peteg's blog - noise - movies - 2019 09 19 Papillon

Papillon

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Dalton Trumbo wrote most of it (AFAICT). Also a Dustin Hoffman jag. Steve McQueen leads as a Frenchman who attempts to free himself from a French prison island somewhere in the vicinity of Honduras. Two and a half hours later he does and we can all go do something else. Some of the cinematography is gorgeous. The acting is uniformly lame. The poor crocodile they wrestle so clearly has its trap tied shut, which is a clear metaphor for the entire movie. The signature Trumbo interstitial dream sequences are again poorly realised. It sometimes takes on aspects of Guantánamo, and being based on a book of dubious verity, is therefore entirely of the moment. The IMDB rating is about 50% too high.

Ebert was as bored in 1973 as I was now. Vincent Canby similarly, at the time. Manohla Dargis tells me it was remade just last year with Rami Malek as Hoffman. The futility.