The English patient (film)

film data
of German titles: The English patient
original title: The English patient
production country: The USA / UK
feature year: 1996
length (PAL - DVD): 160 minutes
of source language: English
age release: FSK 12
direction: Anthony Minghella
film script: Anthony Minghella and Michael Ondaatje (novel)
production: Saul Zaentz
music: Gabriel Yared
camera: John seals
cut: Walter Murch

the English patient is a film of the British director Anthony Minghella from the year 1996. The dear drama is based on the novel of the same name of the Canadian author Michael Ondaatje (see the English patient (novel)), and by the Filmstudio Miramax one produced. The film won 1997 nine Academy Awards with the OSCAR - award in the year, and. A. for the best film of the yearly and the best direction.

Table of contents


Italy, in the last days of the Second World War: On the Canadian military hospital sister Hana seems to lie a mysteriöser curse - everyone, which stands for the delicate young Mrs. close, dies within shortest time. Thus their fiance becomes, Captain of the 3. Canadian Füsiliere, on which battleground wounds deadly; its colleague and friend Mary short time dies later, than their jeep drives on a mine. Therefore it is quite Hana, when it leaves the military hospital convoy accompanied of it after Florenz, in order to worry about a not transportable patient. The English patient, how he is called, is disfigured and lost his memory by heavy fire wounds. Hana furnishes itself with it in an abandoned mountain monastery , into which itself soon Caravaggio, of friend of envoys Herumtreiber, and the Indian second lieutenant anxious by Hanas a Kip Singh mad, which defuses bombs and mines in the environment in services of the British army. By Morphiumspritzen released from its pain, the English patient begins soon his identity to air, since he by individual sides one of him with personal notes and designs gespickten Herodot book details of its memory recovers, to entrust and to the three its life history.

The unknown patient is the Hungarian count László Almásy. Before the Second World War it was active for the Royal geo graphics Society in Egypt. Together with its friend, Madox, he led an expedition and discovered in close proximity to Gilf Kebir the cave of the floats, a rock picture cave, which shows designs of humans, who seem to swim. The joy over the sensational find is clouded by the arrival of two new expedition participants. The English married couple Katharine and Goeffrey Clifton was beordert from the Royal geo graphics Society to Egypt, in order to support the expedition, later turns out however that Goeffrey Clifton received the secret order to open as trained pilot and photographer the territory of west Egypt for the British military. The loner Almásy meets the beautiful Katharine reserved and tries to prevent that it as an only woman in the expedition camp stayed, to make during their married man Geoffrey to Cairo breaks open around alleged haven guessing photos of a British diplomat and its family. While the expedition is surprised by a desert storm, Katharine and Almásy approach themselves slowly. When the expedition returns to Cairo, both begin a passionate dear affair. Goeffrey experiences however from the side jump of its wife, when he would like to surprise her for the one year's anniversary of her wedding. Before the hotel he becomes a witness, as Katharine rises into a strange taxi and returns only on the next morning. When its married man addresses it on the next day after, which would have made it in the evening, Katharine does not give to have left before the hotel.

Katharine assumes soon that their married man of their side jumps suspects. It does not decide to terminate the affair with Almásy that over this resolution away-come. With a flank for the celebration of the successful exit of the expedition, he exposes Katharine Clifton before the remaining expedition participants, under it also Goeffrey. As Almásy to the cave of the floats to become Goeffrey Clifton to Cairo back attendants around the basis camp to break off, he returns from is. It comes to the tragedy, when Clifton with its airplane on the waiting Almásy zuhält and tries to kill it. Succeeds evading to the Hungarian count however to the approaching airplane, which impacts on the hard desert soil and one destroys perfectly. While Almásy Geoffrey Clifton finds liveless in the machine, he notices that on the front seat of the double-decker Katharine Clifton is. Katharine, which carried off by the crash heavy injuries, by Almásy into the cave of the floats carried, where it endures, during their loving tried to foot assistance to get. After a strenous foot march across, he meets the desert in a city several British soldiers. During the exhausted Hungarian Aristokrat it asks to organize a rescue action for “its wife”, erkundingen themselves the British in the war with the Germans after its passport. Almásy loses the patience, when he is to spell the soldier its surname. It attacks one of the soldiers and fleht to send assistance into the desert on which Almásy is struck down and unconscious breaks down. When he comes again to itself, he is in a jeep, which brings him to a station. Due to its count title it is regarded as a German and is to be brought as a prisoner of war with the course into the north of Egypt. On the travel there the escape succeeds to it. With the help of the Nazis he, in the exchange for map material of the Royal geo graphics Society, comes to the former airplane of the expedition, which was seized. It flies to Gilf Kebir, where it discovers Katharines in the cave of the floats the body. Almásy wants to fulfill their last will and transfer it to England, where she is to be bestattet in the garden of her parents' house at the sea. On the flight of Gilf Kebir to Cairo however to be English airplane by German soldiers one shoots. Count László Almásy survives the crash heavily hurt, is however from now on disfigured by fire wounds.

