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Midnight Express (1978)

Billy Hayes, an American college student, is caught smuggling drugs out of Turkey and thrown into prison.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (book) (as William Hayes) | 1 more credit »
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From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Won 2 Oscars. Another 14 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Tex
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Hamidou (as Paul Smith)
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Max
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Franco Diogene ...
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Gigi Ballista ...
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Storyline

On October 6, 1970 while boarding an international flight out of Istanbul Airport, American Billy Hayes is caught attempting to smuggle 2 kilos of hashish out of the country, the drugs strapped to his body. He is told that he will be released if he cooperates with the authorities in identifying the person who actually sold him the hash. Billy's troubles really begin when after that assistance, he makes a run for it and is recaptured. He is initially sentenced to just over four years for possession, with no time for the more harsh crime of smuggling. The prison environment is inhospitable in every sense, with a sadistic prison guard named Hamidou ruling the prison, he who relishes the mental and physical torture he inflicts on the prisoners for whatever reason. Told to trust no one, Billy does befriend a few of the other inmates, namely fellow American Jimmy Booth (in for stealing two candlesticks from a mosque), a Swede named Erich, and one of the senior prisoners having already ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Busted for drugs and condemned to the nightmarish hell of a Turkish prison, there was only one escape [Australia Theatrical] See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

6 October 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Expreso de medianoche  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,800,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$35,000,000 (USA)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(still photographs)| (Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was also entered and selected to screen in competition at the 1978 Cannes Film Festival where it competed for the prestigious {alme d'Or (The Golden Palm) award. The film was presented at this film fez and the international audience responded with instantaneous acclaim. See more »

Goofs

The movie is set in 1970. When Billy Hayes makes a visit to the toilet at the airport to wash his face, there is a poster on the wall showing a shot of the Bosphorus Bridge which was built in 1973. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[Susan makes her way through a line at an airline checkpoint]
Susan: Excuse me... Excuse me... Excuse me... Excuse me.
[she reaches Billy in line]
Susan: Nervous?
Billy Hayes: No.
Susan: Geez, I hate flying.
Billy Hayes: It's something I ate. I think I've been poisoned.
Susan: Or you're just excited about getting home.
Billy Hayes: No, I think it's the baklavas.
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Ali Baba ve 7 Cüceler (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

The Chase
(uncredited)
by Giorgio Moroder
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User Reviews

 
Alan Parker's Turkey!
2 October 2016 | by (London, United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

"Midnight Express"; means the way of the escape from a prison. Many Turkish people dislike this movie, except I. There is no doubt Turkey was shown barbaric; in this movie, Turkish people characterised as foolish and cruel. Actually both Alan Parker and Oliver Stone agreed that the movie criticised Turkish people unfairly. Anyway I can confirm that the movie is one of the best prison- themed movie I have ever seen. Especially Paolo Benacelli acts terrific as "Rifki". His fluent Turkish inspired me a lot despite he holds Italian passport. Also the Turkish folk themes which were sang by Asik Reyhani who is the father of the Turkish lament content songs were extraordinary. If you like and seek a prison-themed drama, do not hesitate to watch this amazing film.


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