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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 134,041 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:
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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?


Almost every reverse angle shot following a desert vista was done on a soundstage due to budgetary constraints. See more »


After the plane crash when Katharine has been moved to the cave, Laszlo leaves her with some supplies to hold her over until he can return with help. When Katharine is having problems with a flashlight, she smacks the light against her palm and looks into the light's reflector. The bulb shown in this shot is a halogen high-performance type lamp which was not available until 1959 (in A.C./household bulbs. These bulbs were not available for flashlight use until the late 1970's/early 1980's when longer lasting alkaline batteries were available to supply these extremely bright and power thirsty bulbs. See more »


Hana: The war's over - you told me yourself. How can it be desertion?
Oliver: It's not over everywhere. I didn't mean literally.
Hana: [looking at Almasy] When he dies I'll catch up.
Oliver: [looking over the small cache of provisions] It's not safe here. The whole country's crawling with Bandits and Germans and God knows what. It's madness. I can't allow it. You're not alright, this is natural. It's shock. For all of us. Hana?
Hana: [bent] I need morphine. A lot. And a pistol.
Oliver: [clutching at straws, about Almasy] And what if he ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Disclaimer in end credits: "While a number of the characters who appear in this film are based on historical figures, and while many of the areas described - such as the Cave of Swimmers and its surrounding desert - exist and were explored in the 1930s, it is important to stress that this story is a fiction and that the portraits of the characters who appear in it are fictional, as are some of the events and journeys." See more »


Referenced in Yossi & Jagger (2002) See more »


Flat Foot Floogie
Music and Lyrics by Slim Gaillard, Slam Stewart, and Bud Green
Published by Jewel Music Publishing Co., ASCAP, and Holliday Publications, ASCAP
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

as below
20 January 2005 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

I like this movie above all others. It is "multi-layered"; there is so much to see and appreciate. Every viewing brings a new appreciation of the story-line, the plot and the characters. Faultlessly acted and extremely enjoyable if you take the time to watch it and appreciate it. I love the interaction between the players; the subtle relationships; the period atmosphere. Ralph Fiennes is perfectly cast as the brooding lover and Geoffrey the wronged husband is beautifully underplayed by Colin Firth. The scene in the sand storm where Catherine & El-masy are discussing the different types of sand storms is one of the high-lights of the film and where the affair really starts. The other relationship between Hanna & El-masy is yet another "layer" of the movie which is totally enchanting (and heart-rending). A worthy winner of so many awards.

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