The Enlish Patient
The Saul Zaentz Company
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 past, his
face, his lover...
2 EXT. THE DESERT. 1942. DAY.
THE PILOT HAS BEEN RESCUED BY BEDOUIN TRIBESMEN. Behind them the
wreckage of the plane, still smoking, the Arabs picking over it. A
SILVER THIMBLE glints in the sun, is retrieved. Another man comes
across A LARGE LEATHER-BOUND BOOK and takes it over to the Pilot. The
Pilot is charred. His helmet has melted into his head. He's oblivious
to this, cares only about the woman who crashed with him. He twists
frantically to find her. Two men pick him up and carry him across to a
litter where they carefully wrap him in blankets.
3 EXT. THE DESERT. DUSK.
The Pilot is being carried across the desert. A mask covers his face.
His view of the world is through the slats of reed. He glimpses
camels, fierce low sun, the men who carry him.
4 EXT. AN OASIS. DUSK.
The Pilot sees a man squat down beside him, takes a date from a sack
and begin to chew it. Carefully, the Bedouin eases the mask from the
Pilot's face, leaving bandages of cloth and oil, but revealing a mouth.
He stops chewing and passes the pulped date into the Pilot's mouth.
Mouth to mouth.
4a*. EXT. DESERT. DAWN.
THE CARAVANSERAI CROSSES THE DESERT, silhouetted against the dunes.
5 EXT. AN OASIS. NIGHT.
The SOUND OF GLASS, of tiny chimes. A music of glass.
AN ARAB HEAD APPEARS ON A MOVING TABLE IN THE DESERT. It floats in
darkness, shimmering from the light of a fire. The image develops to
reveal a man carrying a giant wooden yoke from which hang DOZENS OF
SMALL GLASS BOTTLES, on different lengths of string and wire. He could
be an angel.
The man approaches the litter which carries the Pilot. He's still in
the protective reed mask, wrapped in blankets. The MERCHANT DOCTOR
stands over the burned body and sinks sticks either side of him deep
into the sand, then moves away, free of the yoke, which balances in the
support of the two crutches. He puts some liquid in the Pilot's
tongue, whose eyes almost instantly begin to roll. Then he slowly sets
about peeling away the layers of oiled cloth which protect the Pilot's
The Merchant Doctor crouches in front of the curtain of bottles and
MAKES A SKIN CUP with the soles of his feet, then leans back to pluck,
hardly looking, certain bottles, which he uncorks and mixes in the bowl
he'd made with his feet. This mixture he uses to anoint the burned
skin. Next he finds green-black PASTE - ground Peacock Bone - and
BEGINS TO RUB IT on to the Pilot's rib cage. All the while he us
humming and chanting. The bottles continue to jingle.
6*. EXT. ITALIAN HILL ROAD. EARLY 1945. DAY.
The sand gives way to trees, the jingling bottles to distant church
bells, as A CONVOY OF TWENTY TRUCKS - Red Cross vehicles and some
supply vehicles - snakes along a bumpy hill road. The war in Italy is
largely over and the Allies are moving up the country, the wounded and
supply lines slowly following.
7*. INT. RED CROSS TRUCK. DAY.
A young CANADIAN NURSE, HANA, sits in a truck full of patients. Hana
pays special care to the PATIENT lying in the stretcher alongside her.
This is the PILOT - now known as THE ENGLISH PATIENT. A web of scars
covers the Patient's face and body. They have the quality of a livid
tattoo, magenta and green-black. The hair has largely gone and the
effect is curious, lassoing his features, the strong nose, the eyes
liquid. It's a warrior's face. But he has no physical strength. He
coughs violently as the trucks shudders along the road.
8*. EXT. ITALIAN HILL ROAD. DAY.
A JEEP pulls out of the line and approaches the Red Cross truck
containing Hana and the Patient. The horn blows and Hana looks out to
see it contains her best friend, JAN. TWO YOUNG SOLDIERS sit up front,
one driving, both grinning. Jan signals for Hana's attention.
There's meant to be lace in the next
village - the boys are taking me.
I'm not sewing anything else.
You don't have any money, do you?
Just in case there's silk.
Hana, I know you do!
Hana leans under the tarpaulin, holding some DOLLARS. The two hands -
hers and Jan's - reach for each other as the vehicles bump along side
by side. They laugh at the effort. Jan's GOLD BRACELET catches the
sun and glints.
I'm not sewing anything else for you!
(getting the money)
I love you.
The Jeep accelerates away. Hana sighs to the patient.
Suddenly AN EXPLOSION shatters the calm as the jeep runs over a MINE.
The jeep is THROWN into the air. The convoy halts and there's chaos as
soldiers run back pulling people out of the vehicles. Hana runs the
other way, towards the accident, until she is prevented from passing by
9*. EXT. ITALIAN HILL ROAD. LATER.
-- and there's still chaos as two SAPPERS arrive on motorcycles. One
of them, a SIKH, wears a turban.
The motorcycles arrive at the front of the convoy. A nurse, MARY, is
helping a doctor, OLIVER, attend to the injured driver. The other two
bodies are covered with blankets. There's blood everywhere. The Sikh
and his colleague pull out the paraphernalia of their bomb disposal
10 EXT. ITALIAN HILL ROAD. DAY.
KIP, the Sikh Lieutenant, and HARDY, his sergeant, explore the road
ahead of the becalmed convoy, using saucer-like METAL DETECTORS and
HEADSETS. Kip is young, lithe, contained, utterly focused as they inch
along the debris-strewn road. He stiffens as he registers metal. With
a bayonet he carefully scrapes at the mud-caked surface. Something
GLEAMS. Suddenly, A PAIR OF FEET walks across his vision as HANA
HURRIES PAST, walking carelessly up the road. It's so surreal that
neither man registers at first, and then Kip is shouting.
Hey! Hey! Stop! Hey!
Don't move! Stand ABSOLUTELY STILL!
Hana stops. Hardy gingerly follows her footsteps.
(as he approaches)
Good, that's good, just stay still for me
and then we're going to be fine.
He arrives at Hana. Then grabs her. He'd like to slap her face.
What are you doing?! What the bloody
hell do you think you're doing?
By way of an answer she looks at the ground ahead of her feet. Jan's
BRACELET lies in the mud. Hardy bends down and collects the mangled
bracelet, presses it into Hana's hands.
11 EXT. VILLAGE. DUSK.
The CONVOY is threading through A RUINED VILLAGE, passing the souvenirs
of war. An overturned vehicle now used as a game by some children,
dejected refugees tramping along the side of the road. From the end of
one of the buildings are hanging HALF A DOZEN CORPSES, strung upside
down with crude placards denouncing, in Italian, their collaboration
with the Nazis.
12 INT. RED CROSS TRUCK. CONTINUOUS.
Hana sees all this as she sits blankly inside the truck, the Patient
swaying alongside her. She puts out her hand to steady him.
13*. EXT. CONVOY SITE, ITALY. DUSK.
THE CONVOY is making a PITSTOP. The trucks are silhouetted in a line.
Hana helps lift the Patient's stretcher onto the ground. She bends to
Do you need something?
The Patient nods. Hana gets up to prepare MORPHINE INJECTION from a
small kit. Mary arrives. Touches Hana gently, conscious of her grief
for Jan's death.
Are you okay? Oh God, Hana, you were
We keep moving him - in and out of the
truck. Why? He's dying. What's the point?
Well, we can't hardly leave him. Do
you mean leave him? We can't.
Hana has settled down beside the Patient's stretcher. She draws
herself up against the night. On the hill above, she can see the
outline of A SMALL MONASTERY in the moonlight. She's crying, her face
a frozen mask.
I must be a curse. Anybody who loves me,
anybody who gets close to me -
or I must be cursed. Which is it?
The Patient laces her fingers into his crabbed hand.
14 EXT. THE MONASTERY. DAY.
Hana is investigating the MONASTERY OF ST. ANNA, wandering through its
overgrown gardens, past a pond. What sanctuary it seems to offer.
15*. INT. THE MONASTERY LIBRARY. DAY.
Hana explores via a gaping hole in a LIBRARY where the walls have
collapsed from shelling. The garden intrudes, ivy curls around the
shelves. Bloated books lie abandoned, and there's a PIANO tiled up on
one side. Hana presses the keys through the filthy tarpaulin which
covers it. Everywhere there are signs of a brief German occupation.
15a*. INT. MONASTERY CLOISTERS. DAY.
Past the Library is a CLOISTERS, drenched with silver light.
15b*. INT. THE MONASTERY STAIRS. DAY.
Hana goes upstairs, negotiating a huge VOID in the stone treads two
thirds of the way up.
15c*. INT. THE PATIENT'S ROOM. DAY.
She comes across a small CHAPEL, with the remains of murals and an
altar pressed into service by the Germans as a table. Hana finds an
old bed, and a mattress.
16 EXT. THE MONASTERY GARDEN. DAY.
Hana comes out, passes a DRY WATER TROUGH. She hears a rustling on the
gravel and turns to see A TORTOISE ambling towards the trough. On cue
there's A GURGLING SOUND. THE HANDLELESS PUMP IS SUDDENLY GUSHING,
splashing water everywhere. The Tortoise, clearly arriving for this,
enjoys a welcome shower. Hana goes to the trough, dips her hands into
the water. Looks around her, and makes a decision.
17 EXT. CONVOY SITE. ITALY. DAY.
The Convoy is in the final stages of loading up. Oliver passes the
vehicles, deep in dispute with a determined Hana, who is carrying some
sacks of rice.
The war's over - you told me yourself.
How can it be desertion?
It's not over everywhere. I didn't mean
When he dies I'll catch up.
Oliver hovers as Hana adds the rice to a small cache of provisions,
then lays another blanket over the Patient.
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.
You're not, this is natural - it's shock.
For all of us. Hana -
I need morphine. A lot. And a pistol.
(clutching at straws)
And what if he really is a spy?
He can't even move.
If anything happened to you I'd never
Hana nods. A tiny smile. Oliver shrugs helplessly.
We're heading for Leghorn. Livorno the
Italians call it. We'll expect you.
18*. INT. THE MONASTERY. DAY.
TWO SOLDIERS are helping Mary and Hana carry the Patient into the
monastery. Hana indicates the stairs.
They struggle up the stairs, one of the Soldiers gasping as he narrowly
avoids falling into the void in the stairs. The cot almost tips up, at
which the Patient SUDDENLY SPEAKS, his voice cracked and rasping, but
still clearly aristocratic.
There was a Prince, who was dying, and
he was carried up the tower at Pisa so he
could die with a view of the Tuscan Hills.
Am I that Prince?
Because you're leaning? No, you're
just on an angle. You're too heavy!
Mary laughs. They reach the landing. Hana kicks open the door to the
18a*. INT. THE PATIENT'S ROOM. DAY.
Hana lets Mary take the weight while she goes to the bed and pulls away
the drapes, sending up a cloud of dust. They lower the Patient onto
the bed. She turns to the SOLDIERS.
She shuts the door on them, leaving Mary staring aghast at the room,
its faded frescoes, its mold, its chaos. Hana smiles, opens a shutter
to let a fierce envelope of light into the room.
She goes to Mary and hugs her.
19*. INT. HANA'S ROOM. THE MONASTERY. DAY.
A smaller upstairs room completely bare. As Hana tugs off her uniform,
she looks out of the window to see the departing Convoy. A cotton
dress goes on over her head and she emerges looking suddenly younger
and rather fragile. THROUGH THE DAMAGED FLOOR OF HER ROOM SHE HAS A
VIEW OF THE PATIENT BELOW HER. SHE LOOKS AT HIM. NOW SHE HAS SCISSORS
AND STARTS TO CUT OFF HER HAIR, NOT AGGRESSIVELY, BUT IN A GESTURE OF A
19a*. INT. THE PATIENT'S ROOM. DAY.
HANA walks down to the Patient's Room and stands in the doorway. The
Patient turns his head to her. He's grinning. He puts up a thumb. On
the track a song begins: Some Other Time.
20*. EXT. BASECAMP AT POTTERY HILL. 1938. LATE DAY.
THE SONG CONTINUED IN THE DESERT where we find the singer - PETER
MADOX, a weather-beaten man who is working on the guts of an BATTERED
TIGER MOTH AEROPLANE. His face is blackened with oil. A second
European, ALMÁSY, stands beside him, holding tools and a section of the
camshaft. Madox yanks out a perished rubber hose and holds it up for
Almasy to inspect. Behind them is an ENCAMPMENT - some camels foraging
in the meager scrub, half a dozen black tents of the BEDOUIN: guides
and servants to the Almásy/Madox Expedition. It's 1938 and the whole
continent is full of such expeditions, competing with each other,
pursuing lost treasures, sources of rivers, hidden cities.
D'AGOSTINO, the team's Italian ARCHEOLOGIST, drives towards the plane
in one of the expedition's adapted FORD MOTORCARS. He gets out
carrying a large earthenware WATER JAR. He looks very pleased with
himself as he shows the jar to Almásy and then passes it to Madox.
Don't drink it!
He reaches for the jug, then pours out a little sludge - it's a
brackish and stinks. Madox makes a face.
I can't guarantee the vintage, my
friends. I just dug it out of the hill.
Madox and Almásy have seen many such jugs.
Excellent. That's terrific, D'Ag.
(to Almásy, of a tool)
Toss that up, would you.
There are some others.
21 EXT. POTTERY HILL. DAY.
THE BASE OF A HILL SEEMS COMPOSED ENTIRELY OF POTTERY JARS.
D'Agostino emerges over the brow of a dune, leading Madox and Almásy.
The other members of the team are already there - BERMANN, a German
PHOTOGRAPHER and FOUAD, EGYPTOLOGIST from Cairo.
(to Almásy, astonished)
My God, look at this!
They bend to touch the jars, literally hundreds of them, mostly broken,
piled on top of each other. Bermann approaches them, carrying his
Incredible, Hmm? Quite incredible.
I've never seen anything like it. There
would have been enough water here to
serve an army.
Which means we're in the wrong place.
Almásy speaks with a slight but unmistakable European accent.
Would you stockpile water near to an
Oasis? There can't be a natural spring
within fifty miles of here.
Or they didn't know of one.
So, it may not be Zerzura, still
A pottery hill!
A wild goose chase.
Almásy gives him a look. But Madox will have none of it.
No. Now we look in the other places.
The unmistakable buzz of AN AEROPLANE distracts them.
Good, and here comes reinforcements.
21a*. EXT. BASE CAMP AT POTTERY HILL. DAY.
LATER and a smart new aeroplane, a STEERMAN, makes a smooth landing on
the flat desert. The expedition team drives over to meet the arrivals.
Almásy is not with them. He's walking, apparently not so enthusiastic.
A young, kissed and newly-married couple emerge from the plane. They
are GEOFFREY AND KATHARINE CLIFTON.
And it's immediately clear that Katharine is the woman in the plane-
crash at the beginning of the film.
Madox makes all the introductions. Hands are shaken, hellos all round,
as the couple disembark in their leather flying gear. Geoffrey removes
his helmet and, in what we will come to know as an ubiquitous gesture,
produces a bottle of CHAMPAGNE and sets off the cork with a flourish.
I hereby Christen us the International
22 EXT. BASECAMP AT POTTERY HILL. LATE DAY.
The party is in the shade of the tents. Almásy joins the group. Madox
nods over to the Clifton plane.
Marvelous plane. Did you look?
(beaming at Almásy)
Isn't it? Wedding present from
Katharine's parents. I'm calling it
Rupert Bear. Hello. Geoffrey Clifton.
We can finally consign my old bird
to the scrapheap.
Almásy smiles and walks on towards the others.
Mrs. Clifton - Count Almasy.
(smiling, offering her hand)
Geoffrey gave me your monograph when
I was reading up on the desert.
I wanted to meet a man who could write
such a long paper with so few adjectives.
A thing is still a thing no matter what
you place in front of it. Big car, slow
car, chauffeur-driven car, still a car.
(joining them and joining in)
A broken car?
Still a car.
(hands them champagne)
Not much use, though.
Love? Romantic love, platonic love,
filial love - ? Quite different things,
Uxoriousness - that's my favorite kind
of love. Excessive love of one's wife.
(a dry smile)
There you have me.
23 INT. THE PATIENT'S ROOM. THE MONASTERY. MORNING.
The morning floods into the room. The Patient lies, lost in the
desert. Then a sudden CLATTERING NOISE disturbs him.
24 INT. STAIRS, THE MONASTERY. DAY.
Hana is dropping armfuls of books into the cavities of the damaged
stairs, and with others, she is improvising new steps. The heavy
volumes are perfect for treading on.
25 INT. LIBRARY. DAY.
Hana comes in, gathers up another armful of books and carries them out
to continue her stair repairs.
