Papillon (1973, USA) C-150m. SCOPE ** D: Franklin J. Schaffner. Starring Steve McQueen, Dustion Hoffman, Victor Jory, Don Gordon, Anthony Zerbe, Robert Deman, Woodrow Parfrey, Bill Mumy, Richard Farnsworth. Prison drama based on the autobiography of Henri Charrière about McQueen, a 'pimp killer' who gets sent to infamous prison on an island off the coast of French Guyana, where no one can escape. Slowly paced, anti-climactic throughout, but McQueen's performance is impressive, as is Hoffman's as his friend. Good location work. Fine Jerry Goldsmith score was Oscar-nominated. DVD contains an interesting making-of documentary entitled THE MAGNIFICENT REBEL with Charrière on the set explaining things (only months before his death of throat cancer).

© Ron Altman