Peter O'Donnell's novels and comic strip was previously brought to film by actress Monica Vitti and director Joseph Losey in an eponymous 1966 spy spoof. Quentin Tarantino had been interested in bringing the character to the screen for a series of films, but the idea languished. Reportedly, Miramax rushed My Name Is Modesty into production because their option on the material was on the verge of expiring. While there were rumors that Luc Besson was going to direct, with Natasha Henstridge starring, that version never came to fruition. The film was released straight-to-video with Tarantino's imprimatur. Relative newcomer Alexandra Staden plays Modesty, and the film serves as a prequel, an introduction to the character of O'Donnell's work. It opens in the Balkans where some soldiers happen upon a resourceful little girl, a wild child. The film then flashes forward to Modesty as a young adult running a casino for the shady businessman, Louche (Valentin Teodosiu). When ruthless bandits attack the casino and the staff is taken hostage, Modesty secretly signals her partner, Garcia (Raymond Cruz), that there's trouble, then buys time by engaging the bandit leader, Myklos (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau of the original Nightwatch), in a battle of wits. She uses the roulette wheel to barter the lives of the hostages for bits and pieces of her life story. And so the film flashes back to her orphaned past, showing how she was taken in by Lob (Fred Pearson), a wily older gentleman, who taught her to read and write several languages and how to thrive in a dangerous world.
by Josh Ralske synopsis