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Papillon Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

The autobiography of Henri Charriere, one of the few people to successfully escape from the notorious French penal colony of Devil's Island, served as the basis for Papillon. Steve McQueen plays the pugnacious Charriere (known as "Papillon," or "butterfly," because of a prominent tatoo), incarcerated--wrongly, he claims--for murdering a pimp. He saves the life of fellow convict Louis Dega (Dustin Hoffman), a counterfeiter who will later show his gratitude by helping Charriere in his many escape attempts, and by smuggling food to Charriere when the latter is put in solitary confinement. One breakout, which takes Charriere and Dega to a leper colony and then to a native encampment, is almost successful, but Charriere is betrayed (allegedly because he stopped for an act of kindness) and back the prisoners go to French Guiana. Years later, Dega is made a trustee and is content with his lot, but the ageing, white-haired Charriere cannot be held back. A tribute to the unquenchability of the human spirit, Papillon brought in an impressive $22 million at the box office. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:December 16, 1973

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Jerry Goldsmith Best Dramatic Score 1973 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Steve McQueen Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama 1973 Nominee

Cast

Steve McQueen
as Papillon
Dustin Hoffman
as Dega
Victor Jory
as Indian Chief
Don Gordon
as Julot
Anthony Zerbe
as Leper Colony Chief
Robert Deman
as Maturette
Dar Robinson
as McQueen's Cliff Stunt
Ratna Assan
as Zoraima
Val Avery
as Pascal
Mills Watson
as Guard
Ron Soble
as Santini
Richard Angarola
as Commandant
Jack Denbo
as Classification Officer
Len Lesser
as Guard
John Quade
as Masked Breton
Fred Sadoff
as Deputy Warden
Allen Jaffe
as Turnkey
Liam Dunn
as Old Trustee
Vic Tayback
as Sergeant
Woodrow Parfrey
as Clusiot
Bill Mumy
as Lariot
George Coulouris
as Dr. Chatal
William Smithers
as Warden Barrot
Gregory Sierra
as Antonio
Barbara Morrison
as Mother Superior
Ellen Moss
as Nun
Don Hanmer
as Butterfly Trader
Dalton Trumbo
as Commandant
Jim Malinda
as Guard
Harry Monty
Woodrow Parfrey
as Clusiot
Len Lesser
as Guard
Fred Sadoff
as Deputy Warden
Gregory Sierra
as Antonio
Allen Jaffe
as Turnkey
Vic Tayback
as Sergeant
William Smithers
as Warden Barrot
George Coulouris
as Dr. Chatal
Jack Denbo
as Classification Officer
Don Hanmer
as Butterfly Trader
Barbara Morrison
as Mother Superior
Ron Soble
as Santini
Ratna Assan
as Zoraima
Jim Malinda
as Guard
Liam Dunn
as Old Trustee
Dar Robinson
as McQueen's Cliff Stunt
Dalton Trumbo
as Commandant
Mills Watson
as Guard
Ellen Moss
as Nun
Bill Mumy
as Lariot
Val Avery
as Pascal
Richard Angarola
as Commandant
John Quade
as Masked Breton

Crew

Franklin J. Schaffner
Director
Franklin J. Schaffner
Producer
Robert Dorfmann
Producer
Henri Charriere
Book Author
Dalton Trumbo
Screenwriter
Lorenzo Semple, Jr.
Screenwriter
Fred Koenekamp
Cinematographer
Jerry Goldsmith
Composer (Music Score)
Robert Swink
Editor
Tony Masters
Production Designer
Jack Maxsted
Art Director
Ted Richmond
Executive Producer
Hugh Scaife
Set Designer
Anthony Powell
Costume Designer
Richard Portman
Sound/Sound Designer
Derek Ball
Sound/Sound Designer
John Courtland
Camera Operator
Emmett Emerson
Production Manager
Jack Baur
Casting
Charles Schram
Makeup
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