The Sugarland Express (1974)

 ●  English ● 1 hr 49 mins

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Inspired from true life, this thrilling tale follows the fluctuating fortunes in the life of Lou-Jean Poplin, a bold young woman. When she finds out that her infant son may be seized by the government and placed under foster care, she convinces her husband, Clovis, to escape from a minimum security prison, in a desperate move to keep their family together. As the young couple try to flee to safety the couple take rookie Texas State trooper Maxwell Slide hostage, and head across the state in his patrol car. Pursued by dozens of police cars, their only real friend may be trooper Captain Tanner, who struggles to find a peaceful end to the situation. How will the police chase end?
See Storyline (May Contain Spoilers)

Cast: Ben Johnson, Goldie Hawn, Michael Sacks

Crew: Steven Spielberg (Director), Vilmos Zsigmond (Director of Photography), John Williams (Music Director)

Rating: A (India)

Genres: Crime, Adventure, Comedy

Release Dates: 05 Apr 1974 (India)

Tagline: A girl with a great following.

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Did you know? The prison pre-release center used in the beginning of the film is a real center located near Sugar Land, TX. Read More
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as Captain Harlan Tanner
as Lou Jean Sparrow Poplin
as Officer Maxwell Slide
as Mr. Alvin T. Nocker
as Big John
as Hunter
as Buster Daniels - Drunk
as Attorney
as Local Cop
as Russ Berry
as Jelly Bowl
as Logan Waters
as Reporter
as Gas Jockey
as Mr. Sparrow
as Hubie Nocker
as Mashburn
as Hot Jock #2
as Baby Langston
as Mark Fenno
as Mrs. Nocker
as Deputy
as Standby #1
as Mrs. Looby
as Mr. Vern Looby
as Judge Peter Michael Curry
as Dispatcher
as Dybala's Kid
as Hot Jock #1
as Mechanic
as Officer Ernie Jessup
as Dietz
as Clovis Michael Poplin
as Station Man


First Assistant Director
Second Assistant Director


Production Company
Unit Production Manager

Camera and Electrical

Director of Photography


Music Director


Sound Designer


Art Director


Makeup and Hair

Makeup Artist

Special Effects

Special Effects Coordinator


Stunt Coordinator
Film Type:
Feature Film
Colour Info:
Sound Mix:
Frame Rate:
24 fps
Aspect Ratio:
A girl with a great following.
The true story of a girl who took on all of Texas...and almost won.
Every cop in the state was after her. Everybody else was behind her.
Although the events of the film occur over a couple of days, in reality the events were over with in just a few short hours.

This was the first theatrical feature film directed by Steven Spielberg to be given a wide release. His previous theatrical film, Firelight (1964), was only shown once at one theater.

California's Panavision Corp. chose this movie for the launch of its then new Panaflex, a compact camera that enabled Steven Spielberg to shoot complex shots inside a patrol car.

The hijacked Texas Department of Public Safety patrol car featured in the film is a 1973 Dodge Polara, which Steven Spielberg bought after filming himself with the bullet holes and all.

This was the first movie to feature a tracking shot (front seat to back) and a 360-degree pan with dialogue from within a car.

The prison pre-release center used in the beginning of the film is a real center located near Sugar Land, TX.
Movie Connection(s):
Referenced in: Swordfish (English)
Referenced in: Back to the Future Part III (English)