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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.

Director:

Anthony Minghella

Writers:

Michael Ondaatje (novel), Anthony Minghella (screenplay)
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Popularity
1,034 ( 472)
Won 9 Oscars. Another 53 wins & 75 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ralph Fiennes ... Almásy
Juliette Binoche ... Hana
Willem Dafoe ... Caravaggio
Kristin Scott Thomas ... Katharine Clifton
Naveen Andrews ... Kip
Colin Firth ... Geoffrey Clifton
Julian Wadham ... Madox
Jürgen Prochnow ... Major Muller
Kevin Whately ... Hardy
Clive Merrison ... Fenelon-Barnes
Nino Castelnuovo ... D'Agostino
Hichem Rostom Hichem Rostom ... Fouad
Peter Rühring Peter Rühring ... Bermann
Geordie Johnson Geordie Johnson ... Oliver
Torri Higginson ... Mary
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

In memory, love lives forever. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English | German | Italian | Arabic

Release Date:

6 December 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El paciente inglés See more »

Filming Locations:

Degache, Tunisia See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$27,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$278,439, 17 November 1996, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$78,651,430, 7 September 1997

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$134,700,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (rough cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS (8 channels)| DTS-Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the second film in which Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche starred together, the first was Wuthering Heights (1992). See more »

Goofs

German paratroops did not land via parachute in North Africa until late 1942. The fall of Tobruk was in summer 1942. Also, the German paratroopers are shown descending with a kit bag attached by a line to one leg. This was a British and American technique, not used by the Germans. See more »

Quotes

Muller: [interrogating Caravaggio] Look here, for every name you give me, I'll let you keep a finger. You give me something, and you'll keep something.
Caravaggio: Don't cut me.
Muller: Are thumbs fingers?
[to Lieutenant]
Muller: Ist ein Daumen ein Finger?
Interrogation Room Soldier: [phone rings] Telefon.
Muller: I'm sick of this room. I'm sick of this heat! And I'm sick of this damn telephone!
[hangs it up]
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 »

Connections

Featured in The 100 Greatest War Films (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

The Darktown Strutters' Ball
(1917) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Shelton Brooks
Sung a cappella by Kristin Scott Thomas
Later sung a cappella by Ralph Fiennes
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The greatest romance movie of all time? Probably...
7 May 2001 | by Mercedes-6See all my reviews

I've seen a few movies in my time, but this one is exceptional. You'll have to watch it more than once to truly appreciate it, it is emotionally very complex, it explores love and passion at it's most extreme and it's cinematography is just breathtaking. The character of the Count is intensely passionate and tragic without him having to raise his voice or indeed leave his bed, the film is perfectly cast and perfectly acted. The film has a sort of mathematical precision and perfection to it which is rare these days. It combines action, love, tragedy, drama and politics all in one. This movie is unmissable, all the hype surrounding it and all the awards cannot begin to do it any justice. Hats off to Michael Ondaatje for writing the incredible book on which it is based.


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