- Sam Corwin (DeForest Kelley) to Valerie Miller (Susan Hayward)
Director Edward Dmytryk pours on the soap in this glossy courtroom drama based on the infamous real murder trial of Lana Turner's daughter, Cheryl Crane. Susan Hayward plays Valerie Miller, an old-moneyed nymphomaniac sculptress whose marriage to alcoholic husband Luke (Michael Connors) has crumbled, leaving their daughter, Danielle (Joey Heatherton), traumatized. When one of Valerie's string of lovers (Anthony Caruso) becomes abusive, Danielle kills him, and the resulting murder trial/custody battle becomes the sensation of San Francisco. Bette Davis stars as the stern, manipulative matriarch of the clan who does whatever it takes to save the family name. She and Hayward are both in top form and practically scald the screen in their scenes together. Also watch for Jane Greer playing a small but memorable part as a parole officer, DeForest Kelley (Bones from STAR TREK) delivering some memorably campy lines, and Jack Jones singing the hit title tune. Adapted from the novel by Harold Robbins, this is an over-the-top festival of threats, sex, tears, and tantrums tailor-made for fans of melodrama.
In this tense drama based on the Lana Turner/Cheryl Crane/Johnny Stompanato affair, three generations of a proper San Francisco family attempt to present a united front in a sizzling murder trial.