List Film

Modesty Blaise

Modesty Blaise
  • 1966
  • UK
  • 119 min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Joseph Losey
  • Written by: Evan Jones, based upon the comic strip and original story by Peter O'Donnell
  • Cast: Monica Vitti, Terence Stamp, Dirk Bogarde, Harry Andrews, Michael Craig, Clive Revill

Amidst a welter of silly 60s comic strip capers, this typically outre Losey effort still seems a weirdie. Starring glacial Antonioni regular Vitti as the eponymous heroine trying to stop Bogarde's camper than camp criminal mastermind from taking over the world, it's the wonderful op-art sets and delightfully dated costumerie that still hold the attention.

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“She’ll strike you down with just a single glance / Or with a single glancing blow…”

Joseph Losey’s pop-art riff on the popular British newspaper strip (referenced in Pulp Fiction) is an inventive, eccentric romp, spearheaded by sixties darlings Monica Vitti (resplendent in cat-suit) and Terence Stamp, but outrageous peroxide baddie Dirk Bogarde steals the show. A James Bondian caper made by a jazz-loving left-winger, this one was always going to turn out odd, from the coldblooded mime slaying to the unexpected musical number…

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