After the American Civil War, former Union Major John Garth marries pretty settler Valerie but tragedy strikes and the two spouses end up in court where they give two different conflicting accounts of their marriage.



(original screenplay) (as Leonard Heideman), (original screenplay)


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Complete credited cast:
John Garth
Valerie Horvat
Reverend Blake
Peter Walker ...
Herb Garth
Mr. Horvat
Iphigenie Castiglioni ...
Mrs. Horvat
Jered Barclay ...
Mingo (as Jerry Barclay)
Gage Clarke ...
Lawyer Griggs
Tom McKee ...
Dave Carlin
Sydney Smith ...
Judge Frisbee
Dr. Jackson
Juney Ellis ...
Nurse Linsey
Darryl Duran ...
Earl Davis


John Garth (Sterling Hayden) is tried for critically wounding his wife Valerie (Anita Ekberg) and murdering her parents (John Wengraf and Iphigenie Castiglioni.) His testimony is one of disappointment with Valerie, her unfaithfulness with Reverend Blake (Anthony Steele),and the continual nagging by her parents; a combination of events that drove him to violence. He makes no mention of having a bad childhood. Valerie, from her hospital bed, testifies of a nightmarish marriage, constant brutality and an unreasonable suspicion of Reverend Blake who befriended her in her misery. Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


EKBERG! She's Too Much Woman For One Man To Handle...Too Much Trouble For One Town To 'VALERIE" See more »




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Release Date:

1 August 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Sadist  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Music by Albert Glasser
Lyrics by Hal Richards
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User Reviews

Angel or demon?
14 November 2014 | by See all my reviews

Like in "the iron sheriff" ,which also features Hayden as the lead,the movie begins when many important events happened .

In this whodunit disguised as western, the hero wanted to piece together the past ,meeting several suspects ,during his son' s trial .We watched the story through different eyes .

The same goes for "Valerie" which is nothing but a long flashback;whereas the scenes are told by the hero or his lawyer or by the showdown's victim,the story takes an entirely new meaning .The main inspiration is not the traditional western,but rather Japanese Kurosawa's "Rashomon"(1950) -which was remade by Martin Ritt as ""the outrage" (1964) The story sustains interest throughout ,except for the final scenes which are botched.Anita Ekberg possesses enough ambiguity to pass for an angel or a demon.Sterling Hayden is ,as usual,an imposing individual,even in the scenes of his trial when he is supposed to keep a low profile.

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