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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
1,322 ( 276)
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 love, there are no boundaries. 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

Sean Connery was actively considering playing the part of Caravaggio before he backed out of the production. See more »

Goofs

The music that Hanna plays on the bomb-rigged piano does not correspond with the keys that she is actually playing. See more »

Quotes

Hana: [crying, her face a frozen mask] I must be a curse. Anybody who loves me, anybody who gets close to me... or I must be cursed. Which is it?
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

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

 
Anthony Minghella's Heart and Mind

It is a strangely powerful and moving experience to see "The English Patient" again after Anthony Minghella's death. Most of his body of work is dedicated to one shattering point. The endless moral struggle of those who, consciously, walk a very thin line. In "The Talented Mr Ripley" Minghella moves away from Patricia Highsmith's amoral Tom Ripley to give the murderer a conscience. In "Breaking And Entering" Minghella gives Jude Law's character the need to confess and the rewards are chillingly moving. Here, in "The English Patient", the characters in love are never too far away from their corroding feeling of guilt. Ralph Finnes and Kristin Scott Thomas are extraordinary. They strip their characters from every pretense in a compelling complicity with us, the audience. Juliette Binoche is, quite simply, spectacular and her scenes with the wonderful Naveen Andrews are filled with a "Minghellian" sensual innocence. Anthony Minghella gave us films that were,one way or another, that elusive mix of art and commerce. He was true to himself but thought about his audience. He knew how to push our buttons without betraying his own. There is something clear, honest and startling about Minghella's opus. I miss him already but I'm grateful for the reflection of his soul he left behind.


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