The Sugarland Express
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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… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"If the movie finally doesn't succeed, that's because Spielberg has paid too much attention to all those police cars (and all the crashes they get into), and not enough to the personalities of his characters."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Steven Spielberg in Malickland, with dolly and zoom and a wagonload of familial issues"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"One of the most purely fun and slyly political films Spielberg has ever made. One of Hawn's best performances."
‑ Dan Fienberg,
"Features real attention to the sort of character dynamics that would serve subsequent [Spielberg] titles."
‑ Matt Brunson, Creative Loafing
"With this first theatrical feature, Steven Spielberg proved he had the right stuff to become America's purest and most accomplished film entertainer."
‑ Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle
"The movie has a casual craziness that seems especially native."
‑ Nora Sayre, New York Times
"Modest but assured work."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"[W]ould be mostly forgotten melodrama if it hadn't been directed by a kid named Steven Spielberg..."
‑ MaryAnn Johanson, Flick Filosopher
"a fine example of the fugitives-on-the-run genre, holding its own alongside Thelma and Louise, Bandits, The Defiant Ones, and to a lesser extent Badlands and Bonnie and Clyde"
‑ David Thomas,
"We can see a little of ourselves in Lou Jean and Clovis, and we wish them the best."
‑ Michael W. Phillips, Jr., Goatdog's Movies
"The Sugarland Express is not terribly original - Bonnie and Clyde, Badlands and The Getaway are indelibly marked in its DNA - but shows an already dazzling young filmmaker honing his skills and vision."
‑ Christopher Lloyd, Sarasota Herald-Tribune
"Reflecting the zeitgeist of mid-1970s America, this early Spieleberg picture is still one of his strongest, dealing with alienation, anarchy, and lack of control; Goldie Hawn gives an uncharacteristicaly forceful dramatic performance."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"There's no question that this is a director with a God-given talent."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"Masterful command of atmosphere and tone, great, understated performances."
‑ Nell Minow, Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
More reviews for The Sugarland Express on Rotten Tomatoes