The English Patient (1996) | Transcript

At the close of World War II, 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.
The English Patient

October 1944 in war torn Italy. Hana (Juliette Binoche), 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 (Willem Dafoe), 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 intact, 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 was interrupted by the war. He may not be running from his work as a spy for the Germans as Caravaggio believes, but rather the memory of an affair he had with married Katharine Clifton (Dame Kristin Scott Thomas), the love of his life, and the memory of a promise not totally fulfilled. Hana may also test her theory of her fates with love and death as she embarks on a relationship of her own with Kip Singh (Naveen Andrews), a Sikh from India, whose unit has camped on the now overgrown lawn of the church. Their work entails sweeping for and defusing mines, the discovery of one such mine which had earlier saved her life.

* * *

[Wind Chimes Jingling]

[Man Speaking Arabic]

[Men Conversing In Arabic]

Music [Woman Singing In Hungarian]

Music [Hungarian Song Ends]

Music [Woman Vocalizing]

[Shouting In German]


[Engine Sputtering]

[Train Whistle Blows]

How are you?


Your leg will be fine.

A lot of shrapnel came out. I saved you the pieces.

You are the prettiest girl I’ve ever seen.

I don’t think so. Here.

Would you kiss me?

No. I’ll get you some tea.

It would mean such a lot to me.

Would it?

Thank you.

I can’t sleep. Would you kiss me?


You’re so pretty.

Will you tuck me in, please?

[Laughing] Very funny. Go to sleep now.

Where’s the doctor?

Don’t ask.

[Conversing In Arabic]

[Conversation Continues]

[Gasping, Groaning]

[Breathing Heavily]

[Camel Grunts]

[Man Breathing Heavily]

[Fly Buzzing]

[Gasping, Gagging]


[lndistinct Conversations]

God, I hate giving blood. Can’t stand needles.

Is there anybody from Picton?

Picton? I don’t know.

I’d like to see somebody from home before I go.

Do we have anybody from Picton?

Why Picton?

He’s from there. Edge of Lake Ontario, right, soldier?

That’s where your sweetie’s from, isn’t it? Around there?

Ask him what company he’s with.

Third Canadian Fusiliers.

Third Canadian Fusiliers.

Does he know Captain McGan?

He bought it yesterday. Shot to bits.

What did he say?

Doesn’t know him.

[Shell Whistles, Explodes]

Hana, get down!

[Screaming, Shouting]

[Sobbing] He’s dead. He’s dead.


[Sobbing] He’s dead.

He’s dead.


[Bottles Clinking]

[Conversing In Arabic]


[Breathing Heavily]



[Chanting Continues, Drumbeat]


[Chanting Continues]

[Breathing Heavily]


[Man] Name, rank, serial number?

[Man #2] No, sorry.

I think I was a pilot.

I was found in the wreckage of a plane at the beginning of the war.

Can you remember where you were born?

Am I being interrogated?

You should be trying to trick me, make me speak German.

Which I can, by the way.


Are you German?


How do you know you’re not German if you don’t remember anything?

Might-Might I have a sip of water?

[Sea Gulls Calling]


Thank you.

It’s okay.

I remember lots of things.

I remember her garden, plunging down to the sea.

Nothing between you and France.

This was your garden?

Or my wife’s.

You were married then?

I think so. Although I believe that to be true of a number of Germans.


[Gasping] I have this much lung.

The rest of my organs are packing up.

What could it possibly matter if I’m a Tutankhamen?

I’m a bit of… toast, my friend.

Sorry I can’t help you.

[Horn Honking]

[Breathing Heavily]

Are you all right?

I know you hate to be moved. I’m sorry.





There’s meant to be lace in the next village. The boys are gonna take me.

You don’t have any money, do ya?


Just in case there’s a sale.


Hana, I know you do. Come on.


Oh, come on.

I swear to God, this’ll be the last time. I swear.

She’s a softie. She loves me.

I’ll pay you back! I promise!


I’m not sewing anything else for you.

I love you!

Whoa! Pienza, boys!

[Breathing Heavily]

[Man] Get some water over here!

Jan! Oh, no!

Hana, where’re you going?

Stay back!

Stop, Hana!





Hey! Hey!

Don’t move!

Don’t move! Don’t move!

Stand absolutely still!

You’re walking in a mine field!


That’s good.

Just stay still for me… and we’ll be fine.

What are you doing?

What the bloody hell do you think you’re doing?

[Hana] It’s Jan’s.


[Hana] Are you in pain? Do you need something?



Are you okay?

You and Jan were–

We keep moving him in and out of the truck.

Why? He’s dying. What’s the point?

We can hardly leave him. Do you mean leave him?

No, no, I don’t mean leave him.

This will help you.

I must be a curse.

Anybody who loves me… [Sighs] anybody who gets close to me–

Oh, I must be cursed.

Which is it?

Music [Single Piano Key Plays]


When he dies, I’ll catch up.

It’s not safe here.

The whole country’s crawling with bandits and Germans and God knows what.

It’s madness! I can’t allow it.

The war is over.

How can it be desertion?

It’s not over everywhere. I didn’t mean literally.

This is normal, a shock, for all of us, Hana.

I need morphine, a lot. And a pistol.

If anything ever happened to you, I’d never forgive myself.

We’re heading for Leghorn.

“Livorno,” the ltalians call it.

We’ll expect you.


Thank you.

You’re welcome, ma’am.

Oh, Hana.

I’ll be okay.

I’ll catch up. Good.


[Muttering Song Lyrics]


[Engines Droning]


What-What was all that banging?

Are you-Are you fighting rats, or the entire German army?

No. I was repairing the stairs.

I found a library, and the books were very useful.

Before you find too many uses for those books, you might read some to me.

I think they’re all in ltalian, but I’ll look, yes.

What about your own book?

My book?

Oh, yes, the Herodotus.

Yes, you can read him.

Oh. I found plums.

We have plums in the orchard. There.

We have an orchard.

Herodotus is the father of history.

Do you know that?

I don’t know anything.


It’s a– It’s a very plum… plum.


[Man Speaking Arabic]

[Responds In Arabic]


A mountain the shape of a woman’s back. Good, good.

Hello, Geoffrey!

Madox, hello!

Welcome to the expedition.

How do you do? Geoffrey Clifton.

Splendid to finally meet you all.

This is Dante D’Agostino and Diggy Bermann, our archaeologist.

Beautiful plane.

This is Sharif Al Fouad, Egyptologist.

And this is my wife, Katharine.


We’re your new apprentices.

Welcome to the lnternational Sand Club.


To the lnternational Sand Club.

I’ll get cups.

Marvellous plane. Did you look?


Isn’t it? A wedding present from Katharine’s parents.

We’re calling it Rupert Bear.

Hello. Geoffrey Clifton.


We can finally consign my old bird to the scrap heap.

Mrs Clifton, I’d like to present…

Count Almasy.


