MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 838 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 45,611 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...

Watch Now

From $9.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 11 May 2011
 
a list of 31 titles
created 07 Aug 2012
 
a list of 36 titles
created 06 Jun 2013
 
a list of 38 titles
created 25 Aug 2013
 
a list of 32 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
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
Angel Heart (1987)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Harry Angel has a new case, to find a man called Johnny Favourite. Except things aren't quite that simple, and Johnny doesn't want to be found. Let's just say that, amongst the period ... See full summary »

Director: Alan Parker
Stars: Mickey Rourke, Robert De Niro, Lisa Bonet
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
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:

Busted for drugs and condemned to the nightmarish hell of a Turkish prison, there was only one escape [Australia Theatrical] 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

In 2004, screen-writer Oliver Stone apologized for the portrayal of Turkey, Turkish prisons and the Turkish people in the movie. See more »

Goofs

The amount of hash strapped to Billy's body differs from when he was first frisked in the airport and later when he was in the police interrogation room. 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 American Samurai (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Istanbul Blues
By David Castle
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Gritty, Gross and Downright Fabulous
17 October 1999 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Midnight Express can be compared to the likes of Mississippi Burning, Schindler's List and Midnight Cowboy - people who see it love it or hate it - no in between and it inspires a great deal of conversation. I have never met anyone who has seen this film and does not carry a strong opinion of it one way or another.

I love it. I do not consider it a depiction of Turkish life or an accurate retelling of the whole truth. In fact, the truth of the William Hays story is deeply lost in this picture. I consider Midnight Express to be a primarily fictional prison drama, bases largely on real events. The bottom line is that it is a great film.

Politically, I am quite conservative and have a "don't do the crime if you can't do the time" attitude. I had very little sympathy for William Hays in this movie, a young American caught smuggling hash out of Turkey and imprisoned in an absolute hell-hole. Instead, I am fascinated by his adaptation to prison life, the politics among prisoners and officials, the relationship with Brad's family and lawyers and all the other aspects of the films.

The film is very gross, quite violent and filmed in a dark, depressing. atmospheric manner. It is not for the faint of heart or anyone looking for a pleasant experience.

If you are a Randy Quaid fan then Midnight Express is a must see. So much of Randy Quaid's fame arises from the ludicrous Vacation movies and Independence Day, his true talent is unappreciated. See this (an The Last Detail) if you are a Randy fan.

There is a completely unnecessary and inane scene in which the lead character delivers a speech in a Turkish court - cut this scene short and you have a perfect movie.

Midnight Express is controversial and though-provoking. I cannot guarantee that you will like it, but I can guarantee that it will make you think.

**** out of ****


48 of 92 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
did he come back for max? La-z-girl_recliner
I hate IMDB Scoring yuotman
Interview with real Bill Hayes OnurFrancois
Creepy with dad. gjc5083
Discuss Midnight Express (1978) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page