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Papillon [DVD] [1973] [1974]


Price: £4.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Papillon [DVD] [1973] [1974] + Midnight Express (30th Anniversary Edition) [DVD] [2008]
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Product details

  • Actors: Steve McQueen, Dustin Hoffman, Victor Jory, Don Gordon, Anthony Zerbe
  • Directors: Franklin J. Schaffner
  • Writers: Dalton Trumbo, Henri Charrière, Lorenzo Semple Jr.
  • Producers: Franklin J. Schaffner, Emanuel L. Wolf, Robert Dorfmann, Robert O. Kaplan
  • Format: PAL, Anamorphic, Widescreen, Dolby, Digital Sound
  • Language: English, German
  • Subtitles: English, German, Swedish, Finnish, Danish
  • Dubbed: German
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 4 Dec 2000
  • Run Time: 144 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000050GQ8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,605 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Henri 'Papillon' Charriere's account of life in the infamous and reputedly inescapable Devil's Island prison, brought to the screen with Steve McQueen as its eponymous hero. Refusing to surrender to the cruelty of the prison regime, Papillon protects the bespectacled Louis Dega (Dustin Hoffman) from an abusive guard, makes a bid for freedom, and ends up spending a long spell in solitary confinement. When he is finally released back into the main prison, he again refuses to surrender and, along with Dega, makes another escape attempt.

From Amazon.co.uk

Franklin J Schaffner's Papillon is quite possibly the definitive prison escape drama. Not as thrilling as The Great Escape, nor as emotionally cathartic as The Shawshank Redemption, its unflinching emphasis on the barbarism of "civilised" societies is nevertheless unparalleled. Significantly, the only characters to display any real kindness in this film are the social outcasts: the lepers and native Indians; everyone else has been corrupted and debased by the true villain, the penal system itself. Based on Henri Charrière' s heavily fictionalised "autobiography", the film's timeless themes of man's insatiable desire for freedom and the indomitability of the human spirit are thankfully not dependent for their impact on the source material's veracity. Dalton Trumbo's liberal-minded screenplay echoes the themes of his earlier script for Spartacus, and Schaffner's innate gift for epic cinema (this was made just two years after his great war biography Patton) is fully equal to the task of realising it on screen. The director's painterly eye for widescreen composition and his careful pacing impart a gravitas to proceedings even during the film's most squalid depictions of brutality, of which there are many emphasising the cheapness of human life among the convicts and their equally criminal prison guards in the penal colony of French Guiana. Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman form a remarkable screen pairing, with Hoffman outstanding as the pusillanimous Dega. McQueen magnificently overcomes his tough-guy persona in the extraordinary solitary confinement sequences as he is gradually reduced to a shambling, cockroach-eating wreck. Longtime collaborator Jerry Goldsmith, who had previously scored Schaffner's Planet of the Apes and Patton, attained yet another career high with his music.

On the DVD: The anamorphic widescreen print of the original Panavision 2. 35:1 ratio looks fine without being as stunning as some more modern prints; the Dolby 5.1 audio does however do great service to Jerry Goldsmith's score, which can also be selected separately from the Audio Setup menu as an isolated track (note that there's no music at all in the first 20 minutes of the film). The 12-minute "Magnificent Rebel" featurette was made at the time of the film's release , and includes some fascinating footage of Henri Charrière touring the prison se t, reminiscing about his experiences and pontificating ("Society does not want free men, society wants conditioned men"). --Mark Walker

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Fortuna on 17 Dec 2014
Format: DVD
The perfect gift for all movie buffs is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker

Papillon is a prison movie,based on a memoir of the same name by Henri "Papillon" Charriere.The central character is Papillon himself,an unjustly(we don't really know) convicted man,who is sent to an infamous French prison on Guiana.En route there, he meets a very wealthy convict, Louis Dega and becomes his protector.

From the minute they set foot on Guiana and with Dega's financial backing,Papillon starts devising plans about their possible escape.
The rest of the film,is all about their attempts at breaking out as well as the harsh conditions they have to overcome in order to survive.

The relationship between the two men is at the core of the movie. Despite them being very different in character,the honest attitude they have towards one another brings them very close and makes them actually care about each other's fate.

Both Steve McQueen as Papillon and Dustin Hoffman as Dega are wonderful and the chemistry between them is very solid as well.The rest of the cast in mainly consisted of unknown actors,who make up for some very interesting characters.

Over the years it has been written numerous times that the book on which this movie is based, is mainly a work of fiction rather than a biography, like its writer suggested.Or probably a collection of real events that have happened to different persons and Papillon combined them to make its central character.It really doesn't make any difference as the movie is very compelling on its own.

An overall very good film,that with the use of some excellent location shots,reminds us that some films Hollywood can't make any more.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By M. Stewart on 20 July 2011
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This warner bros US import is region free and plays perfectely on my UK sony player.

This disc is a must have if you are a Steve Mcqueen or Dustin Hoffman fan.

The film itself is a classic and if you're reading this review i'm sure you're interested in the Blu Ray quality the 1080P transfer has plenty film grain some parts of the film look soft especially the opening credits but once the film gets started the picture is very good and miles better than the sd version. The Blu Ray is also a digibook which is great.

The special features on the disc are poor which is unfortunate but if you are a fan of this movie it is worth importing this disc.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A. Johnston on 26 Sep 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A pretty stark depiction of the human spirit and how quickly normal people can become dehumanised by their conditions, but balanced out by the characters played by McQueen and Hoffman (together with the chaacters that come into the story and help them out). It's not always the actions of the prisoners that are brutal either, the establishment - both guards and civilians - are also portrayed in a damming light. Brilliant acting from McQueen and Hoffman as they are able to pick up their characters and bring out their differing but complimentary personalities perfectly.

I'd agree with the comment that you wouldn't watch it much more often than once every five years as it's a long film and quite heavy going; but when you do you'll be drawn into it without fail.

Cinematically it's also very impressive with brilliant use of locations and atmospheric sound, including effective use of silence when some films may have shied away and felt that they needed music.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By dunner on 1 Dec 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Steve McQueen was my all time hero. I have enjoyed nearly all his films the Papillon being no exception. I thought the quality of the DVD was excellent in spite of the fact it is an old film. His co star Dustin Hoffman played an excellent part as well. Good value for money I enjoyed every minute
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gareth James Lee on 5 Oct 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The DVD Papillon is a film that I have watched many times and one that I will continue to watch, over and over again, because it is so good that there is always something new to notice about the film, due to the excellence of the film. I would recommend it to anyone as an indication of what tenacity in fact is, in reality and what it involves in terms of the problems that go with being tenacious; in everyday affairs and life in general. Since the film has so much detail that It goes a long way towards explaining what tenacity is; in real life terms, despite this just being an escape storyline film.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mr. M. J. Traverse on 3 Dec 2013
Format: DVD
Excellent Plot, Excellent Acting, Excellent Location and scenes, A MUST SEE, those that have given less stars
and bad write ups should stick to reading nursery rhyme books SMH!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mavis on 31 Jan 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This film is a testament to the human spirit. Never give up. Powerful performances from Duston Hoffman and Steve McQueen, gripping until the last.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By jed on 24 Feb 2012
Format: DVD
this movie is the best prison escape film ever made not only that you have two of the greatest actors of all time mcqueen and hoffman and if thats not good enough in my opinion these are the roles that are their best.this is the story of two men serving time in a brutal french penal colony and their attemts at escape,it is based on a true story and shows the inhumane treatment of the prisoners.if you want an all action film this is not for you but if you like a film with a proper story ,engaging characters and real depth you cant do better.
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