Study Guide

The English Patient

The English Patient Summary

A man and a woman fly over Egypt in a plane. The plane is hit by gunfire and goes down.

The man's charred body is dragged from the wreckage by a tribe of people in the desert, and they do their best to heal him.

We don't see the woman.

Elsewhere, a woman named Hana is a nurse for the Allied forces during World War II. She learns that her boyfriend, a soldier, has been killed. Then, when her nurse friend Jan is killed when her jeep hits a landmine, Hana thinks she's cursed—everyone she loves dies.

Flash-forward to 1944 in the Italian countryside. The war is almost over, and Hana is part of a medical caravan tending to wounded soldiers. One of the wounded is the burned man, but no one knows his name or where he came from. It's painful for him to be moved in and out of the caravan, so Hana decides to take him to a nearby monastery to tend to him until he dies.

For a while, Hana and her English patient are by themselves. Hana repairs some stairs, plants a garden, and reads to the patient. But the two are soon joined by David Caravaggio (a thumbless thief who believes he knows the patient's identity) and Kip Singh (a Sikh minesweeper who catches Hana's eye).

Over time, the patient reveals his story:

His name is Count Laszlo de Almásy. He was a Hungarian mapmaker in Egypt before the war, but he had a fatal attraction to a married woman: Katharine Clifton. 

Katharine accompanied Almásy to a geological discovery, the Cave of Swimmers. On their way back to Cairo, they were caught in a sandstorm and spent the night in the jeep talking about winds. (It's super romantic—take our word for it.) The next day, Katharine went to Almásy's hotel room, and they began their passionate affair. But Katharine felt guilty. She tried to break it off with Almásy, but he became angry and jealous and cruel to her. Yeah, he was more of a Count Dracula than a Prince Charming.

Back in the present, Hana starts her own affair with Kip, the minesweeper. One day, he's called to defuse a mine—it almost explodes, but he dismantles it at the last second. Maybe Hana's curse is broken…

...or maybe it's just on the fritz. Kip's sergeant is killed by a booby-trapped statue when celebrating Germany's surrender. Wracked with sorrow and guilt, Kip leaves the monastery, and Hana hopes she will see him again someday.

Meanwhile, in the patient's room, Caravaggio accuses Almásy of being a traitor, luring the Germans to Egypt. Because of this, a sadistic German general cut off his thumbs. Almásy doesn't deny it. He tells Caravaggio what really happened: when war broke out, the Royal Geographic Society had to leave Egypt. Translation: no more maps. Almásy made one last mission, and the plan was for him to be picked up by Katharine's husband, Geoffrey, in his plane.

Geoffrey had other plans. 

Having discovered Katharine and Almásy's affair—even though it had been broken off by that point—Geoffrey tried to crash his plane into Almásy. But, uh, he missed and died in the crash. Katharine was in the plane and was severely injured. With Katharine unable to walk, Almásy stored her with food and water in the Cave of Swimmers. He set off for the nearest village for help.

When he got there, the town was under British occupation. The soldiers demanded identification, but Almásy had none (duh). Because of his name, they thought he was German, and they arrested him. Almásy escaped from the POW train and traded maps to the Germans in exchange for passage back to Cairo. He returned to the Cave of Swimmers, where Katharine had died. Almásy carried her from the cave and into his German plane… 

...which takes us back to the beginning of the movie.

Almásy wants to die, so Hana gives him an overdose of morphine. One thing Almásy kept throughout the years is a history book that doubles as a scrapbook. Inside it, Katharine wrote her last words as she lay dying in the cave. Hana reads these last words to Almásy as he dies.

Caravaggio finds a truck to take Hana to the Italian city, where her medical caravan is waiting. She climbs in the back of the truck with a child and rides through the green Italian countryside, enjoying the wind and the sun and the sensation of being alive. 

The (teary) end.

