Study Guide

The English Patient Shock Rating

Shock Rating

R

We compared The English Patient to Casablanca when discussing the film's genre, but The English Patient has two things Casablanca didn't—sex and violence. And sex. And violence.

Made fifty years after Casablanca, The English Patient doesn't have a Hollywood censorship board hanging over its head. But that doesn't mean it goes overboard in either area.

Most of the violence is only hinted at. The most gruesome scene is Caravaggio's thumbs being cut off, but we only see the razor blade as it starts to sever one thumb. In other violent scenes, bloody bodies are shown after an explosion, but not as they blow to bits.

The film also saves its more private moments for off-screen. There are no on-screen sex scenes in The English Patient, although Almásy and Katharine do get pretty heated in one fully clothed scene in a hallway. There are moments of nudity, but they occur after scenes of sexytimes, and as characters talk about love. Their nudity goes hand in hand with their naked emotions on display.

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