A man befriends a fellow criminal as the two of them begin serving their sentence on a dreadful prison island, which inspires the man to plot his escape.

Papillon: Hey you bastards, I'm still here.
Dega: Blame is for God and small children.
[Papillon is contemplating a daring leap from a cliff to escape]
Dega: [the plan] It seems so desperate. You think it will work?
Papillon: Does it matter?
Toussaint: If you're going to catch leprosy, it's better to catch it from money than from people.
Dega: Remember what the chicken said to the weasel?
Papillon: If he was a healthy weasel, the chicken didn't get a chance to say anything.
Papillon: [to Dega] Me they can kill... You they own!
Toussaint: How did you know I have dry leprosy, that it isn't contagious?
Papillon: I didn't.
Dega: If I stay - here in this place -I will die!
Judge in Dream: I accuse YOU... of a WASTED LIFE!
Papillon: Guilty... guilty... guilty...
Doctor: [Briefly examining Dega in a prefunctory manner] You're fine. NEXT!
Dega: [Walking away] Must be better than I feel.
Doctor: [Briefly examining Papillon] You're in wonderful shape.
Papillon: How do you fail an examination like this?
Doctor: NEXT!
Camp Commandant: Make the best of what we offer you, and you will suffer less than you deserve.
Prisoner: I know you, you're Degas. You're a very intelligent man!
Dega: Thank you. I seem to be known in all the wrong places.
Warden Barrot: Put all hope out of your mind. And masturbate as little as possible, it drains the strength!
Papillon: We're something, aren't we? The only animals that shove things up their ass for survival.
Toussaint: We do a lot of smuggling here. We raid the mainland. We steal boats. When an outsider comes in we generally kill him, as a security measure.
Papillon: That makes sense.
Toussaint: Well... a man of Christian understanding.
Dega: A temptation resisted is a true measure of character.
Warden Barrot: [to Papillon upon his release from solitary confinement after two years following his first escape attempt] Your term is completed.
Clusiot: You're Louis Dega. I'm Clusiot. How come you ended up in a place like this?
Dega: Favouritism.
Warden Barrot: [to Papillon upon his release from solitary confinement after five years following his second escape attempt] Your five years in solitary confinement are at an end. You've paid part of your debt to France.
Maturette: We all have sensitive spots.
Maturette: I'll do what you ask, on one condition: You keep your money and you take me with you.
Papillon: No.
Maturette: I'm the only one who can get you out of here.
Papillon: You're...
Maturette: I know. I'm a queer, a fairy, a poof, huh? But there's one thing you forgot. You may have been framed, as you say you were... but I wasn't. Between the two of us... I'm the one who's killed a man, not you.
Papillon: Okay.
Dega: Well, it now seems quite possible that until we get to a decent jail with bribeable guards, I may stand in some need of... rather close physical protection.
Papillon: That depends on how long you want to live.
Dega: For a long time.
Papillon: Then you got a problem.
Dega: Well, I presume that you have some, uh, goals, some particular need that outrates all the others. I mean, if so... may I aslk what it is?
Papillon: Money!
Dega: For what?
Papillon: Escape.
Dega: Very good. You keep me alive until we land in Guyana, and I'll underwrite any escape you care to arrange.
Papillon: Escape for me, not for us!
Dega: Oh, of course. I, I, I...
[laughs]
Dega: . I have no intention, uh, of even attempting to escape - ever!
Papillon: Done!
Woman: [to Papillon as he is marched aboard ship bound for penal colony] Papillon! Papi! You'll be back, Papillon. Don't worry, you'll be back.
Julot: No, you won't.
Warden Barrot: Forget France and put your clothes on.

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