26*. INT. THE PATIENT'S ROOM. DAY.
What was all the banging? Were you
fighting rats or the entire German army?
I was repairing the stairs. I found a
library and the books were very useful.
Hana shrugs. She's attending to him, pulling back the sheets, plumping
up the pillows. He's short of breath.
Before you find too many uses for these
books would you read some to me?
I think they're all in Italian, but I'll
look, yes. What about your own book?
My book? The Herodotus? Yes, we
can read him.
Hana picks up the book and hands it to him. Then she starts rummaging
in her pockets.
Oh - I've found plums. We have plums
in the orchard. We have an orchard!
She has peeled a plum and now slips it into his mouth.
His mouth works with the pleasure of the taste, a little juice escaping
from the mouth. Hana mops it up.
The plumness of this plum.
A noise, GURGLING sound, disturbs them.
27 INT/EXT. THE MONASTERY. DAY.
Hana comes through the Cloisters into the garden as the gurgling
increases. She's in time to catch the TORTOISE arriving once again in
the WATER TROUGH just as it starts to gush with water. She shouts up
to The Patient's open window.
(bends to the Tortois)
You hear it, too, don't you!
28 INT. THE PATIENT'S ROOM. DAY.
Close on the HERODOTUS. The Patient opens its cover, held together by
leather ties. Loose PAPERS, PHOTOGRAPHS, HAND-DRAWN MAPS AND SKETCHES
are all collected between the pages. He claws at some water-colors
which appear to be based on CAVE PAINTINGS - figures, dark-skinned
warriors of the stone age, some with bows in their hands, others with
plumes in their hair - arranged in abstract patterns uncannily like
those of Matisse. Some appear to be swimming, another is diving. Then
the Patient loses control of the papers and the whole parcel SPILLS to
the floor with a crack.
29 INT. BASECAMP AT POTTERY HILL. DUSK.
A SHOT RINGS OUT, disturbing the evening meal. Almásy and others go
outside. Silhouetted on a ridge, a group of men sit astride camels.
One of them holds his rifle aloft, clearly pointing towards the sky -
means friend. Fouad peers at the horizon.
European, I think, with guides.
(can only see shapes)
How do you know?
Yes, and I think I know who this is.
30 EXT. BASECAMP AT POTTERY HILL. DUSK.
ALMÁSY AND MADOX WALK OUT TO INTERCEPT THE ARRIVALS as the first Arab
dismounts, the procession of camels splaying out as if in collapse.
Almásy speaks in Arabic, exchanging the ritual greetings.
DURING THIS, FENELON-BARNES, sole European in this expedition, has
finally persuaded his camel to sit, and dismounts irritably, slapping
the animal in disgust.
Ugly brute. Shits and roars and
complains all day.
(bypassing Almásy and
Of course, you have your aeroplane.
Two now! Do you still call yourselves
explorers? I assume not.
Yes, I think a sailor can call himself an
explorer, can't he? Or should Columbus
have swum to America?
31 INT. BASECAMP AT POTTERY HILL. DUSK.
The arrivals come inside. Madox handles the introductions.
I think you know all of us, except for
Geoffrey and Katharine Clifton, who've
recently come out from England.
This is Clive Fenelon-Barnes.
I know your mother, of course.
I'm also searching for the lost Oasis,
but by more authentic means.
Anyway, my friend here has a new theory -
that Zerzura doesn't exist. So we may all
be chasing windmills. Have some food.
Well, it's certainly not between here and
Dakhla. Nine days of nothing but sand
and sandstorms. An egg. I found an
ostrich egg and some fossils.
Isn't Zerzura supposed to be protected by
spirits who take on the shape of sandstorms?
What kind of fossils?
I'll invite you to my paper at the
Royal Geographical Society.
Are you still a member?
He takes a long drink from a bowl of frothing camel milk.
I think you know I am.
Quite impossible, Madox. You must know
that. If you attempt to cross the Sand
Sea due east of Kufra by car you'll leave
your bones in the sand for me to collect.
(leaving the tent)
If you come across my bones - I hope
you'll do me the honor of leaving
them in peace.
You have my word as a gentleman.
(watching him leave)
I've discovered a unique type of
sand-dune. I've applied to the King
for permission to call it
The Fenelon-Barnes Formation.
32 EXT. BASECAMP AT POTTERY HILL. NIGHT.
LATER, supper over, the company is entertaining itself.
Almásy, standing outside his tent, watches the merriment from a
D'Ag is nearing the end of a passionate rendition of Puccini's E
Lucevan Le Stelle. He sits down to much applause from the others and
SPINS AN EMPTY CHAMPAGNE BOTTLE on the sand. It comes to rest pointing
at Clifton who gets up, grinning, and plunges into Yes! We Have No
Bananas with great gusto. His version involves CHANGING LANGUAGE
during each line of the chorus - prompted by Oui! or Ja! or Si! from
the others. Song finished, much bowing and guying, he spins the bottle
and it arrives equidistant between Fenelon-Barnes and Katharine - until
with a little NUDGE from the husband it settles on his wife. Katharine
gets up, awkward.
I can't sing.
(the audience groans)
but I can tell a story.
(to Almásy, who has arrived)
I might need a prompt. Do you have your
Herodotus? I've noticed you carry it...
I'm sorry - what have you noticed?
Your book. Your Herodotus!
Almásy looks uncomfortable.
It doesn't matter. Really. I think I can
muddle through. Okay - The Story of
Candaules and Gyges. King Candaules was
passionately in love with his wife -
(Geoffrey whistles proudly)
One day he said to Gyges, the son of
somebody, anyway - his favorite warrior -
(quietly prompting her)
Yes, thank you, Gyges, son of Daskylus -
Candaules said to him I don't think you
believe me when I tell you how beautiful
my wife is. And although Gyges replied he
did find the Queen magnificent the King
insisted he would find some way to prove
beyond dispute that she was fairest of
all women. Do you all know this story?
The men all encourage her to continue her story.
33*. INT. THE PATIENT'S ROOM. NIGHT.
- and Hana's voice CONTINUES THE STORY as she reads to the Patient who
listens, eyes closed, still in the desert.
(reading from the Herodotus)
I will hide you in the room where
we sleep, said Candaules.
She stumbles over the word.
Candaules...you're laughing at me.
I'm not laughing at you. Go on, please.
When my wife comes to lie down she always
lays her garments one by one on a seat
near the entrance of the room, and from
where you stand you will be able to gaze
on her at your leisure...
34*. EXT. BASECAMP AT POTTERY HILL. NIGHT.
(her story continuing)
And that evening, it's exactly as the
King had told him, she goes to the chair
and removes her clothes, one by one,
until she stand naked in full view of
Gyges. And indeed she was more lovely
than he could have imagined.
Almásy stares at her, framed by the velvet black sky. Katharine turns
to looks at him.
But then the Queen looked up and saw
Gyges concealed in the shadows. And
though she said nothing, she shuddered.
The next day she sent for Gyges and
challenged him. And hearing his story,
she said this -
Off with his head!
death for gazing on that which you
should not, or else kill my husband who
shamed me and become King in his place.
Clifton makes a face of outrage. For Katherine the story has
collapsed. She wants it to be finished.
So Gyges killed the King and married
the Queen and became ruler of Lydia
for twenty eight years. The End.
(an uncomfortable moment)
Do I spin the bottle?
Almásy shrinks away from the fire, disappears into black.
And let that be a lesson to you!
35 INT. THE PATIENT'S ROOM. NIGHT.
Hana looks up from the Herodotus, sees the Patient's eyes closed.
Gently touches his face and whispers.
Are you asleep?
Yes. Dropping off.
And Hana closes the book, gets up, and blows out the lamp.
36 INT. FENELON-BARNES TENT. POTTERY HILL. NIGHT.
PITCH BLACK and then A TORCH flickers on as Almásy enters Fenelon-
Barnes' tent. He pulls apart his luggage, quickly and methodically.
He finds what he is looking for inside a trunk: A LARGE FOSSILIZED
BRANCH; a collection of stone leaves, wrapped in a piece of tarpaulin.
Then he's distracted by a noise from Fenelon-Barnes' bed. Almásy
stiffens, turns to investigate. There's A LUMP in the cot. A dog?
Almásy eases back the blanket to reveal a YOUNG GIRL, no more than
fourteen, bound hand and foot. He holds the torch to her face.
37 EXT. BASECAMP AT POTTERY HILL. MORNING.
The next morning. Almásy and Madox prepare to take off. As they talk
Clifton's Rupert Bear taxis past them, a wave from Clifton and
Katharine. Madox is very disturbed by what Almásy is telling him.
What did you think you were
doing in his tent?
Looking for the fossils. Why should we
wait until we're in London? This girl
was probably twelve years old.
(getting into the plane)
You shouldn't go into another man's tent.
Her hands and feet were tied.
What did you do?
I looked at them. They're shrubs,
small trees. Exquisite. And
fossilized, rock hard.
He walks away to the nose of the plane.
I was talking about the girl.
Cut the ropes. I left a note,
on his blanket.
At the next Geographical Society I
shall await with great interest the
announcement of the Fenelon-Barnes
Slave Knot. The Girl wouldn't leave,
of course. Her father had sold her
for a camel.
He turns over the propeller, the engine cranks up.
38 EXT. GILF KEBIR PLATEAU. MORNING.
Both planes are scouting the Gilf Kebir region. Geoffrey flies up
alongside Madox and wiggles his wings. Madox waves.
They're flying over a distinctive group of GRANITE MASSIFS, Crater-
shaped hills. The broken towers of the Gilf Kebir. Almasy is
distracted by them. He turns to Madox and points down, indicating they
should explore them.
Madox gestures to the Cliftons to PHOTOGRAPH the Massifs. A THUMBS UP
39*. INT. THE PATIENT'S ROOM. MORNING.
Hana gives the Patient his injection, now she begins to change the
sheet. The light streams in from the open window. She looks up at the
green hills rolling away from the Monastery, the village in the
I should try and move your 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.
(bending down to his level)
How? How can you see anything?
Not the window - I can't bear the light
anyway - no, I can see all the way to
the desert. I've found the lost fossils.
I'm turning you.
An awkward moment as she rolls him on to his back. He grunts with the
pain. She washes him very tenderly.
Zerzura, the White City of Acacias, the
Oasis of Little Birds. As me about the
scent of acacia - it's in this room. I can
smell it. The taste of tea so black it
falls into your mouth. I can taste it.
I'm chewing the mint. Is there sand in my
eyes? Are you cleaning sand from my ears?
No sand. That's your drugs speaking.
I can see my wife in that view.
Are you remembering more?
Could I have a cigarette?
Are you crazy?
Why are you so determined to
keep me alive?
Because I'm a nurse.
40 EXT. THE MONASTERY GARDENS. NOON.
The TORTOISE heads towards the trough, to the gurgling accompaniment.
It reaches the shade only to be greeted by the obstacle of some tennis
shoes, a frock. It clambers over as the water begins to belch out.
Hana, naked, kneeling in the trough, receives the shower with a great
YELP of shivering joy.
41*. EXT. THE MONASTERY CLOISTERS. NIGHT.
It's dark, but something is going on here. Hana is caught by the stray
shafts of moonlight. She is SCRATCHING something on the flagstones.
Her skirt is bunched up around her thighs. She throws something in the
air. It's a SPILE, used to tap into the maple tree for syrup. It
lands with a crack. Suddenly she is flying across the space, a hop, a
skip, a jump. Then turns at the other end, dips for the stone, then
back again, in this blindman's version of HOPSCOTCH.
42*. INT. TRAIN. ITALY 1944. BEFORE DAWN.
AS HANA HOPS AND JUMPS IN THE SHADOWS SHE IS SUDDENLY ON A TRAIN IN
1944. A HOSPITAL TRAIN ploughs through the night carrying the wounded
back to Naples.
Hana walks through a long carriage. HER HAIR IS LONG. She could be
ten years younger than the Hana at the Monastery. And easy. She stops
at the bunk of A NEW PATIENT. Hana bends to the boy. He's had
shrapnel in his legs and cheek. She speaks softly to him.
How are you?
Your leg will be fine. A lot of shrapnel
came out - I saved you the pieces.
You're the prettiest girl I ever saw.
(she hears this every day)
I don't think so.
Would you kiss me?
No, I'll get you some tea. Wait till
you're in Naples. You'll find a
Just kiss me. It would mean
such a lot to me.
(tender, believing him)
She kisses him, very softly, on the lips.
He closes his eyes. Is almost instantly asleep. Hana smiles,
continues along the compartment. VOICES CALL OUT.
#1 INJURED MAN
Nurse - I can't sleep.
#2 INJURED MAN
Nurse? Would you kiss me?
#3 INJURED MAN
You're so pretty!
#4 INJURED MAN
away their joke)
Very funny. Go to sleep.
She gets into a corridor. Mary is coming the other way. She carries a
blood-soaked bundle. Hana questions her appalled expression.
43 INT. RAILWAY STATION. DAY.
The train is arriving. Hana hangs out of a window, scouring the crowds
to find her sweetheart, STUART McGANN, a young Canadian Captain, who
seeing her runs up to her window.
Where are we going? I don't want to be
kissing in a crowd. I have six hours.
She jumps out of the moving door and into his arms.
(laughing at her ferocity)
Whoa - give me a chance!
Sorry. I took a Benzedrine.
The Station is full of desperate people trying to make do. the couple
hurry through, oblivious to anyone except each other.
I've got a surprise. A boat! We can go
to Capri. It's got a cabin, it's private.
I'd like to spend a night with you
in a bed.
We can do that when we're very very old.
44 INT. THE MONASTERY. HANA'S ROOM. NIGHT.
Hana lies alone in her bed covered by a curtain. There's a sharp
NOISE. She's very frightened. She has her pistol under her pillow and
pulls it out, listens, holding her breath. Another BANG. She listens.
45 EXT. THE MONASTERY. HANA'S GARDEN. DAY.
Hana has been reviving a vegetable patch. She comes to garden. CROWS
are feasting. She's furious, shouts, runs at them. Nature, wildness,
insisting on invading her peace.
46*. EXT. THE MONASTERY. GRAVEYARD. MORNING.
Hana appears from the Cemetery, dragging A METAL CRUCIFIX. It's bigger
than she is, and she drags it, as if approaching Calvary. A MAN
WATCHER HER FROM A BICYCLE. He's approaching fifty, grizzled and
attractive, and could be Italian. His hands are bandaged. Hana aims
the cross at the soil, but is not quite bit or strong enough. The man,
CARAVAGGIO, chooses this moment to introduce himself. He drops the
bicycle on the ground with a clatter.
Hana turns, startled and suspicious.
Are you Hana?
What do you want?
I met your friend Mary. She said I
should stop and see if you were okay.
Apparently we're neighbors - my house
is two blocks from yours in Montreal.
Cabot, north of Laurier. Bonjour.
(unraveling this information)
He goes to her and - putting a bandaged hand behind her ear - PRODUCES
AN EGG. He beams, as does Hana.
I'd like to take credit, but it's from
Mary. My name's David Caravaggio,
but nobody ever called me David.
Caravaggio they find to absurd to
miss out on.
During this he attempts the same thing with his other hand to Hana's
other ear. THE EGG DROPS TO THE GROUND. Cursing, he gets on his knees
and starts to scoop it up, preserving it.
47*. INT. THE MONASTERY. KITCHEN. DAY.
Hana has taken his eggs and put them into a bowl. She beats them with
a knife picking out the bits of shell. Caravaggio watches, takes in
how little food there is otherwise. The table seems useful more as a
sewing area than for cooking - it's STREWN WITH ALTAR CLOTHS being sewn
into drapes. On a tray on the table are TWO PHIALS OF MORPHINE from
the Patient's room. As Hana turns to the stove, he's moved and covered
them with his bandaged hands, a second later and he's juggled them into
his pockets with the slightest clink. Hana looks at him. He shrugs,
nods at the eggs.
They're fresh. I haven't eaten an egg
in...have you noticed there are chickens?
You get chickens in Italy but no eggs.
In Africa there were always eggs, but
never chickens. Who separates them?
You were in Africa?
Yeah, for a while.
So was my Patient.
I'd like to stay. That's the long and
short of it. I mean, you know blah-blah
if it's convenient, if there's room
blah-blah-blah. I have to do some
work here -I speak the language.
There are Partisans to be -
(trying to paraphrase)
relieve them of their weapons, you
know - while we hug. I was a thief, so
they think I'd be good at that.
So you can shoot a pistol?
(showing his hands)
If you said yes I would have had a
reason. You should let me redress
those bandages. Before you go.
