Papillon (1973)

R   |    |  Biography, Crime, Drama


Papillon (1973) Poster

A man befriends a fellow criminal as the two of them begin serving their sentence on a dreadful prison island, which inspires the man to plot his escape.


8/10
123,417


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  • Dustin Hoffman and Robert Deman in Papillon (1973)
  • Steve McQueen in Papillon (1973)
  • Dustin Hoffman in Papillon (1973)
  • Roberto Leoni in Papillon (1973)
  • Steve McQueen and Gregory Sierra in Papillon (1973)
  • Dustin Hoffman and Steve McQueen in Papillon (1973)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


29 October 2008 | thinker1691
10
| " How did you know I had dry leprosy? . . . . I didn't"
Henri 'Papillon' Charriere, was a lifetime inmate under the French government's harsh penal system in French Guiana. In his declining years he wrote his memoirs describing his years of incarceration, his cruel mistreatment and daring, multiple escapes. Weather or not he was the actual character of his own book, is disputed to this day. But the fact that he was an inmate is true enough and fits in with the actual site which came to be known as 'Devil's Island.' Court records indicate that Henri Charriere (Steve McQueen) later called " Papillon " which is french for Butterfly, was indeed a minor burglar and safe cracker. His claim he was innocent of murder, may be true enough, due to an unreliable source accusing him in court, yet producing little supporting evidence. Nevertheless, the infamous thief was given a twenty year sentence, which was extended due to his numerous escapes. During his imprisonment, he becomes lifelong friends with an equally famous treasury forger named Louis Dega (Dustin Hoffman). Don Gordon (a real life friend of McQueen) plays Julot, an experienced prisoner with his own intentions of escape. Anthony Zerbe is hideously interesting as Toussaint, a ravaged leper, who aids escaping prisoners. The entire film is one remarkable story and becomes an incredible journey, one which transcends the screen and offers audiences, the raw reality of life under the most severe and brutal penal systems in the world. The infamous 'Devil's Island ' today has become synonymous with a hellish place of unspeakable conditions. A fantastic movie for those in search of true-life Classic. ****

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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Dustin Hoffman's driver hit a pedestrian and caused serious injury, the actor, not the driver, began receiving death threats from the locals.


Quotes

Maturette: I'll do what you ask, on one condition: You keep your money and you take me with you.
Papillon: No.
Maturette: I'm the only one who can get you out of here.
Papillon: You're...
Maturette: I know. I'm a queer, a fairy, a poof, huh? But there's one thing you forgot. You may have been framed, as ...


Goofs

A harness is visible on Papillon's midsection as he helps Dega over the wall.


Alternate Versions

The 1974 UK cinema release was heavily cut to secure a AA rating (nobody under 14 admitted) instead of a more restrictive X rating (nobody under 18 admitted). The cuts include . Reel 1: Reduced shot of Papillon stabbing man in the face in the scene on prison ship. . Reel 2: Removed shot of dead prisoner's bloody head in the sea. Removed shot of decapitated head falling into camera when guillotine blade descends. . Reel 3: Removed shot of Jules with his throat cut. . Reel 5: Removed shot of Maturette kicking guard in the testicles. Removed shot of blood coming from Clusio's mouth after he has been clubbed. . Reel 6: Reduced to flash shot only, the Spaniard impaled with spikes after he has trodden on a trap. . Reel 7: Removed shot of Papillon's toes being broken with a rifle-butt. The film was later passed uncut for all UK home video releases with an 18 rating in 1986 but the same uncut version was later passed with a 15 rating for the DVD release in 2000 (still retaining the Irish 18 rating however).


Soundtracks

Ballet Music from Faust
(uncredited)
Music by
Charles Gounod

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Biography | Crime | Drama

Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$53,267,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$53,267,000

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