The classic movie Papillon, where a man is sentenced to a penal colony in french Guiana. This scene is one of his many escape attempts. With Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman. Based on Charrier's bestselling book. A film by Franklin J. Schaffner.
Papillon is a memoir by convicted felon and fugitive Henri Charrière, first published in France in 1969. It became an instant bestseller. It was translated into English from the original French by June P. Wilson and Walter B. Michaels for a 1970 edition, and by author Patrick O'Brian. Soon afterward the book was adapted for a Hollywood film of the same name.
According to its author, Papillon is an autobiographical novel. Charriere stated that all events in the book are truthful and accurate, if an allowance is made for minor lapses in memory. Since its publication there has been controversy over its accuracy. Some consider that it is not actually true, and that not all the events and jails which he describes correspond to the time frame of the events in the book. In the view of some, it is best regarded as a narrative novel, depicting the adventures of several of Charrière's fellow inmates, among them Charles Brunier. Charrière supposedly had a reputation as a great fantasizer and storyteller. Thus, Papillon can be said to be more about a fictional character than the author himself. Charriere himself always maintained that his account was accurate and true, and that the story was dictated by him to a professional writer who put it in writing. The book's title was based on Charrière's nickname, derived from a butterfly tattoo on his chest, papillon being the French word for 'butterfly'.
Charrière followed the book with a sequel (Banco) in 1973.
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