Modesty Blaise (1966)

Rating: **
Review Date: 8/12/12
Cast: Monica Vitti, Terence Stamp, Dick Bogarde, Harry Andrews, Michael Craig

"She'll turn your head, but it might be a judo hold..."

More drug inspired lunacy from the 1960's. Loosely based on the British comic strip, Modesty Blaise (Monica Vitti) is an extraordinary thief who comes out of retirement to accept a job from the British government concerning a shipment of diamonds to a certain Arab sheik. Together with her partner Willie Garvin (Terence Stamp), they track down an evil mastermind named Gabriel (Dick Bogarde), who is intent on stealing the diamonds. Much silliness ensues.

The film is complete nonsense and has no sense of direction. It's mostly just an excuse to watch Monica Vitti strut around in various wacky fashions and sing really badly. She can change her appearance in the blink of an eye, which makes as much sense as any of the other ludicrous conventions in the film. The locations are nice and the characters are delightfully campy, but the film fails to gel into a cohesive whole. The action scenes are laughable, and Blaise's judo skills are embarrassingly bad. Still, Ms. Vitti is a sexy actress and a lot of fun to watch, and the swinging 60's soundtrack complements the outrageous tone of the film quite nicely. A harmless, but overall unsatisfying outing.