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The Sugarland Express back to product details

The cinematic debut of Spielberg.
written by RussMeyer August 23, 2004 - 11:30 PM PDT
2 out of 4 members found this review helpful
Pauline Kael referred to "The Sugarland Express" as " of the best directorial debuts ever." It's definitely a strong directorial debut. Other than Spielberg's techniques of "vehicle drama", introduced by his handling of "The Duel", I'm not exactly sure how he ended up directing this movie.

I wonder how Terrence Malick or Bob Rafelson would have handled this one (two maverick directors of the day). I would have preferred more grit (which Spielberg has none of) and more character insights. There are times in the story, like when the porta-potty is delivered in the field, that the story could have become more this is a violent tale. But Steve kept it clean.....pristine for the masses. The mainstream mogul was on his way.

Spielberg performs his magic. He covers the two-lane asphalt with swooping camera cranes, dolly moves, etc.. In fact, the camera never seems to stop moving. I found myself thinking, "Steve I'm not bored...just let the story unfold....quit your pranks and hi-jinks". It's obvious to me now that Michael Bay is Steve's bastard child.

A director's commentary would have been nice. Overall, the dvd quality is great. The transfer is really good and the negative looks great. Great performances from Goldie Hawn, Michael Atherton, and cast.

In the days of "Two-lane Blacktop", "Badlands", "Walking Tall", and "Macon County Line", Hollywood threw its hat into the genre ring with "The Sugarland Express" and Steven Spielberg.


(Average 6.84)
38 Votes
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