  • Scene 1

    Scene 1

    • A woman sings in Hungarian as a brush paints calligraphy on a piece of parchment paper. (We don't know about you, but this is how we begin our day every morning.)
    • As the singing ends, what looked like calligraphy actually might be a person?
    • And the texture of the paper fades into a sweeping aerial shot of rolling sand dunes.
    • A man flies above the dunes in a little propeller plane, with a woman in white sleeping (or is she sleeping) in the front seat.
    • Down in the desert, soldiers with anti-aircraft guns pepper the plane with gunfire.
    • That turns the plane into planefire, and the flames consume the pilot. Yikes. That isn't in the safety brochure in the seat back pocket.
  • Scene 2

    Scene 2

    • Hello, nurse! A nurse tends to wounded soldiers on a train.
    • One of the soldiers wants a kiss from the nurse. He's cute, so she kisses him.
    • Next thing she knows, all the soldiers want a smooch.
    • Meanwhile, back in the desert, the pilot is dragged from the plane's wreckage by some local men on camels.
    • The poor pilot is quite the crispy critter, and someone covers his burned face with cloth and some burlap to protect what's left of his skin.
    • Onto the camel he goes, and the caravan of camels goes humping across the desert.
    • Back at the medical camp, a dying soldier wants to see someone from Picton, his Canadian hometown, before he dies.
    • The pretty nurse from before asks if the soldier knows Captain McGann, and the wounded boy says the captain is dead.
    • Before the nurse can react, the camp is hit with bombs.
    • The nurse collapses into the mud crying, "He's dead! He's dead!" We guess she knew him.
  • Scene 3

    Scene 3

    • The Arabs have put the burned man in a cave.
    • A medicine man comes in and unwraps the burned man, like you'd peel the plastic off a stick of beef jerky.
    • He rubs a soothing mud on the man's burned face…
    • And we fast forward to October 1944, in Italy.
    • Someone is interviewing the burned man, who looks less like Freddy Kruger now and more like Voldemort. Oh, hey Ralph Fiennes.
    • The burned man doesn't remember his past very well.
    • The pretty nurse from before offers him a sip of water.
    • He admires how pretty she is through the one eye that isn't swollen shut.
    • The burned man remembers a garden. He thinks he was married, and it was his wife's garden.
    • But he doesn't remember much else before he became "a bit of toast." Spread some marmalade on him, he's done.
  • Scene 4

    Scene 4

    • The burned man is being moved in a medical caravan. These trucks are a rougher ride than the camels that rescued the man.
    • We learn the pretty nurse's name is Hana when one of her colleagues, Jan, asks Hana for money to buy fabric in town.
    • Hana gives Jan a small wad of cash… and then Jan's jeep hits a landmine and blows up. Jeepers.
    • Hana runs toward the wreckage, sobbing, but Jan is dead.
    • Men with metal detectors sweep the road for landmines before continuing.
    • One of the men finds something.
    • He pulls out a sword and digs into the dirt gently, finding the landmine trigger.
    • Hana, delirious with grief, wanders into the middle of the minefield, despite everyone yelling at her to stop.
    • One of the men grabs her and yells at her. "What the bloody hell do you think you're doing?"
    • She answers him by pointing out Jan's bracelet in the road. It's all that's left of her friend.
    • Hana returns to the caravan as the man digs up the landmine.
  • Scene 5

    Scene 5

    • Back at the makeshift camp, Hana tends to our burned man. She's mad they have to keep moving him. He's dying and the move is hard on him. Hana is an A+ nurse.
    • Hana thinks she is cursed, because all her friends have died in the war.
    • She gives the burn victim some morphine, and then takes a hike to large monastery nearby.
    • The monastery has been hit with a bomb. Books are everywhere, and walls are destroyed.
    • But the bedroom is in good shape.
    • She doesn't want to keep moving the burn victim, so she'll move him to this safe place and stay with him until he dies.
    • She will catch up with her caravan when he dies.
    • Soldiers move the burn victim into the bed.
    • In another room, Hana gives herself a haircut. Then she gathers some books, not for reading, but to use as makeshift stairs in the broken staircase.
    • Sloppy Joe wants Hana to read to him, but all the books are in Italian. He's the English patient, after all.
    • But he has a book of Herodotus, so she'll read that to him.
    • She also feeds him some sweet plums from the orchard.
    • "It's a very plum plum," he says. He's a regular William Carlos Williams, isn't he?
  • Scene 6

