×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Desperate Trail

First-time helmer P.J. Pesce gives a tip of the hat to masters John Ford and Sam Peckinpah in this striking, action-packed and at times brutal oater. Concerning a lawman's pursuit of an escaped murderess, the fast-paced vidpic features solid perfs by the principals and a strong script, with enough twists and turns to keep even the short-attention-span set tuned in.

With:
Cast: Sam Elliott, Craig Sheffer , Linda Fiorentino, John Furlong, Michael Huddleston, Bradley Whitford, Frank Whaley, Robin Westphal, Boots Southerland, Joey Hamlin, Danny O'Hara, Jill Scott Momaday, R.L. Tolbert, P.J. Pesce, Rockne Tarkington, Peter Gregory, George Cook , Elliot Tolbert, Andrea Camarena Lindsay, Jerry Gardner, Sam Gauny, Wally Welch , Tom Berto, Ramon Frank, Jeff O'Haco, Tom Abrams, Jon Maldonado, Malissa Feruzzi, Cecile Krevoy, Gretchen Becker.

First-time helmer P.J. Pesce gives a tip of the hat to masters John Ford and Sam Peckinpah in this striking, action-packed and at times brutal oater. Concerning a lawman’s pursuit of an escaped murderess, the fast-paced vidpic features solid perfs by the principals and a strong script, with enough twists and turns to keep even the short-attention-span set tuned in.

Story kicks off as Marshal Bill Speaks (Sam Elliott), returning murder suspect Sarah O’Rourke (Linda Fiorentino) to the local magistrate, gets caught in an ambush aimed at the stagecoach’s strongbox. (The stark violence in the stagecoach ambush may catch some viewers by surprise, considering the TNT venue.)

The ensuing confusion allows O’Rourke to escape, aided by fellow passenger Jack Cooper (Craig Sheffer), a frontier dandy who offers her shelter at his brother’s farm. The expected romance-fueled friction fires up between the two, but ultimately gets extinguished by an appearance by the undeterred marshal.

Scripters Pesce and Tom Abrams have crafted a slightly derivative tale using familiar motives by a protagonist to spark the expected plot pivots. However, the style in which it is presented all but obfuscates pic’s shortcomings.

The chemistry between Fiorentino and Elliott similarly belies any problems in the story, which is aided immensely by the latter’s solid-as-a-rock acting skill in a credible and entertaining perf.

Top-notch technicals, including Bill Johnson’s editing, shot selection by d.p. Michael Bonvillain, and colorful visuals from production designer Jonathan A. Carlson, combine to make pic appealing fare that helps it move quickly.

The Desperate Trail

Sun. (9), 8-10 p.m., TNT

Production: Filmed in Santa Fe, N.M., by Motion Picture Corp. of America in association with Turner Network Television. Producers, Brad Krevoy, Steve Stabler; co-producer, Chad Oman; director, P.J. Pesce; writers, Pesce, Tom Abrams.

Crew: camera, Michael Bonvillain; editor, Bill Johnson; production designer, Jonathan A. Carlson; set design, Susan Degus; sound, Rick Waddiell; music, Stephen Endelman.

Cast: Cast: Sam Elliott, Craig Sheffer , Linda Fiorentino, John Furlong, Michael Huddleston, Bradley Whitford, Frank Whaley, Robin Westphal, Boots Southerland, Joey Hamlin, Danny O'Hara, Jill Scott Momaday, R.L. Tolbert, P.J. Pesce, Rockne Tarkington, Peter Gregory, George Cook , Elliot Tolbert, Andrea Camarena Lindsay, Jerry Gardner, Sam Gauny, Wally Welch , Tom Berto, Ramon Frank, Jeff O'Haco, Tom Abrams, Jon Maldonado, Malissa Feruzzi, Cecile Krevoy, Gretchen Becker.

More TV

  • Pete Davidson Sits Out Final 'Saturday

    Pete Davidson Sits Out Final 'Saturday Night Live' Sketches of 2018

    Just hours after “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson posted a message on social media that said he “really [didn’t] want to be on this Earth anymore,” he was absent from the final 2018 live sketches of the late-night sketch comedy show. But although Davidson did not take part in the sketches or appear [...]

  • Pete Davidson photographed by Peggy Sirota

    Pete Davidson Posts Unsettling Message, Deletes Instagram

    UPDATED: “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson posted a disturbing message Saturday morning stating he doesn’t “want to be on this earth anymore,” then deleted his Instagram account. In the post, Davidson wrote, “I’m doing my best to stay here for you but i actually don’t know how much longer i can last. all [...]

  • Disney Channel Fires 'Andi Mack' Actor

    Disney Channel Fires 'Andi Mack' Actor Arrested for Plotting Sex With Minor

    Disney Channel has severed ties with “Andi Mack” actor Stoney Westmoreland following his arrest for allegedly trying to arrange a sexual encounter with a 13-year-old. “Stoney Westmoreland, an actor working on the series ‘Andi Mack,’ was arrested in Salt Lake City today,” a Disney Channel spokesperson said in a statement Friday. “Given the nature of [...]

  • Russian Doll

    TV News Roundup: Natasha Lyonne's 'Russian Doll' Sets Netflix Premiere Date

    On Friday’s roundup, Netflix announces the premiere date for “Russian Doll” and Benedict Cumberbatch’s “Brexit” film has a premiere date on HBO FIRST LOOKS Showtime has released a new teaser for the upcoming comedy series, “Black Monday,” which will premiere Sunday, Jan. 20 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The series stars and is executive produced by Don [...]

  • Vanity Fair Review

    TV Review: 'Vanity Fair'

    There’s something comforting about the predictability of a period piece novel adaptation in the Masterpiece Theater tradition. Knowing the story, or even just the rhythms of the genre, there are rarely many surprises. The women will toss off witticisms and cry careful, pretty tears; the men will steel their jaws and declare their love, ideally [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content