Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Modesty, again.

More 1966 - to complement the documentary on BLOW-UP locations, below, from yesterday, here is the trailer for Losey's misunderstood op-art pop-art spy spoof MODESTY BLAISE (which some consider dated now), a key movie for me when I was 20 in 1966 and had discovered Monica Vitti in those early '60s Antonioni films - 
Monica was actually a comedienne which she returned to successfully during the '60s and '70s - as per my other posts on her. Add in Dirk Bogarde being screamingly camp as arch-villain Gabriel with the blonde wig and those sunglasses, and Terry Stamp as that bit of rough Willie Garvin and all those wonderful moments, a lot of which are captured here. 
I was at the premiere in Leicester Square and saw Bogarde with Rosella Falk (Mrs Fothergill!) on his arm - Monica was not there, but was at the premiere of DARLING with Dirk and Julie Christie in 1965 (above), when they were filming MODESTY. We love this Losey with the Dankworth score, and the full movie is available here:


  1. Ach, I have a love/hate with this primarily because I'm a big fan of Peter O'Donnell's Modesty Blaise novels and of course this is nothing like those. It's like someone deciding to adapt James Bond and opts for The Pink Panther instead! And yet....being a fan of the 60s it obviously holds some great charm. I just wish someone would do Modesty properly now before its too late - perhaps with Eva Green in the lead role (or Gemma Arterton) Willie Garvin's a tough one to cast. O'Donnell based him on Michael Caine, after seeing him in a Johnny Speight play on TV, so it was ironic to see Caine's old flatmate Terence Stamp bag the role. There aren't many young named talents out there now like those actors. Obviously the go to is someone like Jason Statham, but Tim Roth's son Jack could do it, or Jake O'Connell

  2. Eva Green is a great choice, I was watching her the other day in 300 Rise of an Empire, and she was a great Vesper Lynd too. Monica is ideal here for me, she was not well known to the general public and her oddball zaniness and looks suit it perfectly, and Dirk certainly ran away with Gabriel!