Geoffrey gave me your monograph and I was reading up in the desert.

Very impressive.

Thank you.

I wanted to meet the man who could write a long paper with so few adjectives.

Well, a thing is still a thing, no matter what you place in front of it.

Big car, slow car, chauffeur-driven car.

[Madox] Broken car.

It’s still a car.

Not much use, though.

[Katharine] Love?

Romantic love, plutonic love, filial love.

Quite different things, surely.


That’s my favourite kind of love. Excessive love of one’s wife.

Now there you have me.

[Men Laughing]

They’re tourists.

Absolute rot.

They’re highly recommended by the Royal Geographic Society.

She’s charming and has read everything.

He’s meant to be a ruddy good flier.

We don’t need another pilot.

He can make aerial maps of the whole route.

You can’t explore from the air, Madox.

If you could explore from the air, life would be very simple.



I should try and move the bed.

I want you to be able to see the view.

It’s good. It’s a view from a monastery.

I can already see.


How can you see anything?

No, no, not the window.

I can’t bear the light anyway.

I can see all the way to the desert.

I’m turning you.

Exploring before the war, making maps.

Is there sand in my eyes? Are you cleaning sand from my ears?

No sand. That’s your morphine speaking.

I can see my wife in that view.

Are you remembering more?

Could I have a cigarette?

Are you crazy?


Why-Why are you so determined to keep me alive?

[Sighs] Because I’m a nurse.

[Sound Of Hana’s Feet Hopping]

[Drumbeats, Chanting]


Music [Arabic]


♪♪ We have an old-fashioned tomato ♪♪

♪♪ A Long lsland potato ♪♪

♪♪ But yes We have no bananas ♪♪

♪♪ We have no bananas today Music

Music [Arabic]

Music [German]

Music [ltalian]

Music [Arabic]



[Hana] “The King insisted that he would find some way… to prove beyond dispute… that his wife was fairest of all women. ‘I will hide you in your room where we sleep,’ said Candaules– said Candaules.”




Candaules tells Gyges that the Queen has the same practise every night.

She takes off her clothes… and puts them on the chair by the door to her room.

“‘And from where you stand, you will be able to gaze on her at your leisure.'”

And that evening, it’s exactly as the King has told him.

She goes to the chair, removes her clothes one by one, until she’s standing naked in full view of Gyges.

And indeed, she was more lovely than he could have imagined.

But then, the Queen looked up… and saw Gyges concealed in the shadows.

And although she said nothing, she shuddered.

And the next day, she sends for, for Gyges and challenged him.

And hearing his story, this is what she said.

Off with his head!


She said, “Either you must submit to death… for gazing on that which you should not, or else kill my husband who has shamed me… and become King in his place.”

So Gyges kills the King, marries the Queen and becomes ruler of Lydia for 28 years.

The end.

Shall I spin the bottle?

[Madox] So, Geoffrey, let that be a lesson to you.

[Katharine] D’Agostino!


Are you asleep?


No. I’m dropping off.


Go away!

Go! Go!


Buon giorno.


What do you want?

I met your friend Mary.

She said I should stop and see if you were all right.

Apparently we’re neighbours. My house is two blocks from yours in Montreal.

Cabot, north of Laurier.



For you.

I’d like to take credit for it, but it’s from Mary.

My name is David Caravaggio, but nobody ever called me David.

Caravaggio they find too absurd to miss out on.


[Snickers] Oh!

Oh, shit. Stupid hands.

Let me do that.

They’re fresh.

I haven’t had an egg in–

Have you noticed there are chickens?

In ltaly, you get chickens but no eggs.

In Africa, they’re always eggs but never chickens.

Who’s separating them?

You were in Africa?

Yes, I was.

So was my patient.

Look, I’d like to stay for a while.

I have to do some work here.

I speak the language. There are partisans to be disarmed.

We embrace them and see if we can relieve them of their weapons, you know, while we hide.

I was a thief, so the army thought I’d be good at it.

So you can shoot a pistol?


Do you have a problem with those?


I should look at them before you go.


It’s a big place. We needn’t disturb each other.

I’ll sleep in the stable.

It doesn’t matter where I sleep. I don’t sleep.

I don’t know what Mary told you about me, but I don’t need company.

I don’t need to be looked after.

There is a man downstairs.

He brought us eggs. He might stay.

Why? Can he lay eggs?

He’s Canadian.

Why are people always so happy when they collide with one from the same place?

What happened in Montreal when you passed a man in the street?

Did you invite him to live with you?

He needn’t disturb you.

He can’t. I’m already disturbed.


There’s a war. Where you come from becomes important.

[Patient] Why? I hate that idea.

Ah! It’s gonna work.



Can I help?

It’s finished.

So, you’re our Canadian pickpocket?

Thief I think is more accurate.

I understand you were in Africa. Whereabouts?

Oh, all over.

All over?

I kept trying to cover a very modest portion and still failed.

Are you leaving us?


Now’s our opportunity to swap war wounds.

[Laughs] Then I’m definitely going.

Does she have war wounds?

I think anybody she ever loves… tends to die on her.

Are you planning to be the exception?


[Laughs] I think you’ve got… the wrong end of the stick, old boy.

So… Caravaggio.

Hana thinks you invented your name.

And you’ve forgotten yours.

I said that no one would ever invent such a preposterous name.

And I said you can forget everything, but you never forget your name.

Count Almasy.

That name mean anything to you?

Or Katharine Clifton?

[People Chattering]

Oh, I’m sorry.

How much did you pay?

Oh, hello.

They don’t see foreign women in this market. How much did you pay?

Um, 7, 8 pounds, I suppose.

Which store?


You’ve been cheated. Oh, don’t worry, we’ll take it back.

I don’t want to take it back.

This is not worth 8 pounds.

It is to me.

Did you bargain?

I don’t care to bargain.

That insults them.

I don’t believe that. I think that you’re insulted by me somehow.

I’d be very happy to obtain the correct price for this.

I apologize if I appear abrupt.

I’m rusty at social graces.

How do you find Cairo?

Did you visit the pyramids?

Excuse me.

Or the Sphinx?

[Almasy] Latitude, 25, 33. Longitude, 25, 16.

We attempt to drive northeast of Kofer, we’ll leave our bones in the desert.

I disagree.

You’re Hungarian. You always disagree.

Good evening, gentlemen.

Good evening.

How is your charming wife?


She’s in love with the hotel plumbing.

She’s either in the swimming pool. She swims for hours.

She’s a fish. It’s quite incredible. Or she’s in the bath.


Actually, she’s just outside.

Chaps only in the Long Bar.

Mrs Clifton.

You’ll have to forgive us. We’re not accustomed to the company of women.

Not at all. I was thoroughly enjoying my book.

The team is in mourning, darling.

Oh, really?

I’m afraid we’re not having much luck obtaining funds for the expedition.

Oh. Well, what’ll you do?

More modest expedition, or even wait a year.

It’s a disaster.

