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Modesty Blaise (1966, Dirk Bogarde, Monica Vitti)



In this tongue-in-cheek pop art meets the Avenger’s-esque espionage flick glamorous Modesty Blaise is called in by HM Government to protect a consignment of diamonds destined for an Arab state. Modesty insists that her partner in crime, Willie Garvin, is included in the contract and the pair are soon face to face with arch-criminal Gabriel. Based on the Evening Standard comic strip created by Peter O’Donnell and Jim Holdaway.

The movie marks another collaboration between star Dirk Bogarde and director Joseph Losey. Here for a change of pace Bogarde is the villainous Gabriel rather than the hero. Losey was one of the Hollywood Ten, blacklisted in 1947 for refusing to testify before the HUAC. He moved to England, where he continued making films under pseudonyms such as Andrea Forzano and Joseph Walton.

production details
UK | 119 minutes | 1966
Director: Joseph Losey
Script: Harold Pinter, Evan Jones, Stanley Dubens,
Cartoon Strip: Peter O’Donnell, Jim Holdaway

Terence Stamp as Willie Garvin
Dirk Bogarde as Gabriel
Harry Andrews as Sir Gerald Tarrant
Monica Vitti as Modesty Blaise
Joe Melia as Crevier
Saro Urzì as Basilio
Aldo Silvani as Pacco
Alexander Knox as Minister
Denys Graham as Co-Pilot
Michael Craig as Paul Hagan
Clive Revill as McWhirter / Sheik Abu Tahir
Rossella Falk as Mrs. Fothergill
Scilla Gabel as Melina
Michael Chow as Weng
Tina Aumont as Nicole
Oliver MacGreevy as Tattooed Man
Jon Bluming as Hans
Lex Schoorel as Walter
Max Turilli as Strauss
Giuseppe Paganelli as Friar
Wolfgang Hillinger as Handsome
Roberto Bisacco as Enrico
John Karlsen as Oleg
John Stacy as Tyboria Captain
Patrick Ludlow as Under Secretary
Robin Hunter as Pilot