- 1 hr 22 min
Valerie is a gripping 1957 film that begins as an idyllic love story, but soon unravels into a dramatic thriller. Directed by Gerd Oswald, the movie stars Anita Ekberg in the titular role of Valerie, a luscious and innocent farm girl who falls in love with French drifter and ex-soldier, Mike (Anthony Steel). Mike and Valerie are quickly drawn to each other, and despite their differences, they find common ground in their desire for a different life. Mike is a man on the run, wanted by the police for being involved in a diamond heist. While Valerie dreams of leaving her simple life on the farm and finding excitement and adventure, Mike dreams of a peaceful life away from the criminal underworld. The two lovers plan to start a new life together, however, their dreams are threatened when the police closes in on them.
Meanwhile, the film's antagonist, the wealthy and sadistic landlord, Sasa (played by the legendary actor, Sterling Hayden) begins to take an interest in Valerie. This dark and manipulative character becomes obsessed with Valerie, and soon turns his attention to sabotaging the relationship between Mike and Valerie. Sasa puts pressure on Valerie to marry him, and even threatens to destroy her family's farm if she doesn't comply.
The tension in the movie builds up quickly, as both the police and Sasa close in on Mike and Valerie. Sasa's obsession with Valerie becomes increasingly dangerous, as it becomes clear that he is willing to do whatever it takes to possess her. The storyline reaches its climax when Mike is forced to confront Sasa, leading to a thrilling shoot-out in which the fate of all three characters hangs in the balance.
Overall, Valerie is a powerful and evocative film that delves into themes such as freedom, love, and power. The plot builds up slowly but steadily, before climaxing with a violent and intense ending that leaves the viewer on the edge of their seat. The actors deliver stunning performances, with Ekberg and Steel bringing their characters to life with passion and verve. However, it is Hayden's performance as Sasa that truly steals the show, as he embodies a complex and deeply flawed character who is both terrifying and tragic.
The film's noir cinematography perfectly captures the tension and despair of the storyline, with the dramatic landscape of the French countryside serving as a stark contrast to the sometimes overwhelming darkness of the plot. The filmâs score, composed by Paul Dunlap, also deserves its due recognition, as it amplifies the movie's mood to a sinister and thrilling level.
In conclusion, Valerie is a classic film that masterfully combines romance, suspense, and drama. The film is a timeless tale of love and obsession, with its themes still resonant and relatable even more than sixty years after its release. Whether you're a fan of classic film or new to the genre, Valerie is a must-see movie that will keep you entertained and engaged from start to finish.
Valerie is a 1957 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 22 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.9.