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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
1,256 ( 127)
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

Kristin Scott Thomas actively lobbied Anthony Minghella for the part of Katherine. Minghella was dubious at first, especially after their first meeting which Scott-Thomas labeled as "disastrous". See more »

Goofs

When an Egyptian worker hits his head on the overhanging wall of the cave, the rock flexes. See more »

Quotes

Almásy: It is a very plum plum.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Zerophilia (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Cheek to Cheek
(1935)
Music and Lyrics by Irving Berlin
Irving Berlin Music Company
Performed by Fred Astaire
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By arrangement of Sony Music Licensing and Mrs. Fred Astaire
Performed by Ella Fitzgerald
Courtesy of Verve Records By arrangement with Polygram Film & TV Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A reader's movie.
7 September 2003 | by bduguaySee all my reviews

I can understand why some people think this movie is boring. I think it appeals much more to people who are used to the pacing of classic books.

I'm sure many of those who hated it are much like a co-worker of mine who said "Books? I haven't a book since I had to in high school." I checked some of the names of the people who reviled this movie and sure enough it seems many of them think Armaggedon was an "awesome" movie and Chris Farley was a "Comic genius". And that's O.K. Taste is an individual thing.

My sensibilities tell me that the english patient is a very good movie that takes effort to appreciate. Much in this movie is very subtle. It is not a vacation for the brain.(Hey, sometimes the brain NEEDS a vacation, and stupid movies provide that!) Also, it is not a cynic's movie. It's about idealism, tragedy and regret. About how people can want the best but have it all fall apart because of bad choices, and have to go on with the regret of never being able to remedy the situation. Not so much a love story as a tragic one. So many people destroyed because of the selfishness of two people couldn't(wouldn't?) control themselves.

I would ask those who thought the movie boring to watch it again when you feel able to pay full attention to what's going on in the film and how different bits of dialogue dovetail into subtle suggestions of how the characters are feeling and thinking. This movie takes an investment of time, thought and emotion. If this investment is made, I think most people who watch it will feel rewarded.


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