Franklin J Schaffner (1973)

15 Certificate


Our Score
On its original release, the critics had few good words to say about this adaptation of Henri Charrière's autobiographical account of his escape from Devil's Island. But time has looked favourably on The Shawshank Redemption of its day, with director Franklin J Schaffner's stately pace and careful development of the forbidding prison atmosphere adding greatly to a harrowing study of confinement and single-mindedness. Steve McQueen plays the convict bent on breaking free and is perhaps a little too enigmatic for his own good at times. But Dustin Hoffman (as a fretful counterfeiter who's taken under Papillon's wing) produces a splendid depiction of cunning corruption that acts as a perfect balance to McQueen's superstar charisma.


Fact-based drama about a Frenchman wrongly imprisoned for life for a crime he did not commit, who made an extraordinarily courageous bid to escape from the notorious Devil's Island - a former leper colony turned into a maximum-security prison. Starring Steve McQueen, Dustin Hoffman, Anthony Zerbe, Don Gordon and George Coulouris.

Cast & Crew

Henri Charrière, Papillon Steve McQueen (1)
Louis Dega Dustin Hoffman
Indian Chief Victor Jory
Julot Don Gordon
Toussaint Anthony Zerbe
Maturette Robert Deman
Clusoit Woodrow Parfrey
Lariot Bill Mumy
Dr Chatal George Coulouris
Warden Barrot William Smithers
Zoraima Ratna Assan
Sergeant Victor Tayback
Masked Breton John Quade
Antonio Gregory Sierra
Guard Mills Watson
Pascal Val Avery
Mother Superior Barbara Morrison
Santini Ron Soble
Old trustee Liam Dunn
Commandant Dalton Trumbo
Mrs Dega Anne Byrne Hoffman
Nun Ellen Moss
Butterfly trader Don Hanmer
Old con E J Andre
Deputy warden Fred Sadoff
Turnkey Allen Jaffe
Director Franklin J Schaffner
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Columbia-Warner DistsGuidance: Contains violence, swearing and nudity. Available on: video and DVD