IMDb > Midnight Express (1978)
Midnight Express
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Midnight Express (1978) More at IMDbPro »

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Midnight Express -- Story of a man who is caught smuggling drugs out of Turkey and thrown into prison. Inspired from and dramatized upon a true event.

Overview

User Rating:
7.7/10   45,068 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Billy Hayes (book) and
William Hoffer (book) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Midnight Express on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
6 October 1978 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
A story of triumph. See more »
Plot:
The true story of Billy Hayes, an American college student who is caught smuggling drugs out of Turkey and thrown into prison. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won 2 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 12 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(149 articles)
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 (From GeekTyrant. 8 July 2014, 11:00 AM, PDT)

Review: 'Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes" is a daring and dazzling accomplishment
 (From Hitfix. 28 June 2014, 9:00 AM, PDT)

Icymi
 (From FilmExperience. 3 May 2014, 7:00 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
A Contemporary "Jude Suess" See more (233 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
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Directed by
Alan Parker 
 
Writing credits
Billy Hayes (book) (as William Hayes) and
William Hoffer (book)

Oliver Stone (screenplay)

Produced by
Peter Guber .... executive producer
Alan Marshall .... producer
David Puttnam .... producer
 
Original Music by
Giorgio Moroder 
 
Cinematography by
Michael Seresin 
 
Film Editing by
Gerry Hambling 
 
Production Design by
Geoffrey Kirkland 
 
Art Direction by
Evan Hercules 
 
Costume Design by
Milena Canonero 
 
Makeup Department
Pat Hay .... hair stylist
Mary Hillman .... makeup artist
Sarah Monzani .... hair stylist
Penny Steyne .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Richard Green .... unit manager
Garth Thomas .... production manager
Antoine Compin .... production manager: second unit (uncredited)
Charis Horton .... production manager: second unit (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Ray Corbett .... first assistant director
Kieron Phipps .... third assistant director
David Wimbury .... second assistant director
 
Art Department
Alan Booth .... stand-by carpenter
Karen Brookes .... property buyer
Kenneth Clarke .... stand-by plasterer (as Ken Clark)
Bob Hedges .... stand-by props
John Hemmington .... dressing props
Katharina Kubrick .... art department assistant
Bob Lapper .... stagehand
John Leuenberger .... property master
Douglas Regan .... stand-by painter
Dennis Simmonds .... stand-by props
Bill Welch .... construction manager
 
Sound Department
Don Banks .... sound camera
Rusty Coppleman .... dubbing editor
Bill Rowe .... dubbing mixer
Ken Weston .... boom operator
Clive Winter .... sound mixer
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Beaumont Alexander .... clapper loader (as Beau Alexander)
David Appleby .... still photographer
Peter Bloor .... electrician
Ray Coates .... electrician
Nobby Cross .... electrician
Freddy Fry .... camera grip
Red Lawrence .... rigger
Reg Parsons .... electrician
Roy Rodhouse .... electrician
John Stanier .... camera operator
Bernard Lutic .... director of photography: second unit (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Penny Perry .... casting: USA
Patsy Pollock .... casting: UK
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Bobby Lavender .... wardrobe
Yvonne Zarb Cousin .... wardrobe mistress (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Eddy Joseph .... assistant editor
Tony Orton .... assistant editor
Richard Taylor .... assistant editor
 
