sábado, 8 de abril de 2023

Modesty Blaise (Joseph Losey,1966)

Modesty Blaise (Monica Vitti), 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 (Terence Stamp) and a few other friends to outsmart them. Meanwhile, at his island hideaway, Gabriel (Sir Dirk Bogarde), the diamond thief, has his own plans for Blaise and Garvin.

Director Joseph Losey

Based on comic strips by Peter O!Donnell

Stars:   Monica Vitti, Terence Stamp, Dirk Bogarde

Director Joseph Losey found it difficult to work with Monica Vitti (Modesty Blaise), as she would invariably be accompanied onto the set by Director Michelangelo Antonioni, whose movies she had become famous in. Antonioni would often whisper suggestions to her, and she would take direction from him rather than Losey. Eventually, Losey asked Antonioni, who he greatly admired, to keep away from the studios during filming. Antonioni complied.

Although Sir Dirk Bogarde (Gabriel) was very complimentary about Monica Vitti (Modesty Blaise) when this movie was being made, he also claimed, in a radio interview of twenty-five years or so later, that she was the only one of his leading ladies he had disliked, saying that she was "beastly".

Peter O'Donnell complains that of his original screenplay, only one line remains: "What do you know about Wilberforce?" However, he accepted the invitation to write a novelization of this movie. The book, based upon O'Donnell's original screenplay rather than this movie, was a huge success and spawned a series of best-selling novels until 1996.

About a year before this movie premiered, Peter O'Donnell wrote a novelization of his draft of the screenplay. This novel was called "Modesty Blaise", and the book was successful critically and commercially and led O'Donnell to write a series of "Modesty Blaise" novels alongside the comic strips that continued for thirty years.

Terence Stamp turned down Alfie (1966) to make this movie. His friend and former flatmate, Sir Michael Caine, made the role his own, won his first Oscar nomination, and embarked on a major international career due to its huge success.

The "Modesty Blaise" comic strip made two appearances of note in this movie. There is a close shot of a painting of the comic strip when Willie Garvin (Terence Stamp) is introduced, and in another shot, Modesty Blaise (Monica Vitti) is seen looking at copies of the comic strip.

The three major villains all seem to want to protect themselves from the Mediterranean sun. Mr. Gabriel (Sir Dirk Bogarde) carries an umbrella, McWhirter (Clive Revill) has sunscreen on his nose, and Mrs. Fothergill (Rossella Falk) has a wide-brimmed hat. Perhaps mean-spiritedly, Modesty Blaise (Monica Vitti) and Willie Garvin (Terence Stamp) later stake Gabriel out in the open sun.

Modesty Blaise is introduced with a close-up of her legs in fishnet stockings, sitting on a couch by two magazines, one showing a color photo of actress Monica Vitti, and on top a full page copy of the Modesty Blaise comic strip where she is depicted as a huntress with a bow-and-arrow and a revolver. Willie Garvin is introduced looking at a blow-up of the same scene, in a wall frame.

The fourth of five movies that Sir Dirk Bogarde made with Director Joseph Losey.

Quentin Tarantino announced that he was to direct a re-adaptation in the late 1990s, but it failed to materialize. In Pulp Fiction (1994), Vincent (John Travolta) can be seen reading Modesty Blaise.

This movie was entered into competition at the Cannes Film Festival in 1966.

Subs: English & Portuguese
YouTube link: https://youtu.be/_M6bGJ_3K0g
Copyright-protected content. The owner allows the content to be used on YouTube.

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