Remind our families we still exist.

Good heavens, are you married, Madox?

Very much so. We all are.

Save my friend Almasy here.

I feel much better.

Don’t you, darling? We were feeling rather self-conscious.

Let’s toast, then. Absent wives.

[All] Absent wives.

And present ones.

And future ones.

Music [Jazz]

Music [Song Ends]

Thank you.

Excuse me. May l?

Music [Slow]

Why did you follow me yesterday?

I’m sorry. What?

After the market, you followed me to the hotel.

I was concerned. A woman in that part of Cairo, a European woman.

I felt obliged to.

You felt obliged to?

As the wife of one of our party.

So why follow me? Escort me, by all means.

But following me is predatory, isn’t it?


Could I ask you to move?

I’m sorry, but l–

I’m sorry. Of course.

It’s just when you move.

It was too rude of me.

I can’t really bear the pressure–

Are you all right?

I was dreaming. Awful.




Hana, are you all right?

Leave me alone.


You’re in love with him, aren’t you?

Your poor patient.

You think he’s a saint because of the way he looks.

I don’t think he is.

I’m not so in love with him.

I’m in love with ghosts.

So is he. He’s in love with ghosts.

What if I told you he did this to me?

How could he have? When?

I’m one of his ghosts, and he wouldn’t even know it.

I don’t know what that means.

Ask your saint who he is.

Ask him who he’s killed.

[Sobbing] Please, don’t creep around this house.

See, I don’t think he’s forgotten anything!

I think he wants to forget!

[Clifton] Gentlemen, to mapmaking.

[All] To mapmaking!

And a special thank you to Geoffrey and Katharine, without whose fund-raising heroics, we’d still be kicking our heels.

To arm-twisting.

[All] Arm-twisting.

Did Katharine say Geoffrey has to fly back to Cairo?

Return the favour. Take a few photographs for the army.

Oh, um, what kind of photographs?


The brigadier, the brigadier’s wife, the brigadier’s dog, brigadier by the pyramids, brigadier breathing.

And I shall, of course, be bereft.

I’ll finally be able to explore the Cairo nightlife.

I shall produce an authoritative guide to the zinc bars and– I want to say hareems. Are we in the right country for hareems?

[Madox] Harems.

Bye, my love.

Travel safe.

Catch up in a week.

Clifton, safe journey.

You too. Good luck. Glad the funds have turned up.


This is probably none of my business.

Your wife.

Think it’s appropriate to leave her?


Well, the desert is, it’s, uh-for a woman, it’s very tough.

I wonder if it’s not too much for her.

Are you mad? Katharine loves it here. She told me yesterday.

All the same, were I you–

I’ve known Katharine since she was three.

We were practically brother and sister before we were man and wife.

I think I’d know what is and what isn’t too much for her.

I think she’d know herself.

Very well.

Why are you people so threatened by a woman?

Music [Piano]


I have come to love… that little tap of the fingernail against the syringe.




Music [Continues]


Stop playing! Please, stop playing.

I don’t have the key to that door. You–

The Germans were here. The Germans were all over this area.

They left mines everywhere.

The pianos were their favourite hiding places.

I see. Sorry.

Then maybe you’re safe as long as you only play Bach.

He’s German.

Is something funny?

No. I’m sorry.

I’ve met you before.

I don’t think so.

Look. See?

Move that, and no more Bach.

Lieutenant! Are you all right, Sir?

Fine, Sergeant.

So you’re working with the ltalians.

Yeah, trying to get them to give up their weapons.

I was a thief, so the army thought I’d be good at it.

I like the ltalians.

[Hana] He wants us to move out.

He says there could be 50 more mines in the building.

[Hana] He thinks I’m mad because I laugh at him.

He’s Indian.

He wears a turban.

No, he’s Sikh.

If he wears a turban, he’s Sikh.

I’ll probably marry him.

Really? That’s sudden.

My mother always told me…

I would summon my husband by playing the piano.

[Breathing Heavily]

I liked it better when there were just the two of us.

Why? Is he staying?

With his sergeant, a Mr Hardy.

We should charge. Doesn’t anyone have a job to do?

They have to clear all the roads of mines. That’s a big job.

In that case, l-I suppose we can’t charge.

No, we can’t.

Thank you.

[Engines Drone]

[Muttering Song Lyrics]

♪♪ Flat foot floogee with the floy floy ♪♪

Music [Humming]

♪♪ Flat foot floogee with the floy floy ♪♪

♪♪ Flat foot floogee with the floy floy ♪♪

I’ve been thinking. How does someone like you decide to come to the desert?

What is it? You–

You’re doing whatever you’re doing in your castle, or wherever it is you live, and one day you say, “l have to get to the desert,” or what?

I once travelled with a guide who was taking me to Faya.

He didn’t speak for nine hours.

At the end of it, he pointed at the horizon and said, “Faya.”

That was a good day.

Actually, you sing.


You sing.

All the time.

I do not.

Ask Al Auf.

Al Auf!


[Al Auf Laughs]


[Al Auf Singing]

[Katharine] ♪♪ You’d better be ready about half past 8:00 ♪♪

♪♪ Remember, honey Don’t be late ♪♪

♪♪ ‘Cause I’ll be there when the band starts playing ♪♪

♪♪ Gonna dance off both my shoes ♪♪

♪♪ When they play the jelly roll blues ♪♪

♪♪ Tomorrow night at the dark-town strutter’s ball Music

[Al Auf Singing]

[Chanting In Arabic]

[Chanting Continues]

Give me your hand.


[Chanting Continues]

[Chanting Response]

[Chanting Continues]




Come quickly! I’ve found something!

What is it?

D’Ag! Bermann! Quick!

My God.

They’re swimming.

[Madox] They’re swimming.

[Man Talking: lndistinct]

[Men Speaking Arabic]


You okay?



How do you explain… to someone who has never been here, feelings which seem quite normal?

I don’t know, my friend.

I don’t know.



Bermann, what are you doing?


Watch out! Watch out!

[Men Shouting In Arabic]

Get them out of the car!

Let me help!

Almasy, are you all right?

Y es, yes, I’m fine.

My wrist! Ah!

[Men Speaking Arabic]

I’ll be back as quick as I can, 36 hours at the outside.

Try to get an additional radiator.

We can store it between here and Pottery Hill. And a better jack.

We planned badly.


[Engine Starts]


Safe journey.

Now what?

[Madox] Let’s get all this stuff off.

I’ll stay behind, of course.

Certainly not.

I caused the problem. I shall stay.

You can’t. None of you can.

No, I insist. There clearly isn’t room for all of us.

I’m the least able to dig, and I’m not one of the walking wounded.

It’s only one night.

If I remain, it’s the most effective method of persuading my husband… to abandon whatever he’s doing and come and rescue us.

All right.

Come on, let’s get going.

[Engine Starts]

I thought you might like to paste them into your book.

Well, we–

We took photographs.

