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Midnight Express (1978)

R  |   |  Biography, Crime, Drama  |  6 October 1978 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 50,229 users  
Reviews: 240 user | 65 critic

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

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Writers:

(book) (as William Hayes) , (book), 1 more credit »
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Title: Midnight Express (1978)

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

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Cast

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

Everybody gave up on Billy Hayes -- except Billy. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

To find a suitable prison for filming, location scouts were conducted in Crete, Cyprus, France, Israel, Italy, Sicily, Spain and Malta, the latter country being successful with Fort St Elmo which got to double for Istanbul, Turkey's Sagmalcilar Prison. The fort was the site of the legendary Great Siege of Malta in 1565. The original Turkish gaol could not be used for self-explanatory reasons. 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

Referenced in Max & Paddy's The Power of Two (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

The Chase
by Giorgio Moroder
See more »

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User Reviews

Haven't seen this many ugly people in one movie!
17 December 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Wow. This was disturbing. I live in Nottingham, I have many Turkish friends who study here. If I didn't know them, I'd probably think that there wasn't a single Turk who is nice and pleasant... Some parts were actually funny. The judge (in Billy's hate monologue scene) was sounding exactly like Jabba the Hutt! I've heard people speak Turkish around me, so I knew the language which was supposed to be Turkish in the movie, wasn't. Come on people... Feels like this movie was made to make Turks look bad in every way possible. I've read an interview and I learnt that the real Billy Hayes was truly disappointed with the portrayal of Turkish people in the film. Anyway, this movie was fun to watch but would be ignorant to believe. Have a good one


95 of 129 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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