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54 Reviews
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A true story of a man's struggle for freedom
Papillon (drama, biography, crime)
Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner
Starring Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman

Warner Bros. | 1973 | 151 min | Rated PG | Released May 24, 2011

Video:
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Video resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1

Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1...
Published on May 24 2011 by Steven Aldersley

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Great Character Study by McQUEEN but much Too Long
I felt this film had two great things going for it: Steve McQueen's performance and a beautiful and dramatic score composed by Jerry Goldsmith. McQueen's performance here as Papillon is much different from that of his "Cooler King" Hilts in THE GREAT ESCAPE. Here he is much more world-weary with no signs of flamboyancy but still determined and dogged. I felt McQueen's...
Published on Oct. 3 2000 by gobirds2


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5.0 out of 5 stars On my top ten all-time favorite movies, Nov. 23 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Papillon (VHS Tape)
The struggle of man and how he can be thrown into unfair circumstances. The hot tropical setting, and Mcqueen with Hoffman make this an extrordinary film. Buy it!, Rent it, don't wait!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Incredible!!, May 23 2003
By 
Jason.Kelleher (Cranleigh School, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Papillon (Widescreen) (DVD)
This is one of the best movies that I have ever seen. Dustin Hoffman's Best, in my opinion. An absolute classic, which should be part of any collection.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific movie, Oct. 9 2014
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This review is from: Papillon (Sous-titres franais) (DVD)
It is a great movie! Well written, terrific locations and fantastic acting. One I will watch time and time again.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling in every respect, March 7 2004
By 
John Lease (USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Papillon (Widescreen) (DVD)
Steve McQueen stars as "Papillion" a French safe-cracker whose butterfly tattoo earned him the title nickname. Framed up on a murder charge he is packed off to the infamous Devils Island prisoner colony. On the ship over he meets Dustin Hoffman, a notorious counterfitter with the means (money) to stay alive but not the muscle to back him up, that is where McQueen comes in. Papillion however has a single-minded outlook on life - freedom. He quickly devises escape plans by any means possible. The settings are exotic, the stories of friendship heart-rendering, the brutality of the prison shocking, the stories of escape, attempt, capture, escape, defiance and the soaring human spirit timeless. Simply a classic of cinema that will stand the test of time, could have been made yesterday and been a blockbuster smash.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful film - I'm still here you bastards!, July 13 2001
By 
Lindsay Lafady (Lake Oswego, Oregon United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Papillon (Widescreen) (DVD)
Very sad movie, but beautiful at the same time! Best performance by Steve McQueen.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I red the book and I saw the film many ..., Oct. 13 2014
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I red the book and I saw the film many years ago, it is what we call a must see
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, Aug. 2 2014
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Words cannot explain how good this film is. Just watch it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, Oct. 5 2014
This review is from: Papillon (Sous-titres franais) (DVD)
very good a classic just loved it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Prison Escape Film, Feb. 16 2004
By 
K. Mollahan "ZooKeeper Kevin" (Topeka, KS USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Papillon (Widescreen) (DVD)
Franklin J. Schaffner felt that the obligation of motion pictures is to entertain, it's as basic as that, and that is exactly what Papillon does. It is also a movie that really triggers your emotions from start to finish. I feel this is one of Steve McQueen's best acting roles. It was probably the most physically demanding and emotionally challenging role of his career. Dustin Hoffman is simply magnificent as Louis Dega, a role that demonstrates how versatile the actor really can be. It eventually earned him a best supporting actor nomination. Unfortunately, McQueen was overlooked by the Academy that year. Another example of their stupidity!!
The film is emotionally draining, but I find myself watching this film time and time again because of its portrayal of one man's quest to gain his freedom no matter what it takes. Freedom always comes at a price. It is not something that is handed to us or exists freely. It must be earned and that is exactly what his character does by the time the credits role on this film. The viewer will not believe what the character of Papillon had to endure to gain his freedom. The trials he goes through are unforgettable and often left me wondering if I would persevere if I had to undergo the trials he faced.
For me, Steve McQueen is one of those actors who really has a great on screen presence. I will almost always watch a movie just because he appears in it, good or bad. Papillon is no exception. Although Papillon is a character driven film, the movie must be viewed for more than just the characters. It also has wonderful cinematography, direction and a memorable, and at times haunting, musical score by Jerry Goldsmith. It is right up there with the best of the prison escape films.
Henri Charrière, the real life Papillon and author of the novel, talked about society and his real life experiences in this way:
"Society does not want free men. They talk freedom, democracy, anything you want, but they do not want free men. Society wants conditioned men, men who march in step." It's up to the viewer to agree or disagree with that statement while viewing the film.
I highly recommend you watch this film today!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars How good is this really?, Oct. 29 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Papillon (Widescreen) (DVD)
Papillon is a very good movie, although depressing. For the occasional individual of Portuguese decent, this film may remind them of the "old country", and I can understand where they might find a morsel of encouragement in this 3 hour metaphor for: "Life really stinks, then you die". But, if you're looking for a good escape flick, then I would recommend Billy Wilder's Stalag 17 instead. Papillon features many escape attempts; all are short-lived, and the escapee's subsequent sentence/punishment is further increased. People can be very cruel. Papillon's butt-buddy (Dustin Hoffman) breaks his glasses, loses his mind, and ends up feeding chickens for the remainder of his natural life somewhere in the South Pacific. Papillon (Steve McQueen) is beaten, starved, beaten again, but somehow never loses his desire to be free. Fantastic. I closing, I'd like you to consider that a raft made of coconuts, lashed together with pubic hair is an unlikely recipe for a successful ocean voyage.
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Papillon (Sous-titres franais)
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