Midnight Express (film)

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Midnight Express is a 1978 American film directed by Alan Parker. It is based on Billy Hayes' book, also titled Midnight Express, that was adapted into the screenplay by Oliver Stone. Hayes was a young American student sent to a Turkish prison for trying to smuggle hashish out of Turkey. The movie deviates from the book's accounts of the story, especially in its portrayal of Turks, and some have criticized the movie version, including Billy Hayes himself. Later, both Oliver Stone and Billy Hayes expressed their regret on how Turkish people were portrayed in the movie.[1] It starred Brad Davis, Irene Miracle, Bo Hopkins, Paolo Bonacelli, Paul L. Smith, Randy Quaid, Norbert Weisser, Peter Jeffrey and John Hurt. Alan Parker directed and David Puttnam produced. The film's title is prison slang for an inmate's escape attempt. Motion Picture Association of America rated the film "R".[2]



On October 6, 1970, after a stay in Istanbul, a US citizen named Billy Hayes is arrested by Turkish police, on high alert due to fear of terrorist attacks, as he is about to fly out of the country with his girlfriend. After being found with several bricks of hashish taped to his body – about two kilograms in total – he is arrested. After a while, a shadowy American arrives (who is never named, but is nicknamed 'Tex' by Billy due to his thick Texan accent). He takes Billy to a local police station and translates for Billy for a local detective. The police ask where Billy bought the hash. Billy tells them that he bought it from a taxicab driver and offers to help the police track him down in exchange for his release. He goes with the police to a local market and points the cab driver out but while the police go to arrest the cabbie, Billy makes a run for it. He gets cornered in a building and is recaptured by the mysterious American. Billy is sentenced to four years and two months' imprisonment on the charge of drug possession. He is sent to Sağmalcılar prison (which closed in 2008) to serve out his sentence. In the remand centre, he meets and befriends other Western prisoners.

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