20 user 3 critic

The Desperate Trail (1994)

After a failed stagecoach robbery Sarah, an arrested killer, frees herself and robs the money and Jack robs her. The marshal sets after them. They become partners.


P.J. Pesce
1 win. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Sam Elliott ... Marshall Bill Speakes
Craig Sheffer ... Jack Cooper
Linda Fiorentino ... Sarah O'Rourke
Frank Whaley ... Walter Cooper
John Furlong John Furlong ... Zeb Hollister
Robin Westphal Robin Westphal ... Mamie Hollister
Boots Southerland Boots Southerland ... Scar Face Leader
Joey Hamlin Joey Hamlin ... Laughing Boy Killer
Daniel O'Haco Daniel O'Haco ... Happy (as Danny O'Haco)
Bradley Whitford ... Tommy Donnelly
Jill Scott Momaday Jill Scott Momaday ... Janie
R.L. Tolbert R.L. Tolbert ... Lean Poker Player
P.J. Pesce P.J. Pesce ... Scared Mustachioed Cowboy
Rockne Tarkington ... Packo
Michael Huddleston Michael Huddleston ... Clyde


After years of suffering under her beating husband, Sarah decides to no longer take any humiliation or battery, and kills him. For that, Marshal Speakes, her father-in-law, sentences her to the gallows. During a failed hold-up on the coach, she escapes, but Jack Cooper manages to snatch away the transported twenty-five hundred dollars from her, which she would have needed to start a new life. So she follows him to get it back. Soon they have to team up against the Marshal, who wants her dead so badly, he doesn't mind breaking the law. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


No one escapes from Marshal Bill Speakes. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The posse contains 6 men when they ride into town prior to the shootout. The shootout kills one of them, and a second member is killed by the Marshal. In the following scene where they are on the trail of the fugitives, the posse again numbers 6 men. See more »


Jack Cooper: Why is it that every time you bed down with a woman she thinks she's entitled to opinions and your affairs?
See more »

User Reviews

A Most underrated Westen
22 February 2000 | by The Continental OpSee all my reviews

Sam Elliot and Linda Fiorentino go toe to toe in this very entertaining TV western. Elliott plays Marshall Bill Speakes, a lawman obsessed with catching Sarah O'Rourke (Fiorentino), his fugitive daughter-in-law. It seems that Sarah killed her husband. Speakes is understandably rather upset and tears up the west pursuing her when she escapes his grasp. Along the way, Sarah allies herself with a dandified highwayman and the story becomes a rather quirky Bonnie and Clyde story. But things aren't always what they seem as Speakes' tactics for catching the pair become increasingly ruthless as Elliott goes against his usual good-guy image. The audience sympathies are fully with the outlaws in this story. Writer-Director Pesce gives the story a relentless pace as the antagonists maneuver around each other. Visually, the film owes a lot to Leone and Peckinpah (right down to the slow motion death scenes) but the plot is so fast-paced and the characters are so interesting, the pyrotechnics never over-shadow the story. If you are a fan of either Elliott or Fiorentino, The Desperate Trail is a must see.

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Release Date:

28 December 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Desperate Trail See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby (as Dolby Surround)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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