The return of The Sugarland Express, a Steven Spielberg road movie

Winner of the Best Screenplay Award at the 1974 Festival de Cannes, The Sugarland Express is Steven Spielberg’s third feature film. Taking inspiration from an event that took place in 1969 in the town of Sugar Land, Texas, this family drama follows two young parents who take a police officer hostage to get their son back, whose custody was taken from them. Cannes Classics is paying tribute to this film, screened in a restored version.

Following the impressive Duel and preceding the tidal wave that was Jaws, The Sugarland Express occupies a singular place in the beginnings of this exceptional filmmaker, who served as President of the Jury of the Festival de Cannes in 2013. We can already detect, in this sentimental version of Bonnie and Clyde, some of the recurring themes of his emblematic filmography, like the role of childhood and the search for freedom. And yet this headlong rush still seems very fresh, taking the opposite approach of the bourgeois conventions of America in the 1970s.

Lou Jean and Clovis, these two outcasts played by Goldie Hawn and William Atherton, flee against the tide, to the point of disappointment. This irreverent high-speed pursuit also bears witness to the energy of a young Steven Spielberg, on the verge of a global success that will make him one of the most influential directors of his generation. The Sugarland Express, however, remains the only film that he has submitted to compete for the Palme d’or.

A presentation of Universal Pictures. 4K restoration supervised by Steven Spielberg.