Midnight Express

An American college student (Brad Davis) caught with pot is sentenced to a Turkish prison, and both scriptwriter Oliver Stone (loosely adapting Billy Hayes’s memoir) and director Alan Parker show their ideological odiousness by making it clear they couldn’t give two hoots about how the indigenous prisoners are treatedthe pornography of suffering endured by a clean-cut American youth is all that’s supposed to matter. Apart from offering an interesting cross-reference to Stone’s later Born on the Fourth of July, this is an effectively bombastic and self-righteously masochistic melodrama that you might enjoy if you send your brain on vacation; Stone and composer Giorgio Moroder both scored Oscars for their cynical efficiency. With Irene Miracle, Bo Hopkins, Randy Quaid, and the appropriately named John Hurt (1978). R, 120 min. (JR)

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