Review: The Sugarland Express

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The Sugarland Express opened in theaters in 1974. It starred Goldie Hawn and was directed by Steven Spielberg.


A desperate woman breaks her husband out of jail so he can help her kidnap their son from a foster care home. The jailbreak goes wrong and the duo end up taking a police officer hostage. The young couple now has to evade the police and reunite their family.


Goldie Hawn gives a wonderful performance in the film. She balances the comedy and drama exceptionally well.

The action scenes, especially the car chases, are exciting and creatively shot. Spielberg films the action confidently and with lots of invention.

The Sugarland Express is Spielberg’s first film to be made specifically for a theatrical release. For his first film, The Sugarland Express never looks sophomoric.


At times the film’s story becomes aimless. The script could of used a little polishing and tightening.

In Closing:

The Sugarland Express is an important part of cinema because of its significance to Spielberg’s career. It shows the great potential of the young director. The script has flaws—but the performance by Hawn and the direction of Spielberg makes it a must see film.

Rating: B