While the English patient becomes gradually its own identity and past conscious, Hana falls in love in the charismatischen Kip. At the same time Caravaggio believes to recognize in the English patient a feeler gauge of the Germans. The Canadian had worked in Egypt for the British secret service. When the German Tobruk conquered by secret British map material, Caravaggio came into war shank. German major Müller instructed to amputieren him the thumbs of his two hands after the British secret agent had not abandoned anything from his knowledge after arrest and torture lasting for weeks. Caravaggio rächte itself, by seeking out and killing major Müller later. Cravaggio spends several years with the search for the feeler gauge, who smoothed and believes the German by map material the way after Tobruk at the patient bed count László Almásys to have become fündig. It confronts Almásy with the suicide of its friend Madox, which shot itself, when the suspicion arose, its friend would be feeler gauge of the Germans, as well as with the death of the married couple Clifton. Almásy weiht thereupon Caravaggio into the death of the English married couple. By tragically ending dear history mild been correct, he assigns to the count for his co-operation with the Germans. Kip, which almost died during a dangerous bomb defusing, is thrown by the death of its superior and friend Sergeant Hardy completely from the course, which with the victory celebration for the surrender of the Germans by one in the city well hidden mine one kills. Kips unit draws short time on it further and to Hana says good-bye after a short Liasion of it, since she feels obligated the care of their patient. Still on the same day Almásy Hana gives to understand when usual squirting the pain means that she is to carry Sterbehilfe for him out. Under tears it gives a deadly dose Morphium to the dear-won patient. Briefly after the English patient deceased, Hana leaves the lonely Italian mountain monastery by Caravaggio and its Italian friend and travels after Florenz, where its military hospital convoy on the way is.

developing history

the film developed after the fiktionalen novel of the same name of the Canadian writer Michael Ondaatje, which oriented itself loosely at the biography of the Hungarian count Ladislaus Almásy. The novel was published 1992 and distinguished with the renowned Booker price. Anthony Minghella read the novel in a slide, after he had participated before in turning work in New York. When Minghella terminated the reading, he had been pulled so much into the spell of history that he was completely disoriented and could not remember, where he was. On the next morning Minghella with the film producer Saul Zaentz telephoned and tried to interest it in a filming of the novel. Zaentz read not only the book, but discovered also that the author a reading on the next weekend, in which proximity of its residence gave.

Actually Saul Zaentz could secure the film rights at Michael Ondaatjes novel and, under financing of the Filmstudios Twentieth Century Fox, began themselves 1996 the turning work. However it between the Filmstudio and the producer came to diversities of opinion over occupation. Above all the Twentieth Century Fox persisted to occupy a more well-known actress for the female main role than the Britin Kristin Scott Thomas already obligated. In particular the US-American Aktrice Demi of moorlands had been interested particularly strongly in the part of the Katharine Clifton. After the producers persisted on their gecasteten actors, the Filmstudio Twentieth Century Fox jumped as if finance off. The kind of rotation for production it was uncertain and while entire occupation in Italy waited without to knowledge, whether the turning work for the film would ever begin, jumped the Filmstudio Miramax as if finance. The new backers gave as far as possible plenty of rope to the producer Saul Zaentz and director Anthony Minghella with the filming of the complex material.