I'm okay. Look, it's a big house. We
needn't disturb each other. I can shoot
a pistol! I'll sleep in the stables. I
don't care where I sleep. I don't sleep.
Because we're fine here. I don't know
what Mary told you about me, but I
don't need company, I don't need
to be looked at.
Fine. I'm not looking.
48 INT. THE PATIENT'S ROOM. DAY.
Hana carries in a tray. There's OMELETTE on the plate.
There's a man downstairs. He
brought us eggs.
(shows him the omelette)
He might stay.
Why? Can he lay eggs?
Why are people always so happy when
they collide with someone 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.
Me? He can't. I'm already disturbed.
He won't disturb us then. I think
he's after morphine.
(she's cut the omelette
into tiny pieces)
There's a war. Where you come from
becomes important. And besides -
we're vulnerable here. I keep hearing
noises in the night. Voices.
The Patient says nothing. She puts a spoonful of the omelette into his
mouth. He grunts.
49 INT. THE MONASTERY. STAIRS. DAY.
Caravaggio is in the shadows on the stairs. HE LISTENS.
50 EXT. CAIRO MARKET. 1938. DAY.
A STREET MARKET in full sway, a locals-only affair, blazing with noise
and bustle and barter. Emerging from a thicket of women and begging
children, KATHARINE CLIFTON carries her purchase of an exotic-looking
RUG. From nowhere she is joined by Almásy.
How much did you pay?
Hello! Good morning.
They don't see foreign women in this
market. How much did you pay?
Seven pounds, eight, I suppose. Why?
You've been cheated, don't worry,
we'll take it back.
I don't want to go back.
This is not worth eight pounds,
I don't care to bargain.
That insults them.
(turning to face him)
I don't believe that. I think you are
insulted by me, somehow. You're a
foreigner too, aren't you, here,
in this market?
(of the carpet)
I should be very happy to obtain
the correct price for this. I apologize
if I appear abrupt. I am rusty at
How do you find Cairo? Did you
visit the Pyramids?
He stands as she continues, pushing past him, shrugging off the
51 INT. SHEPHEARD'S HOTEL. CAIRO. EVENING.
THE LONG BAR. The Exploration Team are drinking at a table. They are
not entirely off-duty - Almásy and Madox as ever ponder the maps.
Geoffrey Clifton appears, arms waving.
Gentlemen, good evening!
He sits down. Madox hails the waiter.
How is your charming wife?
Uh, marvelous. She's in love with
the hotel plumbing. She's either in
the swimming pool - she swims for
hours, she's a fish, quite incredible -
or she's in the bath. Actually,
she's just outside.
(responding to their
Chaps Only in the Long Bar.
Of course. Well, we should all go
out onto the terrace.
Oh no, really. She has her book.
I won't hear of it. None of us will.
52 EXT. SHEPHEARD'S HOTEL TERRACE. NIGHT.
Katharine appears with Geoffrey to join the arriving Explorers. She
looks exquisite in her evening clothes. Madox brings her to her seat.
There is dancing inside, and couples walk to and from their tables.
Katharine manages to produce a dazzling smile which includes everyone
Mrs. Clifton, you'll have to forgive
us. We're not accustomed to the
company of women.
Not at all. I was thoroughly
enjoying by book.
(indicating they should all sit
and then nodding at Almásy
before greeting the others)
Please. Signor D'Agostino, Herr Bermann.
The team is in mourning, darling.
I'm afraid we're not having much luck
obtaining funds for the expedition.
How awful. What will you do?
A more modest expedition, or even wait a
year. Remind our families we still exist.
Good heavens, are you married, Madox?
Very much so. We are all, save my
He nods at Almasy. Clifton appears tremendously relieved.
I feel much better, don't you darling?
We were feeling rather self-conscious.
Let's toast, then. To absent wives.
And present ones.
And future ones.
53 INT. SHEPHEARD'S HOTEL. NIGHT.
THE BALLROOM. A dance finishes. Almásy takes over from D'Agostino to
partner Katharine. They dance beautifully. The others remain on the
terrace in deep conversation.
Why did you follow me yesterday?
After the market, you followed me
to the hotel.
I was concerned. As I said, women in
that part of Cairo, a European women,
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. Following me is
predatory, isn't it?
The dance finishes. They walk back to their table, where Almásy leads
Katharine back to her seat next to Clifton.
I was just saying, I'm going to cable
Downing Street, see if I can't stir up
a few shillings - Katharine's mother
and the PM's wife are best -
Darling, for goodness' sake!
Well, she is!
54*. INT. THE PATIENT'S ROOM. DAY.
Hana, having already replaced the bedlinen, is standing on a stepladder
trying to hang home-made drapes around the bed as Caravaggio knocks
tentatively, then comes in.
Finally! So you're our
He goes to help Hana, they work as he talks.
Thief, I think, is more accurate.
I understand you were in Africa.
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.
Then I'm definitely going.
And she exits. The men consider her.
Does she have war wounds?
55*. INT. THE MONASTERY. HANA'S ROOM. DAY.
As Hana walks up her stairs she finds herself overhearing their
conversation as it threads up through the hole in the ceiling. She
strips her own bed of the curtain she uses for a sheet.
I think anybody she ever loves
tends to die on her.
Are you planning to be the exception?
Me? 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 told her you would never invent
such a preposterous name.
I told her you can forget everything
but you never forget your name.
56*. EXT. BEACH CABIN. ITALY. DAY. 1944.
HANA IS STILL LISTENING BUT NOW SHE'S OUTSIDE A CABIN. She's in her
uniform, clearing things away. The Cabin door is ajar. An OFFICER
moves around, then sits to make notes.
What about your rank or serial number?
THE PATIENT (O/S)
No. I think I was a pilot. I was found
near the wreckage of a plane by the
Bedouin. I was with them for some time.
THIS CONVALESCENCE HOSPITAL HAS BEEN FASHIONED FROM A LONG ROW OF
BATHING CABINS ON THE COAST, complete with Campari Umbrellas and metal
tables, at which are seated the bandaged and the dying and the
comatose, staring out to sea or in slow, muted conversation. Hana
walks up to the Patient's cabin. He is propped up with a view of the
sea, which is interrupted by the pacing Officer. Hana has a blanket
and a chart for the Patient's bed. She busies herself.
Do you remember where you were born?
Am I being interrogated? You should be
trying to trick me. Ask me about
Tottenham Hotspur. Or Buckingham Palace.
About Marmite - I was addicted. Or make
me speak German, which I can, by the way.
Why? Are you German?
How do you know you're not German if
you don't remember anything?
You tell me. I remember a lot of things.
I remember a garden, plunging down to
the sea - the Devil's Chimney we called
it - and there was a cottage at the
bottom, right on the shore, nothing
between you and France.
This was your garden?
Or my wife's.
Then you were married?
I think so. Although I believe that
to be true of a number of Germans.
Might I have a glass of water?
Hana pours him a glass of water. He notices her.
Look - my lungs are useless -
(makes a small gap with
I've got this much lung...the rest
of my organs are packing up -
what could it possibly matter if I
were Tutankhamun? I'm a bit of
toast, my friend - butter me and
slip a poached egg on top.
Hana leaves, smiling at the Patient's irascibility, sharing this with
the Officer, who frowns. The interview continues.
57 EXT. BEACH CABIN. DAY.
Hana walks between the cabins. STUART steps out of the shade. He is
drawn, older than last seen.
My leave is canceled. I can't
meet you later.
Hana frowns, helpless. As if to emphasize this, a Staff Nurse comes
by, carrying a bowl and a withering look.
58*. INT. BEACH CABIN. DAY.
Hana enters, approaches the Patient. She's circumspect.
Excuse me -
Can I ask - my friend, can he come in?
Just for a few minutes?
He's going back to the front this
evening. I can't see him otherwise.
Just go off. I'll be quite all right.
No, I can't go, but if it, if you weren't
offended, it would be very good of you
to allow us - every other cabin is crammed.
This is as private as we'll get.
Well then - yes. Of course.
Thank you. Thank you.
She hurries out, returns with Stuart. They stand awkwardly.
This is Captain McGann.
Please, don't waste your time on
I'm going to sing. If I sing I shan't
And with that he bursts into a raucous, coughing version of Yes! We
Have No Bananas. He changes language each verse. The couple stand,
formal, then edge round to the back of the bed.
(touching his lip)
You've got a mustache.
A bit of one.
I was looking forward to this evening.
I had a hotel room.
I thought that was for when we
were very very old?
I'm feeling old.
They EMBRACE, fiercely, hardly making a sound, or moving. THE PATIENT
ROARS THE SONG.
59*. EXT. THE MONASTERY. HANA'S GARDEN. MORNING.
A battered open backed TRUCK comes into the Monastery. An ITALIAN
PARTISAN sits in the back, a SHOTGUN resting on his knees. The truck
stops, and Caravaggio emerges from the passenger door. He collects
some packages from the PARTISAN, including a dead RABBIT, and then
exchanges a few words with the driver. Hana, who's watching all of
this from her garden, sees that the driver is a WOMAN. The woman's
name is GIOIA, and Caravaggio leans into the window to make his goodbye
Caravaggio approaches the Vegetable Garden as Hana comes to greet him.
He throws her the rabbit, and hurries up the stairs without pausing,
clutching the other boxes.
Hana calls after him.
Where've you been?
Hana looks at the rabbit. She's angry. Caravaggio hasn't been around
for a week.
60*. INT. THE MONASTERY. DOWNSTAIRS CORRIDOR. DAY.
Hana heads up for the kitchen, then stops as there's a faint CRASH from
61*. INT. THE MONASTERY. UPSTAIRS CORRIDOR. DAY.
Hana, the rabbit still in her hands, comes along the corridor to find
Caravaggio SLUMPED on the floor, retching. The discarded NEEDLE lies
beside him, the new package of MORPHINE CAPSULES ripped open. He looks
up at Hanna, glazed.
I could help you. I could
get you off that.
Can you cook the rabbit or will you
try and bring that back to life?
She bends, starts clearing up, putting the morphine phials back into
It's a week. We didn't know where you
were - or if you coming back, or -
(of the drugs)
You should be happy. What were you
going to do for him when it ran out?
He pulls out more phials from his jacket.
What do you do? What are you doing here?
Some gave me a dress.
(starts to tear at a parcel)
You know what's great? What I'm learning?
You win a war and you not only gain the
miles you get the moral ground.
Everywhere I go, we're in the right.
I like that.
62*. INT. THE PATIENT'S ROOM. DAY.
Hana comes in, carrying a batch of the new morphine. She's wearing a
different FROCK. It's not new, and it's faded, but the change of color
Something smells so rich. My
stomach is heaving -
He came back, he says he caught a
rabbit. I'm cooking it.
That's a different dress.
He keeps asking me questions about you.
Do you know him? Do you recognize him?
Do I recognize him? I recognize what he is.
I like him. He's Canadian. He can read
Italian. He can catch rabbits.
63*. EXT. BASECAMP AT POTTERY HILL. DUSK.
Almásy squats with an ANCIENT ARAB outside his rudimentary house, while
he draws on the sand, talking in some arcane dialect, scratching out a
possible location for the lost oasis. The man stops speaking and
scours the sky a beat or two before we or Almasy hear the faint noise
of a PLANE. It's Clifton's Steerman, Rupert Bear, coming in to land.
Almasy doesn't look up.
The Arab continues to talk. The newly-arrived Katharine has scrambled
up the hill to speak to Almásy.
Hello. Not to interrupt but
She makes to leave but Almásy puts up a hand to keep Katharine there,
This is an incredible story - about a man
hunting an Ostrich, he's been telling me
about Zerzura, he thinks he's been there,
but his map, the route he's describing,
he couldn't survive the journey now, but
he's a poet, so his map is poetry - and
now we're onto an Ostrich.
(to the Arab in ARABIC)
I'm telling her your map is poetry.
The Arab shrugs.
What do you mean, poetry?
A mountain curved like a woman's back,
a plateau the shape of an ear.
Sounds perfectly clear. Where does
the Ostrich come in?
The Ostrich is a detour. A poor man hunts
an ostrich, it's the method. Nothing to do
with Zerzura. To catch an ostrich you must
appear not to move. The man finds a place
where the ostrich feeds, a wadi, and stands
where the ostrich can see him, on the
horizon, and doesn't move, doesn't eat -
otherwise the ostrich will run. At nightfall,
he moves, fifty, sixty yards. When the
ostrich comes the next day, the man is
there, but he's nearer.
(to the guide)
Haunting the ostrich.
The Guide speaks, amplifying something, picking at his robe.
Yes, the ostrich, it will feed a family,
not just the meat, but by selling the
feathers, beak, the skin, a year from
this one animal. So, each day the
man gets closer. And the ostrich is
not sure - has something changed? -
now the standing man is only a few
yards from where it feeds. And then
one day, the man is in the wadi, in
the water. And the Ostrich comes, as
always, dips into the water and the
man JUMPS UP - and captures it.
He shrugs. The Arab has more to say. Almásy doesn't respond, quieting
him with a dismissive gesture.
What is he saying?
(Almasy, awkward, shakes his head)
Come on, what did he say?
He said - be careful.
Be careful? You mean you - or me? Who?
(to the Arab)
Her or me?
The Arab speaks again. Almasy speaks without looking at her.
The one who appears not to be moving.
64*. INT. TENT. BASECAMP AT POTTERY HILL. NIGHT.
Katharine comes in. Then, a beat, and Almásy. Clifton is holding up
Gentlemen, to Zerzura.
And a special thank you to Geoffrey
and Katharine, without whose
fund-raising heroics we should
still be kicking our heels.
They toast the Cliftons.
Did Katharine say? -
Geoffrey has to fly back to Cairo.
Have to return the favor - take a few
photographs for the army.
Darling, Peter says I could stay...
(checking with Almásy)
What kind of photographs?
Portraits. The Brigadier, the Brigadier's
wife, the Brigadier's dogs, the Brigadier
at the Pyramids, the Brigadier breathing.
Why do you think? About my staying?
Well look, if nobody minds, truly, then
I suppose - I shall, of course, be bereft...
(playfully poking his ribs)
But finally able to explore the Cairo
night-life. I shall produce an
authoritative guide to the Zinc Bars
and - I want to say Harems - am I in
the right country for Harems?
65*. EXT. BASECAMP AT POTTERY HILL. MORNING.
As Clifton prepares to leave in the Steerman, Almásy approaches.
You too. Good luck!
Clifton - your wife - do you think
it's appropriate to leave her?
I think the desert is, it's - 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, I, were I you I would
be concerned -
I've known Katharine since she was
three, my aunt is her aunt, 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's know herself.
(laughing it off)
Why are you people so threatened
by a woman?!
He settles into the controls. Almásy watches the plane taxi away.
Doesn't move at all. Katharine waves from the tent as the Steerman
65a*. EXT. BASECAMP AT POTTERY HILL.
The THREE FORD CARS leave the campsite, loaded for a scouting
expedition. The rest of the party, Bedouin, tents, camels and Tiger
Moth is left behind. Madox shouts last-minute instructions from the
window of his car.
66*. EXT. DESERT EN ROUTE TO CAVE OF SWIMMERS. DAY.
FENELON-BARNES sits astride his camel, and wipes away the sweat. The
desert stretches for miles, shimmering, the sun baking the sand. His
GUIDES wind their headcloths tighter. Nobody speaks. Then one of them
looks round, raises a hand. A BUZZING noise. They all turn. A SMALL
CLOUD OF DUST EMERGES OVER A RIDGE. Locusts? A sandstorm?
A CARAVAN OF CARS, the Almásy/Madox expedition, bumps along,
suspensions threatened by the constant dips and ridges. On each car
there are three in the passenger cabin, the open backs crammed with
drums of gasoline and water and equipment. On the front vehicle, the
tenth member of the party, KAMAL, acts as a navigator and sits on a
CAMEL SADDLE, a rodeo cowboy, on the roof of the leading car, driven by
Madox. As they spot FENELON-BARNES they sound their horns and wave
good-naturedly. F-B scowls, watches them roar by, stealing his
66a*. EXT. DESERT EN ROUTE TO CAVE OF SWIMMERS. DAY.
ONE OF THE CARS IS HOPELESSLY BOGGED DOWN IN HEAVY SAND. It's contents
have been unloaded, and a rope ladder is being inserted under the
tires. The entire company huff and puff and argue about the best means
of extricating the vehicle.
67*. INT. CAR EN ROUTE TO CAVE OF SWIMMERS. DAY.
LATER - Almásy drives the second car, accompanied by Katharine and Al
Auf. Katharine breaks the long silence.
I've been thinking about - how does
somebody like you decide to come to
the desert? What is it? You're doing
whatever you're doing - in your castle,
or wherever it is you live, and one day,
you say, I have to go to the desert - or what?
