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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
While there is the suggestion that the mysterious English patient has been shot down and fallen from the sky at the start of the film, there is a more explicit scene at the end of the film that was cut, depicting Almasy slowly falling to earth, dangling from a pure white parachute shown against a clear blue sky, the upper part of his body engulfed in flames ("The heart is an organ of fire" is a quote from the film). The scene is mentioned on the Saul Zaentz Co. website: "Blue screen work that involved the opening and the closing scenes of the film, in which the unnamed pilot and a lifeless woman are shot out of the sky and fall to earth, were completed on the main sound stage at Cinecitta, and production wrapped on January 31, 1996." The scene was shown on a CBC broadcast of an interview with Anthony Minghella but never appeared in the final cut of the ending of the film. See more »
As Hana reads the note Almásy has written on the Christmas cracker paper - "the heart is an organ of fire" - we see that it is dated only "December 22". However, when we see Almásy originally writing the note in flashback, we see him date it "December 22nd 1938". See more »
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 »
TEP is like a long cool drink of water after crawling across the Sahara to classic film buffs who have been too long deprived of that certain cinematic magic! Not only is it beautifully photographed, but the characters are perfectly portrayed. If you're looking for the film to be a mirror of the book, you will be seriously disappointed. Instead, it is an excellent "companion" to the book, and I think that is what Anthony Minghella intended. Ralph Fiennes is probably the most beautiful man in the world; not to mention a brilliant actor. Juliette Binoche is the posterchild for vulnerability and childlike enthusiasm. And, of course, I'll go see any film in which Kristin Scott Thomas is featured. She simply must be THE best actress since the likes of Deborah Kerr. So much was promised with this film, and so much is delivered!
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