Lovers of The Great Escape, Green Mile and Shawshank Redemption must make this their next film to enjoy, with the overriding knowledge that this really happened.
Two men are locked up in a unique prison on a deserted island. They try to plan their escape but one of the men is consistently in solitary confinement. The other man has the money to buy their release, but it's hard to work well together. The man in solitary confinement gets desperate and eventually they make an elaborate escape effort.
"Your friend is kind of quiet, isn't he?"
Franklin Schaffner, director of Patton, Planet of the Apes, Lionheart, The Stripper, The Good Years, The War Lord, Islands in the Stream, and Welcome Home, delivers Papillion. The storyline for this picture is well paced and contains excellent characters. It does run a bit long but the acting is very good. The cast includes Steve McQueen, Dustin Hoffman, Victor Jory, Don Gordon, and Val Avery.
"How do you fail an examination like this?"
I came across this on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and had to watch it. I am a huge McQueen fan and this was a unique character for him. It was good, and he was great, but the overall film could have been better and shorter. I recommend seeing this once but wouldn't add it to my collection.
"You owe me nothing."
Saw this on 4/1/16
The incredibly unbelievable true story of Papillon is what sets it apart from many prison break films despite it's glacially slow pace. In this Steve McQueen epic, prison escape is extremely different from his own The Great Escape. The escape has no real point, it's simply a desperation of the character to break free and it may or may not be the right thing to do. Steve McQueen provides a terrific performance as the titular character with unbelievable character transformation shown in a mainstream cinema and Hoffman equally contributes. The film has a few strongly memorable scenes, definitely.
2nd, BS, 2015/11/1
McQueen and Hoffman are excellent, director Franklin J. Schaffner creates an great atmosphere in the prison as well as in the jungle.