Schaffner (Patton) directs this adaptation of the Henri Charriere tome with a script by Dalton Trumbo and Lorenzo Semple Jr. Built as a vehicle for Steve McQueen who unfortunately shows him limitations as an actor here though Hoffman impresses in a strong supporting turn. Most memorable is the Oscar nominated score by Jerry Goldsmith and strong production design. A box office hit on release.
Quite the epic depiction of hope, tenacity, despair, love and humanity, in all its shapes and forms. Standout performances from McQueen and Hoffman in a bromance, made even more symbolic through the passage of time. The sprawling sense of scale of the story's expansive timeline is particularly well depicted.
A bromance and a heartbreaking prison escape film that The Shawshank Redemption melodramatically and eye-rollingly replicated decades later, sans the epic sweep and elegant appeal of this. The scenes, even the themes, are exact: the maintaining of hope and dreams. Yet, Papillon knows how to make it as equally sad as it's uplifting without succumbing to Hallmark bullshit sentimentality.
There's something intolerably sad about the last 30 minutes of the film. That brilliant duet of middle-aged men living on a ridiculous island, maddened by the heat and the life they've lead, still trying to escape. Brilliant.
The book is quite the tale. Hard to believe that it all happened. But a feast to the imagination of the reader. It captures all your fantasies about freedom and the rewards of not giving up and finding your place. This movie did take it to a higher level, with good actors, fulfiling it. While it does not leave to the imagination, all the gaps and gray areas, like literature does, it does makes it a bit more credible.
Per uno spirito libero i limiti imposti dall'esterno sono intollerabili, inammissibili, inaccettabili ma mai invalicabili.
Anche questo film fatto di fughe e arresti e fughe valica i confini imposti dal genere proponendo un confronto tra società evoluta e società moderna, tra una tribù che sa riconoscere i valori del bene comune e li tutela dal balordo, e una nazione che colonizza e reprime popoli e spiriti liberi.
A big beautiful frame, and in the middle of it, a small painting, or to be exact, a shredded small part of a big beautiful painting. There's always this nagging feeling that the real story actually been hiding somewhere, and it made the journey and the toll of the character seemed empty. I would've gave it 4 stars, if it weren't for that weird exoticism p.o.v.