Almásy doesn't answer. Katharine, who has looked at him for an answer,
looks away. There's another long silence.
I once traveled with a terrific 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!
Point made, they lapse again into silence. Katharine boils.
Actually, you sing.
You sing. All the time.
I do not.
Ask Al Auf.
Almásy asks Al Auf in Arabic. He laughs, nods.
I'll be down to get you in the taxi,
honey, you'd better be ready about
Al Auf nods and grins furiously, joins in, impersonating Almásy.
Almásy grunts in irritation.
68*. EXT. NEAR THE BASECAMP AT THE CAVE OF SWIMMERS. DUSK.
The group is investigating a cleft in the rocky massif. They climb
slowly. Below them, A NEW AND TEMPORARY BASE CAMP.
The group winds around the rock. Almásy turns to offer a hand to
Katharine behind him, pulling her up to the next rock slab. She smiles
at him. He smiles back curtly, continues.
The group stops at a level plateau. The Arabs stand apart and SING
THEIR PRAYERS AT DUSK. Al Auf leads the incantations.
Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar...
The westerners wait respectfully. As the sun sets in glory, Almásy
looks over at the range of rocks. One particular range seems to look
exactly like A WOMAN'S BACK. He squints at the rock. Almásy
discreetly pulls out his COMPASS.
69*. EXT. CAVE OF SWIMMERS. DUSK.
Almásy clambers up the rocks, coming through a narrow crevice to find A
NATURAL SHELF. He scrambles up this path, reaching up, only to notice
that his hand almost perfectly covers A PAINTED HAND on the rock, and
as he digests this he realizes he has climbed past what is THE MOUTH OF
A CAVE. He disappears inside.
70 INT. CAVE OF SWIMMERS. FLASHLIGHT.
A FLASHLIGHT squirts into the cave. Almásy treads cautiously along the
narrow winding passage. He comes to an open cavern and takes his
flashlight up to a wall. PAINTINGS EMERGE, figures, animals, ancient
pictures. A giraffe. Cattle. Fish. Men with bows and arrows.
Almásy is astonished by what he sees.
71*. EXT. NEAR THE CAVE OF SWIMMERS. EVENING.
The others watch as a flashlight bobs and jerks among the rocks as
Almásy comes scrambling down, transformed into an excited teenager.
He slithers in a heap in front of the astonished expedition party.
72 INT. CAVE OF SWIMMERS. FLASHLIGHT.
Almásy has led the whole party into the heart of the cave. Now Madox
comes alongside him at the wall, his flashlight joining Almásy's and
increasing the visibility of the paintings. A dark-skinned figure,
apparently in the process of DIVING into water, comes clearly into
view. Then others supine, arms outstretched.
(with audible excitement)
My God, they're swimming!
The others crowd round. FIVE EXCITED FACES IN THE GREEN GLOOM OF THE
73*. EXT. CAVE OF SWIMMERS. DAY.
A hive of activity. The team has set up TRESTLES to catalogue the
finds as the Bedouin come out with baskets of detritus, which they
empty onto a growing heap as the Cave is cleared out. Entering the
cave, Almásy passes with camera equipment, just as D'Ag emerges
carrying the corpse of a perfectly preserved DESERT FOX. D'Ag gestures
to Almasy with his customary enthusiasm, holding up the body of the
Have you seen this? Astonishing.
74 INT. CAVE OF SWIMMERS. DAY.
Inside, Bermann is setting up LAMPS, running wires from a car BATTERY.
Kamal is helping him. And as Almásy arrives he catches a tiny moment
of tenderness between them. Bermann, seeing him, quickly disengages
and busies himself with the lights. At another wall, Katharine is
75 EXT. THE DESERT. DAY.
The CARS are heading back to Basecamp. They bounce over the sand.
76*. INT. BERMANN'S CAR. DAY.
Bermann is driving the lead CAR along some STEEP DUNES. Almásy beside
him. Bermann is peeling AN ORANGE, a segment of which he holds out of
the window. Kamal, riding shotgun, leans down and collects it, his
head dipping in to grin at Bermann. Bermann looks uneasily as Almásy.
He wants to tell him of his passion, of his absolute love for Kamal,
but he daren't.
I love the desert, you see. That's my,
that's my - I can't think of the word.
How do you explain? To someone who's
never been here? Feelings which seem
I don't know, my friend. I don't know.
Bermann holds out another segment of the orange, and watches the slim
brown hand collect it. A MOMENTARY DISTRACTION IS ALL IT TAKES FOR HIM
TO MISJUDGE THE LINE AND SUDDENLY THE DUNE COLLAPSES UNDER THE TIRE AND
THE CAR LURCHES SIDEWAYS AND TOPPLES OVER THE EDGE. D'Ag - following,
Fouad beside him - brakes sharply, but can't stop his own car from
being caught in the avalanche of sand, and IT PLUNGES DOWN THE DUNE AND
INTO BERMANN'S UPTURNED CAR WITH AN OMINOUS CRUNCH, the radiator
exploding. Only Madox, Katharine beside him, and a little way behind,
manages to stay clear of the trouble. He jumps out of the vehicle and
slides down the dune to find pandemonium as the passengers stumble out
of the cars, sand flying, smoke pouring from the upright vehicle, the
wheels of the overturned car spinning wildly in the air, a puddle of
oil spreading ominously.
77*. EXT. THE DESERT. DAY.
LATER and the group have cleaned up as best as possible. D'Ag,
Bermann, and Fouad are a little worse for wear. Fouad's arm is in a
sling, and D'Ag is sporting a bloody head-bandage. Bermann has broken
a finger and is being attended to by Madox. The luggage, water and
petrol have been stacked up and the men are loading up the remaining
car. Almásy is working at the crumpled end of the vehicle. He's
having no success.
78*. EXT. THE DESERT. DAY.
Almásy, Kamal and two of the other young Bedouin stand around the mess
of the two broken vehicles. The ONE WORKING CAR is loaded with men and
provisions. Katharine sits inside, next to Madox, Almásy comes over to
her window, to speak past her to Madox.
I'll be back as quick as I can.
Thirty-six hours at the outside.
Try to get a second radiator, we'll bury
it between here and the Pottery Hill.
And a better jack. We planned badly.
(nods at Almásy, then shouts over
to the wrecked vehicles)
This is Bermann's cue to take leave of Kamal who is staying behind.
Kamal makes a little bow.
May God make safety your companion.
Bermann nods and hurries away, squeezing into the car which jolts off,
bouncing over the track.
THE VEHICLE GETS ABOUT TWENTY YARDS, ALMASY WATCHING, BEFORE IT SINKS
FORLORNLY INTO THE SOFT SAND. IT'S HOPELESSLY OVERLOADED WITH PEOPLE.
THEY ALL GET OUT.
I shall stay behind, of course
I insist. There clearly isn't room for
us all, I'm the least able to dig, and
I'm not one of the walking wounded.
Those are facts. Besides, if I remain
it's the most effective method of
persuading my husband to abandon
whatever he's doing and rescue us.
It's hard to argue with this logic. Almásy shrugs.
LATER - THE MADOX CAR makes a more effective departure. And Almasy and
Katharine are left alone. THEY LOOK AT EACH OTHER as if realizing this
for the first time. Almasy immediately returns to the two damaged
vehicles and helps the men stretch the cut canvas which was once a tent
TO FASHION A MAKESHIFT SHELTER BETWEEN THE TWO CARS. Katharine goes to
join them. There is no obstacle to the remorseless horizon, just miles
of undulating dunes.
79 INT. SHELTER. DAY.
Almásy sits alone, writing into HIS HERODOTUS, a map folded in front of
him, from which he makes notes. Katherine comes across with a clutch
of her SKETCHES from the Cave wall. Hands them to him. They're
I thought you might paste them
into your book.
We took several photographs,
there's no need.
I'd like you to have them.
(handing them back)
There's really no need. This is
just a scrapbook. I should feel
obliged. Thank you.
And that would be unconscionable,
I suppose, to feel any obligation?
Yes. Of course it would.
She's already turning, walking as far from him as the cramped shelter
permits. He continues with his maps.
80 EXT. THE DESERT. NIGHT.
Katharine sits alone on top of the Dune, smoking, surveying the
landscape. Below her the makeshift camp - a fresh wind flicking at the
tarpaulin, THE DEEP TRACKS OF MADOX'S CAR STRETCHING OFF TOWARDS
CIVILIZATION. Almásy emerges from the tent and, locating Katharine,
heads towards her.
You should come into the shelter.
I'm quite all right, thank you.
Look over there.
Katharine turns, scans the horizon.
What am I looking at?
See what's happening to them -
They're so untidy. I'm just trying
to rearrange them.
In an hour there will be no stars.
The air is filling with sand.
He offers a hand. A little reluctantly she takes it.
81 EXT. SHELTER. NIGHT.
The team hurries around the improvised tent, weighing it down with
packing cases, gasoline drums, water cans, bringing anything loose or
light inside the tarpaulin. THE WIND is whipping up, the air busy with
sand. Almásy pushes everyone under cover.
82 INT. SHELTER. NIGHT.
THE SAND SEEMS TO BE SCOURING THE TARPAULIN. Kamal and Almásy try to
secure one vulnerable area, but suddenly there are leaks everywhere and
the sand swarms inside.
It's noisy, too, and Almásy has to shout to make himself understood,
indicating to the Bedouin to grab water and blankets and food, all the
valuables, and get out. He himself finds blankets and water and shouts
at Katharine to do the same. One side of the canvas suddenly RIPS
apart like paper. Chaos as figures struggle in ever-worsening
conditions, sand blizzarding the air.
83 EXT. SHELTER. NIGHT.
THE SHELTER FLIES INTO THE AIR, stranding the figures, their heads
wrapped in blankets, flashlights useless. They seek safety in two
groups, the tribesmen to the cabin of the overturned car, Katharine and
Almásy to the upright one.
84 INT. CAR. NIGHT.
Inside the cabin, the sand swirling around them, Katharine and Almásy
sit without speaking. Dawn is trying to break through. He pours a
little water into a mug so that they can wash out their eyes and noses
and mouths. She takes her silk scarf and first dries her eyes with it,
then dries his.
This is not very good, is it?
Shall we be all right?
Yes is a comfort. Absolutely is not.
85 EXT. THE DESERT. DAWN.
The sand is piling up against the two cars, the tent is swept from its
moorings, the water cans are hurled up too, and then plunge ominously
into sand drifts as if going under an ocean.
...let me tell you about winds. There
is a whirlwind in Southern Morocco, the
Aajej, against which the fellahin defend
themselves with knives. The Ghibli from
Tunis rolls and rolls and produces a
rather strange nervous condition...
And we hear Katharine's laugh.
86 INT. CAR. DAWN.
Almasy sits alongside Katharine, whose head is against his shoulder.
He continues his story of winds.
Which Mariners called the sea of
darkness. Red sand from this wind
has flown as far as the south coast
of England, producing showers so
dense they were mistaken for blood.
Almasy checks to see if Katharine is still awake.
Fiction. We had a house on that coast
and it never rained blood. Go on. More.
All true. Herodotus, your friend, tells
of a wind - the Simoon - so evil that a
nation declared war on it and marched
out to fight it in full battle dress,
their swords raised.
87*. EXT. THE DESERT. DAY.
MORNING. The sand has almost COMPLETELY ENGULFED the car on the
exposed side, covering the windshield like snow, and encroaching onto
the door of the protected flank.
88*. INT. CAR. DAY.
Almásy is woken by sound of A DISTANT ENGINE. He jerks up, waking
Katharine in the process, and heaves against the door. He can't open
it, and has to lean his feet against the passenger door, lying across
Katharine, kicking it open.
89*. EXT. THE DESERT. DAY.
By the time Almásy emerges from the car, the sand pouring into the
cabin, MADOX'S CAR IS ROARING ALONG THE HORIZON. Almásy waves, shouts,
and then runs back into the car, finds his flare-gun, and SENDS A FLARE
high into the sky. Katharine is with him now, and they watch,
helplessly, as the car bounces away from them, Madox a man on a
mission. Katharine panics, THE SAND HAS ERASED ALL TRACES OF THEM.
She speaks quietly, shocked.
Our tracks, where are they?
Almásy is preoccupied. He's gone back to their vehicle and returns
with a shovel, STARTS TO DIG FRANTICALLY.
Madox will have calculated how many
miles, they'll soon turn around.
(realizing what he's doing)
Oh my God, the others!
She kneels with him and helps to shovel away the sand WHICH HAS
COMPLETELY ENGULFED THE OTHER VEHICLE containing the three Bedouin.
Could I ask you, please, to paste you
paintings into my book? I should like
to have them. I should be honored.
Of course. Is it, am I a terrible
coward to ask how much water we have?
Water? Yes, we have water, we have
a little in our can, we have water in
the radiator which can be drunk. Not
at all cowardly, extremely practical.
(anxious at not uncovering
the boys, egging himself on)
Come on, come on!
(then back to Katharine)
There's also a plant - I've never seen
it but I'm told you can cut a piece the
size of a heart from this plant and
the next day it will be filled with a
Find that plant. Cut out its heart.
They hear NOISES, scrabbling, faint thumps. Almásy scrapes at the sand
and they find the glass of the car. The angle of the cab, tilted up to
the sky, has made it impossible for the trapped boys to lever it open.
Their oxygen is rapidly deteriorating. Almásy pulls the door and it
90*. EXT. THE DESERT. DAY.
Katharine sits in the car, putting her pictures into the Herodotus.
It's full of ALMÁSY'S HANDWRITING, PHOTOGRAPHS, SOME PRESSED FLOWERS.
She deciphers a page of his words and drawings. It's almost
exclusively about her, the lines studded with K.s. She reads,
astonished, then looks at him as he and two of the three Bedouin circle
the area of the cars in ever-widening circles, like water-diviners,
like Kip searches for mines. Kamal is slumped against the front of the
car. He's sick. Almásy suddenly drops to his knees and begins to
shovel into the sand. He pulls out A CAN OF WATER. Turns to Katharine
and holds it triumphantly in the air.
91*. INT. THE DESERT. NIGHT.
There's a small, weak fire. The group crouch around it. The boys talk
noisily to Almásy. Kamal is wrapped in a blanket and shivering.
Almásy gives him water, speaks to Katherine.
Kamal is passing blood. He must have
had some internal damage in the crash.
He needs medicine. I think we must risk
the other flare.
He gets up and loads the flare with what is clearly the last charge.
This time the effect is dramatic with A RED UMBRELLA OF LIGHT.
Katharine comes up beside him. They wait, hope fading with the flare.
Geoffrey's not in Cairo.
(Almásy looks at her)
He's not actually a buffoon. And
the plane wasn't a wedding
present. It belongs to the British
Government. They want aerial
maps of the whole North Africa.
So I think he's in Ethiopia. In
case you were counting on his
And the marriage - is that a fiction?
There's a beat. Katharine has a hundred answers.
No, the marriage isn't a fiction.
The light from the flare fades on them and they stand in the dark.
Suddenly on the far horizon, behind their heads, AN ANSWERING FLARE
fireworks into the sky.
Thank God. Oh, thank God.
There's excited shouting from the two fit boys. They leap up and run
towards the couple, who meanwhile have realized that the flare has not
come from Madox, but from an approaching CAMEL CARAVAN. Almásy shouts
to the boys for some identification.
Do they know them?
(squinting at the horizon)
No, but I think I do.
The Caravan slowly comes into focus. IT'S FENELON-BARNES. Katharine
touches Almásy's arm - an almost imperceptible gesture.
Am I K. in your book?
I think I must be.
Almásy turns to her. He runs the blade of his arm across her neck -
the sweat leaving a clear stripe.
Fenelon-Barnes approaches, dismounts from his camel, and addresses
I recollect your saying to ignore
your bones but I assume you have
no objection to my rescuing your
Good evening, Mrs. Clifton.
(accepting his handshake)
I'd like to introduce you to my camel -
the most notable beast on earth.
I understand you found some
A goatskin bag of water is offered to Katharine. She drinks and hands
it to Almásy.
Paintings of swimmers? Remarkable.
92 EXT. CAIRO. DAY.
ANOTHER WORLD as a honking TAXI containing Almásy and Katharine
negotiates the incredible bustle of Cairo.
93 EXT. SHEPHEARD'S HOTEL. DAY.
Almásy, still in the same clothes, and evidently weary, emerges from
the cab, and pulls Katharine's belongings from the trunk, then holds
open the door for her. As she walks towards the hotel, he hands her
bag to a porter. Katharine is stung.
Will you not come in?
Will you please come in?
Mrs. Clifton -
Katharine turns, disgusted.
