6.8/10
13,902
71 user 64 critic

The Sugarland Express (1974)

PG | | Crime, Drama | 29 May 1974 (Sweden)
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:

Steven Spielberg

Writers:

Hal Barwood (screenplay), Matthew Robbins (screenplay) | 3 more credits »

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Prime Video

ON TV
ON DISC
ALL
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Duel (TV Movie 1971)
Action | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A business commuter is pursued and terrorized by the malevolent driver of a massive tractor-trailer.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Dennis Weaver, Jacqueline Scott, Eddie Firestone
1941 (1979)
Action | Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Hysterical Californians prepare for a Japanese invasion in the days after Pearl Harbor.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Treat Williams
Always (1989)
Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The spirit of a recently deceased expert pilot mentors a newer pilot while watching him fall in love with the girlfriend that he left behind.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Holly Hunter, Brad Johnson
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A black Southern woman struggles to find her identity after suffering abuse from her father and others over four decades.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Roy Neary, an electric lineman, watches how his quiet and ordinary daily life turns upside down after a close encounter with a UFO.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, François Truffaut, Teri Garr
Firelight (1964)
Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Menacing flying saucers attack the citizens of a town.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Robert Robyn, Beth Weber, Lucky Lohr
Amistad (1997)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

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.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Djimon Hounsou, Matthew McConaughey, Anthony Hopkins
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A young English boy struggles to survive under Japanese occupation during World War II.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Christian Bale, John Malkovich, Miranda Richardson
Amblin' (1968)
Short | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

They were both wanderers but to be more specific...Hippies.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Richard Levin, Pamela McMyler, Henry Axelrod
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Four horror and science fiction segments, directed by four famous directors, each of them being a new version of a classic story from Rod Serling's landmark television series.

Directors: Joe Dante, John Landis, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Dan Aykroyd, Albert Brooks, Vic Morrow
Savage (TV Movie 1973)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A TV reporter investigates compromising photographs of a nominee to the Supreme Court.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Martin Landau, Barbara Bain, Will Geer
Something Evil (TV Movie 1972)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A young couple moves into a farmhouse in rural Pennsylvania. What they don't know is that there is an unseen presence in the house, and that it wants to take possession of the wife.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Darren McGavin, Sandy Dennis, Ralph Bellamy
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Goldie Hawn ... Lou Jean
Ben Johnson ... Captain Tanner
Michael Sacks ... Slide
William Atherton ... Clovis
Gregory Walcott ... Mashburn
Steve Kanaly ... Officer Ernie Jessup
Louise Latham ... Mrs. Looby
Harrison Zanuck Harrison Zanuck ... Baby Langston
A.L. Camp A.L. Camp ... Mr. Alvin T. Nocker
Jessie Lee Fulton ... Mrs. Nocker
Dean Smith ... Russ Berry
Ted Grossman Ted Grossman ... Dietz
Bill Thurman ... Hunter
Ken Hudgins Ken Hudgins ... Standby #1 (as Kenneth Hudgins)
Buster Daniels Buster Daniels ... 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

Taglines:

The true story of a girl who took on all of Texas...and almost won. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 May 1974 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Carte Blanche See more »

Filming Locations:

San Antonio, Texas, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$7,500,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$12,800,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Universal executives were thrilled with the rough cut until they previewed the film in San Jose, CA, on a double bill with Paper Moon (1973). Audiences were with the film through the first act, particularly liking Goldie Hawn's more comic scenes. When the sharpshooters turned up in the second half, and it became clear this was a more serious film, the mood changed. Some audience members left in tears. Others were angry. See more »

Goofs

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 »

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 Dizengoff 99 (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

The Eyes of Texas
(uncredited)
Written by John Lang Sinclair
[Played by marching band when the car enters Rodrigues, Texas]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Spielberg's first film is wonderful, a classic.
10 November 2001 | by vic-12See all my reviews

Haven't heard about "Sugarland Express" till recently and I had to see it because it was vintage Spielberg, and I'm a fan. And I wanted to see the young Goldie Hawn. I was not disappointed. It was one of these road-chase movies, bigger than life, but it was unique, especially because it was based on a true story. That fact made me incredulous throughout the film, but everything in Texas is supposed to be bigger than life.

Goldie desperately wants to get her baby back. She was in jail for some minor crimes and was found to be an unfit mother and her baby was put in a foster home and the foster parents were going to adopt him. Despite being a young girl, or maybe because of it, she was desperate to have her baby back. It was a love-child and the mother-love was passionate and obsessive. Hawn played the part to the hilt and used her sexuality and femininity to overcome the objections of her husband who was in a pre-release facility with low security.

She had a plan to help him escape, but he didn't want to risk it, take a chance of being caught and being incarcerated again. He only had four more months to serve. The other inmates were incredulous as they disguised themselves and got an old couple to give them a ride.

From this quiet beginning the film proceeded to repeated crescendos of drama and excitement. Try to imagine the young couple, young officer in tow, leading a chase of police cars, first a few, then a few dozen, then many dozen and ultimately hundreds, law-enforcement officers from all over the state and then snipers and a helicopter.

Lucky for the young couple an old-hand cop realized they were just a couple of kids and he staved off snipers with telescopic long-range rifles and a couple of vigilante gun-nuts.

You know something bad is going to happen at the end, because these kids didn't know what they were doing; they were madly in love and in a fantasy-land of getting their little boy back and living happily ever after in Mexico. Something bad happened, but something good happened. It will be worth your while to see this little classic from one of the greatest directors of the 20th century.


37 of 56 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 71 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed