MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 296 this week

The Sugarland Express (1974)

 -  Adventure | Comedy | Crime  -  5 April 1974 (USA)
6.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.8/10 from 8,524 users  
Reviews: 46 user | 44 critic

A woman attempts to reunite her family by helping her husband escape prison and together kidnapping their son. But things don't go as planned when they are forced to take a police hostage on the road.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 28 titles
created 23 Jul 2012
 
a list of 21 titles
created 25 Jul 2012
 
a list of 22 titles
created 03 Dec 2012
 
list image
a list of 31 titles
created 02 Jan 2013
 
a list of 48 titles
created 13 Apr 2013
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Sugarland Express (1974)

The Sugarland Express (1974) on IMDb 6.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Sugarland Express.

User Polls

1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Bonds of loyalty are put to the test when a hitman's son witnesses what his father does for a living.

Director: Sam Mendes
Stars: Tom Hanks, Tyler Hoechlin, Rob Maxey
Certificate: M Adventure | Biography | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Two Western bank/train robbers flee to Bolivia when the law gets too close.

Director: George Roy Hill
Stars: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katharine Ross
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

With the help of an irreverent young sidekick, a bank robber gets his old gang back together to organize a daring new heist.

Director: Michael Cimino
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Jeff Bridges, George Kennedy
Mean Streets (1973)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A small-time hood struggles to succeed on the "mean streets" of Little Italy.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, David Proval
Stand by Me (1986)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

After the death of a friend, a writer recounts a boyhood journey to find the body of a missing boy.

Director: Rob Reiner
Stars: Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A laconic, chain-smoking barber blackmails his wife's boss and lover for money to invest in dry cleaning, but his plan goes terribly wrong.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Frances McDormand, Michael Badalucco
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A man robs a bank to pay for his lover's operation; it turns into a hostage situation and a media circus.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Al Pacino, John Cazale, Penelope Allen
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A former Prohibition-era Jewish gangster returns to the Lower East Side of Manhattan over thirty years later, where he once again must confront the ghosts and regrets of his old life.

Director: Sergio Leone
Stars: Robert De Niro, James Woods, Elizabeth McGovern
Trainspotting (1996)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Renton, deeply immersed in the Edinburgh drug scene, tries to clean up and get out, despite the allure of the drugs and influence of friends.

Director: Danny Boyle
Stars: Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In 1970s America, a detective works to bring down the drug empire of Frank Lucas, a heroin kingpin from Manhattan, who is smuggling the drug into the country from the Far East.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Chiwetel Ejiofor
Easy Rider (1969)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Two counterculture bikers travel from Los Angeles to New Orleans in search of America.

Director: Dennis Hopper
Stars: Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Jack Nicholson
City of God (2002)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

Two boys growing up in a violent neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro take different paths: one becomes a photographer, the other a drug dealer.

Directors: Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund
Stars: Alexandre Rodrigues, Matheus Nachtergaele, Leandro Firmino
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Captain Tanner
Michael Sacks ...
Slide
...
Clovis
...
Mashburn
...
Jessup
Louise Latham ...
Mrs. Looby
Harrison Zanuck ...
Baby Langston
A.L. Camp ...
Mr. Nocker
Jessie Lee Fulton ...
Mrs. Nocker
Dean Smith ...
Russ Berry
Ted Grossman ...
Dietz
Bill Thurman ...
Hunter
Kenneth Hudgins ...
Standby #1
Buster Daniels ...
Drunk (as Buster Danials)
Edit

Storyline

Lou-Jean, a blonde woman, tells her husband, who is imprisoned, to escape. They plan to kidnap their own child, who was placed with foster parents. The escape is partly successful, they take a hostage, who is a policeman and are pursued through to Texas... Written by Kornel Osvart <kornelo@alphanet.hu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

hostage | texas | prison | police | kidnapping | See more »

Taglines:

Every cop in the state was after her. Everybody else was behind her. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 April 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Carte Blanche  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Steven Spielberg:  [cartoons]  Lou Jean and Clovis watch a Roadrunner cartoon at the drive-in. See more »

Goofs

There is an Exxon station shown near the prison. The movie is based on events of May 1969. Standard Oil did not change Esso to the Exxon brand until 1973. See more »

Quotes

Maxwell Slide: Is your name Buster Daniels?
Drunk: Well, it was before I married.
See more »


Soundtracks

I've Been Working on the Railroad
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played by a band when the car enters Rodrigues, Texas
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Spielberg's sleeper- a tragic-comedy that delivers what it proposes
19 August 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Before Jaws propelled Steven Spielberg to the moon, he was a television director, often on episodes of Columbo and Night Gallery. Then came Duel, his taut, experimental feat of man vs. man in machines thriller that made him notable, if not bankable, in the Hollywood eye. His first theatrical release, The Sugarland Express, is to me still one of his ten best (maybe not top five, but up there). Along with his screenwriters (whom would all go to win at Cannes), Spielberg brings a true story with a sense of the tragic realism, but also the sense of adventure and fun that goes into Spielberg's most entertaining films. There's usually a sense of excitement, but one can sense this is not the kind of story that will end up as the main characters think.

Goldie Hawn (as pretty as she is dramatic and chippy) and William Atheron (later impressionable in Ghostbusters, very much so here), are a husband and wife- the husband is in jail at the start of the film, and Hawn breaks him out with little trouble. They have a custody battle, literally, going on with their son, who is away at a home. They have to go through Texas- aka the 'Sugarland Express'- but it won't be easy. Soon there's a pursuit across the state, as the couple becomes rather famous in their simple pursuit of getting the one they love. Hawn and Atherton play off each other well, and Spielberg even at his young age as a director here gets very good performances out of them, especially out of Atherton who has a kind of urgent, tense, but focused way about him throughout. Hawn here isn't totally in the kind of mode like in her vehicle comedies- she's playing the worried mother, as determined as her husband, but her performance still contains a kind of naiveté that's crucial to the character.

And in full widescreen glory Spielberg flexes his technical chops to a full capacity. He doesn't make the film as a thriller like with Duel, but it still drives suspense on in its road movie way. There are a couple of shots that are done for the first time (see trivia) to great effect, and there is a scene in a small town I still remember very well due to the amount of people that are in it, and how Spielberg directs this wonderfully. In some ways this is like one of those Lifetime movies crossed with Smokey and the Bandit only played more for realism; there's something very interesting that we don't get to see much with the son, he's always in a world of his own inside the house, as the situation builds on the outside.

This all builds up to an ending that some have said doesn't work, or (like with some of Spielberg's other films, War of the Worlds for example) is too abrupt. I found that it worked just as well as with the opening scenes. It's realistic, at least for the period, and its important to remember this is based on a true story, and in these establishing and closing scenes the audience gets the real meat of the story (Catch Me if You Can did this too, though in a different way), and then in the middle some of the more dramatized parts come in. It wasn't a smash success on its first release, but it made enough of an impression with its win at Cannes and its writers guild nomination (ironically it was nominated for Best Comedy) to get Spielberg his next gig, which ended up being the real test of his career. As a nifty tale of overly concerned parents on-the-run, its really very impressive.


17 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
travolta is right about the ending ash_skywalker10
How true is this movie? pajam
is this a good spielberg movie? roundface
Underrated mcm10789
1980 to 1990 Cadillac Fleetwood on back cover of dvd version madhouse_495
DVD?! filmmaker812
Discuss The Sugarland Express (1974) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?