Modesty Blaise (1966) - Rotten Tomatoes

Modesty Blaise (1966)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

A popular British comic strip series served as inspiration for this light-hearted espionage adventure, which if nothing else certainly shows the marks of its origins in the mid-1960s. A large departure for director Joseph Losey, better known for brooding interpretations of Harold Pinter works (The Servant, Accident), the film is emphatically bright and colorful, taking on at times a nearly psychedelic feel. The strangeness is emphasized by the unusual casting, including Italian star Monica Vitti in her first English-speaking role as the title character and Dirk Bogarde, playing against type as her arch-nemesis. Essentially everything is played for its camp value, including the rather convoluted, James Bond-like plot, which concerns the hijacking of a shipment of diamonds heading for the Middle East. Like its mod-era sets and costumes, this unusual, inconsistent effort is certainly intriguing and attractive, but might seem rather dated to some.

Cast

Monica Vitti
as Modesty Blaise
Dirk Bogarde
as Gabriel
Terence Stamp
as Willie Garvin
Harry Andrews
as Sir Gerald Tarrant
Michael Craig
as Paul Hagan
Clive Revill
as McWhirter/Sheik Abu Tahir
Rossella Falk
as Mrs. Fothergill
Joe Melia
as Crevier
Saro Urzì
as Basilio
Oliver MacGreevy
as Tattooed Man
Silvan
as The Great Pacco
John Stacy
as Tyboria Captain
Denys Graham
as Copilot
Patrick Ludlow
as Under Secretary
Robin Fox
as Doorbell Ringer
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Critic Reviews for Modesty Blaise

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (4)

Losey captures with comedy the same chill of modernity beneath the Mediterranean sun that Antonioni captures with melodrama.

January 16, 2017 | Full Review…
New Yorker
Top Critic

Not merely a spy spoof, based on a book and a comic strip about a femme James Bond type, the colorful production gives the horse laugh to many different film plots and styles.

March 26, 2009 | Full Review…
Variety
Top Critic

under the non-stop stream of jokes lies a bitter edge of malice, directed not only against the genre itself but against a society which trusts its politicians and its generals.

February 9, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

Too much of it is just foolish, labored and sometimes painful camp.

May 9, 2005 | Full Review…
New York Times
Top Critic

Joseph Losey didn't really do frivolous. Which is probably why his attempt at spoofy pseudo-Bondery is so direly unfunny.

October 18, 2011 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
Total Film

At a running time of just under two full hours, the boredom becomes as exaggerated as the wallpaper.

March 16, 2004 | Rating: 48/100
Apollo Guide

Audience Reviews for Modesty Blaise

One of my least favourite spy movies. It's more about the whole mod female spy fashion and coolness, and focuses less on plot, characters, and anything else. I didn't care for it.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

So very camp. Great actors, fine director and lovely sets can't save a bad script. There are only two reasons to watch this film: 1) the fashions modeled by Vitti, and 2) die-hard fans of Dirk Bogarde or Terence Stamp.

Stefanie C
Stefanie C

Super Reviewer

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