There’s no need.

No, really. I’d like you to have them.

Well, there’s really no need. This is, um–

This is just a scrapbook. They are too good.

I should feel obliged. Thank you.

And that would be unconscionable, I suppose, wouldn’t it?

To feel any obligation.

Yes, of course it would.

[Men Speaking Arabic]

You should come into the shelter.

I’m quite all right, thank you.

Look over there.

What am I looking at?

Do you see what’s happening to them, the stars?

They’re so untidy. I was trying to rearrange them.

No, no.

Over there.

In a few minutes, there’ll be no stars.

The air is filling with sand.

[Wind Howling]




This is not very good, is it?



We will be all right?




“Yes” is a comfort. “Absolutely” is not.

Let me tell you about winds.

There is a, a whirlwind from southern Morocco, the Aajej, against which the Fellahin defend themselves with knives.

And there is a, a Ghibli from Tunis.

A Ghibli?

A Ghibli.

Which rolls and rolls and rolls and produces a– a rather strange nervous condition.


And then there is the, the Harmatten, a red wind, which mariners called “a sea of darkness.”

And red sand from this wind… has flown as far as the south coast of England, apparently producing… showers so dense that they were mistaken for blood.


We have a house on that coast and it has never, never rained blood.

No, it’s all true. Herodotus, your friend.

My friend.

Your fri–

He writes about it… and he writes about… a, a wind, the Simoon, which a nation thought was so evil, they declared war on it and marched out against it.

In full battle dress.

Their swords raised.

[Engine Running, Horn Honking]

Katharine, Katharine, I need to get out your side, quickly.

A car! Let me out!

Of course. I’m sorry.

Ridiculous to fall asleep!


Damn! The flare!

Stop! Over here!






[Flare Gun Fires]

Madox! Madox!

Our tracks have disappeared.

Madox will calculate how many miles. He’ll soon turn around.

Could I ask you, please, to… paste your paintings into my book.

I-I should like to have them.

I should be honoured.

[Muffled Honking]

The others!

Oh, God.


[Honking Continues]

Oh, how awful! Are we going to get them out?

Quick! Get the other shovel!

[Honking Continues]

Am I a terrible coward to ask how much water we have left?

A little in our can. We have, uh, water in the radiator, which can be drunk.

And, uh, that’s not cowardly at all. It’s extremely practical.

We, uh-Oh, come on! Come on!

[Honking Continues]

There’s also a plant.

I’ve never seen it, but I believe you can cut a piece the size of a heart from this plant, and the next morning it’ll be filled with a delicious liquid.

Find that plant, cut out its heart.

[Honking Continues]


[Men Shouting]

Here’s the window.

Clear the glass. I’ll clear the door. Mind your hands.


It’s okay. We’re here.

Come on, clear it quickly.


Hang on. Coming.

[Shouting In Arabic]

I’ve got it. I’ve got it.

Help them out. Here.




[Flare Fires, Explodes]

[Katharine] Geoffrey’s not in Cairo.

He’s not actually a buffoon.

The plane wasn’t a wedding present.

It belongs to the British government.

They want aerial maps of the whole of North Africa.

So I think he’s in Ethiopia.

In case you’re counting on his sudden appearance.

And the marriage.

Is that a fiction?

No, the marriage isn’t a fiction.

[Men Shouting In Arabic]

Oh, thank God.

[Shouting Continues]

Thank God.

Madox. It’s Madox.


Am I K. in your book?

I think I must be.

[Man] Chapter one.

“He sat in defiance of municipal orders astride the gun Zamzammah–“

I can’t read these words. I can’t read them. They stick in my throat.

[Almasy] Because you’re reading it too fast.

Not at all.

You have to read Kipling slowly.

The eye is too impatient. Think about the speed of his pen.

What is it? “He sat, comma, in defiance of municipal orders, comma, astride the gun Zamzammah… on her brick-” What is it?

“Brick platform, opposite the old Ajaib-Gher.”

“The wonder house, comma, as the natives called the Lahore Museum.”

It’s still there, the cannon, outside the museum.

Made of metal cups and bowls taken from every household in the city as tax, then melted down.

Then later, they fired the cannon at my people, comma, the natives.

Full stop.


What exactly is it you object to?

The writer, or what he’s writing about?

What I really object to, Uncle, is your finishing all my condensed milk.

And the message everywhere in your book, however slowly I read it, that the best thing for lndia is to be ruled by the British.

Hana, we have discovered a shared pleasure, the boy and I.

Arguing about books?

Condensed milk.

One of the truly great inventions.

I’ll get another tin.

I didn’t like that book either. It’s all about men.

Too many men. Just like this house.

You like him, don’t you? Your voice changes.

No, I don’t think it does.

Anyway, he’s indifferent to me.

I don’t think it’s indifference.

Hana was just telling me, you’re indifferent…


…to her cooking.

Well, I’m indifferent to cooking.

Not Hana’s cooking in particular.

Have either of you tried condensed milk sandwiches?


They’re very good with salt.

[Horns Honking]

[People Chattering]


Welcome back, Madam.

Will you not come in?


I should go home.

Will you please come in?

Mrs Clifton.


I believe you still have my book.

Thank you.

[Chanting In Distance]



[Hinges Creak]

You still have sand in your hair.

♪♪ It wouldn’t be make believe ♪♪

♪♪ If you believe in me ♪♪

♪♪ Without your love ♪♪

I’m impressed you can sew.


You sew very badly.

Well, you don’t sew at all.

A woman should never learn to sew, and if she can, she shouldn’t admit to it.


Close your eyes.

It makes it harder still.


When were you most happy?


And when were you least happy?


What do you love?

What do I love?

Say “everything.”

Let’s see.



[Water Splashing]

Fish in it.


And hedgehogs. I love hedgehogs.

And what else?

Marmite. I’m addicted.

And baths. But not with other people.



And your handwriting.


I could go on all day.

Go on all day.

My husband.

And what do you hate most?

A lie.

What do you hate most?


Being owned.

When you leave, you should forget me.

[Hana] Who is this?

[Almasy] Don’t you recognize me?

[Laughing] Is it you? So fat.



That’s a Christmas cracker.


This isn’t your handwriting, is it?

Yes, it is.

“December 22nd. Betrayals in war are childlike… compared with our betrayals during peace. New lovers are nervous and tender… but smash everything. For the heart is an organ of fire.”

“For the heart is an organ of fire.”

I love that.

I believe that.


Who is K?

K… is for Katharine.

[People Chattering]

Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!

Say you’re sick.

What? No.

Say you’re feeling faint. The heat.


I can’t work.

I can’t sleep.



I can’t sleep. I wake up shouting in the middle of the night.

Geoffrey thinks it’s the thing in the desert, trauma.

I can still taste you.

Fill up this. It’s empty.


I try to write, with your taste in my mouth.


I’ll catch you.

Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho!

[Child Y elling]

[Santa Shouting]

[Santa Laughing]

Come along with me now!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Merry Christmas!

Katharine! Oh, my goodness!


[Woman] Fetch a chair.

No, I’m fine.

It’s this heat. It’s terrible.

Is she all right?

She’s quite all right.

Oh, good.

Are you pregnant?

Oh, I don’t think so, no.

[Laughing] How romantic.

With Fiona, I fell over every five minutes.

Ronnie christened me “Lady Downfall.”

Do you know, I think I might go inside and sit down for a few minutes.

I’ll come with you.

No, I’ll be all right. You stay here.

Are you sure?

Music [Bagpipes]

♪♪ Silent night ♪♪

♪♪ Holy night ♪♪

♪♪ All is calm ♪♪

♪♪ All is bright ♪♪

♪♪ Round yon virgin ♪♪

♪♪ And her child ♪♪

♪♪ Silent night ♪♪

♪♪ Holy night ♪♪

♪♪ All is calm ♪♪

♪♪ All is bright ♪♪

♪♪ Sleep in heavenly peace Music

[All] Happy Christmas!

[Men] ♪♪ God save our gracious king ♪♪

Have you seen Katharine?


It’s Clifton under here.


No, I haven’t. Sorry.


♪♪ Send him victorious ♪♪

Darling, I just heard.

You poor sausage. Are you all right?

I’m fine. I’m just too hot.

Lady H thought you might be pregnant.

I’m not pregnant. I’m just hot. Too hot, like you.

I’m sweltering, in fact.

Come on, I’ll take you home.

Can’t we really go home? I can’t breathe.

I am dying for green. Anything green, or rain.

It’s Christmas and it’s all-Oh, I don’t know.

If you asked me, I’d go home tomorrow. If you wanted.

Darling, you know we can’t go home. There might be a war.

Oh, Geoffrey, you do so love a disguise.

I do so love you.


What do you smell of?


Marzipan. I think you’ve got marzipan in your hair.

No wonder you’re homesick.

[Thunder Rumbling]

[Breathing Heavily]

Is it you?


If I said “Moose”–

Moose? Who the hell’s Moose?

I look different.

Why shouldn’t you?

[Thunder Rumbling]

I heard your breathing.

I thought it was the rain. I’m dying for rain.

Well, I’m dying anyway, but I–

I long for the rain on my face.

First wedding anniversary, what do you call it?

Ha, I don’t know. Paper?

Is it? I don’t know.


[Typewriter Clicking]


Darling, it’s me. Listen, I’m sorry, something’s come up.

Oh, no.

Now don’t sulk. I’ll be back tomorrow evening.

I’m going to sulk, and I’m not moving till you get back in.

Promise? That’s good.

Okay, my sausage, I love you.

I didn’t know you were going anywhere.

I’m not.

I’m going to surprise her. It’s our anniversary. She’s forgotten, of course.

What’s the symbol of your first anniversary? I should get something.

Is it cotton or paper?

Your first anniversary? I thought you two’d been married for donkey’s years.

We’ve been friends for donkey’s years. Best friends.

She was always crying on my shoulder about somebody.

I finally persuaded her to settle for my shoulder. A stroke of genius.

Moose, are you there?


First anniversary. Is that cotton?

Uh, is what cotton?

First wedding anniversary.

Your first anniversary is… paper.



S-Stop here.


Just stop right here.

Yes, Sir.

[Katharine Speaking Arabic]

[Chanting In Distance]

Music [Phonograph Plays Foreign Song]

This-What is this?

Music [Continues]

It’s a folk song.


No, no, it’s Hungarian.

My daijka sang it to me.

When I was a child growing up in Budapest.

It’s beautiful.


What’s it about?

Szerelem means love.

And the story-Well, there’s, um, this Hungarian count.

He’s a wanderer. He’s a fool.

And for years he’s on some kind of a quest for… who knows what.

And then one day, he falls under the spell of a mysterious English woman, a harpy, who beats him and hits him.

And he becomes her slave and he sews her clothes and worships–

Stop! Stop it!

Stop! You’re always beating me.



You bastard! I believed you!

You should be my slave.

Music [Song Continues]

I claim this shoulder blade–

No, wait. No, I want-Turn over.

I want this, this-this place.

I love this place. What’s it called?

This is mine.

I’m going to ask the King permission to call it the Almasy Bosphorus.


I thought we were against ownership.

I can stay tonight.

Madox knows, I think.

He keeps talking about Anna Karenina now.

I think it’s his idea of a man-to-man chat.

Well, it’s my idea of a man-to-man chat.

Music [Song Continues]

This is a different world, is what I tell myself.

A different life.

And here I’m a different wife.


Here you are a different wife.

Music [Song Continues]

Oh, they’re darling. What are they? Thimbles?

Yes, and they’re quite old.

It’s full of saffron.

Just in case you think I’m going to give it to you to encourage your sewing.


I don’t care to bargain.

That day, did you follow me to the market?

Yes, of course.

Shall we be all right?




Oh, dear.

♪♪ And dancing cheek to cheek ♪♪

♪♪ Oh, I love to go out fishing ♪♪

[People Chattering]

♪♪ But it doesn’t thrill me half as much ♪♪

♪♪ As dancing cheek to cheek ♪♪

♪♪ Dance with me ♪♪

♪♪ I want my arms about you ♪♪


♪♪ The charm about you ♪♪

♪♪ Will carry me through to heaven ♪♪

♪♪ I’m in heaven ♪♪

♪♪ And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak ♪♪

♪♪ And I seem to find ♪♪

♪♪ The happiness I seek ♪♪

♪♪ When we’re off together dancing cheek to cheek ♪♪

Thought you’d never wake up.


Where did you find that?

I liberated it.

I think that’s called looting.

No one should own music. The real question is: Who wrote the song?

Irving Berlin.


Top Hat.

Is there a song you don’t know?

Nope. He sings all the time.

Good morning. Did you know that? You’re always singing.

I’ve been told before.

Kip’s another one.

[Kip Humming]

Music [Jazz Clarinet]

“Wang Wang Blues.”

You’re incredible.


Good mornin’, Miss.


You saved my life.

I haven’t forgotten.


I thought you were very, very tall.

You seemed so big and… giant.

I felt like a child who can’t keep her balance.

A toddler.

A toddler.

Music [Jazz Continues]



[Humming Continues]

My hair was long at some point.

I’ve forgotten what a nuisance it is to wash.

Try this. I found a great jar of it.

Olive oil.

Thank you.

Is this for my hair?

Yes, for your hair.

Music [Jazz Continues]

There was a general who wore a patch… over a perfectly good eye.

The men fought harder for him.

Music [Jazz Continues]

Sometimes I think I could get up and dance.

What’s under your mittens?

What’s under your mittens?

[Air Raid Siren]

He’s waiting for you.

I’ll see you tonight?


Look, Moose, we need you to stay in Tobruk.

