Staff rating

Papillon Star_onStar_onStar_onStar_on 4.0 4.0 from 1 reviews
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McQueen is a criminal sent to Devil's Island in the 1930s determined to escape from the Lemote prison. Hoffman is the swindler he befriends. A series of escapes and recaptures follow. Boxoffice winner based on the autobiographical writings of French thief Henri Charriere. Excellent portrayal of prison life and fine performances from the prisoners. Certain segments would have been better left on the cutting room floor. The film's title refers to the lead's butterfly tattoo.

Warner Home Video, Inc., 5775 Linder Canyon Rd., Westlake Village, CA 91362, URL:, Remarks: Does not handle retail queries from consumers; contact your local video distributor.

Available on Running time 150 minutes.

Cast and Crew

Adventure Drama, Men in Prison, Great Escapes, Devil's Island, Buddies, Escaped Cons, Top Grossing Films of 1973
Dalton Trumbo, Lorenzo Semple
Steve McQueen, Dustin Hoffman, Victor Jory, George Coulouris, Anthony Zerbe
Fred W. Koenekamp
Franklin J. Schaffner
Jerry Goldsmith
Robert Dorfman

Visitor Reviews

Star_onStar_onStar_onStar_on 4.0 4.0

Papillon (Steve McQueen) is an innocent man who is sent to prison for murder to Devil's Island. On his way to prison he becomes friends with another inmate named Louis Dega (Dustin Hoffman). All the inmates are told as they enter that if they try to escape they will get 2 years in solitary confinement for the 1st attempt, 5 years for their second attempt and the guillotine for the 3rd. Then both Papillon and Dega are assigned to hard labor working in the swamps. Papillon is determined that he is going to escape and is betrayed by the butterfly buyer who was going to help him. So Papillon was placed in seclusion for 2 years. Dega was giving him extra food and the guards found out and when they asked Papillon who was giving him the food he refused to say so the guards placed his cell in almost total darkness and cut his food rations in half. When Papillon started his seclusion he was exercising and determined to stay fit but as time went by he was starving, hallucinating and started eating bugs for survival. When his two years was up he escaped again, and this time after five years he came out looking very old with white hair and was placed on an island where he saw Dega and was told to fend for himself. He watched the waves for a long time and thought that the 7th wave was big enough to carry a raft. He does attempt an escape with his raft but you'll have to watch this good movie to find out the outcome!