    Scene 6

    • Hana showers in a spigot outside.
    • Inside, the burned man flips through his book. There are pictures and drawings inside.
    • They prompt a flashback:
    • The burned man, who isn't burned in the flashback, is speaking in Arabic to a man in order to understand the lay of the land, and to sketch it in his notebook.
    • In the desert, a yellow plane lands. It's piloted by Geoffrey Clifton with his wife, Katharine.
    • Katharine is the sleeping woman from the plane's first scene—what happened to her after the plane was shot down?
    • All these men seem to be part of what they call the "International Sand Club." Anakin Skywalker would hate that club.
    • The men hang out in a tent and drink wine. Clifton introduces himself to the man who will later be called the English patient. We finally learn his name: Almásy.
    • Count Almásy to be precise. He meets Katharine, who has read his writing before, and she admires his lack of adjectives.
    • Out in the desert, Almásy complains to his buddy Madox about Clifton. He doesn't like him.
    • Madox and Almásy board a plane and fly out over the landscape.
  • Scene 7

    Scene 7

    • Clifton's little yellow plane, the Rupert Bear, joins Almásy in the sky, and Almásy prompts Clifton to take photographs of the landscape.
    • Clifton shows off a bit. How? How else? He does a barrel roll.
    • And we're back in the present, where Almásy is burned to a crisp and being attended to by Hana.
    • Almásy wants to know why Hana wants to keep him alive.
    • "Because I'm a nurse," she says.
    • Even though she's an adult woman, there isn't much to do in the middle of nowhere, so she plays hopscotch on the cobblestones behind the monastery.
    • The sound of Hana hopping scotches outside reminds Almásy of a night spent around the fire with the members of the International Sand Club.
    • Back in the present, Hana reads to Almásy, and it's the same story that Katharine told the men around the fire in the past.
    • Almásy thinks of Katharine telling the story.
    • She looks at Almásy the whole time, and he seems to be enraptured by her.
    • Her husband interrupts the story with a joke, but Almásy doesn't laugh.
    • The story is about a queen who convinces an admirer to kill her husband. The lover does, and he becomes king.
    • Back in the present, it's late, and Almásy falls asleep.
  • Scene 8

    Scene 8

    • Hana, feeling cursed, wanders into the garden to find the meager crops being destroyed by crows.
    • While dragging an iron cross to the garden, a man introduces himself at the gate: David Caravaggio.
    • He met a nurse friend of hers, and she advised him to check in on her.
    • He's actually from Montreal, like Hana is.
    • He brought her some eggs, but he drops one. He's all thumbs. Actually, he's no thumbs. They've both been cut off.
    • In the kitchen, Hana takes the remaining egg and whips it up.
    • When her back is turned, David steals two vials of morphine from a box on the table.
    • David asks if he can stay at the monastery. Maybe sleep in the stable. He is a thief, who was hired by the Allies to steal documents during the war.
    • Hana doesn't want him there, but she seems to relent because he sticks around.
    • She takes an omelet to Almásy, and she tells him about David… who is eavesdropping right outside the room. How suspicious.
    • He comes in and introduces himself, and Hana leaves Caravaggio with Almásy.
    • Caravaggio doesn't believe Almásy could forget his own name, mainly because Caravaggio knows who Almásy is.
    • "Count Almásy. That name mean anything to you? Or Katharine Clifton?" Whoa…
  • Scene 9

