With its taut pacing and well-crafted characterizations, THE DESPERATE TRAIL should satisfy viewers craving an old-fashioned adult Western. This subtly modernized cowboy picture gets a lot of mileage out of its gallop down the Old Vengeance Trail.
When the stagecoach carrying her to the hoosegow is robbed by bandits, convicted murderer Sarah O'Rourke (Linda Fiorentino) seizes the opportunity to escape from her keeper, Marshall Speakes (Sam Elliott). (As we learn later, the man Sarah killed was her physically abusive husband, and Speakes
is her father-in-law.) Another passenger, fast-talking dandy Jack Cooper (Craig Sheffer), facilitates Sarah's getaway but inc...