TV Cream

Films: M is for...

Modesty Blaise

Peter O’Donnell’s much-loved comic strip assassin-thief was Modded up by Joseph Losey, a director hitherto best known for claustrophobic English class study The Servant. Modesty was played by Monica Vitti, smouldering with breathy continental semi-intelligibility, with a wisecracking bleach blond Terence Stamp in tow. The pair are hired by secret service head honcho Harry Andrews to safeguard a Middle Eastern diamond bribe from the hands of camply villainous, fan-toting, lobster-boiling Dirk Bogarde (in grey quiff and slit-vision sunglasses). O’Donnell’s original script was discarded in favour of a swinging montage of op-art wallpaper, explosive doorbells, multi-coloured smoke bombs and very high hair. Everything about this film’s modus operandi is completely, almost willfully, wrong. The result is a swinging spadeful of downbeat camp fun, if such a thing is possible.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Joanne Gray

    March 3, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    I read the book – it bears no resemblance at all to the abysmal movie.

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