    Scene 9

    • After Caravaggio reveals Almásy's identity, we go into another flashback.
    • Katharine is walking through a marketplace in Cairo.
    • She's bought an afghan and Almásy tells her she's been cheated.
    • He tries to continue conversing with her, but she leaves him.
    • Later, all the men sit in a bar in their formal wear.
    • The men go outside to sit with Katharine, because women aren't allowed in the bar.
    • With Katharine now in the group, the men discuss that they're having trouble gathering funds for their expedition.
    • All the men say that they're married… except Almásy, who is single.
    • That night, there is a dance, and Almásy slow dances with Katharine while her husband looks on with jealousy in his eyes.
    • Katharine wants to know why Almásy followed her from the market to the hotel.
    • He said he felt obliged for her safety.
    • Then they dance and he looks at her intently. She looks back intently. He looks back intently. The whole thing is pretty hot, to be honest.
  • Scene 10

    Scene 10

    • In the present, Hana has fallen asleep while reading to Almásy.
    • She wakes up and walks to the bathroom to wash herself with a jug of water.
    • Seeing her own reflection, she cries.
    • Caravaggio hears her crying and checks on Hana. She tells him to leave her alone.
    • He pours some of Hana's washing water from the jug into a glass, but doesn't leave her alone.
    • He wants to know if she's in love with her English patient.
    • She denies it. "I'm in love with ghosts," she says. "So is he."
    • Caravaggio says that Almásy is the man who cut off his thumbs: "Ask him who he's killed."
    • She cries more and begs Caravaggio to not creep around the monastery.
    • But the creeper says that Almásy doesn't have amnesia. He willingly wants to forget.
  • Scene 11

    Scene 11

    • Flashback time!
    • Katharine has pulled off some "fundraising heroics" and the men are doing a toast to mapmaking.
    • She seems to have traded her husband's photography skills to a brigadier.
    • Clifton returns to Cairo to photograph the brigadier, leaving Katharine in the desert with all the menfolk.
    • Almásy asks him if it's appropriate to leave her. The desert might be too tough for Katharine's fragility.
    • Clifton trusts his wife completely, though. (Bad call, Clifton.)
    • In the present, Hana uncovers the piano, which has tipped over, but is still playable.
    • She tickles the ivories while Caravaggio tickles his veins with morphine.
    • Hana's piano playing attracts a soldier who runs up and fires a gun to get her to stop playing.
    • According to him, the pianos were a favorite hiding place for landmines.
    • It's the guy who found the landmine from before. He sweeps the piano for a mine.
    • And O-M-G, he finds explosives under the piano.
    • He wants Hana to move out because the building could be riddled with mines.
    • Hana says she will marry the Sikh, because her mother always told her she would summon her husband by playing piano.
    • Almásy suggests they charge rent now that Caravaggio, the Sikh, and his soldiers are staying with them.
    • The next day, Hana tends to her garden as the Sikh rides away on a motorcycle.
  • Scene 12

    Scene 12

    • Flashback time again.
    • Katharine and Almásy are riding in a jeep, and Katharine wonders why a count like Almásy is in the desert.
    • Almásy reminisces aloud about time spend with a guide who didn't talk for nine hours.
    • In other words: Katharine, shut up.
    • So Katharine pokes fun at Almásy for singing.
    • They reach their destination, and their guides stop to pray.
    • While they pray, Almásy hikes some nearby rocks, where he finds a cave.
    • Inside the cavern, Almásy smiles bigger than we've seen him smile before, but we don't see what he sees.
    • He runs outside and calls for Madox who follows him in. What's in there?
    • There are cave paintings—drawings of people swimming through the air.
    • Katharine sits down and copies some of the drawings into her notebook.
    • Almásy observes one of his buddies, Bermann, flirting with a local boy, Kamal.
    • In the jeep on the way back to camp, Bermann continues flirting with Kamal, who rides on top of the jeep, by having him hang over and feeding him fruit. It's like Spiderman and Mary Jane in that famous upside-down kiss.
    • Except Kamal falls off the jeep and rolls down a sand dune.
    • Bermann spins the wheel, and the jeep tumbles down the dune, followed by the next jeep.
    • Madox and Katharine drive of to get supplies to repair the broken vehicles and get medical attention for a man who is hurt.
    • But their Jeep is stuck in a rut—the Jeep is too heavy. Katharine offers to stay behind to reduce the weight of the vehicle.
    • At their makeshift camp, Katharine gives Almásy the small replicas she made of the cave paintings.
    • But he tells her he doesn't want them. Jerk.
    • She insists.
    • He refuses again, saying he only keeps a scrapbook, and her drawings are too good for it. Oh, maybe he's not a jerk after all.
    • She is still insulted that he won't take them, and she walks away.
  • Scene 13

