Modesty Blaise (1966)




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.
Art House & International , Classics , Comedy , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment


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
Alexander Knox
as Minister
Rossella Falk
as Mrs. Fothergill
Scilla Gabel
as Melina
Joe Melia
as Crevier
Saro Urzì
as Basilio
Tina Aumont
as Nicole
Oliver MacGreevy
as Tattooed Man
Lex Schoorel
as Walter
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 (8) | Top Critics (3)

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.

Full Review… | March 25, 2009
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.

Full Review… | February 8, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | May 8, 2005
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.

Full Review… | October 18, 2011
Total Film

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

March 16, 2004
Apollo Guide

I waited 20 years to see this movie, and boy was I let down! Terence Stamp was cool, though.

August 30, 2002
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)

Audience Reviews for Modesty Blaise

Talk about Sex Kitten with a Whip!!!! Sexy Spy Kitten A Go Go, with a Gun !!! Loved this years ago & it's Over The Top Fashionistsa Fabulousness has stayed with me.Saw it again recently & realized it didn't have much of a story.In this case, I don't care!I think she is suppose to be a Female James Bond, but more Austin Powers really,with a license to thrill in the bedroom.It was a Film that was so Visually Sensual with the memorably sexy Monica Vitti (who must have been the sexiest woman on the planet), the Decor(Round Bed) , Psychedelic Furniture & accessories, the Exotic Fashion,& even a Middle East Castle at one point.Everything so Camp ,Colorful,& Over the Top Sensual & Stunning.I would buy this Movie if I could find it, regardless of it's lack of depth.It just so personifies the excesses of the affluent & uninhibited, or at least our perception of them, in the swingin' 60's.I can't think of any other film like this, & if I were a fashion Designer, I would borrow ideas from this Film regularly.I think I want to be Monica Vitti in the 60's, I'm Pink All Over With Envy!

Marilee Aschwanden
Marilee Aschwanden

A psychedelic mod freakout threw up a James Bond clone and not even General Zod can save it! She's got everything in her powerband toolkit--except a coherent plot. One whole star because the theme song is catchy. "Modessssssteeeeeeeee! Modesty!"

Amanda Peterson
Amanda Peterson

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

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