Watch Butterfly

"A Controversial Thriller of Murder and Revenge."
  • R
  • 1981
  • 1 hr 48 min
  • 4.7  (1,548)

Butterfly is a 1981 drama film directed by Matt Cimber, which features an outstanding cast including Stacy Keach, Pia Zadora, and Orson Welles. The movie is an intense and poignant exploration of the relationship between a father and daughter set against the harsh and unforgiving landscape of the South American jungle. The story begins with Jess Tyler (Stacy Keach), a rugged adventurer, and his wife Ginny (Lois Nettleton) living in the Amazon rainforest, where they have raised their daughter, Kady (Pia Zadora), in isolation. Jess has immersed himself in the local culture and is learning the ways of the native tribes. Meanwhile, Kady has grown up without ever seeing or interacting with anyone other than her parents. She is curious and intelligent, but suffers from a severe case of cabin fever, due to being cooped up in the jungle for so long.

Jess has a troubled past, having left behind a life of crime in the United States. He is now trying to turn his life around and has taken to a life of exploration and adventure. However, he is haunted by the demons of his past, and knows that his criminal history will eventually catch up with him.

One day, a wealthy developer named Washburn (Orson Welles) arrives in the jungle, seeking Jess's assistance in finding a valuable butterfly species that he believes can be used to develop a potent aphrodisiac. Jess is reluctant to help, but is ultimately persuaded by the promise of a large amount of money. This sets off a chain reaction of events that will change the Tyler family's lives forever.

As Jess and Washburn embark on their dangerous expedition, Kady is left alone in the jungle, eager to explore and learn more about the world around her. She soon becomes intrigued by a newcomer to the region, a handsome and charismatic anthropologist named Rene (Edward Albert). Kady and Rene quickly form a bond, and their relationship develops into a passionate romance.

As the story unfolds, we see the relationship between Jess and Kady become strained as Jess's shady past comes back to haunt him. The rift between them is exacerbated when Kady becomes pregnant with Rene's child, and Jess is unable to accept the fact that his daughter is no longer a child.

Ultimately, the butterfly expedition results in tragedy, and Kady is left to face the consequences of her father's actions. The movie's final act is a heart-wrenching exploration of the pain and heartbreak that can arise when love and family are pitted against ambition and greed.

Butterfly is a breathtaking and powerful movie that explores themes of family, love, identity, and betrayal. The film's jungle setting provides an exotic and dangerous backdrop for the events that unravel, and Matt Cimber's direction creates a sense of tension and menace that keeps the audience on edge throughout. The cast is exceptional, with Stacy Keach delivering a nuanced and complex performance as the tortured Jess Tyler, and Pia Zadora shining as Kady, the wide-eyed innocent who is forced to confront the harsh realities of the adult world. Orson Welles is his usual commanding self, lending gravitas to a character who could have seemed cartoonish in the hands of a lesser actor.

Overall, Butterfly is a stunning movie that is both visually striking and emotionally resonant. It's a cinematic gem that deserves to be rediscovered by a new generation of film lovers.

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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 48 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    4.7  (1,548)