Crossfire Trail (2001)

A hero is measured by the enemies he makes.

Rafe Covington is as good as his word, and he's determined to keep his promise to a dying man that he'll look after the man's widow and Wyoming ranch. But the widow doubts the integrity of drifter Covington. And an unscrupulous land grabber and his gunmen are sizing up the ranch the way a spider eyes a fly.

Solid traditional Western with Tom Selleck, Virginia Madsen and Mark Harmon
RELEASED TO TV IN 2001 and directed by Simon Wincer, "Crossfire Trail" is a Western starring Tom Selleck as a laconic Westerner named Rafe Covington who travels to Wyoming to honor his promise to a dying friend: Look after the man’s wife (Virginia Madsen) and ranch after he’s gone. The problem is, the charlatan mogul of the nearby town wants them too (Mark Harmon).
While this was a TNT production, it’s on par with the average traditional Western/theatrical release, e.g. “The War Wagon” (1967) or “Open Range” (2003), and is more satisfying than most goofy spaghetti Westerns. Voluptuous Madsen is formidable in the female department while cutie Kyla (Anderson) Wise works well in the periphery as a barmaid. Moreover, likable Selleck towers in the role of the noble protagonist, who attracts an equally noble group of sidekicks (Wilford Brimley, Christian Kane and David O'Hara).
The story surprisingly loses steam in the last act with a classic shootout-in-town between the heroes and villains. Don’t get me wrong, the fight is muscular and competently executed, it’s just a little lackluster somehow and gives away the flick’s TV origins. Nevertheless, this is a worthwhile modern Western with Harmon superlative as the swindling antagonist.
THE MOVIE RUNS 1 hour 32 minutes and was shot at CL Ranch, Calgary, Alberta. WRITERS: Charles Robert Carner (script) and Louis L'Amour (book).
GRADE: B

Brandman Productions, Turner Network Television, TWS Productions II by Simon Wincer, Louis L'Amour, Charles Robert Carner.
Stars: Tom Selleck, Virginia Madsen, Wilford Brimley, David O'Hara.

Genres: Action, Western

01/21/2001

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