I believe you still have my book.
Katharine fishes the book from her knapsack, shoves it at him, then
94 INT. ALMÁSY'S ROOM. DAY.
Almásy lying on a camp bed, face down. The walls are covered with
maps, enlargements of photographs. A fan whirs over his kit which is
spread, unraveled but ordered, on the stone floor. An ineffably male
room, the shutters closed, just the thinnest shaft of light piercing
the gloom. Almásy hasn't even removed his clothes, his boots kicked
off below his jutting feet.
There's A KNOCK at the door. Almásy sleeps. Another. A third. He's
roused from the dead. Stumbles to his feet, opens the door as the
It's Katharine. She's bathed, luminous, stands back-lit by the
afternoon sun - an angel in a cotton dress. She walks past him into
the room. He closes the door. She turns. He KNEELS before her, head
at her thighs. She's crying, her face expressionless as her hands go
to his head.
You still have sand in your hair.
She starts to BEAT on his head and shoulders, violently. He pulls
back, to look at her, the tears streaming down her face. She kneels
and covers his face with kisses. He pulls blindly at her dress and it
RIPS across her breasts.
95*. INT. BATHROOM. DAY.
Almásy is in the bath. Katharine, wearing his dressing gown, pours in
a jug of steaming water. Almásy leans over the rim of the bath. He's
sewing, carefully repairing the torn dress.
I'm impressed you can sew.
You sew very badly.
You don't sew at all!
A woman should never learn to sew,
and if she can she should never
admit to it. Close your eyes.
That makes it harder still.
She pushes the sewing from his hands, then pours water over his head,
then begins to shampoo his hair.
Almásy is in heaven. The biggest smile we have seen from him. She
continues to massage his scalp.
When were you most happy?
When were you least happy?
Okay. And what do you love?
What do I love? I love rice pudding,
and water, the fish in it, hedgehogs!
The gardens at our house in Freshwater -
all my secret paths.
She rinses his scalp, then slips off the robe and CLIMBS IN BESIDE HIM,
covering his neck and shoulders in kisses.
Marmite - addicted! Baths - not
with other people! Islands. Your
handwriting. I could go on all day.
What do you hate most?
A lie. What do you hate most?
Ownership. Being owned. When
you leave, you should forget me.
She freezes, pulls herself away, out of the bath, looks at him, then
SLAPS HIM VERY HARD across the face.
She picks up her dress, the thread and needle dangling from it, and
walks, dripping, out of the room.
96*. INT. THE PATIENT'S ROOM. NIGHT.
To the Patient it's as if Katharine is walking out of his wall. He
sighs with pain, then looks away to where Hana has fallen asleep on the
bed, almost on top of him. He touches her. He speaks as if each word
Could I ask you to move? I'm sorry -
but when you turn, the sheets, I can't
really bear the sheets moving over me.
(mortified, moving quickly)
Yes, of course, I'm so sorry.
Stupid of me.
Hana gets up, upset to have hurt him.
I'm so sorry.
97*. INT. THE MONASTERY KITCHEN. NIGHT.
Hana comes to the table, carrying a jug of water and a bowl. She's
still sad. She unbuttons her dress, pulling it off her shoulder,
begins to pour the water to cool herself against the night's pressing
98*. EXT. EMERGENCY FIELD HOSPITAL. 1944. LATE DAY.
The EMERGENCY FIELD HOSPITAL is a cluster of tents practically ahead of
the Front Line SPORADIC GUN FIRE, LIGHT AND HEAVY, SOUNDS THROUGHOUT.
Mary walks by on her way to the Nurse's tent. It's 1944 and the war in
Italy is still intense.
99 INT. EMERGENCY FIELD HOSPITAL TENT. LATE DAY.
JAN is washing out of her HELMET, and stands naked in her socks. Hana
is using a flannel to wash Jan's back. A couple of other girls like,
exhausted, on their cots. The mud is everywhere. Another nurse is
making tea out of an adapted plasma can on their tiny primus.
MARY comes in and flops down. She's GIVEN BLOOD and is pale and
Okay, Type Os, the vampires wait.
Everybody's giving a pint.
Ugh! If they were sucking it out
I wouldn't mind. It's the needle
I can't stand.
You're a nurse - how ca you be
frightened of needles!
100 INT. TRIAGE TENT, EMERGENCY FIELD HOSPITAL. NIGHT.
Hana walks through the main TRIAGE TENT. It's packed with the ruined
bodies of the injured, swaddled in bloody bandages. Hana stops at a
couple of beds, shares a word or two with the patients. She stops at
another bed, leans over its occupant. His bandaged face is bloated and
yellow. He's not breathing. She bends over him, his open eyes fixed
in a glassy stare. No pulse. She snaps the triangular cardboard ID
from his bed to indicate HE'S DIED. Then tenderly closes his eyes.
THEY SUDDENLY SNAP OPEN. HE REARS UP, GRABBING HER.
Can't wait to have me dead? You bitch!
He slaps her hand away. Slaps at the tubes going into his arm. Hana
is absolutely shocked. But just as suddenly he's sunk back into semi-
Shaken, she sits by him and takes his hand, he pulls it away, she takes
it again. He is in terrible pain. His face creased with anger. Now
his hand is clutching at hers. She tries to soothe him.
Try t be calm. Ssssshhh. Come on.
Be calm now. Ssshhhh. Be peaceful.
It's okay. It's okay.
HIS FACE STILLS. HIS HAND LOOSENS. Now he has gone. As Hana inspects
him, a shell seems to land close by. THE LIGHTS FLICKER. She ducks,
along with everyone else.
Below the bed, on slatboards, above the mud, are the now dead soldier's
possessions. They include A PAIR OF TENNIS SHOES.
101 INT. TRIAGE TENT, EMERGENCY FIELD HOSPITAL. EVENING.
HANA, WEARING THE TENNIS SHOES, IS GIVING BLOOD. She lies in a cot,
next to JAN. The shelling sounds closer.
OLIVER, the Doctor, is working on the most recent patient, a young
CANADIAN Boy who is critically ill - the tubes hanging above him, of
plasma and of blood. The curtain drawn around him is pulled back, to
reveal the two nurses in the background. The Soldier can just see
them. He's going to die any minute.
(whispering to Oliver)
Is there anybody here from Picton?
Picton? I don't know.
I'd like to see somebody from home
before I go.
Hana can only really hear Oliver's end of this conversation, but the
mention of Canada chills her, and she knows, now, not later, that
Stuart is dead.
He's from there - edge of Lake
Ontario right, Soldier?
The boy nods.
Where's your Stuart from?
Somewhere near there, isn't it?
As him what company he's with?
Oliver leans over, then turns to Hana.
Third Canadian Fusiliers.
Does he know a Captain McGann?
The boy hears this, whispers to Oliver.
He bought it. Yesterday. Shot to bits.
The shells are getting closer.
What did he say?
(can't look at her)
Doesn't know him.
A SHELL SUDDENLY LANDS ON TOP OF THE SITE, PERHAPS FIFTY YARDS FROM THE
TENT. THE LIGHTS GO OUT. THEN ANOTHER LANDS.
Everybody is on the floor, struggling to get on a helmet.
Hana lies down, the blood still leaving her, her helmet on. Oliver is
next to her in the mud. Her heart is breaking.
He's gone, hasn't he?
No. He's - no.
Oh God. Oh God.
The shells pound them, incredibly loud, drowning out her grief, but
each explosion illuminates it for a moment.
102 INT. THE MONASTERY KITCHEN. NIGHT.
Caravaggio comes into the kitchen. Hana is slumped at the table, her
back naked. The jug of water in front of her. She's sobbing, her
shoulders heaving. Caravaggio approaches tentatively.
(he touches her shoulder)
Hana? Are you alright?
(without raising her head)
Don't touch me if you're going to
try and fuck me.
I'll have some of your water. It's hot.
She reaches for her blouse, wraps it around herself. Her face is read
You have to protect yourself from
sadness. This is the thing I've learned.
(drinking the water)
You're in love with him, aren't you?
Your patient. Do you think he's a saint
or something? Because of the way he
looks? I don't think he is.
I'm not in love with him. I'm in love
with ghosts. And so is he. He's in
love with ghosts.
Who are his ghosts?
(he holds up his hands)
What if I told you he did this to me?
What? How could he have? When?
I'm one of his ghosts and he wouldn't
even know. It's like he slammed a
door in Cairo and it trapped my
fucking hands in Tobruk.
I don't know what that means.
Ask him. Ask your saint who he is.
Ask him who he's killed.
Please don't creep around this house.
103*. INT. THE PATIENT'S ROOM. DAY.
Hana sits reading from the Herodotus. She shows the Patient the page
where a CHRISTMAS CRACKER WRAPPER covered in handwriting has been glued
Tell me about this, this is in your
handwriting - 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...
(she looks up)
I love that, I believe that.
Who is K?
K is for Katharine.
104 EXT. AMBASSADOR'S RESIDENCE, DECEMBER 1938. DAY.
A CHRISTMAS PARTY FOR THE TROOPS. The incongruous attempts to create a
traditional Christmas in the dusty heat of Cairo.
The Party is in the courtyard of the Moorish Palace which serves as the
private residence of the British Ambassador, SIR RONNIE HAMPTON. Lots
of Wives, including LADY HAMPTON and Katharine help serve tea and cake
to the SOLDIERS who sit at rudimentary tables with paper plates and
paper hats. A man dressed as SANTA CLAUS is giving out presents -
PENGUIN PAPERBACKS, CHOCOLATE. Music blares out from a loudspeaker.
Officers and Civilians walk the parameter. One of these, arriving, is
Almasy. He sits in the shade, catches Katharine's attention.
Katharine brings him over a cup of tea and a plate with Christmas cake
Say you're sick.
Say you're feeling faint - the sun.
(but a frisson)
I can't work. I can't sleep.
Lady Hampton calls impatiently.
I can't sleep. I woke up shouting
in the middle of the night. Geoffrey
thinks it's the thing in the desert,
I can still taste you.
(waving at another woman who
pushes a trolley with teapots)
This is empty, just coming!
I'm trying to write with your taste
in my mouth.
(as she leaves)
Swoon. I'll catch you.
Almásy sits watching the party. The Santa Claus is dragged outside by
some excited Children. Almásy picks at his cake removing the thick
marzipan icing. He's writing on A CHRISTMAS CRACKER WRAPPER, smoothing
it out - December 22nd. Betrayals in war are childlike compared with
out betrayals du...
Katharine, attending to a raucous table, suddenly sags at the knees,
and SWOONS. People rush to her.
I'm fine. How silly.
(helping her to her feet)
It's the heat.
You should sit down, darling.
(to the others)
She's quite all right.
(escorts Katharine away)
Are you pregnant?
I don't think so.
(squeezing her arm)
How romantic. With Fiona I fell
over every five minutes. Ronnie
Christened me Lady Downfall.
I think I might go inside and sit
down for a few minutes.
I'll come with you.
No, please. I shall be absolutely fine.
They pass Almásy, who doesn't look up from his book.
105 INT. STORE ROOM. AMBASSADOR'S RESIDENCE. DAY.
A small STOREROOM inside the Palace - Brooms, Mops, Cleaning Equipment.
Outside, the party is visible as opaque shadows through the beveled
glass of the ornate window. The sound of carols sung by the enlisted
men gives way to a version of SILENT NIGHT played on a solitary
bagpipe. Inside, ALMÁSY AND KATHARINE MAKE LOVE IN THE DARKNESS.
Everything is too fast, desperate, standing up, grabbing, hoisting
106 INT. CORRIDORS. AMBASSADOR'S RESIDENCE. DAY.
A CORRIDOR. Almásy appears and almost immediately collides with the
man dressed as SANTA CLAUS. He moves to one side.
Have you seen Katharine?
It's Geoffrey under this.
I haven't, no. Sorry.
106a*. INT. SIDE ROOM IN AMBASSADOR'S RESIDENCE. DAY.
Geoffrey continues scouting the warren of tiny rooms that run off the
central courtyard. He finds Katharine sitting in one, smoking,
surrounded by oppressive and elaborate tiling. Clifton wonders briefly
how Almásy had missed Katharine.
Darling, I just heard. You poor
sausage, are you all right?
I'm fine. I got hot.
Lady H said she thought you might be -
I'm not pregnant. I'm hot. I'm too hot.
(taking off his hat and beard)
Come on, I'll take you home.
Can't we really go home? I can't breathe.
Aren't you dying for green, anything
green, or rain, wouldn't you die to feel
rain on your face? It's Christmas and
it's all - I don't know - if you asked me
I'd go home tomorrow. If you wanted.
Sweetheart, you know we can't go
home, there might be a war.
(poking at his costume)
Geoffrey, you do so love putting
on a disguise.
I do so love you.
(he kisses her head)
What do you smell of?
Marzipan! I think you've got marzipan
in your hair. No wonder you're homesick.
107*. INT. THE PATIENT'S ROOM. EVENING.
The Patient lies alone in his room. CLIFTON'S FACE stares back at him
from among the frescoes. Then something distracts him.
Are you outside?
A beat and then Caravaggio shuffles in. Like an old boxer.
I can't hide anymore.
(jerks up his hands)
I breathe like a dog. I lose my
balance. Stealing's got harder.
Caravaggio stares at the Herodotus.
Why do I feel if I had your book I
would know everything?
I don't even know if it is my book.
The Bedouin found it in the plane,
in the wreckage. It's mine now.
I heard your breathing and thought
it might be rain. I'm dying for rain -
of course I'm dying anyway - but I
long to feel rain on my face.
Caravaggio comes close, scrutinizing the face, trying to repair the
Is it you? If I said Moose... I look
different, fuck, why shouldn't you?
(a different tack)
First wedding anniversary - what
do you call it?
I don't know. Paper. Is it? Paper?
(sharp, not wanting to think)
I don't remember.
108 INT. MONASTERY LIBRARY. DAY.
Hana stands at the PIANO. It's still lop-sided, propped against the
wall. She tries but can't move it. So she pulls off the dust-sheet
and, with the instrument still on a tilt, begins to play the Aria from
Bach's Goldberg Variations.
109 INT. THE PATIENT'S ROOM. DAY.
HANA'S PIANO CONTINUES. Upstairs, Caravaggio chats with the Patient
while working his arms to RAISE A VEIN, a boot-lace tied around it,
preparing an injection for himself, tapping the syringe. During this:
I have come to love that little tap of
the fingernail against the syringe. Tap.
110*. INT. MONASTERY LIBRARY. DAY.
Hana plays. GUN SHOTS punctuates the music. She's totally engrossed
and only hears the second or third shot. Her hands falter, she looks
up to see A SIKH SOLDIER RUNNING ACROSS THE FIELD WAVING HIS ARMS, his
REVOLVER held aloft. He approaches the door, his face creased with
anxiety, and raps on the shattered frame. It's KIP.
She gets up and walks past Kip standing at the door, and continues the
seven or eight feet to the right and out into the garden VIA THE HOLE
RIPPED OUT OF THE WALL.
Excuse me. Yes?
(of the doors)
I don't have the key to that door.
The Germans were here. The Germans
were all over this area. They left mines
everywhere. Pianos were their favorite
Then may be you're safe as long as
you only play Bach. He's German.
Kip is looking around the piano. Hana giggles.
Is something funny?
No, but, no, not at all. I'm sorry.
You came to the doors, that's all and -
(a little laugh)
worried about mines. That's all.
I've met you before.
I don't think so.
Hana bends to see what Kip's looking at under the piano. Wires run
from the wall to the instrument onto which is taped an EXPLOSIVE
CHARGE. If Hana had succeeded in moving the piano she would have
triggered the charge. Kip looks at Hana who conceals her dismay with a
110a*. EXT. THE MONASTERY GARDEN. DUSK.
Across from the terrace, HARDY AND KIP ARE PUTTING UP THEIR TENTS.
Caravaggio stands, chatting amiably to them, holding a haversack,
smoking a cigarette.
111*. INT. THE PATIENT'S ROOM. DUSK.
Hana looks down from the Patient's room, watching the tents go up.
He wants us to move out, says there
could be fifty more mines in the building.
He thinks I'm mad because I laughed at
him. He's Indian, he wears a turban.
Sikh. If he wears a turban, he's a Sikh.
Kip glances up at the window. Hana, suddenly shy, backs away.
I'll probably marry him.
Really? That's sudden.
My mother always told me I would
summon my husband by playing the piano.
She goes over to the Patient's bed.
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 local roads
of mines. That's a big job. They won't
stay in the house. They're putting up
their tent in the garden.
In that case, I suppose we can't charge.
112*. INT. OFFICE, BRITISH HQ. CAIRO. DAY.