    Scene 13

    • At night, Katharine sits on the dunes and smokes.
    • Almásy implores her to come into the shelter: a sandstorm is coming.
    • Everyone hides from the sandstorm inside the tipped-over jeeps.
    • Almásy and Katharine find themselves in the same jeep, and he assures them they'll be alright. She doesn't exactly believe him.
    • Almásy entertains Katharine by telling her about winds from around the world. We see him hosting a reality show: Wild World of Winds.
    • Oh, and while he's telling her about those winds he's stroking her hair.
    • In the morning, the jeep is almost entirely covered with sand.
    • Almásy runs outside the jeep and shoots a flare into the sky to attract the attention of Madox's jeep.
    • But Madox doesn't see it. And their tracks have disappeared.
    • Almásy tells Katharine that Madox will turn around. Then he asks Katharine to paste her drawings into his book.
    • That romantic moment is interrupted by the honking of a jeep's horn—the rest of the men are completely buried.
    • Katharine and Almásy grab shovels to dig them out.
    • They reach the door and pull the other men out.
    • Katharine explores Almásy's book while the men dig for their water canteens in the sand.
    • She finds some of Almásy's writings inside the book, and sees that he is writing about her. A lot.
    • Night falls, and Katharine tells Almásy the truth: that Geoffrey is working for the British government to map all of North Africa.
    • Almásy asks if the marriage is "a fiction," and Katharine denies it.
    • The shoot up another flare, and Madox rescues them.
    • Katharine asks if she is the "K" in Almásy's book, and he touches her face tenderly.
    • Bow chicka bow bow.
  • Scene 14

    Scene 14

    • Back in the present, Kip reads to Almásy, while Hana makes food.
    • As an Indian man, Kip doesn't agree with anything Kipling has to say.
    • Hana doesn't like Kipling, because he only writes about men.
    • Almásy notes that Hana is crushing on Kip, but then he detours into another flashback.
    • He and Katharine arrive safely in Cairo after being stuck in the sandstorm.
    • Katharine invites Almásy into her hotel, but he declines. "Mrs. Clifton," he calls her. And he gets his book back form her. Burn.
    • Back in his own room, he lies face-down on the bed as someone knocks at his door.
    • He doesn't answer, so his visitor, Katharine, lets herself in.
    • Almásy rises to greet her, and she slaps him full-on across the face. Bam!
    • He embraces her, and the two kiss. She says he still has sand in his hair. He rips her dress off. Maybe he's just checking for sand?
    • Flash forward a bit, and Almásy is in the bathtub sewing her dress back together.
    • Katharine joins him in the tub and washes his hair.
    • It's going nice and all romantic like, until he tells her that when she leaves, she should forget him.
    • That moment is now. She gets out of the tub and leaves.
  • Scene 15

    Scene 15

    • Back in the present, Hana finds a picture of young Almásy in his book, along with notes he's taken.
    • It's one his notes about Katharine, which gets him flashbacking about her again.
    • He told her to forget him, yet he's trying to seduce her again. Mixed messages, dude.
    • This is during a Christmas party for soldiers in the desert, complete with a Santa Claus.
    • Katharine pretends to faint, so that she can sneak off and get it on with Almásy.
    • One of the ladies at the party thinks Katharine is pregnant, but she denies it.
    • In she goes, up to Almásy's room. We don't think he's going to help her cool off.
    • He undresses her as the men outside sing "Silent Night."
    • After their rendezvous, Santa asks Almásy if he's seen Katharine! (He should ask if they've been naughty or nice…)
    • Santa is Clifton, Katharine's husband, and he finds her resting in a dark corner.
    • He says he'll take her home, but she wants to go home-home, back to England.
    • That's not going to happen.
    • He kisses her, and he thinks she smells like marzipan. We're guessing that Almásy's sweat smells like almonds?
  • Scene 16