I know it’s a bit of a short straw, but Jerry’s got our maps, you know.

And now they’re getting their spies into Cairo using our maps.

They’ll get Rommel into Cairo using our maps.

The whole of the desert’s like a bloody bus route, and we gave it to ’em!

Any foreigner who turned up:

“Welcome to the Royal Geographic. Take our maps.”

Our Madox went mad, you know.

Did you know Peter Madox?


Magnificent explorer. Thanks, Aicha.

And after he found out he’d been betrayed by Almasy.

His best friend.

Absolutely destroyed the poor sot.

[Explosions, Machine Gun Fire]


[Shouting In German]

[Shouting Continues]

[Man] Hey, Commandant, stay in line!





Hello, little Tommy. Little baby, hello.

Recognize him? British friend?




Get up!


[Soldier] Get up at once!

[Aicha] No, I don’t have a boyfriend.

I don’t know anybody!


No! No!


[Man] David Caravaggio.


This was taken in Cairo at British headquarters.

July ’41.

And so was this.

August ’41. And this.

February ’42.

It’s possible.

I was buying or selling something. I’ve been to Cairo many times.

You are a Canadian spy working for the Allies.

Code name: Moose.

[Telephone Rings]




Can you get me a doctor? I’m sick.


I’m leaking blood!


You want a doctor?

I’ve been askin’ for weeks, months–

We don’t have a doctor.


But we do have a nurse.

Sure, great. A nurse would be great.


Look, give me something. A name, a code.

So we can all get out of this room.

I can’t think in this heat.

It’s too hot.

I slept with a girl.

I’ve got a wife in Tripoli.

A girl comes up and points at you, you only see trouble.

[Man] Fire!


I’ll tell you what I’m going to do.

This is your nurse, by the way.

She’s Muslim, so she’ll understand all of this.

What’s the punishment for adultery? Let’s leave it at that.

You’re married and you were fucking another woman, so that’s, uh–

Is it the hands that are cut off?


Or is that for stealing? Does anyone know?

Well, you must know. You were brought up in Libya, yes?

Don’t cut me.

Or was it Toronto?

[Telephone Rings]

Ten fingers.

How about this?

You give me a name for every finger. It doesn’t matter who.

I get something, you keep something.

I’m trying to be reasonable.

Don’t cut me. Come on!

Are thumbs fingers?


I get no help from these people.


I’m sick of this room, I’m sick of this heat and I’m sick of this phone!






Ah! The Geneva Convention!

Hey, come on! You can’t do that!

Come over here.

I’ll give you names.


I’ll give you names!

Come on!

What names did you say?

Aaah! Aaah! Let me think! Just let me think!

I can’t think! I know them! Please, let me think!

I promise! Oh, please, please, no!

What name did you say? I knew them!

Come on!

I can’t think of any names! Not my hands! Oh, dear God!

What are you waiting for?

Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ, no!

I promise! Oh, please, not my hands!

No! Jesus! Jesus! Oh, dear God!

Please don’t cut me!

Come on!

Aaah! No!

Please don’t cut!

[Screaming] Don’t!

[Caravaggio] The man who took my thumbs?

I found him eventually. I killed him.

The man who took my photograph? I found him too.

That took me a year. He’s dead.

Another man showed the Germans… a way to get their spies into Cairo.

I’ve been looking for him.

[Madox] You can’t get through there. It’s impossible.

[Almasy] I was looking again at Bell’s old maps.

If we can find a way through the Wadi, we can drive straight into Cairo.

This whole spur is a real possibility.

So on Thursday, you don’t trust Bell’s map, Bell was a fool, Bell couldn’t draw a map.

But on Friday, he’s suddenly infallible.

And where are the expedition maps?

In my room.

Those maps belong to His Majesty’s government.

They shouldn’t be left lying around for any Tom, Dick or Harry to have sight of.

What on earth’s the matter with you?

Don’t be so bloody naive! You know there’s a war breaking out!

This arrived this morning.

“By order of the British Government, all international expeditions to be aborted by May, 1939.”

What do they care about our maps?

What do we find in the desert?

Arrowheads, spears.

In a war, if you own the desert, you own North Africa.

Own the desert? Ha!

Um, Madox? That place–

That place at the base of a woman’s throat.

You know, the hollow here.

Does it have an official name?

For God’s sake, man, pull yourself together.

[Announcer] Nowhere is there any wild patriotic excitement, but everywhere there is a deep hatred of war.

The answer lies with one man, and the solid mass of the crowd surging round his car… are a symbol that the British people are more firmly of one mind today… than at any other time in our history.


[Announcer] There’s a great to-do in San Down Bay,

with rowing and sailing, and no end of sport for every water baby.


I can’t-I can’t do this.

I can’t do this. I can’t do this any more.


Music [Women Singing]

I’d better go now.

Say goodbye here.

I’m not agreeing. Don’t think I’m agreeing, because I’m not.

Any minute now, he’ll find out.

We’ll barge into someone. It’ll kill him.

Don’t go over it again, please.

Music [Continues]


I– I just want you to know I’m– I’m not missing you yet.

You will. You will.


[Breathing Heavily]

Music [Jazz]

I believe I’m rather late.

Good. We’re all here.

A toast to the International Sand Club.

May it soon resurface.

[All] The International Sand Club.

The International Sand Club: misfits, buggers, fascists and fools.

God bless us, every one. Oops!

Mustn’t say “International.” Dirty word, filthy word.

His Majesty, die Fuhrer, il duce–

Sorry. What’s your point?

And the people here don’t want us. You must be joking.

Egyptians are desperate to get rid of the colonials. Isn’t that right, Fouad?

Some of their best people getting down on their hands and knees, begging to be spared the Knighthood.

Isn’t that right? Hmm? Isn’t that right, Sir Ronnie?

What’s my point? Oh, I’ve invented a new dance.

Anybody up for it? It’s called–

It’s called the Bosphorus Hug.


Or Bermann? You’ll dance with me? Hmm?

Dag. Come on, Daggers.

Let’s eat first. Sit down.

♪♪ We’ll bathe at Brighton ♪♪

♪♪ The fish you’ll frighten ♪♪

♪♪ When you’re in your bathing suit so thin ♪♪

♪♪ We’ll make the shellfish grin Fin to fin ♪♪

They’re playing it far too slowly, but these were the words, actually, before they were cleaned up.

Might be a song for you, Mrs Clif–

[Madox] You either shut up or go home! You’re completely blasted!

Sit down!

Absolutely right! Shut up! Shut up!

[Almasy] Sorry. Sorry. I’m so sorry.

I can’t think what came over me.

Lashings of apologies… all around.

Music [Continues]


Music [Song Ends]

Thank you.

Music [Slow Song Begins]

Why were you holding his collar?


“What”? That boy. That little boy.

You were holding his collar. You were gripping his collar. What for?

Hmm? Is he next?

Are you going to drag him into your little room? Where is it?

Is this it?

Don’t do this.

