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The Sugarland Express (1974)

 -  Adventure | Comedy | Crime  -  5 April 1974 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 8,854 users  
Reviews: 48 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.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 3 more credits »
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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 | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

texas | hostage | 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:

 »
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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

Based on the events of May, 1969, when fugitives Robert and Ila Fae Dent kidnapped Department of Public Safety trooper Kenneth Crone, commandeered his car, and led police law enforcement officials on a chase from outside Port Arthur, through Houston, up to Navasota, and on to Wheelock, where Ila Fae Dent's mother lived. At one point, a motorcade of more than 150 police cars and reporters joined the pursuit. FBI agent Bob Wiatt (who retired in 2004) confronted them at the mother's home and was forced to shoot Robert Dent, who was armed, in the neck, killing him. Wiatt wrestled Ila Fae to the ground and handcuffed her. See more »

Goofs

While the Border Patrol's purpose is indeed to protect the United States against illegal entry and not vice-versa, they are still a law enforcement agency that can be called upon to assist other state or federal agencies (as depicted in the film) to prevent wanted felons fleeing the United States jurisdiction during a pursuit. This has happened numerous times in reality and as such they are completely justified in firing at Clovis's car during their attempted escape. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Nocker: You got me out here with no where to sit.
Mr. Alvin T. Nocker: Why don't you sit on your fist and lean back on your thumb.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Making of '1941' (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
After 1 car purchased by 1 truck, now 1 car purchased by 206 cars ! (cinematheque)
25 March 2012 | by (PariS) – See all my reviews

I began my Spielberg Festival at the Cinematheque by his first movie done the year I was born. It's my first viewing and it's amazing to see how his first feature takes root from his first project ("duel"), even thought the story is totally different. In fact, you'll see that all his movies can be tied by two, so check my pairing note at the end of my next reviews. It's maybe easy now to predict that Spielberg would become a master but on the other hand, all his future trademark are already there: He knows how to tell a story and i can tell the difference with today movies where the plot and edit are unintelligible (transformers, cars,). Next, Spielberg has en "eye": he knows how to put the camera to have a stunning visual, especially his close-ups. Then, he is excellent with his cast and knows how to built emotions. Even if hundred policemen chased the couple, the audience supports the side of the family and don't view them as criminals. At last, with nearly 40 years behind (thus nearly my age), the movie has a good historic and cultural value. In some ways, it announces the media folklore of the 80's and so on. At least, his screenplay won the Award at Cannes Festival and it's a sure proof that this newcomer would become a name!


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