A semi-fictional account of Henri Charrière's time in the penal system in French Guyana - some of it spent on infamous Devil's Island - is presented. It's the early 1930s. Charrière - nicknamed Papillon because of his butterfly tattoo - and Louis Dega are two among many who have been convicted in the French judicial system, they now being transferred to French Guyana where they will serve their time, never to return to France even if they are ever released. A safe-cracker by criminal profession, Papillon is serving a life sentence for murdering a pimp, a crime for which he adamantly states he was framed. Dega is a wealthy counterfeiter, who expects his well-to-do wife eventually to get him released. On Papillon's initiative, Papillon and Dega enter into a business arrangement: Papillon will provide protection for Dega, while Dega will finance Papillon's escape attempt. As Papillon and Degas' time together lasts longer than either expects, their burgeoning friendship ends up being an ...Written by
The Indian Village and Devil's Island scenes were filmed in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, while the prison ship arrival sequence was shot at the port in Kingston, Jamaica. See more »
At a scene in St. Laurent, there are mountains in the background, presumably on the Suriname side of the river. There are no mountains in that part of Suriname. See more »
I'll do what you ask, on one condition: You keep your money and you take me with you.
I'm the only one who can get you out of here.
I know. I'm a queer, a fairy, a poof, huh? But there's one thing you forgot. You may have been framed, as you say you were... but I wasn't. Between the two of us... I'm the one who's killed a man, not you.
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The Spanish version has several cuts during the film due to censorship reasons, including scene on Devil's Island. This version also includes a song called "Toi qui regardes la mer" that appears during the end credits with music by and sung by the French singer Nicoletta. See more »
Terrifying film dealing with life in prison. Not just any prison, but one way off to itself with few fellow human beings around. I think this was McQueen's finest film ever, and perhaps Hoffman's also. I know it has had a lasting effect on me through the years; I have never forgotten the awesome loneliness the prisoners went through. Great picture, thumbs up.
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