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Sika’s 100 Greatest Movies of All Time! 1. Midnight Express (1978)

November 28, 2011

1. Midnight Express [Blu-ray] (1978)

Plot: Billy Hayes Brad Davis is caught attempting to smuggle drugs out of Turkey. The Turkish court decides to make an example of him, sentencing him to more than 30 years in prison. Hayes has two opportunities for release: the appeals made for him, or the “Midnight Express”.

A story of triumph. (tagline)

Also Starring: Irene MiracleBo HopkinsPaolo BonacelliPaul L. SmithRandy QuaidNorbert WeisserJohn Hurt

Directed by: Alan Parker
Written by: Oliver Stone (based on Billy Hayes book)
Length: 121 minutes
Budget: $2,300,000
Gross Revenue: $35,000,000 (USA)

My Favorite Movie Quote: [to the Turkish court]
Billy Hayes: I hate your nation! And I hate your people! And I fuck your sons and daughters because they’re pigs! You’re a pig! You’re all pigs.

Review: Nowadays I find myself crying to pretty much every movie I see. Before, not so much.
Perhaps it’s because I’m older, wiser and more in touch with my feelings than before. Midnight Express has always made me cry. I realize it may not be the strongest argument why a certain movie is “The Greatest Movie of All Time”, especially since Norbit made me cry too, although for a completely opposite reason.

Nerdiest Movie Trivia: In an attempt to really get into character, John Hurt stopped bathing for most of the 53-day schedule and reeked so badly in time, most of his colleagues avoided being close to him.

But it is in my opinion. It’s pure excellence. And I know it has been criticized for exaggerating the actual events of Billy Hayes’ imprisonment, but I don’t care about that. It’s a great story nonetheless, Brad Davis is brilliant in the lead, the supporting cast is amazing (with a special shout out to John Hurt), the musical score is hauntingly great, the script, the direction, the cinematography, all brilliant. To me, this movie has it all.

Well, no Steve Martin though. So.. perhaps not all.

Sidenote: I don’t like AIDS and I really think someone should do something about it. 

Oscar Count:
2 Wins: Best Music, Original Score (Giorgio Moroder) Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium (Oliver Stone)
4 Nominations: Best Picture (Alan MarshallDavid Puttnam) Best Director (Alan Parker) Best Actor in a Supporting Role (John Hurt) Best Film Editing (Gerry Hambling)


PREVIOUS ON THE LIST: 2. The Godfather Trilogy (1972, 1974, 1990)


One Comment leave one →
  1. November 29, 2011 10:59

    Awesome movie, awesome cast. That Brad Davis kid could act.

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