Seen by Martin before? No
What did I expect? A superior period prison escape movie — although I was curious about the casting.
What did I get? Like its main characters, Papillon is, at first glance, tough-minded and uncompromising — an impression that cloaks a core of sentimental mush. It’s a gripping and involving movie that uses everything in its filmic arsenal to convey what for most viewers is an unimaginable gauntlet of cruelty and pain, but the fissures in its originating text undermine the movie’s coherence. Schaffner’s contributions are similarly divided: his acceptance of the truth of the story allowed him to deliver a powerful movie, but he might have been a touch less naive about the material.