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ENGLISH PATIENT, THE: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
Primarily about four strangers whose diverse lives become inextricably connected. The story is told largely through the eyes of an unknown English patient, the sole survivor of a plane shot down near the beginning of World War II, his mind is awash with a life's worth of secrets and passions. As tales of the past and present unfold, the characters reveal themselves to one another and two love stories emerge. Their dangerous journeys from Cairo through the Sahara take them toward the conclusion in an abandoned Italian monastery at the close of the war.

Primarily about four strangers whose diverse lives become inextricably connected. The story is told largely through the eyes of an unknown English patient, the sole survivor of a plane shot down near the beginning of World War II, his mind awash with a life's worth of secrets and passions. As tales of the past and present unfold, the characters reveal themselves to one another and two love stories emerge. Their dangerous journeys from Cairo through the Sahara desert take them toward the conclusion in an abandoned Italian monastery at the close of the war.

Celebrated for all its cinematic marvels, The English Patient is a dandy on DVD, the perfect kind of movie for leisurely enjoyment at home – in digital excellence. All that goes almost without saying, unless the transfer to disc had been executed with a blunt knife. It wasn’t.

But considering the enormous wealth of material that could support the film and give us insights in hindsight, and considering Anthony Minghella’s eloquence, it is sorely disappointing to find that the DVD contains nothing more than a 7 minute EPK (electronic press kit) with very brief interview extracts from the key players, fluffed out with a lot of footage from the film. (Note to distributors: on a DVD, footage from the film is kinda redundant, folks. That belongs on a tv teaser spot.)

One thing, though: flipping through the text pages of the biographies, it is a nice surprise to see that apart from the key cast and the director, the only other person with a bio on the DVD is Australian cinematographer John Seale.
Andrew L. Urban

Published June 28, 2001

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THE ENGLISH PATIENT (M )
(UK/US)

CAST: Ralph Fiennes, Kristin Scott Thomas, Juliette Binoche, Willem Dafoe

DIRECTOR: Anthony Minghella

RUNNING TIME: 155 minutes

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Home Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: June 21, 2001

SPECIAL FEATURES
Widescreen (1.85:1) 16.9 enhanced; Dolby 2.0, Dolby 5.1; English subtitles for the hearing impaired; Scene Selection; Behind the Scenes featurette; Biographies; Trailer.







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