MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 1,026 this week

Midnight Express (1978)

R  |   |  Biography, Crime, Drama  |  6 October 1978 (USA)
7.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 50,182 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.

Director:

Writers:

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

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

Family Entertainment Guide

Check out IMDb's comprehensive Family Entertainment Guide for recommendations for movies and TV series for every age and every viewing platform.

Visit our Family Entertainment Guide

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 38 titles
created 12 Jan 2011
 
a list of 41 titles
created 22 Mar 2011
 
a list of 22 titles
created 20 Nov 2011
 
a list of 47 titles
created 28 Jun 2013
 
list image
a list of 23 titles
created 4 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Midnight Express" on Amazon.com

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... 

Crime | Drama | Mystery
    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
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
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
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
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Portraying one of the shadier details of American history, this is the story of Jack McGurn, who comes to Los Angeles in 1936. He gets a job at a movie theatre in Little Tokyo and falls in ... See full summary »

Director: Alan Parker
Stars: Dennis Quaid, Tamlyn Tomita, Sab Shimono
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A fifteen year marriage dissolves, leaving both the husband and wife, and their four children, devastated. He's preoccupied with a career and a mistress, she with a career and caring for ... See full summary »

Director: Alan Parker
Stars: Albert Finney, Diane Keaton, Karen Allen
Salvador (1986)
Drama | History | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An American photojournalist gets caught in a political struggle at El Salvador in 1980.

Director: Oliver Stone
Stars: James Woods, James Belushi, Michael Murphy
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
Fame (1980)
Drama | Music | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A chronicle of the lives of several teenagers who attend a New York high school for students gifted in the performing arts.

Director: Alan Parker
Stars: Eddie Barth, Irene Cara, Lee Curreri
Evita (1996)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The hit musical based on the life of Evita Duarte, a B-picture Argentinian actress who eventually became the wife of Argentinian president Juan Perón, and the most beloved and hated woman in Argentina.

Director: Alan Parker
Stars: Madonna, Jonathan Pryce, Antonio Banderas
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Based on the best selling autobiography by Irish expat Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes follows the experiences of young Frankie and his family as they try against all odds to escape the ... See full summary »

Director: Alan Parker
Stars: Emily Watson, Robert Carlyle, Joe Breen
Querelle (1982)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

French sailor Querelle arrives in Brest and starts frequenting a strange whorehouse. He discovers that his brother Robert is the lover of the lady owner, Lysiane. Here, you can play dice ... See full summary »

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Stars: Brad Davis, Franco Nero, Jeanne Moreau
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

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:

$1,800,000 (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

Actor John Hurt's only ever film that he has done sight unseen without reading the script. 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.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Gilmore Girls: The Road Trip to Harvard (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Istanbul Blues
By David Castle
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A good movie but keep in mind a near total fantasy.
10 September 2003 | by (Richard Hatch) – See all my reviews

I like this movie a lot. I believe it is well done and is a movie that can be watched several times. However, as a person who has spent time in Turkey and read the book upon which the film is based, I know that it is a fictional story. It begins with a caption "a true story" but the only thing true about this movie is that someone named Billy Hayes was caught trying to smuggle a lot of hashish out of the country and was sent to jail. The events that supposedly happened to him in prison are fictional. I'm not saying that being in a Turkish prison is a good thing but the brutality presented is just plain fiction. Before you feel sorry for this guy remember that he was trying to smuggle drugs for re-sale in the US. Before you condemn Turkey remember that at the time Turkey was being pressured by the world community, particularly by the US, to do something about the drug flow coming out of the country. This is one movie that infuriates the Turkish government whenever it is shown and I believe rightly so because it caters to the notion that Turkey is some type or barbaric nation with a population that is incapable of human emotion or decency. Having lived in Turkey I know this to be totally false. In addition, with the exception of the skyline of Istanbul in the opening scene, none of the movie was filmed in Turkey. All of the Turks portrayed in the film, with the exception of the prosecutor, are Italian actors. The language spoken in the movie is not even Turkish for the most part. There are some phrases which are indeed Turkish but the majority of what is spoken is some other language. As I said however, I like this movie, in the same way that I like Star Trek; a great story but fiction none the less.


140 of 203 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

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

Contribute to This Page