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Midnight Express [Blu-ray] (Bilingual)

Brad Davis , John Hurt , Alan Parker    Unrated   Blu-ray
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 19.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Product Description


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

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rivetting performance from Brad Davis Dec 21 2003
By William
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".
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent acting. May 12 2014
By rojo208
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A fantastic movie--apparently true. Casting could not have been better. Buy it. Do not hesitate!! R. J. Landry, Barton, NS
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Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
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 in a Turkish prison as a result. I loved the music and the theme of the film. Hopefully the younger generation who see this film will come to realise that if you commit criminal offences abroad you will be punished for them and you ca0nnot count on your country's embassy to get you off the hook. Billy Hayes learned it the hard way. One of the late Brad Davis' best films
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3.0 out of 5 stars 3rd Generation Copy Nov. 19 2013
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Midnight Express Oct. 17 2013
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
The plot detailing the real-life experiences
of an American caught drug smuggling
in Turkey was good!!! The scenes detailing
his life in Turkish jails were well acted
Morodor's music score briefly made in the
pop charts in 1978
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie Jan. 13 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
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.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh Billy! Nov. 6 2003
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
First, I couldn't BELIEVE what that guy said in his review. He said, just because it's based on a true story doesnt mean the prison's in Turkey are exactly like that. ARE YOU KIDDIN' ME MAN?? You obviously dont know jack about Turkish prison's. If anything was real and based on truth in this film, it was the brutality of Turkish police and the prisons. Do any of you people know what they do in Turkey, especially to women? There is a huge revolution going on as we speak. I cant even write down in my review what they do and have done to women, not just prisoners, to visitors, and to civilians. It's sick and brutal! Ok anyways, that was upsetting to hear that guy say that?Because he is wrong. This was a good movie. I'm glad it's one of the first movies to clearly show the world the brutality of the prisons in Turkey. I dont care what a person did to end up in the prison! They do not deserve to be tortured, raped, verbally abused, and driven to insanity. All Billy Hayes did was smuggle some hash for his friends back home. Yes it was highly stupid, but life? They tried to give him life? LIFE??Give me a break!! What about murder. That's not the same. Murder should be a life punishment. The law is so messed up in Turkey. The Turkish police think they can do whatever they want to people. They're evil, sadistic, twisted mothas. And when I say all, I mean it. If just one or two police officers were sick, and the rest were civilized rational good beings, dont u think the brutality would be stopped. And they all stick together. This film reminded me of Murder in the First, which was also a true story. This is a messed up world. I dont know if you people realize what prison alone can do to a person, but when you're also beaten, tortured, raped, and abused for years and years, a person can snap!! Read more ›
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It's All About The MONEY$$$$ July 30 2003
Don't you think it's rather odd that the co-author of the book which this movie was based upon, William Hoffer, is the co-author of another book of it's kind, Not Without My Daughter? Apparently William Hoffer hit gold with Midnight Express in the 70's, so he stuck to his formula: Write a sensational, over-dramatic, one sided, racist book for people who don't and will never know anything else about the middle east. There sure is an audience for it in America!
Not Without My Daughter was filmed in Israel, with actor mostly from Israel, Midnight Express was filmed mostly with Greek actors. Obviously certain governments funded these movies, they are obviously propoganda.
I don't know which one is more sad, the man who feeds on the racism and ignorance of the masses for money and fame, or the masses of racist and ignorant people that don't care to know any better.
Which country is next Mr Hoffer? When will we see our next sensational hit? We're waiting with our extra large movie-theatre-buttered popcorn in one hand, and the flag in the other.
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars I don't understand the enduring popularity of this movie
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 more
Published on June 9 2011 by Darren X
2.0 out of 5 stars I don't see what the fuss is about
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 more
Published on June 9 2011 by Darren X
2.0 out of 5 stars Not to good to be a classic film
I Liked it can be a good movie,depends on your criteria, for me this movie has a good acting, but the end is not a real ending for this kind of movie. Read more
Published on March 21 2011 by Tito
4.0 out of 5 stars MUST SEE FILM
It's been a long time since I've seen Midnight Express and when I played the video it was just as I remebered ...great film. Intense,dramatic even funny at times. Read more
Published on Aug. 3 2009 by The Rottweiler
3.0 out of 5 stars not accurate
First of all I should mention that if you separate the film from the TRUE story the film is in fact a very powerful film, but unfortunately it is in no way what actually happened. Read more
Published on Aug. 24 2007 by Seth Irwin
3.0 out of 5 stars Is this what passes for a hero?
This is a watchable and disturbing film, but it raises my hackles a bit. Leaving aside the whole "Is the film racist? Read more
Published on April 1 2005 by waived wench
5.0 out of 5 stars Alan Parker's masterpiece
This is an absorbing and arresting film. Since the first minute of the opening sequence , the dramatic mood will live in our heart . Read more
Published on June 18 2004 by Hiram Gomez Pardo
4.0 out of 5 stars Lighten Up Folks, Its Only A Movie
I have read some of the reviews posted here for this movie and they almost laughable. People need to lighten up a bit and stop being so goddam politically correct. Read more
Published on April 20 2004
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