In 1839, the revolt of Mende captives aboard a Spanish owned ship causes a major controversy in the United States when the ship is captured off the coast of Long Island. The courts must decide whether the Mende are slaves or legally free.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
California's Panavision Corp. chose this movie for the launch of its then new Panaflex, a compact camera that enabled Steven Spielberg to shoot complex shots inside a patrol car. See more »
The "Texas" of this film is a figment of the filmmakers'
imagination. The trip from just outside Houston to Sugar Land takes two days, and Sugar Land is a few miles from the Mexican border. In fact, Sugar Land is a municipality southwest of Houston, not much more than an hour from anywhere in the Houston metro area. And Houston is on the Texas Gulf Coast, two days' drive from the border. See more »
Critics at the time were impressed by this new director, Steven Spielberg, who had previously directed Dennis Weaver in that spooky TV movie "Duel", but they were really impressed with Goldie Hawn, still mainly known as the blonde nitwit from "Laugh-In". She had been quite respectable in "Butterflies Are Free" in 1972, but she turned in a beautifully nuanced performance in this one.
I would certainly argue with any notion that this film is "underrated". It's always been well regarded, even back in the days when Spielberg was known as the clever kid who made "Jaws". That doesn't mean it has ever been easy to see.
Now, with the passage of time, "Sugarland Express" looks even better than it did in the 1970's. One still has no trouble at all getting caught up in the quixotic mission of these characters.
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