Saturday, January 28, 2017

Midnight Express (1978)

Academy Awards, USA 1979

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium
Oliver Stone
Best Music, Original Score
Giorgio Moroder
Best Picture
Alan Marshall
David Puttnam
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
John Hurt
Best Director
Alan Parker
Best Film Editing
Gerry Hambling

Columbia Pictures
Directed by Alan Parker
My rating: 4 stars out of 4
IMDb Wikipedia
(Blu-ray, Sony)

American Brad Davis is caught trying to smuggle hashish out of Turkey and sentenced to prison. He serves out three painful years, learning how to survive in the brutal day to day prison life. However, just before his release date his sentence is revoked and his is given life instead. This sends him spiraling into anger and eventually madness, landing him in an asylum for the criminally insane. Medicated and barely human, he plans one last desperate attempt at escape. Oliver Stone's screenplay takes liberties with the actual events and occasionally goes too far, but always in service to the plot or characters. It's probably cinema's most intense prison drama, helped immensely by Giorgio Moroder's throbbing synth soundtrack and a bevy of excellent performance by supporting actors, including John Hurt as an English drug addict.

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