7.7/10
53,707
241 user 66 critic

Midnight Express (1978)

Trailer
1:17 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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

Director:

Writers:

(book) (as William Hayes), (book) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
2,039 ( 931)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 14 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Two FBI agents with wildly different styles arrive in Mississippi to investigate the disappearance of some civil rights activists.

Director: Alan Parker
Stars: Gene Hackman, Willem Dafoe, Frances McDormand
Angel Heart (1987)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Harry Angel is a private investigator. He is hired by a man who calls himself Louis Cyphre to track down a singer called Johnny Favorite. But the investigation takes an unexpected and somber turn.

Director: Alan Parker
Stars: Mickey Rourke, Robert De Niro, Lisa Bonet
Birdy (1984)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

After two friends return home from the Vietnam War one becomes mentally unstable and obsesses with becoming a bird.

Director: Alan Parker
Stars: Matthew Modine, Nicolas Cage, John Harkins
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Alcatraz is the most secure prison of its time. It is believed that no one can ever escape from it, until three daring men make a possible successful attempt at escaping from the most infamous prisons in the world.

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Patrick McGoohan, Roberts Blossom
Papillon (1973)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A man befriends a fellow criminal as the two of them begin serving their sentence on a dreadful prison island, which inspires the man to plot his escape.

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner
Stars: Steve McQueen, Dustin Hoffman, Victor Jory
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The biography of Ron Kovic. Paralyzed in the Vietnam war, he becomes an anti-war and pro-human rights political activist after feeling betrayed by the country he fought for.

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Tom Cruise, Raymond J. Barry, Caroline Kava
Animation | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A confined but troubled rock star descends into madness in the midst of his physical and social isolation from everyone.

Director: Alan Parker
Stars: Bob Geldof, Christine Hargreaves, James Laurenson
JFK (1991)
Drama | History | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A New Orleans DA discovers there's more to the Kennedy assassination than the official story.

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Jack Lemmon
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A naive hustler goes to New York to seek personal fortune but in the process finds himself a new friend.

Director: John Schlesinger
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, Sylvia Miles
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A partially idealized film of the controversial pornography publisher and how he became a defender of free speech for all people.

Director: Milos Forman
Stars: Woody Harrelson, Courtney Love, Edward Norton
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A man against capital punishment is accused of murdering a fellow activist and is sent to death row.

Director: Alan Parker
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Kate Winslet, Laura Linney
Serpico (1973)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The true story about an honest New York cop who blew the whistle on rampant corruption in the force only to have his comrades turn against him.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Al Pacino, John Randolph, Jack Kehoe
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Tex
...
...
Hamidou (as Paul Smith)
...
...
...
Max
...
Franco Diogene ...
...
Gigi Ballista ...
...
Peter Jeffrey ...
Joe Zammit Cordina ...
Edit

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:

A story of triumph. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

6 October 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Expreso de medianoche  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,800,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$35,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The pulsating score was composed by Giorgio Moroder whose work as a solo performing musician had brought him international acclaim. This cinema movie was the first time Moroder had scored the music for a theatrical feature film. See more »

Goofs

After Billy Hayes pushes Hamidou against the wall, killing him, he is seen escaping the jail dressed in well fitting prison guard clothes. Hamidou was much taller and heavier than Billy Hayes and the guard clothes would have been baggy and loose fitting. The location where Hamidou had taken Billy Hayes was secluded with no other guards or clothing nearby. 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.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: King Dinosaur (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Istanbul Blues
By David Castle
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

When you're busted for drugs over there!
2 October 2002 | by (Auburn, Me) – See all my reviews

While this film is entertaining to watch and has its level of suspense at various points it is not a truly `true story' much of it according to the real Billy Hayes never happened and his eventual escape is very different from what is depicted in this motion picture. It also tends to demonize the nation of Turkey and presents a distorted view of its people. Is it possible to have sympathy for the main character? He was fully aware of what he was doing and knew the consequences should he be caught so sympathy is on an individual basis. You may have sympathy or may not.

A number of years ago a public service commercial narrated by actor Hal Holbrook frequently ran on Television, which told of Americans being held in foreign prisons. He spoke of one American held in a Turkish prison. Was it Billy Hayes? The commercial ends with the line `When you're busted for drugs over there you're in for the hassle of your life' That's the message this film was intended to send out irregardless if the events in it were true or fictionalized for dramatic purposes. As always purchase or rent a copy to see the uncut unedited version.


101 of 182 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
did he come back for max? La-z-girl_recliner
Creepy with dad. gjc5083
I hate IMDB Scoring yuotman
Giorgio Moroder ROCKS tennavision
Interview with real Bill Hayes OnurFrancois
People you would think were in the movie but were not. Ramuna
Discuss Midnight Express (1978) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page