Music Department
Harold Faltermeyer .... synthesizer programmer (uncredited)
Dan Wyman .... synthesizer programmer (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Paul Cadiou .... assistant accountant
Valerie Craig .... production secretary
Kay Fenton .... continuity
Brian Harris .... follow focus
Angela Micklesburgh .... assistant to producer
Ron Phipps .... production accountant
Caryn Picker .... assistant to producer
Roy Scammell .... fight arranger
Kathy Smith .... production assistant (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
121 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:18 | Australia:R | Australia:MA (Cable TV rating) | Brazil:18 | Canada:18A | Chile:18 | Finland:K-16 (uncut) (1999) | Finland:K-16 (cut) (1996) | Finland:K-18 (cut) (1978) | France:-16 | Germany:16 (re-rating) | Iceland:16 | Italy:VM18 | Netherlands:16 | New Zealand:R16 (re rating) (1989) | New Zealand:R18 (original rating) (1979) | Norway:18 | Portugal:M/16 | Singapore:M18 (cut) | South Korea:18 | Spain:18 | Sweden:15 | UK:X (original rating) | UK:18 (video rating) (1986) | USA:R | West Germany:18 (original rating)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Billy Hayes once commented that actor John Hurt bore a startling resemblance in look, condition, and physique to the real-life Max who Hurt was playing in the movie.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: 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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in "Entourage: Whiz Kid (#8.4)" (2011)See more »
Soundtrack:
Istanbul BluesSee more »

FAQ

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163 out of 246 people found the following review useful.
A Contemporary "Jude Suess", 4 February 2002
Author: Cinemanly

Artistically, MIDNIGHT EXPRESS is quite well made... I do recall several media reports at the time of the film's release that led to contrary impressions, supporting the deliberate attempt by the filmmakers to do a hatchet job on the setting of this film. The first was Billy Hayes himself, when he first arrived on native soil, having pulled off his alleged escape; he said on TV, "I like the Turks...it's the prison I had a problem with" Easy to understand; few prisons are a joy ride, regardless of nation of origin. From this, I gathered he personally didn't have an animosity against the Turks, although MIDNIGHT EXPRESS goes out of its way to make everything negative about the country and culture. Only the "Western" characters are good and attractive, and the folks selected to play the Turks are corrupt, physically ugly and basically sub-human. The exterior scenes in Turkey itself have a grayish tint, implying the land is a hell-hole, and even the near-universally acclaimed cuisine gets a black eye.

The second thing from the (film's release) period I recall was a discussion on radio that claimed the prison Billy served time in was relatively modern, built in the mid-sixties... and not the Devil's Island PAPILLON setting depicted in the movie. (A 19th-Century British barracks in Malta was used for the prison.) Naturally, some artistic leeway is allowed here, since the movie's purpose is to paint a picture of a living nightmare.

I recall reading the book years ago, and when our hero got his unfair sentence, naturally he was in despair... but at that moment, he felt an almost gallant, resigned acceptance. In contrast, when Billy gave his courtroom speech in the movie (which certainly was a defining moment of the film's ill-naturedness... to quote part of the speech: "For a nation of pigs, it sure seems funny that you don't eat them! Jesus Christ forgave the bastards, but I can't! I hate! I hate you! I hate your nation! And I hate your people! And I f**k your sons and daughters because they're pigs! You're all pigs!"), the three ugly judges actually hung their heads in shame. I wonder if there's a courtroom in any nation that would permit such a prolonged and loud outburst.

The August 30th post mistakenly referred to Turkey as an Arab nation.... so the user must not have seen "Lawrence of Arabia," where the Arabs were the heroes and the Turks were the villains. It's interesting that in the rare Hollywood film where Arabs are portrayed "positively," Turks still come across as barbaric.

A Turkish-American friend has told me, contrary to what others here are thinking that the film couldn't really prejudice the viewer, that the film has achieved one of its purposes, to leave a sore, anti-Turkish taste in mouths. Keeping in mind that Americans are generally ignorant of the ways of many foreign nations, this film continues, even today, of being the only source of information most Americans have about Turkey. As cinematically effective and wonderfully made this film is, there's a disturbing side to MIDNIGHT EXPRESS that makes it mildly resemble a contemporary "Jude Suess," or THE ETERNAL JEW ("Der Ewige Jude").

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Message Boards

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I've lost all respect for this film ewaf58
Giorgio Moroder ROCKS tennavision
Best line in the movie BrionyTallis
Interview with real Bill Hayes OnurFrancois
I hate IMDB Scoring yuotman
Can someone explain the surreal walking-around-the-wh eel segment? tomtomtom_1
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