Because their son will be taken into foster care, Lou Jean (Goldie Hawn) breaks her husband out of prison, kidnaps a highway patrolman and launches a slow-speed highway chase and media frenzy. Except for the breakout, The Sugarland Express
is based on a real incident, and the actual patrolman makes a cameo.
In 1974, this was considered a Goldie Hawn movie, a prime example of her transition from ditzy comedienne on TV’s Laugh-In
to movie star. Some critics noticed it as Steven Spielberg’s big-screen debut after being a wunderkind at Universal TV, where his TV movie Duel
had attracted attention and earned a European release. Since they’re both road movies, that project can be seen as leading to this one. This also falls into the “outlaw couple on the run” pattern, though it’s more sympathetic and emotional (and woman-driven) than, say, Bonnie and Clyde
or The Getaway
, which was also shot in Texas.
As part of the Tricentennial-inspired Made In S.A. film series, Texas Public Radio, the San Antonio Film Commission and Slab Cinema team up for a screening of the classic caper, which includes scenes shot in Live Oak, Converse and San Antonio.
Free, Wed May 2, 8-10pm, South Park Plaza, 2355 SW Military Drive, (210) 212-9373, slabcinema.com.
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