To Love, Perhaps to Die (1973)

R   |    |  Crime, Drama, Sci-Fi

To Love, Perhaps to Die (1973) Poster

Set in the future, the story follows a nurse who tries to bring her own style of relief to people condemned to die. Her identity is a mystery and she may not be quite what she seems.


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14 February 2018 | ma-cortes
| Thrilling Spanish/French thriller/Sci-Fi coproduction about a killer band carrying out rampage and destruction
Passable Spanish/French co-production dealing with a gang of young people (Chris Mitchum , Antonio del Real ,David Carpenter ) with gaudy hulls and riding in a sport car , determined to wipe out the entire families , and executing panic and ravage at homes where assault , rape and mistreat inhabitants . Meanwhile , a notorious surgeon (Jean Sorel) undergoes a peculiar therapy on delinquents (Clockwork Orange similar style) and falls for a beautiful nurse called Ana Vernia (Sue Lyon ) . But things don't always go the way you expect .

This interesting story contains suspense , grisly killlings by stabbing with scalpel , noisy action-packed , motorbike racing and lots of violence , if not much continuity . Thrilling and exciting screenplay by expert Antonio Fos , Antonio Artero , Eloy De La Iglesia himself , and the traditional writer/director José Luis Garci . The film pays tribute to ¨Clockwork orange¨ (1971) by Stanley Kubrick , at the time this Kubrick film was prohibited in Spain and ¨Una gota de sangre para morir amando¨ (1973) was nicknamed the ¨Clockwork mandarine¨ . There is also a homage to ¨Lolita¨ based on novel by Navokov and played by Sue Lyon and directed by Kubrick . It results to be a surprisingly solid little film , including some action scenes very skillfully staged . Agreeable all action seventies Euro-nostalgia trip , being fast paced and rightly developed . An action filled European nail-biting flick in which the suspect protagonist, who is executing a criminal spree , falls in love for youth and there are some moving car/motorcycle pursuits along the way before the final takes a slight twist . This motorcycle chase bears remarkable resemblance to ¨Un verano para matar¨ directed by Antonio Isasi and also starred by Chris Mitchum . Successful crime thriller that follows Clockwork Orange as well as Giallo style . It's certainly violent and exciting , though the morality may be questionable , even in this time . Mid-seventies Madrid comes across as an ordinary European location and serves as an excellent backdrop for most of the action . The plot was a satisfying mix of set pieces and unexpected plot twists . A fun and romantic snapshot in time and place in which a doctor falls in love with his nurse , but problems emerge and things go awry . It stars Sue Lyon giving an average acting as the suspicious nurse whose identity is a mystery and she may not be quite what she seems , as she results to be a killer who makes love with good-looking boys . Chris Mitchum with his usual stoic acting -similarly his father Robert- pulls off a lousy performance . The picture is full of Spanish secondaries usually playing the typical co-productions of the 60s and 70s as Euro Westerns , terror , Euro-spy genre , thrillers , such as : Fernando Hilbeck , Charly Bravo , Saturno Cerra , David Carpenter , Eduardo Calvo , Fernando Sánchez Polack , Luis Gaspar , Alfredo Alba , Fabian Conde and future director Antonio del Real.

Colorful and glimmer cinematography in color-scope and Technicolor by Francisco Fraile . Even by today's standards, it would be good, provided someone cared to restore it's brightly colour , perfect editing, and natural sound . Moving and stirring musical score Georges Garvarentz in the 70s style . Well and lavishly produced by José Frade , whose name shows up on the credit titles greatest than the filmmaker himself . This sensationalistic film "Murder in a Blue World ¨ (international title) was regularly directed by Eloy De La Iglesia , being his only Sci-Fi movie and his biggest budget . The director was defending his name and career , but also his money in more ways than one , as he was one of the producers investing in the project . Most his films dealt with sex including shots of nude males , homosexuality , politics and forbidden lovers . De La Iglesia was a notorious communist militant , drug addict and homosexual , these personal characteristics were widely shown in his films . Eloy was a talented Spanish movies director , he began working in cinema in 1966 , at his 22 years old , he debuted in a kiddies production , ¨Fantasy 3¨(66) . Following a sordid melodrama ¨Algo Amargo En La Boca¨ (67) and a boxing story , ¨Cuadrilatero¨(69) . De La Iglesia realizes a lot of thrilling pictures with erotic background as ¨Techo Cristal¨(70) , ¨Nadie Oyó Gritar¨ (72) , ¨Gota Sangre Para Seguir Amando¨ (73) , and scabrous tales as ¨Juegos Amor Prohibido¨(75) , ¨Otra Alcoba¨ (76) . And concerning youthful gay : ¨Placeres Ocultos¨(76) , ¨El Sacerdote¨(78) and politicians : ¨The Deputy ¨, ¨Mujer Del Ministro¨ . Although he became notorious in the years of the Spanish transition to democracy with shocking and polemic films as ¨El Pico 1¨ and 2¨ , ¨Cólegas¨ , ¨Navajeros¨, ¨La Estanquera De Vallecas¨ (87) . All of them dealt with druggies , dope sellers , delinquency , terrorism , underworld suburban and generational problems are the habitual subjects in his films , and specially dedicated to the underworld of heroin ; as well as the gay world . Passing of time hasn't had mercy with most of those movies , but they represented a time and a way of life in the history of Spain ; and now they may seem a little bit naive . His last films were an academic rendition based on Henry James' novel : ¨The turn of the screw¨ and ¨Los Novios Búlgaros¨. This film also titled : Murder in a Blue World , or La clinique des horreurs , Clockwork Terror , or To Love, Perhaps to Die has a rating : 6/10 . This is a movie that both entertaining and enlightening . Certainly worth watching if you're in the mood for something other than typical exploitation fare.

Critic Reviews


Release Date:

April 1975



Country of Origin

Spain, France

Filming Locations

Madrid, Spain

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