The Radio Times logo

Papillon

  • Drama
  • 1973
  • Franklin J Schaffner
  • 144 mins
  • 15
    More info: UK: Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over

Summary

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.

Advertisement
Recommended

Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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.

How to Watch

Loading

On demand

Details

Theatrical distributor
Columbia-Warner Dists
Language
English
Guidance
Contains violence, swearing and nudity.
Available on
video and DVD
Formats
Colour

Credits

Cast

rolename
Henri Charrière, PapillonSteve McQueen (1)
Louis DegaDustin Hoffman
Indian ChiefVictor Jory
JulotDon Gordon
ToussaintAnthony Zerbe
MaturetteRobert Deman
ClusoitWoodrow Parfrey
LariotBill Mumy
Dr ChatalGeorge Coulouris
Warden BarrotWilliam Smithers
ZoraimaRatna Assan
SergeantVictor Tayback
Masked BretonJohn Quade
AntonioGregory Sierra
GuardMills Watson
PascalVal Avery
Mother SuperiorBarbara Morrison
SantiniRon Soble
Old trusteeLiam Dunn
CommandantDalton Trumbo
Mrs DegaAnne Byrne Hoffman
NunEllen Moss
Butterfly traderDon Hanmer
Old conE J Andre
Deputy wardenFred Sadoff
TurnkeyAllen Jaffe

Crew

rolename
DirectorFranklin J Schaffner
Advertisement
Advertisement

Sponsored content