Papillon

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Released 1973

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Movie Summary

Director:
Franklin J. Schaffner
Released:
1973
Rating:
PG

Papillon is a fact-based drama about a man who is wrongly convicted of murder and tries to escape after being imprisoned on Devil's Island. Papillon opens with Henri "Papillon" Charriere (Steve McQueen) sentenced to life in prison for the murder of a pimp. Though he proclaims his innocence, Papillon is sent to the notorious French penal colony of Devil's Island. While there he saves the life of a counterfeiter named Louis Dega (Dustin Hoffman), who eventually becomes his lifelong friend. Dega assists Papillon on several of his escape attempts from the penal colony. Though some nearly succeed, Papillon is never able to break away and is repeatedly captured and sent into solitary confinement where only Dega's help keeps him from starving to death. Despite the harsh treatment he gets for his escape attempts, however, Papillon persists for more than a decade. Papillon is a testament to the enduring power of the human spirit.

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    Themes

    Biography, Classics, Crime, Thrillers