A SMALL OFFICE, shared by two men, and a mountain of filing cabinets
and paper. There are AERIAL MAPS all over the walls. Clifton is on
the telephone, while his colleague, RUPERT DOUGLAS, works at the desk.
(into the phone)
Darling, it's me, I'm sorry,
something's come up.
Don't sulk - I'll be back tomorrow
evening. I promise.
Okay my precious, I love you.
Rupert makes a face at his friend's sentimentality. Clifton beams.
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 for your
first anniversary? I should get something.
Is it paper?
(he knocks sharply on the wall)
Moose! Moose, you there? First
Anniversary - is it cotton?
Is what cotton?
First Wedding Anniversary.
Your day will come, my sausage.
Your first anniversary is Paper.
113 EXT. CAIRO STREET. O/S SHEPHEARD'S HOTEL. DAY.
The approach to the Shepheard's Hotel. Geoffrey Clifton in a TAXI,
champagne between his knees.
The car ahead of them SCREECHES TO A HALT as a WOMAN hurries across the
street. The driver honks his horn angrily. The woman puts up a hand
in apology as she skips across the street to another taxi. IT'S
KATHARINE - she's dressed for a date, carries flowers, an overnight
Geoffrey, at first excited, is troubled by the accouterments. Then he
sees Katharine skip and his whole being punctures.
Katharine's cab roars off. His own car jerks forward.
Geoffrey sits in the cab. Fifty yards short of the hotel. The world
rushes by. He finds a cigarette.
114 INT. ALMÁSY'S ROOMS. LATE DAY.
Katharine is in bed. Almásy has just put A RECORD on. It's the folk
song heard at the beginning of the film. He slips back under the
covers. Their clothes are scattered around the room. He lies over a
happy Katharine. She listens.
This is - what is this?
It's a folk song.
No, no, it's Hungarian. My daijka
sang it to me.
(as they listen)
It's beautiful. What's it about?
(as if interpreting)
It's a long song - Szerelem means
love...and the story - there's a
Hungarian Count, he's a wanderer,
a fool. For years he's on some kind
of quest, 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. He sews
her clothes, he worships the hem of -
Katharine had thought for a few seconds he was serious, then she
catches on and starts to beat him.
Ouch! See - you're always beating me..!
You bastard, I was believing you!
They embrace, he lies over her, considering her naked back.
I claim this shoulder blade - oh no,
wait - I want this!
He turns her over, kisses her throat, then traces the hollow
This - what's it called? - this place,
I love it - this is mine!
(Katharine doesn't know)
I'm asking the King permission to
call it the Almasy Bosphorous.
I thought we were against ownership?
I can stay tonight.
The luxury of this makes them both sad. The duplicity. Almásy rolls
away on to his back.
Madox knows, I think. He's tried to
warn me. He keeps talking about
Anna Karenina. I think it's his idea
of a man-to-man chat. Its my idea
of a man-to-man chat.
This is a different world - is what
I tell myself. A different life.
And here I am a different wife.
Yes. A different wife.
115 INT. CAB. CAIRO STREET. O/S SHEPHEARD'S HOTEL. NIGHT.
The CAB DRIVER is asleep. A loud POP! jerks him awake. In the back of
the car Geoffrey has opened the champagne. He lets it overflow, then
takes a swig. He notices the startled driver and puts up an apologetic
Two or three CHILDREN knock on the window, begging. Geoffrey knocks
back, violently. They disappear.
Hotel now, sir?
And he throws a silencing wad of money onto the seat by the Cabbie.
116 EXT. ALMASY'S HOUSE. OLD CAIRO. DAWN.
Almásy and Katharine wander out of his building and into the early
morning streets, hand in hand.
117 EXT. SPICE MARKET. CAIRO. DAWN.
The MORNING PRAYERS rise out from the city's three Minarets. Almásy
stops at a stall, which is just preparing to open for the day. He
picks up a SILVER THIMBLE, points at it to the merchant who gives him a
price. Without comment, Almásy produces the money and, beaming, hands
the thimble to Katharine.
I don't care to bargain.
It's full of saffron, just in case
you think I'm giving it to you to
encourage your sewing.
That day, had you followed me
to the market?
Of course. You didn't need to slap
my face to make me feel as if you'd
slapped my face.
(loving him, but frightened)
Shall we be all right?
118 EXT. CAIRO STREET. DAWN.
Katharine takes leave of Almásy on the street corner away from the
hotel entrance. They don't kiss, there's no demonstration of feeling.
He turns immediately away and disappears.
119 INT. CAB. CAIRO STREET. O/S SHEPHEARD'S HOTEL. DAY.
Geoffrey, unshaven, watches as Katharine crosses the street and heads
towards the hotel. His expression is terrible, trying to smile, his
120 INT. THE PATIENT'S ROOM. MORNING.
Cheek to Cheek leaks into the room from a GRAMOPHONE that Caravaggio
stands over proudly. The Patient opens his eyes - is confused,
dislocated - stares blankly at Caravaggio.
Thought you'd never wake up!
Hana comes in, sleepily, frowns at the gramophone.
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?
Is there a song you don't know?
(speaking for him)
No. He sings all the time.
She goes over to the Patient and kisses him gently.
(of his singing)
Did you know that? You're always singing?
I've been told that before.
Kip's another one.
She goes to the window, looks over to where the tents are pitched, sees
Hardy shaving, Kip IN THE PROCESS OF WASHING HIS HAIR, his turban
HANGING LIKE A RIBBON between two trees to dry. He's perched a bowl on
the sundial and is dipping his long coal-black hair into it. As Hana
watches Kip, Caravaggio changes the record. The Patient identifies it
121*. EXT. MONASTERY GARDEN. MORNING.
Hana walks past the tent, and passes Hardy. She's carrying a small
cup, which she's a little furtive about. He's carrying a whole armada
of OIL LIGHTS. He nods upstairs.
I was going to say - if you want to
eat with us, ever... you and Lieutenant
Very kind of you, we can always eat in
the town with the others -
Since Caravaggio turned up - food
seems to appear, so please.
I'll ask the Lieutenant. But thank you.
You saved my life. I haven't forgotten.
(Hardy waves that away)
I thought you were very very tall. You
seemed to big - a Giant - and I felt
like a child who can't keep her balance.
(does a little mime)
She goes on, and tentatively approaches Kip, who's still working at his
hair. Kip hears her and puts out an inquiring arm, moving towards her
like a blink man through the curtain of hair. He touches her.
Sorry, is it all right I'm seeing this?
My hair was long. At some point.
I've forgotten what a nuisance it is
to wash. You know - if you were ever
around - we get water from the pump
He continues to wash. She holds up the cup of oil.
Try this. I found a great jar of it.
Olive oil. In Naples this was so
precious it would have bought you a wife.
She stands for a second, then walks away. Kip examines the oil, calls
For my hair?
Yes, for your hair.
122 EXT. THE MONASTERY. HANA'S GARDEN. DAY.
HANA IS GARDENING, close to the crucifix, which is now a full-fledged
Scarecrow. Broken bottles, fragments of stained glass and shards from
a mirror are hung from the crossbar, syringes too, all jangling and
tinkling and catching the sunlight.
Kip and Hardy drive off to work on their motorcycles. She watches
them, catching Kip's careless wave to her. She looks briefly at
herself in A PIECE OF MIRROR dangling from the Scarecrow.
123 INT. THE MONASTERY. UPSTAIRS LANDING. DAY.
Hana walks along the landing with a tray. There's a message on several
doors in the corridor from Kip: SAFE, then a couple with the warning:
DANGER. She hears noise from the Patient's room. Listens for a second
before going in.
THE PATIENT (O/S)
Because you're reading it too fast!
THE PATIENT (O/S)
Not at all.
THE PATIENT (O/S)
You have to read Kipling slowly!
Your eye is too impatient - think
about the speed of his pen.
(quoting Kipling to demonstrate)
What is it - He sat comma in defiance
of municipal orders comma astride the
gun Zamzammah on her brick... What is it?
124 INT. THE PATIENT'S ROOM. DAY.
During this, Hana comes through with the tray, finds Kip perched on the
window, relishing his skirmish with the Patient, who has condensed milk
dribbling down his neck.
Brick platform opposite the old
natives called the Lahore Museum.
It's still there, the cannon, outside the
museum. It was 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.
So what do you really object to - the
writer or what he's writing about?
What I really object to, Uncle, is
your finishing all my condensed milk.
(snatching up the empty can)
And the message everywhere in your
book - however slowly I read it - that
the best destiny for India is to be ruled
by the British.
Hana, we have discovered a shared
please - the boy and I.
Arguing about books.
Condensed milk - one of the truly
I'll get another tin.
Hana and the Patient are alone.
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
I don't think it does.
Anyway, he's indifferent to me.
I don't think it's indifference.
Kip comes bounding in with a fresh can.
Hana was just telling me that you
were indifferent -
Well, I'm indifferent to cooking, not
Hana's cooking in particular.
(stabbing at the tin with a bayonet)
Have either of you ever tried
condensed milk sandwiches?
126. INT. THE PATIENT'S ROOM. MORNING.
Caravaggio and the Patient are singing - an Arab song which they both
know from Cairo days. THUNDER accompanies them. It's pouring.
Suddenly the door is flung open and HANA, KIP and HARDY appear. They
have the stretcher with them.
127*. EXT. THE MONASTERY CLOISTERS. MORNING.
A whoop precedes THE HEADLONG RUSH OF KIP, HARDLY and CARAVAGGIO as
they cart the Patient across the Cloisters like manic stretcher-
bearers. Hana is with them, holding an umbrella over the Patient who
bounces uncomfortably. He is nervous, a little giddy. The rain
Careful - careful!
127a*. EXT. THE MONASTERY GARDEN. MORNING.
The storm tour includes a trip around the pond. The Patient pushes
away the umbrella, lets the rain drench him. He grins at Hana.
This is wonderful!
What's he saying?
He's saying it's wonderful!
128*. INT. LIBRARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF EGYPTOLOGY. DAY.
Madox and Almásy are camped in one corner of THE LIBRARY, hunched over
their maps and papers and journals and clashing furiously over the site
of the next part of the expedition.
(pushing away his charts)
And I'm telling you there's nothing
there to explore.
No, because you can't see from the air!
If you could explore from the air life
would be very simple!
(he yanks up a map)
Look! What is that? Is that a wadi?
That whole spur is a real possibility...
Which we've overflown twice.
Which we couldn't explore because
of rocks, because of cross-winds,
(stabbing another location)
And here - and here - we could be
staring at Zerzura.
Other readers look over at this unseemly skirmish.
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?
Almásy is surprised by Madox' anger.
And where are the Expedition Maps?
In my room.
Those maps belong to His Majesty's
Government. They're confidential.
They shouldn't be left lying around
for any Tom, Dick or Mary to have
What's the matter with you?
Don't be so bloody naïve. You know
there's a war breaking out.
(he tosses a slip of paper onto
the map, recites its message)
This arrived this morning. By order
of the British Government - all
International Expeditions to be
aborted by May 1939.
129 INT. CAIRO STREET. DAY.
Almásy and Madox walk down this busy and rather narrow street without
pavements. Both of them somber.
Why do they care about our maps?
What do we find in the desert? Arrow
heads, spears. In a war, if you own the
desert, you own North Africa.
Own the desert.
Almásy hesitates at a junction, clearly about to take leave of Madox.
That place at the base of a woman's
throat? You know - the hollow - here -
does that have an official name?
Madox looks at him.
For God's sake, man - pull
130 INT. OPEN-AIR CINEMA. CAIRO. EVENING.
The OPEN-AIR CINEMA is just beginning its evening programme.
PATHE NEWS BEGINS and we date the event to April 1939. Stories of
imminent war jostle with images of Merrie England. Village greens,
sporting victories, Cruft's Dog Show. Alone among the necking couples
- mostly soldiers with their Egyptian girlfriends - in an otherwise
empty block, is Katharine. She's waiting for Almásy. A SOLDIER comes
over to Katharine's row and settles a couple of seats away from her.
Beggin your pardon, miss, but have
you got a lighter?
Katharine lights his cigarette and returns to the screen. An item
about Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers and TOP HAT. The stars do their
stuff. The soldier moves a seat nearer.
I love Ginger, she's a foxy girl, ain't she?
You heard me.
The Soldier slinks off, muttering. Katharine is wretched. She sits
head down, not watching the screen, marooned in her despair about
duplicity, sordid assignations.
Almásy arrives, slides in beside Katharine, his shadow momentarily
large across the screen.
They watch the screen. Katharine is weeping. Almásy doesn't
understand. He puts his arm around her.
I can't do this, I can't do this any more.
131*. EXT. GROPPI PARK. CAIRO. EVENING.
A man walks round with A HAND BELL - announcing that the Park is
closing. He turns off the gaslights which illuminate the animal cages.
Almásy and Katharine sit stiffly on a bench. They don't speak. Almásy
puts his hands to his head, he rubs his shoulders. The lights are
gradually being extinguished around them.
Finally, Katharine gets up.
I'd better get back.
(she keeps him away with a hand)
Say goodbye here.
I'm not agreeing. Don't think I'm
agreeing, because I'm not.
They stand, awkward. Katharine rehearses her position. The bell
I just know - any minute he'll find out,
we'll barge into somebody we'll - and it
will ill him.
Don't go over it again, please.
He takes her hands, lays his cheeks into them, then releases them, gets
up, walks away. She walks towards the gate. He calls after her.
He walks towards her, his smile awful.
I just wanted you to know.
I'm not missing you yet.
She nods, can't find this funny.
You will. You will.
Then she turns sharply from him and catches her head against the
gatepost, staggers at the shock of it, then hurries away.
132*. INT. THE PATIENT'S ROOM. MORNING.
Hana sits with the English Patient - the room shuttered against the
morning light. His breathing is noticeably worsening, a shudder of a
breath, the shallow rise and fall of his chest perceptible. Hana
frets, touches his wrist, feeling for the pulse.
I'm still here.
You'd better be.
Don't depend on it. Will you?
That little bit of air, each day
there's less of it, which is al right,
which is quite all right.
She squeezes his hand, suddenly overwhelmed.
I've been talking to Caravaggio - my
research assistant - there's meant to be
a ghost in the Cloisters. I can join him!
There's some kind of noise from the garden. Muffled shouts.
It's the boy.
Hana goes to the window, opens the shutters. The day pours in.
132A*. EXT. MONASTERY OLIVE GROVES. DAY.
Hana sees Kip - barely visible - standing at the far perimeter of the
garden in the olive groves, HIS HANDS RAISED ABOVE HIM, HIS LEG HELD
OUT STRANGELY. WIRES run from his foot in all directions as if he'd
trodden in some elaborate steel cobweb.
133 EXT. MONASTERY OLIVE GROVES. DAY.
Hana appears at the edge of the Olive groves and hurries towards Kip,
who hasn't moved. He shouts warning her.
Go to the left! Keep to the left! There
are mines and trip wires everywhere!
Hana stops, hoists up her skirt and circles left, tentative in the long
grass. He shouts, doesn't want her close.
Get Hardy. He's on the other side of
town. In the hills. Get him to hurry.
She keeps coming, can see that he needs her.
It's okay - I'll help. Please.
The mines, the wires, there's a trick.
Some explode if you stretch the wires,
some if you cut them.
What do I do?
There's a mine here, but the others are
far enough away, I think at least to
give me a chance. I have to work out
which one to cut before I fall over.
So I follow the wires?
You get Hardy.
I follow the wires.
She kneels at his feet and tries to trace the tangled route of the web.
Don't touch them.
She follows one wire back to the closest mine, and traces another back
to Kip's foot. Then she finds another one leading off to a second mine
some thirty metres away.
Why would anyone do this?
I've done this. I've had to do this.
Then Hana's suddenly tense.
Give me a second.
She turns and tiptoes RIGHT THROUGH THE DANGER AREA, straight to what
had seized her attention. Kip is appalled.
What are you doing?! Hana!
Heedless, she dodges another mine and its web of wires just as THE
TORTOISE clambers onto a clump of rock, which is, in fact, ANOTHER
Hana snatches him up as he ambles towards the metal. She turns,
holding the protesting animal in triumph. HER FOOT SNAGS ON A WIRE.
She has to ease it off, in arabesque, still clutching the tortoise.
She goes sideways to the safe zone - setting down the animal. Then
she's back with Kip. He's seething. She is strangely elated.
What is this business with you and
explosives? Do you think you're immune?
I promise you that was the right thing
to do. He's my good luck.
(she gets the pliers from his belt,
and hands them to him)
Now cut. This one.
(she indicates the wire)
I hope we don't die.
Okay. Get away from here. Quick.
I'm not scared. So many people have
died around me. But I would be a
shame for us.
