On paper, a Louis Jourdan - Senta Berger pairing in a spy thriller about a down-on-his-luck gambler / novelist who becomes a pawn in a plot concerning the defection of a French scientist to the Red China looks like an idea that can't miss. And yet it does miss, as "To Commit A Murder" is so dull during its first half that I was nearly tempted to shut it off midway through. Of course I never actually do that, and in the second half the story does start coming together, plus there is a pretty gritty knife fight as well. The dialogue sometimes aims for profundity and occasionally hits the target (I liked the conversation about how it was better being an artist during the Renaissance, but a scientist during the 20th century), Jourdan has his expected moments of sophistication and Berger is just flawlessly beautiful, but none of that can fully compensate for the feeling of purposelessness that the first half of the movie suffers from. Some pretty jarring cuts on my print, too. ** out of 4.
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