The Sugarland Express is a 1974 American crime drama film directed by Steven Spielberg in his third film and theatrical feature directorial debut. It stars Goldie Hawn, Ben Johnson, William Atherton, and Michael Sacks.
The film follows a husband and wife trying to outrun the law and was based on a real-life incident. In the film, a woman and her husband take a police officer hostage and flee across Texas as they try to get to their child before he is placed in foster care. The event partially took place, the story is partially set, and the film was partially filmed in Sugar Land, Texas. Other scenes for the film were filmed in San Antonio, Live Oak, Floresville, Pleasanton, Converse and Del Rio, Texas.
The Sugarland Express marks the first collaboration between Spielberg and composer John Williams. Williams has scored all but five of Spielberg-directed films since (Twilight Zone: The Movie, The Color Purple, Bridge of Spies, Ready Player One and West Side Story being the only exceptions); this is the only score he has composed for Spielberg that has never been released as an album, although Williams re-recorded the main theme with Toots Thielemans and the Boston Pops Orchestra for 1991's The Spielberg/Williams Collaboration.
The film is now regarded as something of an anomaly for both comic actress Hawn and blockbuster director Spielberg as neither has typically been associated with the crime drama genre.