Papillon (1973)

“Forget France; put your clothes on!” Words that have served us all well over the decades and which are pronounced to a group of French prisoners among whom are Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman, awaiting transportation.

The prisoners are then marched off to be embarked and exiled. However, the streets they parade through are not French streets but the cobbled stones and harbour of Fuenterrabia (also called Hondarribia), just across the border in the Spanish Basque County, which means the prolific berets among the crowds would not have been a problem.

Local man Félix Senosiain joined us on our visit to Hondarribia as we followed Dustin and Steve into exile and discovered, as is so often the case on the silver screen, they cheated.

Accompanied by bayonet-waving troops, the march begins descending Calle Muralla, beside the city wall.

As they approach the camera, it turns with them as they then march up Calle Mayor with the church clearly visible at the end of the street.

Next the camera has moved to the top end of the street as they march up to the church and the Plaza de Armas, where the castle, now a Parador hotel, with its three metre thick walls stands today.

It is here that a young lady tries to make contact with Hoffman before returning to her car, parked in the Plaza de las Armas.

The next shot (with a giant leap for the camera) takes us out of the city walls to the old fishermen’s district known as La Marina.

Finally we return to the old city where from the Plaza de las Armas they walk down Calle Iparkalea as far as the entrance to the Hospital, from where the sea can be seen.