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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 of facts for the exploitative purpose of achieving a desired effect. That effect is powerfully achieved, regardless of how you may feel about director Alan Parker and Oscar®-winning screenwriter Oliver Stone's interpretation of the story of Billy Hayes. It was the American Hayes--played by the late Brad Davis in an unforgettable performance--who was caught smuggling two kilograms of hashish while attempting to board a flight from Istanbul, Turkey, in 1970. He was sentenced to four years in a hellish Turkish prison on a drug possession charge, but his sentence was later extended (though not by 30 years, as the film suggests), and Hayes endured unthinkable brutality and torture before his escape in 1975.
Unquestionably, this is a superbly crafted film, provoking a visceral response that's powerful enough to boil your blood. By the time Hayes erupts in an explosion of self-defensive violence, Parker and Stone have proven the power--and danger--of their skill. Their film is deeply manipulative, extremely xenophobic, and embellishes reality to heighten its calculated impact. Is that a crime? Not necessarily, and there's no doubt that Midnight Express is expertly directed and blessed with exceptional supporting performances (especially from John Hurt as a long-term prisoner). Still, it's obvious that strings are being pulled, and Parker, while applying his talent to a nefarious purpose, is a masterful puppeteer. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Great movie, a cult classic. Davis gives a moving and outstanding performance.Published 6 months ago by LV
A fantastic movie--apparently true. Casting could not have been better. Buy it. Do not hesitate!! R. J. Landry, Barton, NSPublished 16 months ago by rojo208
Great acting, but Billy Hayes, the main character of this film was just plain dumb. He got caught attempting to smuggle hasish out of Turkey and endured years of gruelling torture... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Mark Feuer
3rd generation copy, but cover looked authentic. I have other VHS movies that are better quality than this. I cant wait until this classic comes out on Blu-Ray.Published 21 months ago by LENONO
The plot detailing the real-life experiences
of an American caught drug smuggling
in Turkey was good!!! Read more
This movie is based on a true story and was purchased for a friend. It is an excellent movie and recommend it to all of my friends as a must see.Published on Jan. 13 2013 by Annette Poitras
I didn't find Hayes' character particularly sympathetic, and thus the movie was pretty dull (in fact I didn't even bother to finish watching it... Read morePublished on June 9 2011 by Darren X
Guilty of smuggling? Yes. Went to jail? Yes. I don't see the problem here. I didn't like the underlying assumption that Americans are special, and should somehow not be... Read morePublished on June 9 2011 by Darren X