THE DESPERADOES. Columbia Pictures, 1943. Randolph Scott, Claire Trevor, Glenn Ford, Evelyn Keyes, Edgar Buchanan, Guinn ‘Big Boy’ Williams. Screenplay: Robert Carson, based on an original story by Max Brand. Director: Charles Vidor. Assistant director: Oscar ‘Budd’ Boetticher Jr.

   Let’s go with a list of the characters for this one: A sheriff and his former partner, a wanted outlaw trying to go straight; a girl and her father, the slightly shifty Uncle Willie; plus a crooked banker and the “Countess” who runs Red River’s only hotel of note.

   Once all the players have been sorted out, the story begins. Randolph Scott is his usual straight as an arrow self, but a very young Glenn Ford seems too awkward and wet behind the ears to be playing a notorious gunman. As for Edgar Buchanan, his overplayed role (guess who?) might be the worst of his career.

— Very slightly revised from Movie.File.8, January 1990.