The Sugarland Express (1974)

“We’re in real trouble. ” – Clovis

Number of Times Seen – 1 (23 Sep 2019)

Brief Synopsis – Based on the true story of two fugitives from the law who take a policeman prisoner and drive across Texas followed by the police as they attempt to see their child who is now in foster care.

My Take on it – This is a movie that I’ve been interested in seeing for decades yet never got around to it until now.

This was Steven Spielberg’s very first full length feature film as director and he is able to make this story feel so realistic by the way he presents things.

The story is helped along by the fact that he is able to keep the level of suspense quite high the whole way through.

The story allows for the characters to be developed really well because there is so much time during this leisurely chase for conversations and actions that help define each of the characters.

Love the way that this movie gives us the perspectives of both the police chief trying to find a peaceful solution to the situation and the fugitives who just want to reunite their family.

This allows us to really care more about the characters and what will happen to them as the story progresses.

The criminals come across as being very sympathetic because we get to see how they treat their hostage and how the only have pure motives for their crime.

The chemistry between stars William Atherton and Goldie Hawn is great and they are able to make us believe the kind of connection they are meant to have with one another.

Bottom Line – Interesting story that works largely due to the way that Spielberg is able to drag out the suspense of it all so believably. The characters are developed quite well along the way as we have plenty of time to get to know each of them and understand why they act as they do. The movie gives us both the perspectives of the police chief leading the chase and the two fugitives and their hostage as things move along to a place where we start to care about everyone involved and what will happen to them. The way that the couple act towards their hostage says so much about the reasoning behind their crime and allows us to thoroughly sympathize with everything they are going through. Atherton and Hawn are great together and make us believe the connection that they are meant to have. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – First movie to feature a tracking shot (front seat to back) and a 360-degree pan with dialogue from within a car. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)


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2 thoughts on “The Sugarland Express (1974)

  1. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Actress – Oscars 1974 | MovieRob

  2. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1974 | MovieRob

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