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"Papillon" has misleading line?

 
 
Reply Fri 12 Jan, 2007 09:11 am
I was watching an old (circa 1975) but great movie last night on AMC. The movie, 'Papillon', starring Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman, was based on a true account of an escape from Devil's Island.

To make a long story short, Steve McQueen escapes from Devil's Island and makes his way to a leper colony, probably somewhere in Venezuela or Central America. He befriends a leper hoping to acquire a small rowboat. The leper whose face is disfigured from the disease, tells McQueen to have the courtesy to look at him in his face. McQueen obliges. The leper, puffing on a juicy cigar, asks McQueen if he likes cigars. McQueen tells the leper he likes cigars when he get them. The leper hands McQueen his cigar and McQueen puts it in his mouth and begins smoking it. The leper asks McQueen how he (McQueen) knew that leprosy is not contagious. McQueen says "I didn't."

Well, I've always thought that leprosy is contagious, so I looked it up. Yep, it is contagious, communicable and infectious. It appears the movie sacrificed an important fact in order to give McQueen a clever-sounding line in the movie.

Has anyone else seen this movie and noticed that line?
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Joe Nation
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Jan, 2007 09:24 am
It wasn't a fact when the leper said it. We know a lot more about it now.

For years, people claimed leprosy wasn't contagious because it's one of the hardest diseases to get even though it's cause is some sort of bacteria. People can be around, touch, kiss and have sex with lepers and not get leprosy. It's odd behavior lent it to a lot a suspicions and taboos over it's long history in humans.

Anti-biotics are very effective against it and in those places where they are available, leprosy can be wiped out.

Joe(but, even if I really liked cigars, I won't take one from the mouth of a stranger)Nation
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easyasabc
 
  1  
Reply Fri 12 Jan, 2007 09:44 am
Joe Nation wrote:
It wasn't a fact when the leper said it. We know a lot more about it now.

For years, people claimed leprosy wasn't contagious because it's one of the hardest diseases to get even though it's cause is some sort of bacteria. People can be around, touch, kiss and have sex with lepers and not get leprosy. It's odd behavior lent it to a lot a suspicions and taboos over it's long history in humans.

Anti-biotics are very effective against it and in those places where they are available, leprosy can be wiped out.

Joe(but, even if I really liked cigars, I won't take one from the mouth of a stranger)Nation


Okay Joe, thanks for that. I understand it now. I wouldn't share a cigar with a stranger either, ha ha. But I guess Steve McQueen was trying to impress the leper because he needed that rowboat.

I didn't see all the movie. I was flipping channels and tuned in several minutes after it began. A great movie that should be a classic. I think it's coming on again tonight. I'll record it and try to see it from start to finish.

Thanks again and all the best.
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Paaskynen
 
  2  
Reply Wed 24 Jan, 2007 08:35 am
Actually, if I remember correctly, the leper says: How did you know that I have dry leprosy, not contagious. Leprosy has various manifestations some of which are more infectuous than others and perhaps that is what the leper is referring to. The line was taken from the book (which contains many more memorable quotes and scenes and is much more engrossing than the film), so it wasn't invented for Steve McQueen.
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NYGUY999
 
  1  
Reply Sun 11 Jan, 2015 06:41 pm
@easyasabc,
He said DRY Leprosy! Watch it again and LISTEN!
ken williams
 
  2  
Reply Wed 11 Oct, 2017 12:10 pm
@NYGUY999,
Pappion movie dialogue-THE leper said , How did you know I had Dry leprosy after taking a puff from the shared cigar ( which is supposed to be not contagious) McQueen says, Any person with leprosy would not wish Wet Gagngerine being contagious on another person. True today, there are two types of Hansens Disease. One is harder to treat then the other . and requires an additional antibiotic along with the two same ones for both. Because of the terrible treatment of Lepers before 1940 (before antibiotics) they referred to the disease as "Death before Death".
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LorenGlass72
 
  0  
Reply Mon 22 Jan, 2018 07:56 pm
@easyasabc,
Actually, you're mistaken. The leper said, "How did you know I have DRY leprosy, and it's not contagious." Apparently, there's two forms of leprosy and the dry kind is not contagious.
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