Share

Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: TBD

The Sugarland Express Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

Based on an actual incident, Steven Spielberg's first theatrical feature follows the adventures of a Texas outlaw couple striving to keep their family together by any means necessary. Determined not to lose her child to the authorities, Lou Jean Poplin (Goldie Hawn) gets her obedient convict husband Clovis (William Atherton) to break out of jail and help her kidnap their baby from its foster parents. With hostage Officer Slide (Michael Sacks) in tow, the fugitives head across the plains to Sugarland, Texas, pursued by a flotilla of cop cars. Even though Slide becomes the couple's friend, the Law is bent on capturing its criminal quarry. Even though it was greeted with strong reviews, and Hal Barwood, Matthew Robbins, and Spielberg won the screenplay prize at the Cannes Film Festival, The Sugarland Express flopped. The young audience that had embraced the challenging tonal shifts of Matthew Robbins and Matthew Robbins in the late 1960s was no longer so reliably drawn to narrative uncertainties in 1974. The massive success of Spielberg's next picture, the popcorn thriller Matthew Robbins (1975), would confirm his suspicion that downbeat films were no longer the way to popular approval. ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Cannes Film Festival Matthew Robbins Best Screenplay 1974 Winner
Cannes Film Festival Hal Barwood Best Screenplay 1974 Winner

Cast

Goldie Hawn
as Lou Jean Poplin
Ben Johnson
as Capt. Tanner
Michael Sacks
as Officer Slide
William Atherton
as Clovis Poplin
Gregory Walcott
as Officer Mashburn
Harrison Zanuck
as Baby Langston
James Harrell
as Mark Fenno
Steve Kanaly
as Jessup
Louise Latham
as Mrs. Looby
Dean Smith
as Russ Berry
Ted Grossman
as Dietz
Guich Koock
as Hot Jock No. 2
Gene Rader
as Gas Jockey
Gordon Hurst
as Eddie Becker
Guich Koock
as Hot Jock No. 2
Steve Kanaly
as Jessup
Gene Rader
as Gas Jockey
Ted Grossman
as Dietz
James Harrell
as Mark Fenno
Dean Smith
as Russ Berry
Louise Latham
as Mrs. Looby

Crew

Steven Spielberg
Director
Richard D. Zanuck
Producer
David Brown
Producer
Matthew Robbins
Screenwriter
Hal Barwood
Screenwriter
Vilmos Zsigmond
Cinematographer
John Williams
Composer (Music Score)
Verna Fields
Editor
Edward M. Abroms
Editor
Frank Brendel
Special Effects
James Fargo
First Assistant Director
Advertisement