Midnight Express

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Released 1978

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Movie Summary

Director:
Alan Parker
Released:
1978
Rating:
R
Midnight Express is a 1978 drama from writer-director Oliver Stone starring Brad Davis and based on the book of the same name by Billy Hayes that recounts Hayes' experience as a young man imprisoned abroad by the Turkish government for attempting to smuggle hashish out of Turkey. Davis plays Hayes, a United States citizen leaving Istanbul in 1970 after a brief stay. At that time, the Turkish government was just beginning their crackdown on drug smuggling and tensions between Turkey and nearby Greece ran high. After Hayes is caught in possession of illegal drugs with the intent of smuggling, he's sent to a prison where the guards and other prisoners are depraved and violent, and the threat of rape is constantly present. Hayes begins a number of escape attempts, as he tries to free himself from the prison where he's been sentenced to spend the rest of his days. Midnight Express is a gritty portrayal of the horrors of humanity and received six Academy Award nominations, including one for Best Picture.moreless

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Metacritic Score

  • 75

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Parker succeeds in making the prison into a full, real, rounded world, a microcosm of human behavior; I was reminded of e.e. cummings' novel The Enormous Room. The movie's art dire...

  • 75

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Jay Scott

    Alan Parker has directed the film as if he were a sniper: you never know when you're going to get hit next, but from the first moments you know you're being aimed at. The opening, ...

  • 60

    Empire Adam Smith

    Hard to call something this gratuitous entertainment but certainly lingers in the memory, thanks mainly to the bombast of Stone's script.

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Themes

exploring history, extraordinary situations, Crime, Historical, facing danger