IMDb > The Sugarland Express (1974)
The Sugarland Express
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The Sugarland Express (1974) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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Director:
Writers:
Hal Barwood (screenplay) &
Matthew Robbins (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Sugarland Express on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
5 April 1974 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
A girl with a great following. See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
1 win & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Spielberg's sleeper- a tragic-comedy that delivers what it proposes See more (48 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Goldie Hawn ... Lou Jean

Ben Johnson ... Captain Tanner
Michael Sacks ... Slide

William Atherton ... Clovis

Gregory Walcott ... Mashburn

Steve Kanaly ... 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)
James N. Harrell ... Mark Fenno (as Jim Harrell)
Frank Steggall ... Logan Waters
Roger Ernest ... Hot Jock #1
Guich Koock ... Hot Jock #2
Merrill Connally ... Mr. Looby (as Merrill L. Connally)

Gene Rader ... Gas Jockey
Gordon Hurst ... Hubie Nocker
George Hagy ... Mr. Sparrow
Big John Hamilton ... Big John
Kenneth Crone ... Deputy
Peter Curry ... Judge (as Judge Peter Michael Curry)
Charles Conaway ... Attorney
Robert Golden ... Dybala's Kid
Rudy Robbins ... Mechanic
Charlie Dobbs ... Local Cop
Gene Lively ... Reporter
John L. Quinlan III ... Bailiff
William Scott ... Station Man (as Bill Scott)
Ralph E. Horwedel ... Dispatcher
Edwin 'Frog' Isbell ... Jelly Bowl
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
James Robert Allen ... D.P.S. Officer (uncredited)
Marianna Clore Blase ... Waitress (uncredited)
David Bowen ... Proprietor (uncredited)
Richard Bright ... Marvin Bybala (uncredited)
B.M. Burch ... Deputy (uncredited)
Charly ... Wreckee (uncredited)
Harvey Christiansen ... Old Reporter (uncredited)
Michael J. Croshaw ... Reporter (uncredited)
Maria De Lange ... Matron (uncredited)
Al Evans ... Guard (uncredited)
James R. Gough ... Deputy (uncredited)
Charles Gunn ... D.P.S. Officer (uncredited)

Dean Jones ... Policeman at Football Game (uncredited)
Sam Kindrick ... Reporter (uncredited)
Myles R. Kuykendall ... D.P.S. Officer (uncredited)
Robert Lee Loper ... Car Ghoul (uncredited)
Rafael López ... Val Verde Deputy (uncredited)
Maury Maverick ... Shoplifter (uncredited)
Lorraine Meeks ... Woman from Hondo (uncredited)
Lucky Mosley ... Wrecker (uncredited)
Darrell Murphy ... Wrecker (uncredited)
Carol W. Nell ... D.P.S. Officer (uncredited)
Darrell Newman ... FFF Boy (uncredited)
Harold Offer ... Hardware Man (uncredited)
Karen Olenick ... Karen (uncredited)
Bill Pattie ... Ambulance Driver (uncredited)
Don Peck ... Helicopter Pilot (uncredited)
Patrick Reagan ... Reserve Officer (uncredited)
Michael Santiago ... Gas Station Attendant (uncredited)
Adolfo E. Urrutia ... Small Role (uncredited)
Robert C. Willey ... D.P.S. Officer (uncredited)

Directed by
Steven Spielberg 
 
Writing credits
Hal Barwood (screenplay) &
Matthew Robbins (screenplay)

Steven Spielberg (story) and
Hal Barwood (story) &
Matthew Robbins (story)

Produced by
David Brown .... producer
Richard D. Zanuck .... producer
 
Original Music by
John Williams 
 
Cinematography by
Vilmos Zsigmond (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Edward M. Abroms (film editor)
Verna Fields (film editor)
 
Casting by
Mike Fenton (uncredited)
Shari Rhodes (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
Joe Alves  (as Joseph Alves Jr.)
 
Makeup Department
Del Armstrong .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Susan Germaine .... hair stylist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
William S. Gilmore .... unit production manager (as William S. Gilmore Jr.)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
James Fargo .... first assistant director
Tom Joyner .... second assistant director (as Thomas Joyner)
 
Art Department
Bill Dietz .... property master (uncredited)
Mike Fenton .... carpenter (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
John R. Carter .... sound (as John Carter)
Robert L. Hoyt .... sound (as Robert Hoyt)
William Griffith .... radio man (uncredited)
John McDonald .... mike man (uncredited)
Dennis C. Salcedo .... optical sound recordist (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Frank Brendel .... special effects
 
Stunts
Carey Loftin .... stunt coordinator
Max Balchowsky .... stunts (uncredited)
Ted Duncan .... stunts (uncredited)
Patty Elder .... stunts (uncredited)
Ted Grossman .... stunts (uncredited)
Bob Harris .... stunts (uncredited)
Carey Loftin .... stunts (uncredited)
Rudy Robbins .... stunts (uncredited)
Dean Smith .... stunts (uncredited)
Dale Van Sickel .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
James O. Blair .... gaffer (uncredited)
Bobby Burton .... best boy (uncredited)
Jim Coe .... unit stillman (uncredited)
John J. Connor .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Nick McLean .... first assistant camera (uncredited)
Robert Moore .... key grip (uncredited)
Aaron Pazanti .... best boy (uncredited)
Al Perry .... generator operator (uncredited)
Steve Rez .... second grip (uncredited)
Jack L. Richards .... camera operator (uncredited)
George Triandos .... crane grip (uncredited)
Sven Walnum .... camera operator (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Liz Owen .... casting secretary (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Robert Ellsworth .... wardrobe (uncredited)
James Gilmore .... wardrobe (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Jeff Gourson .... assistant film editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Toots Thielemans .... harmonica: solos (as 'Toots' Thielemans)
John Williams .... conductor: "The Eyes of Texas" (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Alby Thomas .... transportation manager
John Lackey .... mechanic (uncredited)
 
Other crew
William S. Gilmore .... production executive (as William S. Gilmore Jr.)
Lucy Ballentine .... secretary to producers (uncredited)
Ulla Bourne .... script supervisor (uncredited)
Roy D. Smith .... unit publicist (uncredited)
Nona Tyson .... secretary to director (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
110 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Although the events of the film occur over a couple of days, in reality the events were over with in just a few short hours.See more »
Goofs:
Anachronisms: In 1969, dashed center lines down the road would have been white not yellow. MUTCD introduced all yellow striping in late 1971 and between then and 1975, the roads would be repainted. Texas had white lines up until around the middle of 1973, but the film was made after the conversion to MUTCD '71 hence yellow striping on the roads in the area.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 »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Rich Hall's Continental Drifters (2011) (TV)See more »
Soundtrack:
I've Been Working on the RailroadSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
19 out of 25 people found the following review useful.
Spielberg's sleeper- a tragic-comedy that delivers what it proposes, 19 August 2005
Author: MisterWhiplash from United States

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.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (48 total) »

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