I’ve watched you.

I’ve watched you at garden parties, on verandas, at the races.

How can you… stand there?


How can you ever smile, as if your life hadn’t capsized?

You know why?

Dance with me.


Dance with me.

I want to touch you.

I want the things which are mine, which belong to me.

Do you think you’re the only one who feels anything?

Is that what you think?

Music [Continues]

Why don’t you go?

Get some sleep.

Would you like me to?

Good night.

[Door Hinges Creak]



[Children Shouting]

Just wait. Don’t look at anything yet.





[Gasps, Laughs]

Oh, thank you!


If one night I didn’t come to see you, what would you do?

I’d try not to expect you.

Y es, but if it got late and…

I hadn’t shown up?

Then I’d think there must be a reason.

You wouldn’t come to find me?

Hmm. That makes me never want to come here.

Then I’d tell myself, he spends all day searching.

In the night, he wants to be found.

I do. I do want you to find me.

I do want to be found.

I was looking for Lieutenant Singh.

He’s sleeping.

Only we’ve got to go to work.

I’ll tell him.

What is it? Is it a mine?

It’s a bomb by a viaduct.

Does he have to go?

Beg pardon?

What if you couldn’t find him? Sergeant, not today. Not this morning.

What’s happening? Am I needed?

Afraid so, Sir.

Don’t go. I’m frightened.

This is what I do.

I do this every day.


Serial number K-K-I-P…


K-K-I-P 2600, Sir!

I’ll get the oxygen.

[Engines Roaring, People Cheering]

[Distant Rumbling]

Hardy, what’s happening?

[Hardy] Can’t see, Sir! It’s from the road!



Tanks, Sir! I don’t know what it’s about!

Stop ’em!


[Cheering Continues]



Stop! Stop!

What is this, a bloody carnival?

The fuse has snapped!

What’s happened? Is it armed?


[Cheering Continues]

Hang on a second.

I’ll be right with you.

Can you see the detonator, Sir?

You’ve got to cut it, Sir. That frost won’t last.

Stop! Stop! Slow down!

[Cheering Continues]

[Boards Creaking]

Stop! Stop! Slow down!

Go away!

Yes, Sir.

This is making me incredibly angry.

I know, Sir.

Watch out! That’ll burn!


[Cheering Continues]

Can you feel ’em?

[Cheering Continues]

Cut it, Sir.

You’ve gotta cut it!

I don’t even know if this is the right wire.

Choose. Just choose a wire and cut it.

[Tanks Stop]

[Clipping Sound]

[Cheering Continues]

Get a blanket! Dade, get a blanket for Lieutenant!

Sarge! Sarge! It’s over, Sir! It’s over!

Jerry’s surrendered!



Sir, congratulations.

♪♪ Heaven I’m in heaven ♪♪

Kip? Kip?


♪♪ And my heart beats so that I can hardly speak ♪♪

♪♪ And I seem to find the happiness I seek ♪♪

Hey, we’re goin’ home!

♪♪ When we’re out together dancing cheek to cheek ♪♪

[Thunder Rumbling]

It’s raining.


♪♪ And the cares that hung around me through the week ♪♪


♪♪ Seem to vanish like a gambler’s lucky streak ♪♪

♪♪ When we’re out together dancing cheek to cheek ♪♪

♪♪ Oh, I love to climb a mountain ♪♪

♪♪ And to reach the highest peak ♪♪

♪♪ But it doesn’t thrill me half as much ♪♪

♪♪ As dancing cheek to cheek Music

[Shouting, Laughing]

Kip, come and dance with us.


Oh, come on.

[Laughing] Clap now.


Music [Singing in Italian]


[Hardy] Here comes the bomb squad!


Hey, let me handle it!

Go on, Sergeant Hardy!


Bring ’em home!

[People Chanting] Hardy! Hardy! Hardy!


What was that? [Giggling]

[Man Sobbing] I’m never going to forgive myself.

I’m never going to bloody forgive myself.

Sergeant Hardy, Sir. It was booby-trapped.

They was runnin’ up the Union Jack, Sir, up on that statue.

It just went off, Sir.

[Woman Crying]

Sergeant Hardy climbed up, Sir, just for a lark, Sir.

It should’ve been me. It was my idea.

Sir, you don’t wanna look.


Who’s that girl?

His fiancée, Sir.


He kept it a bit dark.


Kip, it’s me.

I’m so sorry about what happened.

Can I talk to you? Kip?

Kip, why won’t you talk to me?

[Whispers] Oh, Kip.

Oh, let me come in!

[Almasy] Hana tells me you’re leaving.

[Caravaggio] There’s going to be trials.

They want me to interpret.

Don’t they know I’m allergic to courtrooms?


I come across the hospital convoy.

They’re looking for this stuff.

This nurse, Mary, tells me about you and Hana… hiding in some monastery in–

What do you call it? Retreat?

How you came out of the desert… and you were burned and you didn’t remember your name, but you knew the words to every song that ever was… and you had one possession: a copy of Herodotus.

And it was filled… with letters and cuttings.

Then I knew it was you.


I saw you… writing in that book at the embassy in Cairo… when I had thumbs and you had a face… and a name.

I see.

Before you went over to the Germans, before you found a way to get Rommel’s spy across the desert and inside British headquarters.

He took some pretty good photographs.

I saw mine in that torture room in Tobruk.

So, it made an impression.

I had to get back to the desert. I’d made a promise.

The rest meant nothing to me.

What did you say?

That the rest… meant nothing to me.

There was a result to what you did.

It wasn’t just another expedition. It did this.

If the British hadn’t unearthed that photographer, thousands of people could have died.

Thousands of people did die. Just different people.

Yes, like Madox.


You know he shot himself, your partner, when he found out you were a spy.


[Breathing Heavily]

Madox thought I was a spy? No.

No, I was never a spy.

It’s ghastly. It’s like a witch hunt.

Anybody remotely foreign is suddenly a spy.

So watch out.


We didn’t care about countries, did we?

Brits, Arabs, Hungarians, Germans–

None of that mattered, did it? It was something finer than that.

Yes, it was.

I’ll leave the plane in Kufra oasis.

So, if you need it–


Hard to know how long one’s talking about.

We might all be back in a month or two.


I have to teach myself not to read too much into everything.

It comes of too long having to read so much into hardly anything at all.

Goodbye, my friend.



There is no God.

But I hope someone looks after you.

In case you’re still wondering, this is called a suprasternal notch.

Come and visit us in Dorset when all this nonsense is over.

You’ll never come to Dorset.

[Caravaggio] So, you didn’t know Madox shot himself.


And you didn’t kill the Cliftons?

[Breathing Heavily]


[Breathing Heavily]


[Breathing Heavily]

She die–

She-I can’t.

Well, maybe I did.

Maybe I did.

[Engine Roaring]

[Almasy] I was packing up our base camp… at the Cave of Swimmers.

Clifton had offered to fly down from Cairo to collect me.

