The Sugarland Express (1974)


Lou Jean Poplin breaks boyfriend Clovis out of prison so they can stop their child being put into care – the pair are then chased across the country, take a policeman hostage, and are soon local celebrities.

Seen before? No, never.

Best performance: Goldie Hawn is feisty and fun, but the star of the show is William Atherton (who was later excellent as odious TV reporter Richard Thornburg in the first two Die Hards). He gives Clovis bravado and warmth in believably equal measure.

Best scene/moment/sequence: There’s a very funny moment when Lou Jean and Clovis run out of gas and have to ask one of the dozens of cops following them to push their car to a petrol station.

Review: Very much in the mode of boyfriend/girlfriend-on-the-lam movies such as Bonnie and Clyde or True Romance, this is sadly not as engaging as it should be. The setup is fun enough, and it’s then entertaining seeing more and more police (and media, and public) get involved in the chase. But the movie is not especially dynamic: once underway, it rolls along at a middle-gear pace and gets a bit dull.

Five Dodge Polaras out of 10.


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