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 Posted:   Dec 1, 2007 - 9:09 AM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)

Anyone else (especially those FSM’ers across the percolatin’ pond whose initial exposure may have been
the novels and the comic strips illustrated by remarkable Jim Holdaway) fans of The Princess and Willie?

 Posted:   Dec 1, 2007 - 3:42 PM   
 By:   CH-CD   (Member)

Nope !.....the movie was more than enough for me thanks, and didn't inspire me to delve further.

 Posted:   Dec 1, 2007 - 4:07 PM   
 By:   MWRuger   (Member)

I'm a huge fan of old newstrips, but this was one that never caught my fancy. I prefered Terry and the Pirates, Wash Tubbs, Dick Tracy, Li'l Abner and many others.

I actually liked Brenda Starr better than Modesty Blaise, but my favorite female heroine was probably Little Orphan Annie. Great strip!

 Posted:   Dec 1, 2007 - 4:15 PM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

Great strip!

I didn't know that Little Orphan Annie was that kind of girl...

 Posted:   Dec 1, 2007 - 5:28 PM   
 By:   CH-CD   (Member)


 Posted:   Dec 2, 2007 - 9:02 AM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)

Judging the abomination that was the film, CH, is along the same catastrophic lines of mistaking the Matt Helm movie comedies bearing any resemblance (except ancestral) to Donald Hamilton's infinitely richer novels.

Whilst we understand your inclination right readily, if you're ever in a forgiving mood and wanna a superb sample of O'Donnell's thoroughly distinctive twist and turns on the spy genre - especially the seminal, never-seen-before-or-since TRULY revolutionary relationship between Modesty and Willie: puh-lease give 'em a try ... smile

 Posted:   Dec 2, 2007 - 9:37 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

Hi, Neotrinity, you've struck a rich stream of gold here with me, MusicMad: I've not long finished re-reading the whole series of books (some for the second time, several for the third - or more - time, albeit first read only of the final collection of stories).

Perhaps a little light for some tastes; perhaps too "pulp-like" for others' ...

... but nigh-on perfect for me. As you so rightly point out, the relationship between MB and her trusty companion Willie Garvin is a delight to enjoy.

There are so many high points in stories well-crafted, thoroughly involving, often unpredictable.

***Possible Spoiler***
One such is in the middle section of The Impossible Virgin: You (the reader) know that WG is dead - the scene is set and there is no escape (pushed out of a plane w/o parachute ... several years before 007 in Moonraker). Days later and MB knows he is dead; MB decides it is time to take action and goes for the bad guy knowing full well she can not reach him before he shoots her. And then she hears WG's voice ...

It's fanciful, it's daft, it's not poetry and it's not high quality prose. But if you're in the mood for a great, entertaining read full of action and suspense you could hardly do better.

As for the movie: I'd love to see it again - after 30+ years - but what I recall of it, it's rubbish and has little resemblance to the novel.

The comic strips that I read many years ago were good fun but it is the novels to which I will turn again for another read (I hope) before ...

So, yes, Neotrinity: I'm with you all the way on this topic!

 Posted:   Dec 2, 2007 - 9:53 AM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)

You've just made our (un)merry liquid sunshine Sunday morn, MM; it was gettin' awful damn lonely being out here all exposed without appreciative backup!

We may track down the film eventually anon;

what (atom-sized) pleasures abound - aside from John Dankworth's score - is Dirk Bogarde having a professionally paid holiday camping it down as the villain.

Monica Vitti was monumentally miscast tho, with the proper script and direction, we also felt Terence Stamp

had the resources to be a really rigorous, no-nonsense, downright dangerous Willie.

In her Emma Peel-ish prime, however, we always figured Diana Rigg

would've been downright IDEAL as The Princess.

More to marvelously - with Modesty - come ... wink

 Posted:   Dec 2, 2007 - 10:11 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

I'm not too taken with JD's score (and certainly not the song(!)) but that's a product of the film and it probably suited the on-screen activities very well. The poor quality Harkit release does not help either.

A great site to visit for a browse into Modesty's world:

which even includes a Concordance section. identifying all characters across all 13 books/collections ... an incredible task.

And then there are the links to the front covers of the novels (some of which are excellent, others not so), e.g.:
and, oh dear:

 Posted:   Dec 4, 2007 - 4:09 PM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)

Who Woulda Made a Wonderful Willie Department:

Gareth Hunt (who sadly died last year)

who portrayed the debonair but deadly Mike Gambit


R.I.P., Mate frown

 Posted:   Dec 5, 2007 - 2:36 PM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

I was never that much of a fan of Gareth Hunt (he probably arrived on the scene a little too late for me and the New Avengers was a series I missed more often than watched). From what I recall of him ... and for that matter of Terence Stamp in the few films I've seen him in ... neither were muscular enough for the role of Willie Garvin.

