Midnight Express

Synopsis: Billy Hayes (Brad Davis) is a young American caught by Turkish police while attempting to smuggle hash out of Istanbul. He's tried and sent to prison for four years, where he endures all manner of privation and abuse. As he finishes up his time, he's shocked to learn that the Turkish High Court has added a further 30 years to his sentence. He is now thoroughly demoralized, and his life in prison grows increasingly unbearable until he concludes that escape is his only option.
Production: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  Won 2 Oscars. Another 14 wins & 14 nominations.
 
IMDB:
7.6
Metacritic:
59
Rotten Tomatoes:
96%
R
Year:
1978
121 min
1,852 Views


PROLOGUE BLACK SCREEN - SUPERIMPOSE:

THE FOLLOWING IS BASED ON A TRUE STORY.

IT OCTOBER 6, 1970 ISTANBUL,

TURKEY -

SOUND UNDER, SHARP: CRACKLE - RIP - SNIP...

FADE IN:

A SET OF CLOTHES ON A HOTEL ROOM BED -- trenchcoat, bulky

white turtle-neck sweater, T-shirt, jeans, Western style

boots. SOUNDS continue, Accentuated. MOVE Across open

TRAVEL BAGS On The bed. Clothes, possessions. CONTINUE

Across FURNITURE, WASHBASIN, TOILET...A large room, high

old ceilings And windows suggesting Ancient Europe & design,

A haunting greenish AFTERNOON light.

We MOVE to HANDS, TIGHT - drawing out a strip of adhesive

tape,

SCISSORS move in TIGHT...SNIP!

UNDERARM, TIGHT. Tape being laid over it.

BACK OF SHOULDER. TIGHT. Tape going on.

BELLYBUTTON, TIGHT. TAPE going Then: a harsh RIP! SOUND

and the tape comes off the bellybutton.

HANDS with new strip of tape. Moving to:

HASHISH PLAQUE. Four of them, thinly pressed. One on top

of the other. The HAND wrapping a portion of the TAPE around

them and:

BELLY, TIGHT. SOUNDS of BREATHING stop. The belly is sucked

in. The TAPE is pulled HARD across, then CLINCHED. We

hear F.X. of HEART BEAT--

MOVE UP THE CHEST TO:

BILLY HAYES - 21, baby-face, attractive, medium build an

aura of innocence. His eyes moving off his belly to:

MIRROR. FULL SHOT. Climax. A creature in a bondage of

his own devise, he is naked in his underpants, his body

criss-crossed by a network of TAPE and 40 tightly pressed

plaques of HASHISH in every conceivable crevice of his

body. The eyes are hard.

NIX THROUGH HEART BEAT, SOUNDS OF AIRPORT.

CUT:

INTERIOR:

ISTANBUL AIR TERMINAL dirty, crowded, wooden benches,

peddlers. Turkish flight instructions on LOUDSPEAKER,

followed by mediocre English translations. NOTE: ALL

DIALOGUE IN TURKISH TO FOLLOW WILL BE MARKED OFF BY

PARENTHESIS. A CERTAIN WILL BE SUBTITLED, BUT SOME NOT.

LOUDSPEAKER VOICE

Pan American Flight 1 to Frankfurt,

London, and New York has arrived

and will be ready for boarding at

Gate 7 in 20 minutes.

REPEAT IN ENGLISH over:

BILL walking down a long CORRIDOR. He moves somewhat stuffly

in the clothes we saw laid out on the bed; his face

complicated by dark, rather ridiculous aviator sunglasses

and an increasing edge of nervousness to his actions. With

him is:

SUSAN 23, healthy outdoor looks, dressed casually colorful

like an American student abroad.

APPROACHING P.O.V. - a group of TURKISH SECURITY GUARDS,

in rumpled green uniforms, at a security CHECKPOINT inspect

the carry-on bags of several PASSENGERS.

BILLY tensely contemplating the guards as he walks.

SUSAN digging in her bag for her passport as she walks.

BILLY, looking from guards ahead to SUSAN. He suddenly

breaks stride, still a fair distance from the

checkpoint. SUSAN glances at him. He is holding his belly.

BILLY:

I think I've been poisoned.

SUSAN:

And you ate two baclavas, right? I

not to touch them, mine was awful.

BILLY:

(his voice strained)

Look, I think I'm going to have to

go to the john again. You go on

through, I'll catch up.

With a sense of panic, he turns and goes back down the

corridor without waiting for a response. SUSAN concerned,

moves on.

CUT:

BILLY in the WASHROOM MIRROR, again checks himself out.

His glasses are off, and he has just watered himself down.

But the SOUND of his HEARTBEAT is up, and his nerves are

visible in his eyeballs and he knows it. He dabs at the

sweat on his sideburns. He closes his eyes, takes a DEEP

BREATH. A pause. He puts his dark sunglasses back on.

Turns away from the mirror. No going back now.

ADVANCING P.O.V. - SECURITY CHECKPOINT. The GUARDS again.

Closer, closer, Guns in their HOLSTERS. SOUND of billy's

heartbeat,

CLOSE - GUARD smoking a cigarette, bored, uniform, looks

at BILLY.

CUT:

The GUARDS again.SOUND of Billy's in a tattered olive

GUARD:

Passport!

BILLY PASSPORT. The Guard's tobacco-stained FINGERS take

it open it. Basic information on Billy: Birth Date April

17, 1949. Birth Place: Babylon, Long Island. No wife, no

minors. Signature.

GUARD gives it back to BILLY.

GUARD:

Bag!

BILLY opens his shoulder bag, proffers it. The GUARD tosses

it, pushing aside books, grabbing a white plastic dish.

GUARD:

Nebu?

BILLY:

(Understand the

Turkish expression,

"What's this?")

It's a frisbee.

GUARD:

Nebu?

BILLY:

A Frisbee.

(makes a throwing

gesture of the

wrist)

You throw, catch it. Game!

Curious, one of the other GUARDS ambles over looking at

the frisbee.

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Oliver Stone

William Oliver Stone (born September 15, 1946) is an American film director, screenwriter, and producer. Stone came to public prominence between the mid-1980s and the early 1990s for writing and directing a series of films about the Vietnam War, in which he had participated as an infantry soldier. Many of Stone's films primarily focus on controversial American political issues during the late 20th century, and as such that they were considered contentious at the times of their releases. more…

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Submitted by acronimous on March 22, 2017

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