I don't feel like being shy.
You must get away. Before I cut. I'm
not cutting if you're here.
He's struggling. He's going to topple over if he cuts.
Actually, you can't cut, can you?
You'll fall over. Give me the pliers.
But he hands them over.
Kiss me. Before I cut. Just in case.
Don't talk. Check again. Lie flat and
Hana checks, lies down. He bends as close to the ground as he dares
AND KISSES HER, THEN SHE IMMEDIATELY CUTS.
134 INT. THE PATIENT'S ROOM. CONTINUOUS.
The Patient lies in bed. He's agitated by the silence. SUDDENLY
THERE'S AN EXPLOSION. He tries to shout, a croak which quickly reduces
him to coughing and breathlessness.
Hana! Hana! Kip! Hana!
He tries to move. He can't. He's frantic.
FOOTSTEPS, as someone hurtles up the stairs. It's Hana. She's ashamed
to have forgotten him. She rushes to him.
I'm sorry. I forgot you'd be worrying.
We're all safe. It was a mine, but not
the mine. Nobody's hurt. I'm sorry.
She calms him. He's exhausted. His eyes shine.
135 EXT. MOUNTAIN ROAD. ITALY. LATE DAY.
Hana clings onto Kip as the TRIUMPH MOTORCYCLE hares along the circling
road. She has her arms around his waist. His head turns to her for a
second and she smiles.
136 EXT. ROAD BLOCK. TUSCANY. DUSK.
Kip and Hana have been detained at a ROAD BLOCK. Kip is being
questioned at a sentry post, his papers over-thoroughly inspected and
accompanied by several meaningful glances at Hana, who waits, standing
by the motorcycle. One of the SOLDIERS saunters over and returns her
And you're definitely traveling with
him of your own free will?
Just wanting to be sure. And he's
taking you to church?
Yes. We're going to a funeral. A cow has
died. And in his religion they're sacred.
The Soldier isn't sure what to make of this. He signals to his
companion who returns Kip's papers. Kip walks back to the motorcycles.
He says nothing. He kicks the starter. Hana gets on, slides her arms
lovingly around him.
137 EXT. BRIDGE. ITALY. DUSK.
IT'S GETTING DARK. The bike, headlights on, crosses a bridge. Kip has
strapped on his crimson emergency light as they sail along the winding
crest of mountain ridge that is a spine down Italy.
138 EXT. AREZZO. DUSK.
Kip steers the motorbike into the deserted PIAZZA.
They dismount and Kip starts to unbuckle his bulging satchel and unload
the panniers. Hana still doesn't know what's in store and looks
questioningly at Kip as he walks up to the door of the CHURCH.
139 INT. CHURCH. DUSK.
They enter the Church. It's in almost total darkness. THEN A FLARE
SUDDENLY ILLUMINATES THE INTERIOR. It's magnificent. Kip holds the
flare, crimson on one arm, green pouring up from the other. Hana walks
behind him, still perplexed. There is PROTECTIVE SCAFFOLDING
EVERYWHERE, AND SANDBAGS PILED UP HIGH AROUND THE ALTARS, AND THE
A SECOND FLARE. Kip has appeared through A SECRET DOOR high in the
church, literally emerging from one of the frescoes which are
momentarily visible. He flings a rope over the rafters.
Now Kip circles Hana with the rope, MAKING A SLING across her waist and
shoulder. He lights a smaller flair and hands it to her before
Hana stands holding the flare. She can't see Kip, can only hear him
He runs up the sandbags, right up into the rafters. He collects the
other end of the rope which is attached to Hana. Holding onto it, he
just STEPS OFF INTO THE DARKNESS.
SIMULTANEOUSLY HANA IS SWUNG UP INTO THE AIR, her startled yelp echoing
around the Church. Kip touches ground, while Hana swings through
space, coming to rest about three feet from the FRESCOED WALLS, painted
by Piero Della Francesca. Hana's flare makes a halo around her head.
Now Kip, on the ground, still holding the rope, walks forward and
causes Hana to SWING to the right. She lets out a giddy laugh,
exhilarated and nervous, and she flies, illuminating - en passant -
faces, bodies, angels. Kip guides the rope as if they were making
love, which in a way they are.
Hana arrives, hovering, in front of THE QUEEN OF SHEBA TALKING TO
SOLOMON. She's overwhelmed. She reaches out to touch the giant neck of
the sad Queen.
Kip slowly lets her down, paying out the length of the rope. Hana's
face is full of tears. He smiles, holds her.
140 INT. THE PATIENT'S ROOM. EVENING.
Caravaggio is with the Patient. He sits in the window. Fiddles with
the bandages of his hands.
There was a general who wore a patch
over a perfectly good eye. The men
fought harder for him. Sometimes I
think I could get up and dance.
What's under your bandages?
Caravaggio goes to him, holding out his hands, the bandage ends
Hold the ends.
The Patient holds them. Caravaggio walks backwards, the bandages
unraveling and unraveling.
141*. INT. TOBRUK. BRITISH HEADQUARTERS. JUNE 1942. DAY.
Caravaggio, thumbs intact and wearing a crumpled linen suit, walks
through the mangled corridors of British HQ. Smoke is rising from
buildings, the ominous scream of Stuka dive-bombers in the distance as
the harbor is pounded, the steady thud of explosions. TOBRUK IS UNDER
SIEGE. BHQ is a place in the throws of dismantling itself.
SECRETARIES are visiting braziers manned by ARAB BOYS who stoke the
fires as boxes of papers are fed into them. ASHES hover in the air.
142*. INT. BHQ. TOBRUK. DAY.
Caravaggio walks through a large room crowded with desks. From one of
them, a young woman, AICHA, kisses him, frowning at the chaos and the
He's waiting for you.
Some doors are open, revealing men and women in uniform urgently
SHREDDING DOCUMENTS. Caravaggio knocks at an office whose door is ajar
and where the incumbent, FENELON-BARNES, is stripping the room of his
personal possessions- photographs, stone branches, a cricket bat.
142a*. INT. FENELON-BARNES OFFICE. BHQ. TOBRUK. DAY.
(barely looking up)
What a bloody flap, eh? I heard from
Alexandria this morning - apparently
no-one there is accepting British pounds.
And if you pick up a telephone
everybody's practicing their German.
(holds up some gramophone records)
What do you do - do you take these
Look, Moose, we need you to stay in
Tobruk. A bit of a short straw but
the thinking is we'll be back - I mean,
we will be back - but...and in the
interim we need eyes and ears on
A BIG BOMB lands nearby. The building shudders and plaster dust drops
from the ceiling. Almost oblivious, the two men head out of the
office. Fenelon-Barnes lugs the TRUNK last glimpsed in his tent by
Almásy, until Caravaggio takes over.
143*. INT. CORRIDOR OF BRITISH HEADQUARTERS. TOBRUK. DAY.
Fenelon-Barnes and Caravaggio make their way down the stairs and to the
We have 30, 000 troops in Tobruk.
What are they going to be doing?
(continuing to pack)
Giving Rommel a bloody nose. That's
my suggestion. But did you hear
the BBC last nigh? Tobruk is of no
strategic importance - makes you wonder.
AICHA is at the bottom of the stairs. She falls into step.
Jerry's got our maps you know. Swines.
Before the war we helped them run about
the desert making maps - and now they
get spies into Cairo using our maps, they'll
get Rommel into Cairo using our maps.
The whole of the desert like a bus route
and we gave it to them. Any foreigner who
turned up - welcome to the Royal Geographic,
take our maps. Madox went mad, you know -
you knew Peter Madox? - after he found
out he'd been betrayed by his friend.
Absolutely destroyed the poor sod. Shot
himself in a church in Dorset.
Caravaggio opens the door, Fenelon-Barnes goes through.
144*. EXT. BRITISH HEADQUARTERS. TOBRUK. DAY.
The Fenelon-Barnes trunk is taken from Caravaggio and joins the pile of
luggage and artifacts, which wait to be shipped out.
I'd like to get that bastard Almásy -
settle the score, eh? That's my
fantasy - said he, clearing out.
Must have been a spy all along.
146*. EXT. TOBRUK DOCKSIDE. DAY.
A GERMAN TROOP CARRIER rumbles forward passing a line of BEDRAGGLED
BRITISH POWS as they're marched along the side of harbor.
146a*. EXT. TOBRUK RUINED QUARTER. DAY.
A HILL OF SALVAGED ARMY BOOTS is being explored by a couple of GERMAN
SOLDIERS in search of better footwear. Below them the POWS trudge by,
one of them barefoot. ONE OF THE GERMANS tosses down a pair of boots
then continues his own perusal.
146b*. EXT. TOBRUK SQUARE. DAY.
A crowd of Tobruk CIVILIANS - French and Italians among the MOSTLY ARAB
FACES. Their papers are being thoroughly checked by officers sitting
at open desks. IN A LINE, WEARING HIS SHABBY SUIT, IS CARAVAGGIO. AN
ARAB WOMAN in front of him is arguing over the identity of her
ominously CAUCASIAN-LOOKING CHILD. An INTERPRETER mediates. The
OFFICER doesn't believe the woman. She's getting frantic at the
possibility of losing her child.
Suddenly there's a disturbance as a WOMAN is dragged along the line by
her hair. She's bloodied, and has been tortured, and it's hard to
recognize her as the pretty AICHA. She touches a couple of people in
the line. They're horrified. Soldiers pull them away. Caravaggio
doesn't look, stares straight ahead. An officer watches him AS HE
TURNS BRIEFLY AND HELPLESSLY OUT OF CONCERN FOR HER. THEIR EYES CATCH
FOR AN INSTANT AND THE OFFICER SEES IT.
CARAVAGGIO RUNS, bolts for cover, vaulting the rubble which blocks one
corner of the square. The CONGREGATION throws itself to the ground
until the square has only standing soldiers and a running man.
146c*. EXT. TOBRUK. INTERIOR OF RUINED BUILDING. DAY.
Shots pursue Caravaggio as he disappears behind the rubble, then bobs
up again as he darts inside a blasted building. He clambers up some
ruined stairs, heaves over the wall.
146d*. EXT. TOBRUK. FACADE OF RUINED BUILDING. DAY.
CARAVAGGIO grabs a metal bar on the facade of the building, from which
he hangs, looking for the next foothold. Soldiers appear along the top
of the building, shouting, rifles ready. AN OFFICER arrives and stops
the soldiers firing, and the others begin to laugh as Caravaggio hangs
from the bar fifteen feet above a balcony, slowly losing his strength.
Another SOLDIER waits for him in the balcony below. Now he starts to
laugh. Caravaggio hangs.
147*. INT. INTERROGATION ROOM. TOBRUK. NOVEMBER 13,1942. DAY.
Caravaggio is slumped at a table, HIS HANDS MANACLED TO ITS THICK
WOODEN LEGS. There's A TELEPHONE at another table in the corner of the
room attended by a CLERK with A STENOGRAPHER working next to him. The
room has stone walls which appear damp, and no windows. SOLDIERS stand
guard at the door. It's a horrible room. Caravaggio is trying to
sleep, he's unshaven, and pasty-looking. His interrogator, Müller,
seems incredibly tired and aggravated. He's on the phone.
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.
He slams down the phone and comes back to the table.
Petty thief, six months imprisonment
Kingston Penitentiary, 1937.
(barely with humor)
I keep explaining. You've got the wrong
man. My name is Bellini - Antonio
Bellini. Bellini, Caravaggio, both
painters, I think that is confusing you.
Müller doesn't even pay attention, he's going through a file. Pulls
out some photographs, starts spreading them out.
Is this you?
I don't know.
It is you. This was taken in Cairo at
British Headquarters - July 41. And so was
this - August 41. And this -February 42.
It's impossible. 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.
THE PHONE rings again, is answered. The Clerk calls to Müller who gets
up, irritably. Caravaggio addresses the room.
Could I have a doctor? I am passing
blood. I must be bleeding internally.
(to the clerk)
Can you get a doctor? Look -
(he spits onto the table,
there's blood in his mouth)
I'm leaking blood.
(he indicates a Guard)
He kicks me. He kicks me all the time.
Nobody responds. Müller is irascible on the phone, checking his watch,
negotiating time. The call finishes.
He's asking for a doctor.
You want a doctor?
Yes, I've been asking for weeks, a
month, I don't know, also my leg was -
We don't have a doctor, but we
do have a nurse.
A nurse? Well, sure, a nurse is great.
A nurse? Great.
Müller nods at the Clerk, who instantly gets up. Just then the
telephone rings again. He hesitates.
Leave it and get the nurse!
The Clerk exits. The phone rings. The Stenographer is plagued by
flies. Suddenly he slaps at one.
Why is there so much nose? I can't
hear myself think!
(turns to Caravaggio)
Look - give me something. So we can
all get out of this room. A name. A code.
(wiping his face)
It's too hot.
I slept with the girl. I've got a wife
in Tripoli. A girl comes up and points
at you, you only see trouble.
The NURSE comes in. She is Arab and her head is covered.
I'll tell you what I'm going to do. This
is your nurse, by the way. She's Moslem,
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 - is it the hands that are cut off?
Or is that for stealing? Does anyone know?
There's silence. Müller turns to Caravaggio.
Well, you must know. You were
brought up Libya, yes?
Don't cut me.
Or was it Toronto?
Don't cut me. Come on.
Now the phone starts again. The CLERK picks it up, there's a terse
exchange, he puts the receiver on the desk, waits for the moment to
Ten fingers. How about this? You
give me a name for every finger -
doesn't matter who. I get something,
you keep something. I'm trying to be
reasonable. Fenelon-Barnes, we could
call that two names.
(pauses, suddenly puzzled)
Are thumbs fingers?
(in GERMAN to the others)
Is a thumb a finger?
No response. Müller opens his palms to Caravaggio.
I get no help from these people.
The telephone -
Müller walks over, takes the receiver and slams it down. an AIR RAID
SIREN is going off somewhere, and now the faint sound of explosions is
also discernible, but all muffled in this room with the steady clack-
clack of the STENOGRAPHER. At that moment, Müller suddenly becomes
aware of what is happening. He turns on the Stenographer.
What are you doing?
(awkward, in German)
That Geneva Convention. I'm -
Müller peremptorily rips out the paper, throws it on the floor.
You can't do that! Hey - come on!
DURING THIS Müller's gone to the table, pulled out a drawer and
produced A CUT-THROAT RAZOR. He hands it to the nurse, makes a line
across his own left thumb and jerks his head towards Caravaggio. The
nurse is extremely reluctant. Müller claps his hands, pushes her
Go! Hey! Go!
Caravaggio is in terror.
Oh Jesus. Oh Jesus Christ.
The guards come away from the door and press down on Caravaggio's
shoulders to prevent him from moving. The nurse, grim-faced,
approaches, kneels at the table.
(as she prepares to cut)
Listen, I'll give you a name. What
name did you say? I knew them!
I promise. Please - please!
And then he SCREAMS AND SCREAMS and jerks up, carrying the guards and
the table with him, all heaving off the ground, the nurse thrown off
balance. He falls to the floor, ROARING WITH PAIN, blood everywhere,
the table on top of him. The AIR RAID is continuing outside, the PHONE
IS RINGING, the nurse stands, pale, blood all over her uniform.
Cut the other thumb.
He stabs at his own right thumb.
This one! Come on!
The nurse, horrified, shakes her head. Müller snatches the razor from
her and heads towards the prostate Caravaggio.
One Guard has got to his feet and grips Caravaggio around the neck in
half-nelson, others holding his legs, while Müller approaches.
Caravaggio can't move. He's gurgling as the Guard almost strangles
him. His eyes are streaming with tears.
Now Müller is at his other hand, and the ROAR of pain again lifts
Caravaggio to his feet, THE WHOLE TABLE RISING IN THE AIR, his
mutilated hands slipping from the handcuffs lie Houdini, the drawers of
the table SPILLING their contents everywhere, before he sinks to his
knees like a gored bull and BLACKS OUT.
148 INT. INTERROGATION ROOM. TOBRUK. DAY.
LATER, and Caravaggio comes round. His eyes open and then his face
spasms with pain. He looks down at his ruined hands, then realizes
he's alone on the floor of the room, the papers still scattered, the
table on its side. He gets up and staggers out of the open door and up
149*. INT. STAIRS FROM INTERROGATION ROOM. TOBRUK. DAY.
The corridor is deserted, but the body of a GERMAN SOLDIER sprawls on
the stairs leading up to daylight. Outside Caravaggio can hear
150*. EXT. ROOF. INTERROGATION BUILDING. DAY.
