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The English Patient (1996)

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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)
1,547 ( 179)
Won 9 Oscars. Another 49 wins & 66 nominations. See more awards »



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


October 1944 in war torn Italy. Hana, a French-Canadian nurse working in a mobile army medical unit, feels like everything she loves in life dies on her. Because of the difficulty traveling and the dangers, especially as the landscape is still heavily booby-trapped with mines, Hana volunteers to stay behind at a church to care solely for a dying semi-amnesiac patient, who is badly burned and disfigured. She agrees to catch up to the rest of the unit after he dies. All the patient remembers is that he is English and that he is married. Their solitude is disrupted with the arrival at the church of fellow Canadian David Caravaggio, part of the Intelligence Service, who is certain that he knows the patient as a man who cooperated with the Germans. Caravaggio believes that the patient's memory is largely in tact and that he is running away from his past, in part or in its entirety. The patient does open up about his past, all surrounding his work as a cartographer in North Africa, which ... Written by Huggo

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:






| | |

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?


In 2005, Juliette Binoche had her Oscar touched up by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Her three-year-old son was fond of playing with it and it had subsequently become tarnished and peeling. One of the perks of being an Oscar-winner is that you can have your Oscar repaired for free by the Academy. See more »


Hana has to cut her hair with a knife but, somehow, has cleanly shaved armpits. Very unlikely both for the time the film takes place and for the difficult conditions she is facing. See more »


Almásy: What do you love?
Katharine Clifton: What do I love?
Almásy: Say everything.
Katharine Clifton: Hm, let's see... Water. Fish in it. And hedgehogs; I love hedgehogs.
Almásy: And what else?
Katharine Clifton: Marmite - I'm addicted. And baths. But not with other people. Islands. Your handwriting. I could go on all day.
Almásy: Go on all day.
Katharine Clifton: My husband.
Almásy: What do you hate most?
Katharine Clifton: A lie. What do you hate most?
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in 20 Dates (1998) 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

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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