The Sugarland Express
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Loosely based on events that occurred in Texas in the spring of 1969, the film stars Goldie Hawn as an ex-con mother who springs her reluctant husband (William Atherton) from a prison farm so they can get their infant son back from a foster family that has refused to return custody to Hawn. But when they hijack a Texas state trooper (Michael Sachs) and force him to driver them to the town of Sugarland, they attract far more attention than they bargained for: mass media, hundreds of onlookers, and nearly half of the total number of law enforcement officers in Texas. Veteran character actor Ben Johnson is the lead lawman in this relatively slow-speed chase, occasionally punctuated by redneck sniper gunfire, who sympathizes with Hawn's and Atherton's plight but who also must still perform his duties. It all comes to a climax at Sugarland with a jarring result.
Although made for relatively little money (just three million, as opposed to the tens of millions Spielberg would spend on his films in ensuing decades), THE SUGARLAND EXPRESS was still only a modest box office hit. Part of that could be attributed to audiences' expectations of seeing Hawn in a frothy comedy following her turn on TV's "Laugh-In" and instead getting a real live actress with intensity.Read more ›
Steven Spielberg's first film gives evidence of his talent and skills as a film director. Although he would later be accused of creating the box office mania that "dumbed down" Summer films into "event films", Spielberg didn't create the popcorn movie genre. Like Hitchcock, Spielberg made many types of films and this, his second, was among his most ambitious early films in terms of scope, technique and themes. Based on a story that Spielberg concocted with screenwriters Hal Barwood and Matthew Robbins ("The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings", "Dragonslayer") from a true story a taunt, often funny and powerful road movie.
The strong performances and well written script gave Spielberg a springboard to dive into a pool of ambitious film techniques. Make no mistake, though, this film isn't just about technique and that's its saving grace. Otherwise, this could have degenerated into just another exploitation film.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This movie is like a young boy's game to see how many cop cars he can fit into the movie at one time.Published 29 days ago by Jackie Pike
Saw this when it came out originally, loved it then, thought I would re watch it and see if it was as good. It was OK, glad I watched it!Published 8 months ago by Jimmy Peet
The condition of the DVD was perfect, but the story was not very interesting.Published 8 months ago by Deborah J. Hulen
I have a hard time sympathizing with the couple, but I do appreciate the behavior of the cop they kidnap. It's a pity he failed to convince them to stop.Published 10 months ago by Matthew S.
An actual event, presented in the form of legendary ballad, this Spielberg debut still sings true. Oh sure he makes the most of hyperbole in best story-telling tradition,... Read morePublished 10 months ago by trishaj
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