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The English Patient (1996)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance, War  |  6 December 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 134,164 users   Metascore: 87/100
Reviews: 454 user | 115 critic | 31 from Metacritic.com

At the close of WWII, a young nurse tends to a badly-burned plane crash victim. His past is shown in flashbacks, revealing an involvement in a fateful love affair.



(novel), (screenplay)
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Won 9 Oscars. Another 48 wins & 64 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sgt. Hardy
Clive Merrison ...
Nino Castelnuovo ...
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Geordie Johnson ...


Beginning in the 1930's, "The English Patient" tells the story of Count Almásy who is a Hungarian map maker employed by the Royal Geographical Society to chart the vast expanses of the Sahara Desert along with several other prominent explorers. As World War II unfolds, Almásy enters into a world of love, betrayal, and politics that is later revealed in a series of flashbacks while Almásy is on his death bed after being horribly burned in a plane crash. Written by Anthony Hughes <husnock31@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


In memory, love lives forever. See more »


Drama | Romance | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality, some violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:





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Release Date:

6 December 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El paciente inglés  »

Box Office


$27,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$278,439 (USA) (15 November 1996)


$78,651,430 (USA) (5 September 1997)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Ralph Fiennes' burnt head make-up had not only to be medically accurate but had also to subtly reflect map-making and cartography, one of the film's major themes. See more »


The music that Hanna plays on the bomb-rigged piano does not correspond with the keys that she is actually playing. See more »


Katharine Clifton: Am I K in your book? I think I must be.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The producer and director wish to thank The Tozeur District Governor. See more »


Wang Wang Blues
Music by Gus Mueller, Buster Johnson (as "Buster" Johnson), and Henry Busse
Lyrics by Leo Wood
Published by Cromwell Music, Inc., EMI Feist Catalog, Inc., and Bienstock Publishing Co.
On behalf of Redwood Music Ltd.
Performed by Benny Goodman
Courtesy of Columbia Records By arrangement of Sony Music Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Anthony Minghella's Heart and Mind
19 May 2009 | by (New Zealand) – See all my reviews

It is a strangely powerful and moving experience to see "The English Patient" again after Anthony Minghella's death. Most of his body of work is dedicated to one shattering point. The endless moral struggle of those who, consciously, walk a very thin line. In "The Talented Mr Ripley" Minghella moves away from Patricia Highsmith's amoral Tom Ripley to give the murderer a conscience. In "Breaking And Entering" Minghella gives Jude Law's character the need to confess and the rewards are chillingly moving. Here, in "The English Patient", the characters in love are never too far away from their corroding feeling of guilt. Ralph Finnes and Kristin Scott Thomas are extraordinary. They strip their characters from every pretense in a compelling complicity with us, the audience. Juliette Binoche is, quite simply, spectacular and her scenes with the wonderful Naveen Andrews are filled with a "Minghellian" sensual innocence. Anthony Minghella gave us films that were,one way or another, that elusive mix of art and commerce. He was true to himself but thought about his audience. He knew how to push our buttons without betraying his own. There is something clear, honest and startling about Minghella's opus. I miss him already but I'm grateful for the reflection of his soul he left behind.

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