Modesty Blaise


1h 59m 1966

Brief Synopsis

Modesty Blaise, a secret agent whose hair color, hair style, and mod clothing change at a snap of her fingers is being used by the British government as a decoy in an effort to thwart a diamond heist. She is being set up by the feds but is wise to the plot and calls in sidekick Willie Garvin and a few other friends to outsmart them. Meanwhile, at his island hideaway, Gabriel, the diamond thief has his own plans for Blaise and Garvin.

Film Details

Release Date
Jan 1966
Premiere Information
Chicago opening: 1 Jul 1966
Production Company
Modesty Blaise Ltd.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century--Fox Film Corp.
Country
United Kingdom
Screenplay Information
Based on the comic strip "Modesty Blaise" by Peter O'Donnell and Jim Holdaway in the Evening Standard (London, 13 May 1963--).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 59m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Color
Color (DeLuxe)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.66 : 1

Synopsis

Voluptuous adventuress Modesty Blaise is recruited by Secret Service chief Sir Gerald Tarrant to protect a shipment of diamonds to Abu Tahir, a Middle Eastern oil magnate. The shipment is menaced, however, by Modesty's presumedly dead enemy, the archcriminial Gabriel. Gabriel is assisted by the dotard McWhirter and the sadistic Mrs. Fothergill, to whom for chastisement he delivers abducted spy Crevier. In Amsterdam Modesty is reunited with her former lover, Secret Service agent Paul Hagen, while her partner, Willie Garvin, is reunited with an old flame, Nicole. Through Paul and Nicole, Modesty and Willie ascertain that Gabriel is alive. Though Modesty and Paul are surprised in their lovenest by Gabriel's agents, Walter, Hans, and Gunther, they are rescued by Willie. Aware that she has betrayed him, Gabriel orders Nicole's death. En route to a rendezvous with Willie, Nicole is pursued by a tatooed man and stabbed to death. Sought by the same assassins, Modesty disguises herself as a prostitute. When she discovers that she does not enjoy the complete confidence of the Secret Service, Modesty and Willie determine to steal the diamonds for themselves. Gabriel abducts Modesty. Holding her hostage aboard his barque, he forces Willie to steal the diamonds. Disguised as a monk, Modesty escapes with Willie and the booty. After slaying Mrs. Fothergill, Modesty presents Abu Tahir with the shipment. In reward for her stewardship, the sheik gives her the diamonds. Although staked in the sands, Gabriel is rescued by McWhirter.

Film Details

Release Date
Jan 1966
Premiere Information
Chicago opening: 1 Jul 1966
Production Company
Modesty Blaise Ltd.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century--Fox Film Corp.
Country
United Kingdom
Screenplay Information
Based on the comic strip "Modesty Blaise" by Peter O'Donnell and Jim Holdaway in the Evening Standard (London, 13 May 1963--).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 59m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Color
Color (DeLuxe)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.66 : 1

Quotes

Trivia

Peter O'Donnell complains that of his original screenplay, only one line remains: "What do you know about Wilberforce?"

When Willie Garvin is introduced, there is a close-up of a painting of the comic strip version of Modesty Blaise.

At one point Modesty Blaise is shown looking at copies of the real-life Modesty Blaise comic strip.

Peter O'Donnell's novelization of his original script launched a popular series of novels that ran until 1996.

O'Donnell was invited to write a novelization of this film. The book, based upon O'Donnell's original screenplay rather than this film, was a huge success and spawned a series of best-selling novels that O'Donnell wrote until 1996.

Notes

Location scenes filmed in Amsterdam, Naples, London, Farnborough, and Sicily. Released in London in Technicolor in May 1966.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1966

Based on a popular British comic-strip character.

Monica Vitti's first English-speaking role.

Released in United States 1966