevent a diamond heist, Modesty (Monica Vitti) recruits her wily sidekick Willie Garvin (Terence Stamp) to help her battle crafty, colorful foes on the secluded island of a suave mastermind thief (Dirk Bogarde). Grooving with mile-high hairdos and swinging, psychedelic wall patterns, Modesty Blaise is campy entertainment at its best!


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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BLAZING SPIES..... May 31 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD
ENIGMATIC MONICA VITTI [dead-ringer for a svelte Bette Milder] leads us into this visually mind-numbing frolic of a spy-spoof! An Art-Director's dream - as ARE the continuous costume changes for Ms. Vitti! Quite sensational along the lines of "Casino Royale" - another must-have of this period.
Plot? None really - just a series of delicious and sometimes deadly encounters as Spy vs Spy vs Spy vs Spy ..... in dear old Amsterdam, and then later aboard ships [yachts] and that odd island with the spectacular Arabian finish - [Modesty it seems was adopted!] The petard [mino cannon a Gift to Modesty - pointing at Buckingham Palace - off-lens - is a hoot!]
DIRK BOGARDE has a field-day as Gabriel - the oh so chic and campy bad guy with an umbrella for all occasions - possibly to augment each outfit!
A breathtaking Terence Stamp [still has those 'baby blues'] is Modesty's trusty sick-kick - also with the mandatory hair color change[s].
Quite delightful to behold - but be warned - this one needs eye-shades occasionally - it is in VIVID color.
Great to have on DVD!
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the better Bond spoofs... July 7 2003
Format:DVD
This movie is so CHIC, I haven't got the exact words to describe it. The cast is sort of chi-chi: Monica Vitti, Terence Stamp, Harry Andrews, Dirk Boarde and Clive Revill, with Jospeh Losey directing, (Joseph Losey??) A hoi-polloi audience was almost assured! I saw this film in 1966 when it came out and was immediately struck by how different it was from the other Bond spoofs, such as "Our Man Flint" and those awful Matt Helm movies. "Modesty" is avant garde in that notoriously sanitized, late sixties style that made psychedelia palatable for the masses, with op art wallpaper everywhere and decadence celebrated by way of the villains portrayed by Bogarde and "Mrs. Fathergill".
The jazzy score is very reminiscent of the one for "The Tenth Victim", though the lyricked theme song used in the opening credits should do WITHOUT the words, since they're just a WEE bit too arch! The instrumental side, however, is done beautifully, and adds to the "chic" feel of the movie.
The fact that Monica Vitti has an accent so thick, you could choke on it, only adds to this flavor, as does Terence Stamp's prophetic "Alex the Droog" portrayal of her sidekick, Willie Garvin. The casual use of Ferraris, Rolls Royces, Citroens and multi-colored cigarettes make this a fashion-mongerer's wet dream.
It's been stated that this film had no plot....oh, it's got a plot, alright, but there's so much OTHER business going on while it's unraveling, you can miss it! Modesty and Willie's briefs are to make sure fifty million pounds of foreign aid, in the form of diamonds, are delivered to an arab sheikh without the inimitable Gabriel, (Bogarde,) getting his superciliously foppish hands on them. Revill plays his fawning sidekick, accountant and condifante, McWhorter.
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4.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable hotch-potch of [stuff] Nov. 8 2002
Format:DVD
MODESTY BLAISE is an enjoyable, campy little gem that is quite fun. High in style and low in plot, the cast obviously had a ball working on this great film.
Based on the popular long-running comic strip character, the story concerns high-class jewel and art thief Modesty Blaise (played bewitchingly by Monica Vitti) who is called upon to investigate the actions of reclusive millionaire and criminal Gabriel (Dirk Bogarde) who lives on a foreboding island.
Modesty enlists the help of her associate and some-time lover Willie Garvin (Terence Stamp) and soon Modesty is up to her neck in psychedelic espionage and sexy costumes! However, there is always Gabriel's assistant to contend with: the man-eating, sadistic Mrs Fothergill (Rosella Falk)...
The plot is as wafer-thin as Modesty's silken dresses; between the time that Modesty is recruited to the final showdown on Gabriel's island, there is about 90 minutes of plot that I cannot even fathom. Dirk Bogarde relishes his role as the decadent Gabriel, wearing a John Inman-esque fright wig and drinking out of impossibly-sized glasses. Another hilaious scene is where Mrs Fothergill is holding "diving lessons". During the climactic battle, Modesty and Willie have a time-out to sing a rather annoying love song, and somehow Arabs on stallions are mysteriously transported to the island to assist Modesty in her showdown with Gabriel!!...Totally unbelievable and only possible in the 60's.