He flew like a madman always, so l-I took no notice.





Dear God, Katharine, what are you doing here?

I can’t get out. I can’t move.

“Surprise,” he said.

Poor Geoffrey.

He knew. He must’ve known all the time.

He was shouting, “I love you, Katharine. I love you so much.”

Is he badly hurt?

I have to get you out.

Please don’t move me.

I have to get you out.

It hurts too much.

I know, darling, I know. I’m sorry.

Come on.

[Grunting] Now!


Why did you hate me?


Don’t you know you drove everybody mad?

Shh. Don’t talk.

You speak so many bloody languages… and you never want to talk.

You’re wearing the thimble.

Of course.

You idiot.

I always wear it. I’ve always worn it.

I’ve always loved you.

It’s so cold.

I know. I’m sorry.

I’ll make a fire.

Did you get Geoffrey out of the plane?

Yes, I did.

Good. That’s good. Thank you.

Listen to me, Katharine.

You’ve broken your ankle… and I’m going to have to try and bind it.

I think you’ve also broken your wrist… and maybe some ribs, which is why it’s hurting you to breathe.

I’m going to have to walk to El Taj.

Although, given all the traffic in the desert these days, I’m bound to bump into one army or another.

And then I’ll come back and you’ll be fine.

You promise?

I wouldn’t want to die here.

I don’t want to die in the desert.

I’ve always had a rather elaborate funeral in mind.

Particular hymns.

And I know exactly where I want to be buried.

In our garden, where I grew up… with a view of the sea.

So promise me you’ll come back for me.

I promise… I’ll come back for you.

I promise… I’ll never leave you.

You have plenty of water… and, um, food.

I’ll open them for you.

A good read.

Don’t waste this.

Will you bury Geoffrey?

I know he’s dead.

I’m sorry, Katharine.

I know.

Every night…

I cut out my heart.

But in the morning it was full again.


My darling.

[Almasy Muttering]

♪♪ You’d better be ready about half past 8:00 ♪♪

♪♪ Now, honey Don’t you be late ♪♪

♪♪ I’m going to be there when the band starts playing ♪♪

♪♪ Remember When we get there, honey ♪♪

♪♪ An invitation to the strutter’s ball ♪♪

♪♪ A very swell affair ♪♪

♪♪ All the highbrows will be there ♪♪

♪♪ I’ll be down to get you in a taxi, honey ♪♪

[Almasy] I stopped at noon and at twilight.

Three days there on foot, I told her, and three hours back by car.

Don’t go anywhere.

I’ll be back.

I’ll be back.


Just walked in from the desert, Sir.


Dear golly, where have you come from then?

There’s been an accident.

I need a doctor… to come with me, and I need to borrow this car.

I’ll pay, of course.

And I need-I need morphine.

May I see your papers, Sir?


If I could just see some form of identification.

I’m sorry, I’m not making sense. Forgive me, l-I’m not–

I’ve been walking and–

A woman is badly injured at the Gilf Kabir, the Cave of Swimmers.

I’m a member of the Royal Geographical Society.

Right. [Clears Throat]

Now, if I could… just take your name.

Count Laszlo de Almasy.

“Almasy.” Would you mind spelling that for me?

Look, listen to me, will you?

What nationality would that be?

A woman is dying. My wife is dying.

I have been… walking– I have been walking for three days.

I do not want to spell my name.

I want you to give me this car.

I understand you’re agitated.

Perhaps if you’d like to sit down, I can radio back to HQ.

No. No, don’t-Don’t radio anybody!

Just give me the fucking car!


Stop the car, please. A woman is dying!

Listen, Fritz, if I have to listen to another word from you, I’m going to give you a fucking good hiding!

Fritz? What are you talking about, Fritz?

Well, that’s your name, isn’t it?

Count Fuckin’ Asshole Von Bismarck!

What’s that supposed to be, Irish?


You have to listen! Katharine!



Excuse me.

I also need to use the lavatory.

You’ll have to wait.

It’s urgent.


Sarge, Jerry wants to use the lav.

Says it’s urgent.

Where are we going, please?

Oh, up north to the coast.

Benghazi. Soon be there.

You can get your boat back home then.

All right, go on then. Here, you take him.

I’ve been up and down this bloody train all day.

It doesn’t open.



So yes, she died because of me.

Because I loved her.

Because I– Because I had the wrong name.

And you never got back to the cave?

I did get back.

I kept my promise.

[Almasy] I was assisted by the Germans.

There was a-a trade.

I had our expedition maps.

And after the British made me their enemy,

I gave their enemy our maps.


So I got back to the desert… and to Katharine… in Madox’s English plane… with German gasoline.

When I arrived in Italy, on my medical chart they wrote, “English Patient.”

Isn’t that funny?

After all that, I became English.

You get to the morning and the poison leaks away, doesn’t it?

Black nights.

I thought I would kill you.

You can’t kill me.

I died years ago.

No, I can’t kill you now.

We’ve been posted. North of Florence.

I was thinking yesterday–


The patient and Hardy.

They’re everything that’s good about England.

I couldn’t even say what that was.

We didn’t exchange two personal words, and we’ve been together through some terrible things.

Some terrible things.

He was engaged to a girl in the village.

I mean–

And us, he never once–

He didn’t ask me if I could spin the ball at cricket or kama sutra or–

I don’t even know what I’m talking about.

You loved him.


I’m still here.

You’d better be.

Don’t depend on it, will you?

That little bit of air in my lungs, each day it gets less and less.

Which is all right.

It’s quite all right.

I’ve been speaking to Caravaggio, my research assistant.

He tells me there’s a ghost in the cloisters.

I can join him.

[Horn Honking]

[Kip] Hana!

It’s the boy.

I’ll always go back to that church.

Look at my paintings.

I’ll always go back to that church.

So one day we’ll meet.

[Engine Starts]


Thank you.


Read to me, will you?


Read me to sleep.

[Hana] “My darling, I’m waiting for you. How long is a day in the dark? Or a week? The fire is gone now… and I’m horr-horribly cold.”

[Katharine] I really ought to drag myself outside, but then there’d be the sun.

I’m afraid I waste the light… on the paintings and on writing these words.

We die.

“We die. We die rich with lovers and tribes, tastes we have swallowed, bodies we have entered… and swum up like rivers.”

[Katharine] Fears we’ve hidden in,

Iike this wretched cave.

I want all this marked on my body.

We’re the real countries.

Not the boundaries drawn on maps, the names of powerful men.

I know you’ll come and carry me out into the palace of winds.

That’s all I’ve wanted, to walk in such a place with you, with friends.

An Earth without maps.

“The lamp’s gone out, and I’m writing… in the darkness.”

[Door Opens]

[Caravaggio] Hana?

Hana, come on!

Hana, this is Gioia.

Buon giorno.

Buon giorno.

She’ll take you as far as Florence.

I can get in back.

[Engine Revving]


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