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The Sugarland Express

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Director: Steven Spielberg, Steven Spielberg, Steven Spielberg, Steven Spielberg
1974 / 110min / DCP

Goldie Hawn busts husband William Atherton out of the stir in the Lone Star State, and together they set out to snatch their child away from the threat of foster care, in the process taking a Texas Ranger hostage and leading a parade of law enforcement and media on a slow, amblin’ chase. Often overlooked in light of the following year’s Jaws breakthrough, Spielberg’s first feature made for theatrical distribution has the fluidity and tonal specificity of a veteran’s work, exhibiting a mixture of offhand humor and underlying desperation. “Spielberg uses his gift in a very free and easy, American way—for humor, and for a physical response to action. He could be that rarity among directors—a born entertainer—perhaps a new generations’ Howard Hawks.”—Pauline Kael, The New Yorker