    Scene 16

    • In the present, Caravaggio wakes Almásy.
    • He is still trying to figure out if Almásy is who he thinks he is. He asks if the word "Moose" means anything. Who is he really, Bullwinkle?
    • Then for some reason, he asks Almásy what the traditional gift is for a first wedding anniversary. Is it paper?
    • This question prompts another patented Almásy flashback.
    • Or is this a Caravaggio flashback? In it, Clifton asks a man named Moose what the gift is for a first wedding anniversary—paper or cotton?
    • Moose enters… and it's Caravaggio. With thumbs.
    • Moose… Caravaggio… Caramoosio confirms the gift is paper.
    • Clifton is going to surprise Katharine with a gift, when he sees her getting into a car and going somewhere that is definitely not their place.
    • She's going to Almásy's bedroom, of course.
    • In bed, Almásy tells Katharine a folk story that turns out to be about him and Katharine.
    • She slaps him for being cheeky.
    • He tells Katharine he wants to claim one small part of her body— the little nook at the base of her neck. He will call it the Almásy Bosphorous.
    • She spends the night in his bed. Her husband is still waiting outside in the car for her to return.
    • The next day, she goes shopping with Almásy in the market and they secretly hold hands.
    • She returns home, and it doesn't seem like her husband has gotten out of the car yet.
    • This isn't going to be good.
  • Scene 17

    Scene 17

    • Back in the present, Caramoosio is playing records.
    • Hana goes to visit Kip in the yard, conveniently while he's shirtless and washing his hair.
    • She brings him a cup of olive oil for his long hair.
    • Inside, Caramoosio and Almásy are still listening to music, which prompts a flashback but June 1942.
    • Sirens are going off. An officer tells Moose is needs to stay in Cairo.
    • The officer tells Moose that Madox was betrayed by his best friend: Almásy.
    • German soldiers ride into Cairo in tanks. Ships burn in the harbor.
    • Caramoosio is captured and interrogated. The German know he is a Canadian spy working for the allies. His name is actually David Caravaggio. Codename: Moose. Because he's Canadian. Maple Syrup was already taken as a codename.
    • It seems Caravaggio has been prisoner for a while.
    • He asks to see a doctor.
    • The German soldier wants information from Caravaggio so they can all go home.
    • The nurse is brought in, and the German tells Caravaggio he will cut off all his fingers.
    • He forces the nurse to cut off his thumbs. Yeesh.
    • Back in the present, Caravaggio has exposed his thumb stumps.
    • He tells Almásy that he killed the German who removed his thumbs. He killed the person who photographed him and exposed him as a spy.
    • But there was another man who led the Germans to Cairo, and Caravaggio wants to kill him next. Could that be Almásy?
  • Scene 18

    Scene 18

    • Back in the past, Almásy talks to Madox about maps.
    • It's before the war, and Madox is nervous.
    • He received a note to abort all international expeditions by May 1939.
    • Almásy doesn't understand why Cairo is important.
    • Madox tells him it's important, whoever occupies Cairo owns North Africa.
    • Unconcerned, Almásy asks Madox if the hollow at the base of a woman's throat has a name.
    • Madox tells him, "For god's sake man, pull yourself together." Almásy is looking pretty haunted and lovesick.
    • Katharine watches a news reel about Britain entering the war.
    • Almásy joins her in the theater.
    • She tells him, "I can't do this. I can't do this. I can't do this anymore." Translation: she can't do this anymore.
    • They go under the bleachers, and she tells Almásy she wants to break off their affair. She's afraid her husband will soon find out.
    • He tells her that he's not missing her yet. "You will," she says, then she walks right into an iron bar and clunks her head. We thought this was The English Patient, not a Looney Tunes cartoon.
    • Later, Almásy, who is either drunk or really angry, gives an offensive toast at a dinner for the International Sand Club.
    • He says the Egyptians are desperate to be rid of them.
    • Then he starts singing and dancing while everyone looks at him, mortified.
    • Madox tries to get him to go home, He doesn't, but he does sit down and shut up.
    • Later, everyone dances, while Almásy creeps on them through a window.
    • He confronts Katharine when she goes to the hallway.
    • He accuses her of seducing the man she was dancing with.
    • He doesn't understand how she could possibly go on without him.
    • She tells him he's not the only one who feels anything, and she stomps away.
  • Scene 19

