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The English Patient (1996) - Plot Summary Poster

Plot Summary

  • 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 was interrupted by the war. He may not be running from his work as a spy for the Germans as Caravaggio believes, but rather the memory of an affair he had with married Katherine Clifton, the love of his life, and the memory of a promise not totally fulfilled. Hana may also test her theory of her fates with love and death as she embarks on a relationship of her own with Kip Singh, a Sikh from India, whose unit has camped on the now overgrown lawn of the church. Their work entails sweeping for and diffusing mines, the discovery of one such mine which had earlier saved her life.

    - Written by Huggo
  • 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>
  • A burn victim, a nurse, a thief, and a sapper find themselves in each others company in an old Italian villa close to the end of World War II. Through flashbacks, we see the life of the burn victim, whose passionate love of a woman and choices he made for her ultimately change the lives of one other person in the villa. Not only is this film a search for the identity of the English patient, but a search for the identities of all the people in the quiet old villa.

    - Written by Sarah Greenberg
  • In a crumbling villa in WWII Italy, during the final days of the European campaign, a young, shell-shocked war nurse (Hana) remains behind to tend her doomed patient - a horribly burned pilot. Through the gradual unraveling of his life and the appearance of an old family friend (Caravaggio) and a young Sikh sapper (Kip), the question of identity is explored.

    - Written by Gustaf Molin <gustaf.molin@usa.net>
  • The moving story of a Hungarian mapmaker and his dying memories of the romance that tragically alters his life. Burned horribly in a fiery plane crash while crossing the Sahara Desert during WWII, he is tended to by a Canadian nurse with ghosts of her own and haunted by a thief seeking answers for a crime from his past.

    - Written by Kerm <kerm@psu.edu>
  • 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.

    - Written by LVJeff

Synopsis

Set before and during World War II, The English Patient is a story of love, fate, misunderstanding and healing...

See full synopsis » (Warning: contains spoilers!)

See also

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