Today in Movie History: April 5

April tends to be a quiet month at the movies, with the studios waiting until the kids get out of school to hit us with their big guns. There was one small film of note released today: The Sugarland Express, Steven Spielberg’s follow-up to Duel and the last time we didn’t mark the release of one of his movies with a red pen on the calendar. A very young Goldie Hawn plays a woman who breaks her husband (William Atherton) out of prison in an effort to save their son from foster care. Things don’t go quite as planned, of course. The film itself isn’t exceptional, but you can see the technique that eventually turned Spielberg into a household name. It also features his first collaboration with composer John Williams, who, it has been noted, enjoyed a somewhat fruitful partnership with the director. The film opened today in 1974.


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