The turning work for the film took place mainly in the Cinecittà Filmstudios in Rome, Italy. The field recordings developed and. A. in in the Toskana lying places Pienza, Ripafratta and San't the Anna in Camprena, as well as in Triest and Venice. The desert photographs were turned, against the place of the film action, in Tunesien.


Anthony Minghellas passionate dear pos, which plays before and during the Second World War in Egypt and Italy, celebrated its premiere to 6. November 1996 in Los Angeles. The film was celebrated by the criticism and compared with as well-known masterpieces as Michael Curtiz ' Casablanca. With estimated 27 millions US Dollar production costs played the film alone in the USA over 78 millions US Dollar at the Kinokassen and was considered as financial success. Some press comments criticized however in the film budding the narcissus mash, behind the linear not told Plot.

The novelist Michael Ondaatje estimated itself just as lucky over the film adaptation, which with the film producers had co-operated closely. In its book The Conversations: Walter Murch and the kind OF Editing film, which developed during the turning work, describes Ondaatje, how the different components of the creation process of a film cooperate. The author put a special focus on the work of the Cutters, walter Murch, which nearly one year on the Filmmaterial to the English patient worked.


  • “director and film script author Anthony Minghella (“like mad & from deepest heart”) a multi-dimensional mosaic designed, by a close atmosphere full poetic and erotischer Suggestion captivates.” (Focus: Film)
  • “in any regard immaculately.” (Video week)
  • ““the English patient” is the stroke of luck of a literature filming… Since “Casablanca”, then one believes to remember, be seen a so turning up dear film any longer did not have.” (FAZ)
  • “a work captivating in each regard. The actors are all together protruding, all in front Scott Thomas and Fiennes, whose cool British-European restraint the flames of the passion only hot glowing leave. “ (Film echo)
  • “one the large Love Stories of the cinema decade, with fantastic pictures and actors.” (TV feature)
  • “moving literature filming around the tragic dear history of a Hungarian count and a married Englishwoman during 2. World war. “ (DVD & video report)
  • “following, the film connects the groups of topics love, war and death in artful poetic entwinement of the present one and passing for the model of a great literary collecting main to one more from feelings than from outside actions determined Epos, whose style will reminds of the films David Leans. Despite some dramaturgischer weaknesses a cinematic achievement amazing in the surrounding field excluding commerce-oriented productions. - Worth seeing. “ (film-served)

to anecdotes

  • Kristin Scott Thomas for the female main role, after she had written a letter at Anthony Minghella, that was finally engaged and. A. the sentence “I are “the K” in its film” contained. This statement follows a text passage in the novel collecting main.
  • When the Filmstudio Twentieth Century Fox was involved still into the turning work, one tried to dissuade the producers from to engage Willem Dafoe for the role of the Caravaggio. The Filmstudio suggested to three other actors for the part: John Goodman, Danny DeVito or smelling pool of broadcasting corporations Dreyfuss.
  • It lasted five one half hours, until the make-up was laid on by Ralph Fiennes for the Hungarian count disfigured by fire wounds.
  • Since the film team had no road, by which it could arrive at the turning work in the desert, put on the team around Minghella one. On the day as the construction work for the road were terminated, drew up however a storm and the road by the rain one cleared away.
  • In the scene, in which Hana of Kip with a pulley-block is carried up, in order to be able to regard the Wandmalereien of the old church, the electric current and the smoke for its “torch/flare” were led by an apparently material rope.
  • The figures of Geoffrey and Katharine Clifton are based on Sir Robert Clayton East Clayton and his wife lady Dorothy. The Englishman was a promoter László Almásys and died in the year 1932 in the age of only 24 years at the bite of a desert fly in the Gilf Kebir and not, how in the film kolportiert, with an aircraft crash. The young widow lady Dorothy (1909 - 1933) traveled thereupon into the Egyptian desert, in order to terminate the work of your man. She came to 15. September 1933 with a mysterious aircraft crash in Brooklands, in the English county Surrey around the life.
  • Producer Saul Zaentz placed 6 millions US Dollar of its private possession for the order, thus the time-consuming and expensive post office production - phase of the film to be financed could.
  • The motorcycle, which drives Kip during the film, is triumph a 350cc 3HW.
  • The name of the figure Kip was also Michael Ondaatjes pointed name at school. This was a reference at oil marks, which zierten its text books, which reminded some joker of the pupils of a dump truck fish, a herring or a salmon, which is inserted with the preparation also into oil.
  • In support of its success role in the English patient, Juliette Binoche gave, the name Hannah to their , in the year 2000 born daughter.
  • The German paratrooper used with the income of Tobruk land in the film with the parachute. In the reality they took the city due to the allied air superiority however on the Landweg. The film took itself probably because of the beautiful pictures of setting a large number of paratroopers off the dramaturgische liberty, history somewhat abzufälschen.


