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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
1,439 ( 19)
Won 9 Oscars. Another 54 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

Saul Zaentz had been a particular fan of Anthony Minghella's first film Truly Madly Deeply (1990) and had made it clear that he would like to work with the director. He was therefore delighted when Minghella brought him the book by Michael Ondaatje. See more »

Goofs

Katharine Clifton (Scott -Thomas) explains to Count László Almásy (Fiennes), that her husband is map making in Ethiopia. The year at this point is 1939, and the country was known as Abyssinia until 1945. See more »

Quotes

Almásy: Let me tell you about winds. There is a, a whirlwind from southern Morrocco, the aajej, against which the fellahin defend themselves with knives. And there is the... the ghibli, from Tunis...
Katharine Clifton: [giggling] The "ghibli"?
Almásy: [smiling] ...
[...]
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 »


Soundtracks

One O'Clock Jump
(1933)
Music by Count Basie (as William "Count" Basie)
Published by EMI Feist Catalog Inc.
Performed by Benny Goodman
Courtesy of RCA Records Label of BMG Entertainment
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
a patience taking movie.. ;)
8 November 2004 | by labrangSee all my reviews

as can be read in many reviews here it is a movie you love or hate - apparently not so much space for opinions in between. I for one think that is a good sign.

I always appreciated this movie, although the genre is not my typical style (I never watched Titanic for instance, and am not planning to).

The English Patient grips because it shows how people can be different when they are in an exotic environment as opposed when they are 'home' (Katherine), it shows how destructive love can be in a slow, strong and utterly painful way, it excites because of the extremely passionate affair, the pain of the one(s) who leave behind, how pointless one can feel to move on.

The photography is just stunning, not to mention the play of the actors. The pace is slow, but timely, and that does justice to the book, the timeline, and the depth/development of the characters. To put this in 110 minutes (as some seem to suggest here) would amputate the multi-layeredness of this movie. People tend to have difficulties with the pace of movies... as if they are in a rush to get to work.. hey - get a life ! ;-) enjoy...

I give this movie 4.5 out of 5.


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