THE ENGLISH PATIENT
Based on the Novel by
Revised Draft ( )
28th August, 1995
Copyright 1995 The Saul Zaentz Company
1 EXT. LATE 1942. THE SAHARA DESERT. DAY.
SILENCE. THE DESERT seen from the air. An ocean of dunes for mile
after mile. The late sun turns the sand every color from crimson to
An old AEROPLANE is flying over the Sahara. Its shadow swims over the
contours of sand.
A woman's voice begins to sing unaccompanied on the track. Szerelem,
szerelem, she cries, in a haunting lament for her loved one.
INSIDE the aeroplane are two figures. One, A WOMAN, seems to be
asleep. Her pale head rests against the side of the cockpit. THE
PILOT, a man, wears goggles and a leather helmet. He is singing, too,
but we can't hear him or the plane or anything save the singer's
The plane shudders over a ridge. Beneath it A SUDDEN CLUSTER OF MEN
AND MACHINES, camouflage nets draped over the sprawl of gasoline tanks
and armored vehicles. An OFFICER, GERMAN, focuses his field glasses.
The glasses pick out the MARKINGS on the plane. They are English. An
ANTI-AIRCRAFT GUN swivels furiously.
Shocking bursts of GUNFIRE. Explosions rock the plane, which lurches
violently. THE WOMAN SLUMPS FORWARD, slamming her head against the
instruments. The pilot grabs her, pulls her back, but she's not
conscious. The fuel tank above their heads is punctured. It sprays
them both, then EXPLODES.
THE MAN FALLS OUT OF THE SKY, clinging to his dead lover. The are both
ON FIRE. She is wrapped in a parachute silk and it burns fiercely. He
looks up to see the flames licking at his own parachute as it carries
them slowly to earth. Even his helmet is on fire, but the man makes no
sound as the flames erase all that matters - his name, his...