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Midnight Express
Midnight Express
Actors: Brad Davis, Irene Miracle, Bo Hopkins, Paolo Bonacelli, Paul L. Smith
Directors: Alan Parker, William Riead
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
R     1998     2hr 1min

Forever embroiled in controversy, Midnight Express divides viewers into opposing camps: those who think it's one of the most intense real-life dramas ever made, and those who abhor its manipulative tactics and alteration o...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Brad Davis, Irene Miracle, Bo Hopkins, Paolo Bonacelli, Paul L. Smith
Directors: Alan Parker, William Riead
Creators: Alan Marshall, David Puttnam, Peter Guber, Billy Hayes, Oliver Stone, William Hoffer
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Crime, Indie & Art House, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Sony Pictures
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 10/27/1998
Original Release Date: 10/06/1978
Theatrical Release Date: 10/06/1978
Release Year: 1998
Run Time: 2hr 1min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English, French
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Member Movie Reviews

Reviewed on 4/16/2019...
I forgot I had watched this before but it was just as good as the last time I watched. A brutal true story not for the faint of heart but definitely worth a watch for everyone else! Brad Davis and Randy Quaid are at their best!
William E. from ATKINSON, IL
Reviewed on 10/20/2011...
I can only concur with all the comments previously posted.

As someone who has been to Turkey twice (with only one run in with the law), I can attest to the overall feel of the film and the people in charge.

On my second trip I was standing in line at Customs. I made a comment to a fellow traveler that among the the questions the Customs officials should ask (of Americans) is: "Have you seen Midnight Express?". Unfortunately, I was overheard by one of the guards. Fortunately, he just shook his head and laughed.

My only real run-in with the law was I was driving a rental car along the Mediterranean Turkish Riviera and cops were pulling cars over. I can't tell if they were random checks or not. I know I hadn't done anything wrong. Any way, I already had the window down when the cop comes over. I looked out the window opening and said, "Yes?" And he just waved his arms indicating we could go on. While driving away we started laughing because he probably didn't speak English. So, we got away without even paying a bribe.

Back to the movie and my previous comment. Whether or not there was any embellishment of the films truer facts I think it should be manadatory watching for anyone who travels abroad and even thinks about smuggling drugs back. It's impact is better then the "Scared Straight" series. A real eye opener.

1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Florence M. from LILLINGTON, NC
Reviewed on 8/21/2009...
This classic movie is the story of an American guy who tries to smuggle drugs out of Turkey. You live through the shock and reminder that just because you are American doesn't mean you are subject to American laws. Rather, you are subject to the laws of that country no matter how harsh they seem to us. The cast does an excellent job of revealing the Turkish judicial system and prison system. As you walk with the main character through his ordeal, you find yourself frightened at the uncertainty, accepting the pain of interrogation, and anger at the wonton disregard for the freedoms that we as Americans see as innate. Enjoy this tense, roller coaster ride of emotion movie!
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Rivetting performance from Brad Davis
William | Australia | 12/21/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Many reviewers ridicule the method used to try and smuggle the drugs in this movie, but back in the early 1970's (when the film was based) these kind of methods actually took place. Yes, people are stupid for doing these things ... but it's hard not to have compassion for them when they are served lifetime sentences. "Midnight Express" explores one man's time in a hellish Turkish prison. The tension of being caught and then beaten in prison are so well captured that you almost don't want to look. One scene that comes to mind is when Davis is hung upside down and beaten so bad, you can almost feel it.Davis performance is exceptional, yet did not give him the career you'd expect. An excellent actor, who died at the age of 41.The DVD itself is excellent too. An impressive widescreen transfer, plus a full screen option thrown in for people who dont know the value of widescreen (ie. a pointless inclusion in my opinion). The DVD also boasts a 1978 documentary of the film, and a trailer.A must own! One of the best prison films to date, along with "Shawshank Redemption"."
Midnight express in the eye of a turkish artist
icy | Istanbul Turkey | 08/20/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"alright I'm Turkish.Just about a week ago I was questioned by a cab driver in washington dc based on his knowledge about Turkey-which was nothing but midnight express.I was disturbed and totally disgusted with his ignorance.How could a man in his sane mind could make judgements based on hollywood productions?
The Turkish hate this movie with a passion.any other viewers here should try to understand that Turkey is a developýng country trying very hard to advertise itself and try to shed off the barbaric image the ottoman empire left it with.a movie like the midnight express could evoke a lot of prejudice and hatred against Turkey -especially for those who could not even tell ýf Turkey was a bird or a country.
Leaving my patriotic emotions aside,As an artist I have to be totally impartial.It was well done.The acting was superb, soundtrack above the standards for it's time and the plot,totally striking.
Just remember,this is not a documentary,its an artistic interpretation of someone who has never been to the Tukish Jail at the time of the event-neither have I. I congradulate Parker for his directing talents but totally hate him for his ignorance in research and his movie's possible effects on a newborn nation."
A True Story?
Neal Blitzer | 06/30/1999
(2 out of 5 stars)

"When you see this movie, it makes you wonder how come ALL Turkish characters in the movie are ugly dumb sadistical perverts (and also pigs, in the main character's "Address to a Nation", in a courtroom scene). Even in the 1950s anti-communist era movies you come by sensible russian spies or pretty russian girls, along with nasty Igors or Ivans. This racist element was perhaps florished in Oliver Stone's mind, to provoke the public interest and sympathy on a drug smuggler by trashing a relatively unknown nation, betting late 70s drug relaxed public would love it (I sometimes wonder how the public would react to this movie if it was released in Reagan's War on Drugs era). I give some credit to Alan Parker for the way he exploited all this to provoke public sentiment. However I do not understand how Oliver Stone got an Oscar for twisting a story to make it sell, in expense of a nation's defamation (then again who cares about that in Hollywood), and turning it into a weak plot and an even weaker ending. If you wanna read the True Story (as true as it can get I guess) go read Billy Hayes' book. If you want to watch the movie just keep these words by Joseph Goebbels (Hitler's Propoganda Minister) in mind: "The bigger the lie , the more they believe it""