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What an outstanding portrayal of the penal system of the past by such great actors as Dustin Hoffman and Steve McQueen. Just a great performance by both of them and it is flawless and believable
Essentially boring and too long, caused by adding a substantial role to a minor character in the 500 page book. The book is a standard, but the movie could, in no way, keep up. In paying exorbitant fees to the actors and by insisting on adding another top Hollywood actor to the projects who did not have a role to play (Hoffman), they had to have someone (Trumbo) continually writing a new part, which was not in the book to flesh out this role.
It doesn't work. It adds too much time and boredom to the movie. You are always aware you are watching a movie, you are never caught up in the action on screen. The book was dynamite, so the fault goes to the studio, the director, the producers, the writers who lost their way with this epic project and took it down the rabbit hole.
You are itching for this to be over an hour before it finally dies. It has so many plot holes it leaves you with mental cramps. It's the type of movie you never want to see again.
Back in those days, the Academy recognized any movie with a big name in it or in which a lot of money had been spent. This film had both, yet it could muster little critical acclaim.
Papillion just didn't seem like the heartwarming friendship story of similar films. It's too long.
They called him Papillon, meaning butterfly. If only he had wings to go with the name. Unable to fly, Henri Charriere virtually willed himself free. He persisted until he did the impossible: escape Devil's Island. Based on Charriere's bestseller and shot in Spain and Jamaica, Franklin J. Schaffner's film of Papillon united two stars at key career junctures. After a decade of fine work in The Great Escape, The Sand Pebbles and Bullitt, Steve McQueen found in Charriere another ideal tough-guy role. Coming off The Graduate, Midnight Cowboy and Little Big Man, Dustin Hoffman again distinguished himself as Dega, Charriere's scruffy friend.
long, so much. the author of the book said it was 75% true.
I will go to 3 and a half stars on this because of the ambition and the movie it tries to be. McQueen is wonderful. Hoffman is good but relies too much on being his Ratso Rizo. It would have been better played by someone else. And blame the director and screenplay for making it feel 6 hours long. That silly evil nun scene, in effect making the whole movie start over, is awful. There is a white man fantasy segment of living with indigenous people, and fuzzy romance with one of their hotties (of COURSE she can’t resist a white man she has no discernible connection to, nor any lines to speak). I know this sequence is based on what Charriere describes in his book, but many events in the book are questionable as facts. Still, it is glamorized and is a dead zone of an overlong film. The movie would likely have been truly great if made in a different decade by a different director. It amazes me the general public and reviews are not more tuned into the fact that its too damn long to be as great as they think it is. But, even with all that junk, it manages to be a grand adventure with great scenes, photography, score, and spirit (thanks again to McQueen).
The best movie score ever composed!
As is typical, the audience does a better job than critics of identifying a classic movie, produced, directed, and acted out with such excellence, as to culminate in one of the best movies ever made. Rivoting story, amazing acting. This is a must see!
Classic is Classic. No matter how movie making Technology has evolved.
One of the best movies I have ever seen.