The Sugarland Express (review)

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Be very afraid: It’s Goldie Hawn with a twang. Aw, Hawn’s (The Banger Sisters) fine, actually, as an ex-con mom frantic to save her child from being adopted away from her — they frown on felony moms in the state of Texas, apparently — but it kinda smells like a Lifetime MOW in here. This 1974 flick would be mostly forgotten melodrama if it hadn’t been directed by a kid named Steven Spielberg. His followup to Duel, this one went right to the big screen, and as with Duel, it’s mostly notable today for all the hints of the much greater things that were to come from him to be found in it, like the crazy, on-the-run desperation so similar to, well, that of many of Spielberg’s heroes, from Close Encounters‘ Richard Dreyfuss to Minority Report‘s Tom Cruise. Here, the T. rex/18-wheeler/big-ass shark is played by Ben Johnson, as the police captain chasing mom. The possibilities for Spielbergian drinking games are endless.

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