    Scene 19

    • Hana is watching over Voldemort when he wakes up and tells her to get some sleep.
    • She leaves the room and finds a trail of burning candles, which lead her outside and to the barn, where Kip is waiting for her.
    • He takes her to the city on his motorbike, and he takes her to a building.
    • Inside the building, he puts a harness on her and raises her into the air to see the beautiful murals on the walls.
    • He lowers her to the ground and then…
    • We fade forward a bit to Hana and Kip lying naked in a bed together.
    • She asks what he would do if she didn't show up one night.
    • He says he wouldn't worry.
    • She wonders why he wouldn't come to find her. "That makes me never want to come here."
    • But then she says he spends all day searching (for landmines), and at night he wants to be found.
    • In the morning, Hardy, the sergeant, fetches him to disarm a bomb.
    • Hana doesn't want him to go. She's frightened, because of her curse.
    • At the aquaduct, Kip lowers himself down to where the bomb is to examine it.
    • As he is disarming it, Hana rides her bike to the city.
    • American soldiers ride by on tanks, celebrating.
    • The vibration of the tanks shakes the bomb and knocks Kip's tools into the water.
    • Kip's comrades try to stop the tanks, but they keep riding by.
    • Kip finds his wire cutters and cuts a wire just in time. Phew. The bomb is disarmed.
    • Hana and Kip join the Americans, who are celebrating because Germany has surrendered.
  • Scene 20

    Scene 20

    • That night, it storms.
    • Caravaggio, Kip, Hardy, and Hana carry Almásy into the rain so he can feel it.
    • They play records and have a dance party.
    • In the town, Hardy climbs a ladder and poses with a statue.
    • Back at the monastery, Kip hears an explosion, and he runs to his motorbike.
    • When he arrives in town, he sees there was a booby trap. The statue had a bomb on it.
    • Sergeant Hardy is dead.
    • Back at the monastery, Kip shuts himself in the barn and mourns alone.
    • Hana talks to him through the door, saying she's sorry for what happened.
    • But Kip won't answer her.
    • Later, Hana listens in as Almásy and Caravaggio talk again.
    • Caravaggio is leaving soon, to be an interpreter.
    • He tells the story of how he found Hana and Almásy at the monastery.
    • Caravaggio says he saw Almásy writing in his book in Cairo, "When I had thumbs and you had a face… and a name."
    • Then he accuses him of leading the Germans into British headquarters.
    • Almásy says he did it because he "had to get back to the desert."
    • Nothing else meant a thing to him.
    • Caravaggio tells him his actions had results—and holds up his thumb stumps.
    • And he says that thousands of people died. Plus, Madox shot himself when he found out Almásy was a spy.
    • Almásy is upset. He says he was never a spy! Time for another flashback: what does he spy with his little eyes?
  • Scene 21