the English patient one celebrated by the criticism and won numerous Festival and critic prices. 1997 were nominated the film for twelve Oscars and could win of it nine, among them the Trophäen for the best film of the yearly and the best direction. The Französin Juliette Binoche was distinguished for her role of the devoted military hospital sister Hana, as one of the few foreign actresses in the history of the Academy Awards, with the OSCAR as the best Nebendarstellerin. Binoche had counted so firmly on a victory of the US American Lauren Bacall (love has two faces) that she had not even prepared a possible victory speech. Likewise, for the outstanding photography of the film, which seals Australian cameraman John, as well as the film music of the Lebanese composer Gabriel Yared, which was distinguished one year later also with a Grammy , was honoured.

Furthermore the film became and. A. with the British film price BAFTA as the best film of the yearly premium ore, as well as that golden Globe for the best film drama. Nebendarstellerin Juliette Binoche was distinguished apart from its OSCAR victory with the actor price on the Berlinale and the European film price. Deeply to have been disappointed, for a desired film price not have been nominated, was Willem Dafoe, whose representation of the Caravaggio remained ungewürdigt by all critics.

OSCAR 1997

  • best film
  • best direction
  • best Nebendarstellerin (Juliette Binoche)
  • best equipment
  • best camera
  • best costumes
  • best one cut
  • best one dramatic film music
  • best clay/tone

nominated in the categories

  • of best leading actors (Ralph Fiennes)
  • best Hauptdarstellerin (Kristin Scott Thomas)
  • best adapted film script

BAFTA Award 1997

  • best film
  • best Nebendarstellerin
  • best adapted film script
  • best film music
  • best camera
  • of best ones cut

nominates best direction of best

  • leading actors (
  • Ralph Fiennes) best Hauptdarstellerin (
  • Kristin Scott Thomas) best costumes best
  • equipment best
  • make-up/
  • hair styling best clay/tone [
  • work on]
in the categories

golden Globe 1997

  • best film - drama
  • best film music

nominates best direction of best

  • leading actors -
  • drama (Ralph Fiennes in the categories)
  • Best Hauptdarstellerin - drama (Kristin Scott Thomas)
  • best Nebendarstellerin (Juliette Binoche)
  • best film script


American Cinema of editor 1997

  • best film cut

American Society OF Cinematographers 1997

  • best camera

kind Directors Guild 1997

  • best equipment

Australian film of institutes 1997

  • nominated Japanese Academy1998 nominated as

the best foreign film Berlinale 1997

  • of silver bar for the best

actress (

bad clay/tone Society OF film Critics Awards 1996

  • best camera

British Society OF Cinematographers 1997

  • nominated in the category best camera

Broadcast film Critics Association Awards 1997

  • best direction
  • best film script
  • nominates 1997 best ones as

the best film Cabourg romance film

  • festival Actress (Juliette Binoche)

Chicago film Critics Association Awards 1997

  • best camera

Chlotrudis Awards 1997

  • best Nebendarstellerin (Juliette Binoche)
  • nominates in
The English patient. Sp library volume 23

, 2004 South German newspaper/library, ISBN 3937793224

  • Michael Ondaatje:
The English patient

, 2004 Picador, ISBN 0330491911

(English. Expenditure)
  • Anthony Minghella, Michael Ondaatje:
The English patient. A screenplay.

, 1997 Methuen Publishing, ISBN 0413715000

  • Michael Ondaatje:
The Conversations: Walter Murch and the kind OF Editing film

, 2004 Alfreds A. Button, ISBN 0375709827


work on]

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