Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Anita Ekberg amply fills the title role in the offbeat western Valerie. Clearly inspired by Rashomon, the film offers contradictory flashbacks during a lengthy trial. The defendant, Civil War hero John Garth, Sterling Hayden, is accused of seriously wounding his wife Valerie and murdering her parents. At first, the jury's sympathy is with Garth, who claims that his faithless wife was running off with preacher Blake (played by Ekberg's then-husband Anthony Steel) and that the death of his in-laws was accidental. But as testimony proceeds, it is revealed that the highly respectable, much-beloved Garth is a beast in human form. The complicated outcome of the trial has so many twists and turns that it would be criminal to reveal any one of them.
killing, investigation, murder, parent, wife