|MIDNIGHT EXPRESS (director: Alan Parker; screenwriters: Oliver Stone/book by William Hayes & William Hoffer; cinematographer: Michael Seresin; editor: Gerry Hambling; music: Giorgio Moroder; cast: Randy Quaid (Jimmy Booth), John Hurt (Max), Brad Davis (Billy Hayes), Mike Kellin (Mr. Hayes), Bo Hopkins (Tex), Paul Smith (Hamidou), Irene Miracle (Susan), Norbert Weisser (Erich); Runtime: 120; MPAA Rating: R; producer: David Puttnam/Alan Marshall; Sony Pictures Home Entertainment; 1978-UK-in English, Maltese, French and Turkish)|
|"The prison scenes are nightmarish
by Dennis Schwartz
Parker ("The Life of David
Gale"/"Angela's Ashes"/"Evita") solidly directs this
fictionalized harrowing true story. It's based on the
memoir of William Hayes, written with the help of
William Hoffer. Oliver Stone is the screenwriter.
tells about the naive American college student Billy
Hayes (Brad Davis), in 1970, caught at the
Istanbul Airport smuggling a large amount of
hashish strapped to his body out of Turkey. The
tourist was imprisoned for thirty-five years, to be
made an example of. The film sensationalizes all the
sadistic horrors of prison life, with heavy homosexual
exposure. It offers a sympathetic portrayal of a drug
trafficker and a vicious stereotyping of the abusive
episodic scenes are well-staged, the performance by
Brad Davis is on the money and the excessive misuse of
power by the authorities is striking.
fellow convicts in the harsh prison camp are the
American psycho (Randy Quaid), the longtime English
druggie John Hurt and the gay prisoner played by
inmate's girlfriend (Irene Miracle) and
his concerned father (Mike Kellen) work feverishly to
get him released, but keep running into obstacles.
Eventually Billy is released after five years.
prison scenes are nightmarish and unforgettable. But
this film, because of its graphic violence, is not for
REVIEWED ON 3/17/2016 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