Modesty is wily thief-turned-spy (I think) hired by the government to foil the evil Gabriel, a jewel thief himself. She calls on her longtime partner and ladies’ man, Willie Garvin, to help her, but he doesn’t come on board until thugs catch her frolicking with an old lover in London. Yet our heroes escape the bad guys and come out on top, literally — Modesty and Willie decide to give the old lovers’ thing a go in a bizarre scene involving ice cream and trick cigarettes…and that’s not all even the bizarre part. The over-the-top set and costume design — oversized furniture, loud Mod wall designs, frequent hair and costume changes — is to be expected for a film about a chic spy at the height of Mod. No, what’s weird is Gabriel’s attractive but dominatrix-like assistant, Modesty’s French (?) accent, and the fact several boatloads of sheiks help come to her rescue at the end. —DVDverdict.com
Joseph Walton Losey (January 14, 1909, La Crosse, Wisconsin – June 22, 1984, London) was an American theater and film director. After studying in Germany with Bertolt Brecht, Losey returned to the United States, eventually making his way to Hollywood.
While in Hollywood, Losey co-directed the original U.S. production of Galileo, by Brecht, with Brecht himself as the other co-director. Charles Laughton, who had worked with Brecht on the translation / adaptation, performed the lead role. In the context of that production, Losey also made a half hour film based on Galileo’s life.
During the McCarthy Era, Losey was investigated for his supposed ties with the Communist Party and was blacklisted by the Hollywood movie studio bosses. His career in shambles, he moved to London, where he continued working as a director.
Even in the UK, he experienced problems: his first British film, The Sleeping Tiger, a 1954 film noir crime thriller, bore the pseudonym Victor Hanbury… read more