MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 633 this week

Midnight Express (1978)

7.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 45,068 users  
Reviews: 233 user | 62 critic

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

Director:

Writers:

(book), (book), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb at Comic-Con 2014

Follow our coverage of Comic-Con 2014, direct from San Diego July 23-27 in our Comic-Con section.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 39 titles
created 16 Jan 2012
 
a list of 41 titles
created 22 Jan 2012
 
a list of 40 titles
created 09 Oct 2012
 
a list of 44 titles
created 20 May 2013
 
a list of 38 titles
created 6 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Midnight Express (1978)

Midnight Express (1978) on IMDb 7.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Midnight Express.

User Polls

Won 2 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Papillon (1973)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 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
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
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An Irish journalist is assassinated by drug dealers she wrote about in a series of stories.

Director: Joel Schumacher
Stars: Cate Blanchett, Colin Farrell, Brenda Fricker
The General (1998)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The real-life story of Dublin folk hero and criminal Martin Cahill, who pulled off two daring robberies in Ireland with his team, but attracted unwanted attention from the police, the IRA, ... See full summary »

Director: John Boorman
Stars: Brendan Gleeson, Adrian Dunbar, Sean McGinley
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A somewhat romanticized account of the career of the notoriously violent bank robbing couple and their gang.

Director: Arthur Penn
Stars: Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Michael J. Pollard
Cape Fear (1991)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A convicted rapist, released from prison after serving a fourteen-year sentence, stalks the family of the lawyer who originally defended him.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Nick Nolte, Jessica Lange
Falling Down (1993)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

An unemployed defense worker frustrated with the various flaws he sees in society, begins to psychotically and violently lash out against them.

Director: Joel Schumacher
Stars: Michael Douglas, Robert Duvall, Barbara Hershey
Blow (2001)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The story of George Jung, the man who established the American cocaine market in the 1970s.

Director: Ted Demme
Stars: Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, Franka Potente
Carlito's Way (1993)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A Puerto Rican former convict, just released from prison, pledges to stay away from drugs and violence despite the pressure around him and lead on to a better life outside of N.Y.C.

Director: Brian De Palma
Stars: Al Pacino, Sean Penn, Penelope Ann Miller
Casino (1995)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Greed, deception, money, power, and murder occur between two mobster best friends and a trophy wife over a gambling empire.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci
Donnie Brasco (1997)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An FBI undercover agent infilitrates the mob and finds himself identifying more with the mafia life to the expense of his regular one.

Director: Mike Newell
Stars: Al Pacino, Johnny Depp, Michael Madsen
Jackie Brown (1997)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A flight attendant becomes a key figure in a plot between the police and an arms dealer.

Director: Quentin Tarantino
Stars: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Tex
Paolo Bonacelli ...
...
Hamidou (as Paul Smith)
...
...
...
Max
Mike Kellin ...
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

Plot Keywords:

prison | prisoner | drugs | student | smuggling | See more »

Taglines:

A story of triumph. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

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:

$2,300,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$35,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

David Puttnam, the movie's producer, says he got paid more for this picture than the last ten films that he had made. See more »

Goofs

The Turkish spoken by the Turkish characters in the film is uniformly broken. The actors are obviously not Turkish; sometimes the language is so broken it is difficult for native speakers to understand what they are saying. 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

Featured in I'm Healthy, I'm Alive and I'm Free (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

Istanbul Blues
By David Castle
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Shocked the once inexperienced me
4 May 2004 | by (Hong Kong, China) – See all my reviews

The 40+ in town should find Giorgio Moroder's powerful original music very familiar. In their teenage days, their most frequented discos must have played this music. And the very first thing about "Midnight Express" I got contact with was this music. It's modern, it's sinister, it's tense. Listening to it with eyes closed, you can imagine a frantic chasing scene: a cold quiet killer running after a frightened sweating guy in any sleazy areas of any big city. Running, yes there must be some running.

Watching stalwart Sir Alan Parker's movie, viewers need to be psychologically prepared for the dark elements he often employs on the, to some degree, shocking scenes. I still cannot stomach Bob Geldof's "suicide pool" (Pink Floyd The Wall).

Crime and punishment, humanitarianism, use of drugs, liberal and repressed societies etc can all be discussed after one has seen the movie. I watched this one when I was about 15. When the Turkish jailers wanted to rape Billy, I was so silly to ask my brother (who is five years younger than I am) what they were doing and he told me their intention. Shocked. And I more or less have very little interest in prison movie afterwards. Later I have a chance to read a little of the book, not a very well-written one, more like a report. The movie, at my viewing, somehow reminded me of "Papillon", another escape from a foreign land. That one is less nauseating.

Seeing west Turkey some ten years ago, I talked with some Turks about the movie. Quite a number of them watched it outside the country. The truth is that they don't mind how ugly the west portrays their prison or even their country because the movie only told partial truth, and this has already confirmed by B Hayes himself. According those Turks, the Turkish jailers would rather have women than men because they are not that easily available. The west still conquers the world mass media. Viewers have to keep their heads clear.


19 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Best line in the movie BrionyTallis
Giorgio Moroder ROCKS tennavision
I hate IMDB Scoring yuotman
did he come back for max? La-z-girl_recliner
Interview with real Bill Hayes OnurFrancois
Creepy with dad. gjc5083
Discuss Midnight Express (1978) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page