The Vengeance of She – 1968 – An equivalent to Modesty Blaise?

The Vengeance of She

The main reason I searched for The Vengeance of She is that the screenplay was written by no other than Peter O’Donnell! He is, of course, best known for his character Modesty Blaise of whom he wrote several books. I think that Modesty Blaise is best known in comic strip format though. At least it is for me. I have never read any of the books even though I’d love to get my hands on them. He also wrote other comics like Garth for instance but I don’t think he created that one. There are also a couple of Modesty Blaise movies. For me, that has my roots in the comic version of Modesty Blaise I didn’t find them quite the same even if I did enjoy “Modesty Blaise” from 1966 and the newer “My Name is Modesty” from 2004. The latter was sold by using Quentin Tarantino Presents on the cover art.

So, without any further investigation about what kind of story The Vengeance of She was, I set out to find it, hoping I would get a story that was close to Modesty Blaise but with the tone of the comics which at least the 1966 movie didn’t have. It starts out pretty good. I soon realized that it wasn’t a story by O’Donnell though. He wrote the screenplay but it was based on a story by H. Rider Haggard or at least his characters. I don’t have any knowledge about them whatsoever.


Anyway, It starts out with this mysterious woman walking down a road and it’s pretty interesting. Who is she? Where is she going? Where did she come from? A series of events lead us to the other main characters in the movie. At this point, I’m still thinking she’s a secret agent or something. Exciting! We don’t see enough female secret agents in movies from the ’60s. But she’s mysterious and we will soon learn that there’s more to her than just being a secret agent. About this time where are introduced to some mystics performing rituals in an unknown location. It later turns out to be in another reality, another realm separate from ours.

Now it become a fantasy story about power, eternal life, and obsession. There are some great adventures to be experienced but that was not exactly my expectations. It becomes something else. I love fantasy flicks so that’s fine. But I also love a Modesty Blaise story of which I know was robbed. I had kinda awkward feelings at this point. The good thing about it is that there is no fear killing of major characters which are no longer useful for bringing the story onward. I kinda used to think that the TV series Lost was a pioneer when it came to not being certain who lived to the next episode but the Vengeance of She beat it by a few decades.

The end is not very surprising. Maybe one or two details but not as a whole. If you’ve seen a few of these you’ll know what will happen and who’ll live happily ever after. Yet, it was entertaining and I’m glad I got the chance to get this experience. Now I’m gonna find my old comic books and read som Modesty Blaise!

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