Genre Guesstimation – Papillon (1973)

The idea behind this feature (Genre Guesstimation) is for me to watch a bunch of new movies (or ones that I haven’t seen many times) from the chosen monthly GG genre in order to expand my knowledge of movies within that particular genre.

This month’s Genre has been chosen by Vinnie of Vinnie H. and it is Historical True Story Films.

Please get me your submissions by the 25th of February by sending them to

Try to think out of the box! Great choice Vinnie!

Let’s see if I felt that this movie would be worthy of being in the company of my others favorite movies in the genre of Historical True Story Movies.

“Blame is for God and small children.” – Dega

Number of Times Seen – 2 (21 Apr 2001 and 20 Feb 2018)

Brief Synopsis – After a man is wrongfully sent to a Prison Island, he does all he can to try and escape to freedom.

My Take on it – This is a great story that is based on the life of a real person.

This film is not only a prion break story but also adds a lot of adventure to everything that happens along the way.

This helps us understand the character and even lets us actually see what kind of man he truly is deep down.

Steve McQueen is great in the lead and his character is probably one of the grittiest that he has ever portrayed.

I’m a bit surprised that he wasn’t nominated for an Oscar for this role because he is able to show us both a physical and emotional transformation in his character as the film’s storyline progresses.

At least he was able to get a nomination at the Globes for it.

AS great as this film is, it’s biggest problem is the fact that despite it having so much to tell us, there are way too many scenes that move along too slowly and drag things down here and there.

This is never helpful when watching a film that is two and a half hours long.

Bottom Line – Great story that works quite well because it isn’t just a prison break story it involves a lot of adventure scenes that help us get an even better idea of the kind of man the hero is. McQueen is great in the lead and this is one of the grittiest roles he ever took on over his career. His character is transformed both emotionally and physically throughout the film and I’m a bit surprised that he didn’t even get an Oscar nomination for this role especially since he did get one at the Globes. The main problem with this film is that despite there being so much story to tell, there are too many very slow scenes that drag along which is never helpful in a 2.5 hour film. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Actor Steve McQueen insisted on performing the stunt where he jumps off a cliff himself. McQueen once said of this that it was “one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life”. (From IMDB)

Genre Grandeur Worthy? – Comes close. This is a very interesting story and works well, but parts drag on a bit too much.

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)


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8 thoughts on “Genre Guesstimation – Papillon (1973)

  1. Pingback: Genre Grandeur February Finale – Elizabeth (1998) – Vinnie H. |

  2. Pingback: The Large Association of Movie Blogs | Acting School 101 – March 2018 – Steve McQueen

  3. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Actor – Oscars 1973 |

  4. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1973 |

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