Midnight Express is a 1978 American prison drama film directed by Alan Parker, produced by David Puttnam and starring Brad Davis, Irene Miracle, Bo Hopkins, Paolo Bonacelli, Paul L. Smith, Randy Quaid, Norbert Weisser, Peter Jeffrey and John Hurt. It is based on Billy Hayes' 1977 non-fiction book Midnight Express and 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 film deviates from the book's accounts of the story, especially in its portrayal of the Turkish characters, and some have criticised this version, including Billy Hayes himself. Later, both Stone and Hayes expressed their regret about how Turkish people were portrayed in the film. The film's title is prison slang for an inmate's escape attempt.
The film was released on October 6, 1978. Upon release, it received generally positive reviews from critics. Many praised Davis's performance as well as the cast, the writing, the direction, and the musical score by Giorgio Moroder. However, Hayes and others criticized the film for portraying the Turkish prison men as violent and villainous and for deviating too much from the material source.
The film grossed over $35 million worldwide against budget of $2 million.