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STEVE MCQUEEN ESCAPES IN 'PAPILLON' ORIGINAL ADAPTATION

Year of Capture & Release: 1973
Director Francis J. Schaffner and scriptwriter Dalton Trumbo convert Henri Charrière's riveting biographical novel to the big screen, providing Steve McQueen with a more fleshed-out role than usual and rebooting Dustin Hoffman's minor character in the book to main sidekick on screen: Both have a realistic aura, surviving hell as they work a swampy chain-gang and eventually plan their escape, and each scene is like a movie in itself, beginning with a slave ship to the initial prison (initially along with a grownup but still young Bill Mumy and McQueen's BULLITT and TOWERING INFERNO partner Don Gordon).

As an examination of the hellish existence in the French penal colonies, and eventually Devil's Island, there's gritty realism held back for mainstream audiences, seeming at times like a well-made television melodrama with some widescreen blood and guts thrown in: But as a straight-out adventure flick there's plenty of eventful situations to keep the viewer interested, and completely entertained, in the struggling journey of one tough cookie who refused to stay-put.
Steve McQueen, Billy Mumy, Don Gordon and Dustin Hoffman in PAPILLON
Steve McQueen's PAPILLON in his first of two solitary sentences
Bill Mumy autograph on original Papillon Jerry Goldsmith LP Soundtrack "You're Dead" from dream sequence
William Smithers lectures Steve McQueen's PAPILLON that he'll live on bread... and circuses
Steve McQueen's PAPILLON makes a deal with Citizen Kane veteran George Coulouris
Steve McQueen tries talking sense to Dustin Hoffman in PAPILLON
John Quade and Steve McQueen's PAPILLON make a surprise deal
Steve McQueen looking Indy Jones before there was one in PAPILLON w/ Anthony Zerbe
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