Nontheless, MODESTY BLAISE is a charming piece of fluffy eye-candy and should be savored as the harmless schlock that it was meant to be.
Highly recommended. (Single-sided, single-layer disc).
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not Even a Touch of Modesty July 27 2002
Format:DVD
Were it not for the success of Austin Powers, Modesty Blaise would almost certainly never have been released on DVD. People buying it expecting something like Mike Meyers's film will either be disappointed or pleasantly surprised, depending on taste. Both films are parodies of spy movies, but that's about where the similarities end. Powers is star-centered low comedy; Modesty is a humorless director's vision of cartoon action.
The film is genuinely funny, but in a way that may not be everyone's cup of tea. As just one of the more over the top examples, a joke late in the film depends on Dirk Bogarde's reaction to a strangled body hanging limply behind him. The moment *is* funny, but I suspect that more than a few viewers will find it anything but. The pace too is leisurely, not at all in the fist-in-the-face mode of even the early Bonds, much less more recent films in the series. In other words, expect neither childish jokes à la Powers nor fast-paced action à la Bond.
Instead, there is a lot of what pretentious critics call the "gestural," which might best be described as mannerisms so showy that even academics notice. There isn't an ounce of subtlety in any of it, which seems to be the point. From Losey's overly elaborate camerawork (take a moment to figure out how the shot in the credit sequence was taken without the camera crew becoming pretzels, for example), to Richard Macdonald's eye-popping Op Art inspired production design, to Dirk Bogarde's camped up Gabriel, everyone seems to be trying to out-outrage one another.
If you are familiar with Losey's more serious work, this loud declaiming might seem out of character, but the results are as obscure and opaque as his collaborations with Harold Pinter. Still, if you normally enjoy his films, you will probably get a kick out of seeing Losey's claustrophobia turned inside out and made into a joke.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Liberated Bondage
NEW Modesty Blaise (DVD)

The studio system collapsed under the cost of extravagant extravaganzas set in legendary locales. Read more
Published on July 12 2012 by T. Pawels
5.0 out of 5 stars The best spy spoof ever!
Modesty Blaise is the best spy spoot ever!! You folks who don't like it need to get a life. Relax, on your plush sofa. Roll a doobie and enjoy Ms Blaise. Read more
Published on April 14 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars Huh?
There's a great moment here where Rosella Falk strangles a mime to death with her knees--and that's about it. Read more
Published on March 1 2004 by Matthew Patton
1.0 out of 5 stars What a travesty
I am a huge Modesty Blaise fan. I own and have read all the books and most of the comics. This movie is a disaster. First of all Modesty is BLONDE!! Read more
Published on May 14 2003
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of time
I am a real fan of parody and was hoping this film would fit the mold. Nope. It was boring and a waste of time. The Flint movies were superb - Fathom was acceptable. Read more
Published on April 10 2003 by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Modestly Bad!!!!
This film is HORRID!!! why?? because it NEVER seems to pick up! It is neither Stylish, or Campy, just plain Boring with a touch of "b-movie" thrown in to Be a B movie ,which... Read more
Published on Nov. 8 2002 by Lotus Scrum
1.0 out of 5 stars An absolute travesty
I consider myself very lucky to have become acquainted with Modesty Blaise. Thank you, Peter O'Donnell, for Modesty Blaise and Willie Garvin (my thanks are late but heartfelt,... Read more
Published on Nov. 1 2002 by Crafter
3.0 out of 5 stars But there's more...
The only good news here is that Quentin Tarantino is expected to produce a remake of this film. The original was made before the industry standardizad the spoof of spy movies. Read more
Published on Sept. 30 2002
1.0 out of 5 stars A new standard of awfulness
I bought this DVD knowing it was bad, but I was interested in the psychedelic aspects of it. I thought maybe it would have a campy "Batman" feel to it, being made in the same great... Read more
Published on Aug. 20 2002 by "songlife"
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Intellectual Spoof
This spoof reminds me of the Mrs. Peel black and white Avengers episodes. There is no sex. The women have modestly shaped bodies and wear full coverage, baggy clothes. Read more
Published on Aug. 10 2002 by it
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