Action / Biography / Crime / Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 92%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 91%
IMDb Rating 8 10 104552


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November 10, 2014 at 06:07 AM


Steve McQueen as Henri 'Papillon' Charriere
Dustin Hoffman as Louis Dega
Dalton Trumbo as Commandant
Bill Mumy as Lariot
2.16 GB
23.976 fps
2hr 31 min
P/S 10 / 89

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by JonDavidCampbell 10 / 10

Unforgettable, fantastic film, one of my top personal favorites

Papillon is one of my all-time favorites films. Steve McQueen is fantastic in the lead role. Dustin Hoffman is at his finest as Louie Dega. Very memorable, unforgettable performances, shocking action scenes and psychological thrills and twists. I cannot write enough good things about this film. After years of looking, I recently found this film on DVD and added it to my collection. This is the kind of movie that you can watch again and again and continue to see things you've never noticed before. This film never gets old and you never grow tired of watching Papillon. Some of the cast includes Vic Tayback also known as Mel from the hit TV series "Alice." He is convincing as a mean, surly prison guard. Also, Billy Tumy known for his role in "Lost in Space" as Will Robinson, plays a young, doomed inmate. There are other character actors included in the cast that you will more than likely recognize throughout the film. I give this film the strongest and highest of recommendations.

Reviewed by thinker1691 10 / 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. ****

Reviewed by Righty-Sock ([email protected]) 9 / 10

The amazing true life story of a man of character...

'Papillon' is the forceful portrait of a defiant man, who survives harrowing years of his life in small solitary cells, suffering the worst type of brutality and despair... It is the amazing true life story of a man of character called Henri Charriere, a Frenchman sentenced to life at Devil's island for a murder he did not commit... Henri gains his nick name 'Papillon' for the large butterfly (symbolic of freedom) tattooed on his chest...

The film recounts Papillon's tenacity and indomitable spirit, planning and executing a series of failed attempts of escape over many years... We watch his multiple adventures through hundreds of miles of swamp, reaching an encounter with a kind leper colony, a friendly tribe of Indians, and a traitorous nun... Papillon is seen pursued by Indian trustees, and harassed by brutal guards... The power of the movie lies on Papillon's triumph over oppression, his continual perseverance, humanity, honesty, his quiet dignity, and sheer spirit...

Guided this time by one of the most creative directors who offered handsomely 'Planet of the Apes' and 'Patton,' Steve McQueen—as Papillon— exhibits a raw vitality, a complete spectrum of emotions, and a sure command of his technical acting-resources that are breathtaking in their impact..

Dustin Hoffman—in perfect rapport with his role, perceptively invading its every nuance and implication— portrays a quality of character exhibited in the face of impossible adversity... His last scene with McQueen attempting to convince his friend not to leave the island, represents one of the film's most moving, and effective sequence...

Schaffner gives a stirring picture of forsaken men, and takes up the challenge and proceeding to 'beat the system' against incalculable odds... He certainly gives rise to some of the great epics of human courage and fortitude...

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