    Scene 21

    • After Caravaggio accuses Almásy of being a spy, Almásy has a flashback.
    • Madox says goodbye to Almásy as he is planning to leave Cairo.
    • Before he leaves, he tells Almásy that the hollow at the base of the neck is a "supersternal notch."
    • Back in the present, Caravaggio asks Almásy if he killed the Cliftons.
    • Almásy denies that too.
    • Then he says, "Maybe I did."
    • Here's another flashback to explain what he means.
    • Almásy is packing up base camp at the Cave of the Swimmers.
    • Clifton flies his little yellow plane to pick him up…
    • Except he's not picking him up. He dive bombs Almásy who dives out of the way at the last moment.
    • The plane shatters into pieces and careens across the desert.
    • Almásy races for the plane. Clifton is dead.
    • And Katharine is in the passenger seat.
    • She's alive, but injured.
    • Katharine says that Geoffrey knew about the affair. He wanted to kill all of them.
    • Almásy extracts Katharine from the wreckage and carries her across the cliff face.
    • Wrapped in a white parachute billowing in the wind, she's the most gorgeous plane crash victim ever.
    • As Almásy is carrying her, she tells him, "I always loved you," and he cries as he carries her.
    • He stores her in the Cave of the Swimmers, covering her with a blanket and making a fire.
    • Almásy says he'll walk to town and get help.
    • Katharine asks him to promise. "I don't want to die in the desert," she says.
    • He promises he'll come back for her.
    • He leaves her with a flashlight, water, his book of Caravaggio, and dinner of champions: cans of meat. When you're stuck in a cave, you can't go wrong with Spam.
  • Scene 22

    Scene 22

    • Singing to himself, Almásy hikes across the desert.
    • In the nearest town, he is stopped by a military checkpoint.
    • He asks the soldier for a doctor and to borrow a car.
    • The soldier asks him for his papers.
    • Almásy tries to tell him that a woman is injured in the Cave of Swimmers.
    • But the soldier wants his name.
    • "Count Laszlo de Almásy."
    • They ask him what nationality it is.
    • Almásy tells them his wife is dying in a cave. C'mon, guys!
    • He gets very angry and grabs the soldier, and another man whacks him in the back of the head with the barrel of his rifle. Ouch.
    • In the cave, Katharine writes in the book by lamplight.
    • The bulb flickers, and goes dark.
    • Back in town, Almásy is being taken away in a jeep.
    • They put him on a train of German prisoners to Benghazi.
    • Almásy asks to use the lavatory, and when a soldier escorts him there, Almásy knocks him out and jumps from the back of the train.
    • Now he's stuck in the middle of nowhere again, but he's used to it by now, right?
  • Scene 23

    Scene 23

    • Back in the present, Almásy says Katharine died because of him. Because he loved her. Because he had the wrong name.
    • But he did get back to the cave. Since the English think he's German anyway, he traded his expedition maps to German soldiers for a plane.
    • That's the plane he took to the desert, where Katharine was waiting in the cave.
    • Caravaggio says he planned to kill Almásy, but now he can't do it.
    • Outside, Kip tells Hana he's being transferred.
    • He is still very upset that his friend died.
    • Speaking of dead friends, Almásy flashes back to finding Katharine dead in the cave.
    • Hana comes into the bedroom, and Almásy isn't moving. Is he dead?
    • No, he's lost in thought.
    • But he tells Hana he will die soon.
    • A toot comes from outside. It's Kip on his motorbike.
    • He's leaving. Perhaps one day they'll meet again, at the church where he showed her the paintings. And he speeds away.
    • In the bedrooms, Hana prepares Almásy's morphine.
    • He knocks over the box of vials. Rude.
    • Then he slides them toward her. He wants her to end his life.
    • "Read me to sleep," he asks. And Hana weeps as she fills the syringe.
  • Scene 24

    Scene 24

    • Time for the saddest flashback ever.
    • Hana lies in bed and reads Katharine's final words, that she wrote in the cave.
    • Katharine writes that the fire is out, and she is cold.
    • In the flashback, Almásy carries Katharine's body out of the cave, crying the whole time.
    • "The lamp's gone out, and I'm writing in the darkness," Hana reads in the present.
    • And Almásy is dead.
    • In the flashback, Almásy flies away with Katharine's body in the plane.
    • Back the present, Hana is leaving the monastery. She brings Almásy's book with her.
    • Cavaggio has found a truck for Hana to ride in to Florence.
    • Hana watches the monastery recede behind them as the truck drives away.
    • One final flashback shows Almásy flying over the rolling dunes of Egypt.
    • And in the present, Hana rides forward through the green countryside.
    • The end.