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Papillon (1973)

Trailer
4:09 | Trailer
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.

Writers:

Dalton Trumbo (screenplay), Lorenzo Semple Jr. (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
3,240 ( 220)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Steve McQueen ... Henri 'Papillon' Charriere
Dustin Hoffman ... Louis Dega
Victor Jory ... Indian Chief
Don Gordon ... Julot
Anthony Zerbe ... Toussaint
Robert Deman Robert Deman ... Maturette
Woodrow Parfrey ... Clusiot
Bill Mumy ... Lariot
George Coulouris ... Dr. Chatal
Ratna Assan ... Zoraima
William Smithers ... Warden Barrot
Val Avery ... Pascal
Gregory Sierra ... Antonio
Vic Tayback ... Sergeant (as Victor Tayback)
Mills Watson ... Guard
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Storyline

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. At Papillon's initiative, the duo enters into a business arrangement: Papillon will provide protection for Dega, who, in turn, will finance Papillon's escape attempt. As the two men spend more time together than either had expected, their burgeoning friendship ends up being an important ... Written by Huggo/RMS

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Two men with nothing in common but a will to live and a place to die See more »

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie was released four years after its source novel by Henri "Papillon" Charrière was published. A sequel to this book, "Banco", was published in 1973, the same year that this movie was released, as well as the same year that Charrière died. The sequel has never been filmed. See more »

Goofs

When Papillon first visits the lepers, the leper he speaks to does not move his lips (probably because of makeup). See more »

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 you say you were... but I wasn't. Between the two of us... I'm the one who's killed a man, not you.
Papillon: Okay.
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Alternate Versions

The Spanish version has several cuts during the film due to censorship reasons, including Alfred Dreyfus 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 Jerry Goldsmith and sung by the French singer Nicoletta. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Parker Lewis Can't Lose: Against the Norm (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Ballet Music from Faust
(uncredited)
Music by Charles Gounod
See more »

User Reviews

This actually happened
3 August 2004 | by Petey-10See all my reviews

Steve McQueen plays Henri "Papillon" Charriere who is sentenced to life in a French penal colony for a murder he didn't do.There he befriends with an other convict Louis Dega (Dustin Hoffman).Henri's only goal is to escape.Franklin J. Schaffner's Papillon (1973) is based on a true story.Charriere actually went through all this and then wrote a book. The acting work is unique.Steve McQueen (1930-1980) is superb in the lead.Also Dustin Hoffman (1937-) is excellent as always.This movie is filled with incredible scenes.Everything works perfectly in this amazing movie.If you want to see a dramatic adventure masterpiece this is a movie for you to see.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

France | USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

19 December 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Papillon See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$53,267,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$53,267,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (magnetic prints)| Mono (optical prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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