Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Double Feature: Midnight Express (1978) and Breaking Away (1979)

Midnight Express:

In this true-story film directed by Alan Parker, Brad Davis stars as Billy Hayes, who was imprisoned in a Turkish prison from 1970 to 1975. Though their is controversy over the events portrayed in the film, it does remain an effective political thriller from a great decade in American cinema.

The film received nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (John Hurt), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing, and Best Original Score. Oliver Stone won his first Oscar for the film's screenplay, and Giorgio Moroder's synthetic score was also honored with a win.

Breaking Away:

Peter Yates' 1979 film is another true-story film, chronicling the "cutters" (townies) of Bloomington, Indiana and their cycling victory at the Little 500. While it is light and comedic, the film does hold up as a great sports movie and a worthy Best Picture nominee.

The film received nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress (Barbara Barrie), Best Original Screenplay, and Best Original Song Score and Its Adaptation or Best Adaptation Score. Aside from winning Best Original Screenplay, it is slightly disappointing that Paul Dooley didn't get a Best Supporting Actor nomination.

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