Had he been a big enough star at the time of the film, I think someone like Ian Hendry (coincidentally a forerunner of GH's in The Avengers) would have been ideal, but that is time passed and we cannot change the casting now.

Did you, Neotrinity, get chance to watch the modern take on the MB idea - My Name Is Modesty - with Alexandra Staden (who?) in the lead role? It was not nearly as bad as I had feared and I would like to think that there will be a follow-up.

That film's storyline precedes MB meeting WG so no such character appeared. Question is, if another film is made who will appear as WG?

I never saw the 1982 TV version starring Ann Turkel, with Lewis Van Bergen (who?) though I do remember hearing about a proposed TV series which came to nothing.

I think I shall live with my own imagination of these wonderful characters.

 Posted:   Dec 6, 2007 - 7:12 AM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)

We just may put some concentrated effort in attempting to find (or just view) the Alexandra version you cite, MM; our info echoes yours in that it turned out less odiously than anticipated.

Ann Turkel (one of Richard Harris' former wedded squeezes)

is definitely a visual illumination for ye eyes, but couldn't in a kazillion years convey the intrigue and mystery Mam'selle Modesty rigorously requires.

As for Van Bergen, he appeared most memorably on two eps of THE EQUALIZER and, while convincingly sinister as contemporary hitmen, if he was supposed to play Willie, he's simply the wrong type.

And, as our Imagination is where the greatest unfettered freedom flies,

you're absolutely correct that's probably our finest residual refuge ... wink

 Posted:   May 7, 2010 - 10:40 AM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)

RIP, PETER O’DONNELL: April 11, 1920-May 3, 2010.

His intention was to bring forth "a woman who, though fully feminine, would be as good in combat and action as any male, if not better. My character would have to have had a childhood of unrelenting struggle, in which she had been tested to the very core by danger, loneliness, fear and every kind of hardship, a child with a diamond-hard will to survive," he told Crime Time. "Of course, I had seen this very child 20 years before, and knew she was the perfect prototype for the character I would eventually call

"Peter O'Donnell was respected as one of the greatest writers in the comics medium today and had a devout following among comics professionals and fans alike", said Nick Landau, managing director of Titan, O'Donnell's publisher,

who knew the author personally. "I am honoured to have known him – and published his greatest creations,
Modesty Blaise and Willie Garvin – for almost 40 years."

 Posted:   May 7, 2010 - 2:17 PM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

Hi Neo, sorry to read - if not surprised - of Mr. O'Donnell's passing ... a good age.

Strangely, I thought of him only a few days ago and wondered if he was still alive - it's too soon for me to re-read the novels again but I expect to do so one day.

 Posted:   May 21, 2010 - 4:49 PM   
 By:   Peter Greenhill   (Member)

MM and Neo, your enthusiasm for the novels has won me over and I'll try to pick a few up.I was sorry to hear of Peter O'Donnell's passing.

I love John Dankworth's score for the movie but it's a real shame that Harkit got their fingers on it.

 Posted:   May 21, 2010 - 6:03 PM   
 By:   haineshisway   (Member)

I love Losey's film of Modesty Blaise - just supremely weird and, for me, wonderful. I have an original Holdaway strip from the comic - one of the best as it includes two great panels of Modesty and one of her and Willie.

In the first post, the paperback tie-in for the film - the art is by the great Robert McGinnis.

 Posted:   May 24, 2010 - 1:28 PM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)

Haines, m’boy, you have us turning a dang deep shade of Hulk-ish green envy where

your Jim Holdaway original art is concerned.

As the characters’ first – and most visually definitive – artist,

he’s in a memorable class of his own.

As for vu, Pete, as you begin your investigation into their wondrous world,

we beseech thee don’t start with

Tho he concluded their comic-strip adventures on a considerably more optimistic note, be warned:

Mr. O’Donnell pulled no punches in that absolutely final tale.

 Posted:   May 28, 2010 - 7:48 AM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)

Un"Secret Origins" (With Apologies to D.C.) wink Department:

 Posted:   Oct 24, 2011 - 2:57 PM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)

Da One and Onliest Department:

smile wink

 Posted:   Dec 28, 2017 - 1:28 PM   
 By:   johnjohnson   (Member)

In her Emma Peel-ish prime, however, we always figured Diana Rigg

would've been downright IDEAL as The Princess.

If there's ever a remake, I think Rachel Stirling would make a good Modesty Blaise.

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