Midnight Express 1978

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(122) IMDb 7.7/10
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Oliver Stone scripts and Alan Parker directs this prison drama, based on a true story. An American student (Brad Davis) is caught smuggling hashish and faces years in a Turkish prison. While his family at home attempt to have him freed, he undergoes hellish experiences in jail.

Starring:
John Hurt, Randy Quaid
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_18_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 56 minutes
Starring John Hurt, Randy Quaid, Bo Hopkins, Brad Davis
Director Alan Parker
Genres Drama, Crime
Studio UCA
Rental release Limited availability
Main languages English
Dubbing German
Subtitles Icelandic, Finnish, Spanish, Italian, Greek, Swedish, German, Hebrew, Czech, French, Turkish, Hungarian, Portuguese, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Hindi, Polish
Discs
  • Feature ages_18_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 56 minutes
Starring John Hurt, Randy Quaid, Bo Hopkins, Brad Davis
Director Alan Parker
Genres Drama, Crime
Studio SONY PICTURES HOME ENTERTAINMENT
Rental release 13 July 2009
Main languages English
Dubbing German, French
Subtitles Arabic, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, German, Danish, Dutch, French, Hindi, English, Turkish

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
This item has not been released yet and is not eligible to be reviewed.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John Picard on 27 Jun. 2013
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
"Midnight Express" is very well made: It's haunting, harrowing and brutal.

It's in the Sony Collectors series, which are the ones that are supposed to be deemed relevant as classics. "Midnight Express" has a vey adult theme and some scenes are shocking to watch, with the nasty prison guard taking out horrific acts of violence on the convicted. It's a strong prison drama, intelligently made. If you like films like "The Shawshank Redemption" about escaping from prisons, then you are sure to like this. This is a true story though, so the main bulk of events actually took place in real life.

The actors are fantastic in this film as well, making it all the more brilliant. The main man plays his role perfectly, showing us how Billy Hayes slowly descended into madness, from an unruly decision. It's a powerful film, every aspect of it was delivered with style and it was thought-provoking. The power of the film was derived from the horror of something that could happen in real life, as this did.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Terence Tan Co on 3 Nov. 2011
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
First off, the movie is a classic. Great movie, acting etc.

The Blu Ray too has a great audio commentary which Alan Parker the director goes into great detail on the making of the movie. Excellent stuff.

The video and audio on the Blu Ray is top notch for 30 year old movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By rbmusicman TOP 50 REVIEWER on 7 Dec. 2014
Format: Blu-ray
A harrowing story based on true events, 'Billy Hayes'(Brad Davis) a young 'American' college student on
holiday in Turkey with girlfriend 'Susan' (Irene Miracle) foolishly try's to smuggle drugs out of the Country
and is apprehended at the 'Airport'
He is thrown into jail awaiting trial, from the word go he is caught up in a regimen of torture inflicted by a
corrupt prison guard.
His trial when it arrives gives him a sentence of 4 years 2 months returning him to the squalid conditions
of the out of date and run-down prison.
Cell-mate 'Jimmy' (Randy Quaid) has plans to escape along with 'Billy' and English prisoner 'Max' (John
Hurt) but 'Rifki' (Paolo Bonacelli) who shares a prison area with the three betrays them, which leads to
further punishment.
Meanwhile the prosecutor at the original trial has made an appeal against 'Billy's' term of imprisonment, this
leads to a further hearing, the outcome of which gives 'Billy' an amended sentence of 30 years, they obviously
intended to make an example of him.
The decision takes 'Billy' over the edge, he looses it completely ending up in a unit for the criminally insane..
still the same brutal regime however.
'Billy' gets a visit from'Susan' who has brought a photo-album with pictures of his family, and is told that in the
binding of the cover there is the means to get him out and on a train to 'Greece' .....but has he the presence of
mind to clutch the oppertunity.
The 1978 film won 2 Academy Awards which is of little surprise as 'Brad Davis' gives a stunning performance
throughout the movie with good supporting cast.
A often brutal film which is even more poignant because of it being based on real events.
Good Blu-ray upgrade.
Features -
* Commentary with director Alan Parker
* Featurettes - The making of 'Midnight Express'
* Photo Gallery
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cartimand TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 25 May 2012
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Midnight Express tells (with a few liberties and exaggerations) the horrific tale of Billy Hayes, condemned to four years in a hell-hole of a Turkish gaol for attempting to smuggle marijuana, only to hear, shortly before his scheduled release that he was to be made an example of and his sentence increased to a 30-year life stretch. It's a remarkably powerful film, with the hopelessness of Hayes' situation, the constant menace of the guards and the sheer squalour of the gaol being very convincingly depicted. There are excellent performances from Brad Davis (who died tragically at the age of just 41, some 13 years after this movie) in the main role and oscar-worthy support from John Hurt, not to mention chillingly convincing turns from the boo-hiss Turkish officials. The stunning Moroder soundtrack is certainly one of his best, which will be stuck in your head for days afterwards. To summarise, Midnight Express is a visceral experience, often horrific, sometimes blackly comic and occasionally poignant, and which will stay with you for a long time. The film is certainly meritous of 5 stars.

The Blu-ray transfer however leaves a lot to be desired. The image quality looks like a straight port-over from DVD (or even VHS) and the audio seems little better than bog-standard stereo, with nothing apart from a few ambient sounds coming out of the surround speakers. When you consider the excellent HD remastering of many films a lot older than this, the Blu-ray of Midnight Express is somewhat disappointing. You may as well save yourself a few quid and buy the DVD version, as the extras (commentary and making-of featurette) look to be the same. So, one star deducted from this otherwise excellent movie, for the lack-lustre Blu-ray presentation.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 Sept. 2001
Format: DVD
This movie will have you gripped in suspense from start to finish: A (fairly) true story of an American college kid, William 'Billy' Hayes, trying to smuggle hashish out of Turkey, but getting caught and sentenced to life in a Turkish prison, serving a few (very tough) years before making a miraculous escape all the way back to the (good ole) USA.
Without a doubt, the director achieves a great feat of film making with this movie; you feel like you are right 'there', in Billy's shoes, as he tries to pass customs & security to get on the plane with his undeclared goods, and right there in Turkey - you can almost smell the place. With godfathers of acting, such as John Hurt & Randy Quaid, staring in this movie, it delivers all that's promised, and more, and you will feel proud having this one among your 'classic' collection any day.
The only downside to the movie is that it is a bit hypocritical of the book e.g. In the film we see homosexuality rife in the Turkish Prison, which it is, but we see Billy tempted with it, then his strong (American) morals kick-in and he walks away from it. But the truth is much more moving & meaningful...
But, the blatant hypocrisy of the storyline isn't enough to mar the excellence of the movie. Enjoy...
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