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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 132,319 users   Metascore: 87/100
Reviews: 453 user | 115 critic | 31 from

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 59 wins & 53 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 ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


In love, there are no boundaries. See more »


Drama | Romance | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:





| | |

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?


The Germans who shoot at Almásy's plane at the beginning were actually tourists roped into the production because they couldn't afford any more extras. See more »


Amount of water in the glass handed to Count László upon arriving at the army poster after walking out of the desert. See more »


[Asked what he hates most]
Almásy: Ownership. I hate being owned.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in 20 Dates (1998) See more »


Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht (Silent Night, Holy Night)
(1818) (uncredited)
Music by Franz Gruber
Lyrics by Joseph Mohr
English translation anonymous
Sung by guests at the Christmas party
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

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.

85 of 116 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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