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.
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
Columbia was pushing hard for Richard Gere to take the lead role but Alan Parker was very unhappy with this decision, especially as Gere refused to audition for the role. Parker persisted in screentesting other actors and had three very strong auditions from Sam Bottoms, Dennis Quaid and Brad Davis. These helped make the studio see that Gere wasn't the best choice. (The casting of Dennis Quaid would have been very interesting as his elder brother Randy Quaid had already been cast.) See more »
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's 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 »
[Susan makes her way through a line at an airline checkpoint]
Excuse me... Excuse me... Excuse me... Excuse me.
[she reaches Billy in line]
Geez, I hate flying.
It's something I ate. I think I've been poisoned.
Or you're just excited about getting home.
No, I think it's the baklavas.
[...] See more »
Fascinating and violent prison movie partially based on true events
This excellent movie deals with the American Bill Hayes (performedd by the late Brad Davis ) who was detained smuggling two kilograms of hashish while trying to board the flight along with his girlfriend (Irene Miracle) from Istanbul, Turkey, in 1970 . He was condemned to four years in a hellish Turkish prison on a drug possession charge, but his sentence was later extended Turkish courts decide to make an example of him , sentencing him to more than 30 years in jail . Hayes has two opportunities for getting freedom : the appeals made by his advocate at law , his father (Mike Kellin), and the American government, or the "Midnight Express¨ . Meanwhile, Hayes suffers incredible cruelty and sadism before his escape in 1975. It deals upon horrible conditions of prisoners and grueling efforts of the meager captives to survive ,confrontating mistreats, rampage and continuous violence with punches , lashes, knocks and incredible tortures . The most part of the movie takes place into four walls of a jail , criminal court ,yard and sewers involving and executing the preparatives of the escape . The picture tells the authentic experiences of convicts who live in a brutal Turkish prison that is a hell on the earth , reflecting the hardship existence of the inmates . We have seen men tortured , harassed and humiliated in a gaol where rules the strongest law . The film narrates physical mistreats , tortures and the preparation and execution of the getaway , but also friendship and comradeship . Later on , Hayes erupts in an explosion of self-defensive violence in some breathtaking scenes.
This powerful prison movie well produced by prestigious producer David Puttnam contains thought-provoking drama , thrills , chills and lots of violence . Sensational performances from the magnificent starring Brad Davis who suffers an emotional brutalization and perfect support cast as the junkie John Hurt , the nasty sneaker Paolo Bonacelli who causes in Hayes an explosion of violence and Paul Smith as sadist warden who uses unthinkable tortures and brutality. This is a superbly crafted film though is also intensely manipulative and xenophobic . Interesting screenplay deserving an Oscar by Oliver Stone though full of offensive stereotypes against Turks and not faithful to Bill Hayes's true deeds . Evocative and dark cinematography by Michael Seresin . Unforgettable score by Giorgio Moroder with excessive use of synthesizer and electronic music. Skill and riveting direction by Alan Parker with some sensationalist touch ; this is his first big success , subsequently he made other hits such as ¨Fame¨, ¨The Wall¨,¨Angel heart¨, ¨Missisipi Burning¨ , among them. Rating : Very good , above average . Worthwhile watching .
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