Billy Hayes is caught attempting to smuggle drugs out of Turkey. The Turkish courts decide to make an example of him, sentencing him to more than 30 years in prison. Hayes has two opportunities for release: the appeals made by his lawyer, his family, and the American government, or the "Midnight Express".
August 31, 1978
2 hours and 1 minutes (121 minutes)
Paul L. Smith
By Jack Anderson
on August 12, 2019
A REALISTIC UNTRUE STORY
There are movies that transcend cinema, so realistic that they open the doors to a new dimension. Ironically, the more movies are realistic in their emotions, the more we are taken to a different yet real world.
Midnight Express tells the story of William Hayes, a young American trying to cross the Turkish border with 2 kilos of hashish, and gets a life sentence. Based on a true story and the eponymous book, the film actually tells a different story. The real William Hayes did not live such violent scenes, but that is besides the point. Are we watching this film in order to know about the story of William Hayes? No, because William Hayes and William Hayes are not the same person. The real character is not the same as the character from the film. Some may focus on this, that is their choice.
The directing from Alan Parker is vividly realistic. Shot in the late 1970’s in Malta, we are in that glorious era where movies looked realistic. The Godfather, Taxi Driver, Rocky, One Flew, you name it. This was before the pulp in movies. Before they got a plastic look. That’s why I love so much movies from this glorious decade. The roughness of it. The beauty of it.
The acting in this film is simply brilliant. Brad Davis gives a wonderful performance as the young Billy. And he’s not the only one, John Hurt is beyond mesmerizing as Max. His performance is simply outstanding and breathtaking.
But Midnight Express would not be the same without the brilliant score from Giorgio Moroder.
What I loved the most about the film is how it throws us into hell. We are Billy Hayes. We don’t understand what the Turkish people are saying, in the same way the character experiences events.
This only motivates me to go back to some other 1970’s movies. It’s the only movie that my uncle has seen twice in theater and I fully understand why.
I give it 9 out of 10. Outstanding.
Midnight Express is a harrowing story based on true events.
Brad Davis delivers an outstanding performance with great supporting roles from John Hurt, Randy Quaid. It was an adapted Screenplay written by Oliver Stone which won him his first Oscar.
Georgia Maroda (spelling)soundtrack is really riveting as the ‘chase’ scene unfolds.
This is a movie that will stay with you for life.
They say that ‘Midnight Express’ did to Turkeys tourism, what ‘Jaws’ did to bathing in the sea.
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