Caravaggio walks unsteadily along the roof of the building. Grey and
yellow gusts of smoke and the rat-ta-tat-tat of machine gun fire
accompany him, and there's the sound of vehicles screeching and people
shouting nearby, but no visual clues as to what's happening.
SUDDENLY A PARACHUTE FLOATS DOWN BY HIM. THEN ANOTHER. THEN ANOTHER.
HE'S SURROUNDED BY PARACHUTES. THE BRITISH ARE RECLAIMING TOBRUK. A
PARATROOPER LANDS ON THE ROOF, AND GESTURES TO CARAVAGGIO TO RAISE HIS
HANDS. HE SLOWLY DOES SO.
151*. INT. THE PATIENT'S ROOM. NIGHT.
Caravaggio stands in front of the bed, holding up his NAKED HANDS to
the Patient, like a man surrendering - two flaps like gills where his
thumbs were. The Patient reaches out to take his hands and gently
lowers them. Caravaggio finds his bandages, start to wrap them back
round his fists.
The man who took my thumbs, I found
him eventually - he's dead. The man who
took my photograph, I found him too -
that took me a year. He's dead. Another
man took that man across the desert to
Cairo. Now I intend to find him.
The LIGHTS FROM THE MOTORBIKE approaching the Monastery, its growl.
Caravaggio goes to the window and watches as Kip and Hana arrive.
152 INT. AMBASSADOR'S RESIDENCE. CAIRO, 1939. NIGHT.
Last seen at the Troops Christmas party, the INNER COURTYARD has been
transformed into an elegant outdoor banquet, with band. The
Almásy/Madox team is assembled for A FAREWELL DINNER. They are waiting
for Almásy to arrive, his seat conspicuously empty. He is very late.
And then he's there, dangerous drunk, terribly dashing. He practically
dances to his chair, which he drags violently away from its position
opposite Katharine. He bows to Lady Hampton.
I believe I'm rather late.
(ignoring the drama of this entrance)
Good, we're all here? A toast,
to the International Sand club -
may it soon resurface.
The International Sand Club!
(raising his glass)
Misfits, buggers, fascists, and
paedophiles. God bless us every one.
The others drink, trying to ignore his mood.
Oops! Mustn't say International.
Dirty word. Filthy word. His Majesty!
Die Führer! Il Duce.
Sorry, what's your point?
(ignoring the remark)
And the people here don't want us.
Are you kidding? The Egyptians are
desperate to get rid of the Colonials...
(to an embarrassed Fouad)
- isn't that right? Their best people
get down on hands and knees
begging to be spared a knighthood.
(to his host, Sir Hampton)
Isn't that right?
Ronnie Hampton shrugs. They're all very uncomfortable. Almásy glares
What's my point?
Oh! I've invented a new dance - the
Bosphorus Hug. Anybody up to it?
Madox? D'Ag? Come on D'Aggers.
Let's eat first. Sit down.
The Band is now playing Manhattan - Almásy, without missing a beat,
begins to sing, replacing the words with alternatives he knows. He
lurches around. Katharine can't look at him.
...We'll bathe at Brighton, the fish
we'll frighten when we're in. your
bathing suit so thin will make the
shellfish grin, fin to fin. -- Those
were the words - actually - before
they were cleaned up. Could be a
song for you, Mrs. Clifton -
(a perfect English accent)
Madox gets up and pulls Almásy into his chair, taking charge.
Look, either shut up, or go home.
Absolutely right, shut up. Lashings of
apologies all round.
153*. EXT. AMBASSADOR'S RESIDENCE. NIGHT.
Later, now MOST OF THE GROUP ARE DANCING. We see Katharine dancing
with Rupert Douglas, enjoying herself. Bermann is there and even Madox
jogging and grinning foolishly. Clifton looks at Katharine who, as the
dance ends, excuses herself to go to the cloakroom. Almásy hovers in
the shadows, unseen.
154*. INT. AMBASSADOR'S RESIDENCE. NIGHT.
Katharine comes along the familiar warren of rooms and corridors and is
suddenly confronted by Almásy, tortured and out of control.
Why did you hold his collar?
(mimicking her inflection)
What? What? That boy, that little boy,
you were holding his collar, gripping
his collar, what for?
Would you let me pass?
Is he next? Do you drag him into your
little room? Where is it? Is this it?
Don't do this.
I've watched you - on verandahs, at
Garden Parties, at the Races - how
can you stand there? How can you
ever smile? As if your life hadn't capsized?
You know why?
He tries to hold her. She resists
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?
Some women, flushed with dancing, turn the corner on the way to the
Ladies Room. They collect Katharine in their train and leave Almásy to
fall back into the shadows.
155 INT. THE PATIENTS' ROOM. NIGHT.
Hana sits with the Patient. His eyes are full of tears. He opens
them, sees her, watching over him. He's embarrassed.
Why don't you go?
(wiping his eyes)
You should sleep.
Would you like me to?
He nods. She gets up, touches his hand, then leaves.
156*. INT. THE MONASTERY, LANDING AND STAIRS. NIGHT.
Hana leaves the room, then turns and sees A TINY LAMP on the floor,
it's made from a SNAIL SHELL and oil. She bends to it curiously, then
sees a second lamp half-way down the stairs, then a third further down.
She smiles in the light, then follows the trail.
157 EXT. THE MONASTERY CLOISTERS. NIGHT.
In the Cloisters THE TRAIL OF SHELL LAMPS CONTINUES, like tiny cat's
eyes. As they reach the hopscotch chalk marks, they outline the
squares. Hana HOPSCOTCHES and then follows the light, disappearing
round a corner.
158 INT. THE MONASTERY STABLES. NIGHT.
Hana comes through into the stables. The lamps lead her, then they
stop. She peers into the shadows.
She turns to the voice. He steps out of the darkness.
And he goes to her.
159 EXT. THE MONASTERY STABLES. EARLY MORNING.
Hardy knocks cautiously on the door of the stables. Eventually Hana
opens the door.
I was looking for the Lieutenant Singh.
Only we have to go to work.
I'll tell him. What is it? Is it a mine?
A bomb. At the Viaduct.
She closes the door, then reappears.
Does he have to go?
What if you couldn't find him...?
Sergeant, not today, please.
Not this morning.
Kip comes to the door, winding his turban.
What's happening? Am I needed?
I'm afraid so, sir.
Kip hurries to his tent. Hana follows him.
Don't go. I'm frightened. I can love
a coward, I can't love another dead man.
This is what I do. I do this every day.
And he's ready, Hardy having wheeled out their motorcycles. He gets on
his, and they're away, Hana hardly able to look.
160 EXT. A VIADUCT NORTH OF THE MONASTERY. DAY.
KIP IS LOWERED BY A PULLEY INTO THE SHAFT THE SAPPERS HAVE MADE AROUND
THE BOMB. Hardy supervises. The bombs huge - 2, 000 lbs, and
protrudes ostrich-like from the pit, its nose sunk into a pool of
sludge at the base of the viaduct.
Kip steps off and sinks knee deep in mud, grunting in disgust.
Warily, he touches his huge opponent, feeling the condition of the
case. He wipes the metal. Reveals a serial number, calls it out to
Hardy, who's perched on the bank.
Serial number - KK-1P2600.
He's hypnotized by the number: KK-1P: a bomb with his name on it.
161 EXT. ROAD APPROACHING VIADUCT. DAY.
Hana cycles along on Caravaggio's bicycle. A TANK comes roaring up
behind her, then a second and a third, loaded up with people, citizens
and soldiers, and children, waving flags and gesticulating. She lets
the metal circus go by.
162 INT. BOMB SHAFT. DAY.
Back in the shaft, Kip works away, his fingers shaking with the cold
from the oxygen he's using to freeze the fuse. Suddenly there's a
VIOLENT TREMOR. The ground is SHUDDERING, and the bomb slips horribly.
Kip GRABS AT IT helplessly as if trying to stop a man from falling,
instead it falls on him pushing him into the sludge.
Hardy! Hardy! What's happening?!
163 EXT. VIADUCT. DAY.
The TANKS are rumbling towards the Viaduct. HORNS start sounding.
HARDY, below, bellows at his men above for explanation.
Tanks, sir. Don't know what it's about.
God only knows.
What is this - a bloody carnival?
Three Sappers run across the bridge towards the oncoming procession.
They wave their orange flags, the tanks wave back wit their flags -
Stars and Stripes, Union Jacks. Now SHOTS are ringing out. In the
shaft, oblivious, Kip slides out from under the bomb, the oxygen
spurting everywhere, all over his clothes, hissing on the surface of
the water. Hardy bends into the shaft, heedless of his own safety.
You've got to cut, sir, that frost
This is making me incredibly angry.
He rubs his hands to warm them up, locates his needle pliers and slips
them through the tiny gap. His hand touches the casing and the freeze
BURNS his hand. He jerks back, DROPPING THE PLIERS into the sludge,
Now he's on his hands and knees in the sludge, trying frantically to
find the pliers. Hardy looks at his watch, he can't help. The seconds
run out as Kip grovels in the mud. Totally submerged, he suddenly
comes out with the pliers, goes straight to the fuse, no finesse, and
cuts. There's a snip. Then nothing. Then Kip laughs at Hardy.
Hardy is already at the winch, hauling it up. Kip can hardly clip on
the halter - his hands numb and burned. As the pulley jerks he just
clings on, rising from the grip of the mud like an ancient corpse out
of a bog.
The other sappers have gathered around the edge of the site. Great
elation on their faces.
Get a blanket!
(not getting attention)
Dade! Get the Lieutenant a blanket.
It's over, Sarge. It's over. Jerry's surrendered.
Kip shakes his hand. Kip shakes Hardy's hand.
And now they're all shaking hands, and slapping backs and the SOLDIERS
FROM THE TANKS are there and the victory celebrations begin. Kip's
blank, drained, not taking anything in, as Dade wraps a blanket around
HANA'S ON TOP OF THE VIADUCT, watching as Kip is wrapped in his
blanket, the men celebrating. She shouts with relief from the top of
164 INT. THE PATIENT'S ROOM. NIGHT.
A VICTORY CELEBRATION PARTY.
The gramophone plays Frank Sinatra. Kip sits in the window, the
shutters open, the village lit up behind his head, nodding to the
music, sucking out of his condensed milk. Elsewhere there is an open
bottle of cognac, some wine. The Patient has a beaker of wine.
Caravaggio is dancing with Hana.
Kip - come and dance with me
(a sly wobble of the head)
Caravaggio swirls past the Patient - nodding at the cognac.
Have a drink.
I've had a drink. Fatal.
Well, anything you do is likely
to be fatal, so you know -
165 EXT. VILLAGE SQUARE. NIGHT.
A tiny PIAZZA where the Sappers and the Villagers are having their own,
more raucous, Victory Feste. There are accordions, there's dancing,
and there's HARDY, stripped to some exotic underpants, a large tattoo:
DORIS inside a heart, clambering up the EQUESTRIAN STATUE IN THE MIDDLE
OF THE FOUNTAIN. He's astride the horse and now straining to get up to
the tip of the outstretched sword, so that he can hang the UNION JACK
FLAG he has in his mouth.
BLACKLER, one of the Sappers, is Hardy's assistant. He's drunk and
slips from his ladder, falling flat on his back into the fountain with
a great splash, to much hilarity.
166 INT. THE PATIENT'S ROOM. NIGHT.
Hana and Caravaggio are still dancing. The music has stopped.
Caravaggio changes the record. Hana goes to Kip for a second, beaming,
before Caravaggio has snatched her away again. The Patient taps along
to the music.
Who knows the Bosphorus Hug?
Never heard of it.
That was a dance we invented at
the International Sand Club.
What? You and Madox? Or you
and Katharine Clifton?
(a small laugh)
There's a muddled thud in the distance, Kip's ears prick up. He
glances for an instant out of the window.
(anxious, of the noise)
What was that?
She is spinning with Caravaggio. When she comes round again, Kip has
167 EXT. VILLAGE SQUARE. ITALY 1945. NIGHT.
Kip's motorbike skids into the tiny PIAZZA.
A MILITARY AMBULANCE IS ALREADY THERE. Dade and SPALDING are presiding
as the paramedics take two bodies into the rear of the truck. The
shattered fountain, the sluiced flagstones, shining wet and slick, give
some clues as to what's happened, as do the elderly standing in the
shadows, the distressed girls, arm in arm. ONE GIRL, young and quite
striking, is particularly inconsolable, her grief sobbed out at the
doors of the ambulance.
SPALDING salutes Kip, who waves his salute away, just wanting to know
Booby trap. They was running up the
Union Jack, sir, up off that statue -
It just went off.
Should have been me. It was my idea
but Sergeant Hardy climbed up, sir,
him and Blackler.
Kip goes to the ambulance. Spalding tries to stop him.
Sir - you don't want to look.
Kip steps into the back of the ambulance, bends over both bodies, does
look, then comes out, past the weeping girl.
Who's that girl?
His fiancee, sir.
Kept it a bit dark.
168 EXT. THE MONASTERY. APPROACHING DAWN.
Kip has pulled out all of Hardy's gear. Now he starts on the tent.
Hana comes out into the step. Kip turns, his eyes brimming, sees her,
sighs, then turns back and kicks at the pegs, collapsing the tent.
Now he's trying to fold a shirt. Hana takes it from him. She folds
it. Then together they start to fold the tent, Kip orchestrating, not
wanting to talk. Finally, Kip looks at Hana, stiff with emotion.
I was thinking yesterday - yesterday! -
the Patient, 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 -
he was engaged to a girl in the village! -
I mean -
(looks at Hana)
and us - he never once... He didn't
ask me if I could spin the ball at
cricket or the kamasutra or -
I don't even know what I'm
You loved him.
169*. INT. THE PATIENT'S ROOM. EVENING.
Caravaggio, reading Dante aloud in Italian, smoking, walks over to the
window, looks out.
169*. EXT. KIP'S TENT. EVENING.
Hana is approaching Kip's tent, carrying a light. She ducks inside the
tent and the light disappears.
169b*. INT. THE PATIENT'S ROOM. EVENING.
Caravaggio turns back into the room, towards the Patient, still
170 INT. KIP'S TENT. NIGHT.
Hana lies over Kip, unraveling his turban, slowly, sensual.
If one night I didn't come to the tent,
what would you do?
I try not to expect you.
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?
That makes me never want to come here.
But she continues unraveling the turban.
Then I tell myself he spends all
day searching, in the night he
wants to be found.
171*. EXT. BASECAMP AT THE CAVE OF SWIMMERS. 1939. DAY.
The Expedition Team is packing up the Basecamp. Madox and Almásy are
loading things into the plane. FOUAD, AL AUF and others work at the
Had a letter from my wife. The wisteria
is still out, which I'm looking forward
to. She says Dorset is gripped with
Invasion Fever. Wrong coast I
should have thought, still...
Bermann thinks he'll be interned,
poor fellow. I'm going to do what
I can, but... And D'Ag turns out
to be a great admirer of Mussolini.
So now you can say I told you so.
I told you so.
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. Thanks for the compass.
I'll look after it for you.
(shrugging this off)
When's Clifton picking you up?
Tomorrow afternoon. Don't worry.
I'll be ready.
I'll leave the plane in the hangar at
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.
Madox kneels and takes A HANDFUL OF SAND, puts it into his pocket. He
throws his haversack into the plane then turns. Almásy puts out a
hand. This is a moment of great emotional weight for them both,
conducted as if nothing were happening.
I have to teach myself not to read
too much into everything. Comes of
too long having to read so much into
hardly anything at all.
Goodbye, my friend.
They shake hands.
May God make safety your companion.
There is no God.
But I hope someone looks after you.
Madox clambers into his plane, then remembers something, jabs at his
In case you're still wondering - this
is called the supasternal notch.
Almásy nods, goes to the propeller.
Come and visit us in Dorset. When
all this nonsense is over.
You'll never come to Dorset.
The plane roars into life. Almásy watches it taxi away - then heads
back to continue with his packing up.
172*. INT. THE PATIENT'S ROOM. NIGHT.
MADOX SHOOTS HIMSELF BEHIND THE ALTAR IN THE ROOM. The Patient's
stertorous breathing, each intake accompanied by a small noise, a note,
suddenly stops. Then steadies again. He appears to be alone.
173 EXT. GARDEN. NIGHT.
Kip is in the tent, looking out of the flap, waiting for Hana.
174*. INT. THE MONASTERY KITCHEN. NIGHT.
Kip walks in looking for Hana.
174a*. INT. THE PATIENT'S ROOM. NIGHT.
Kip enters, sees Hana is not with the Patient, hears his uneven
breathing, then goes out. From the shadows of the room, CARAVAGGIO
shifts position. He's slumped on the floor, staring at the man prone
in the bed.
174b*. INT. HANA'S ROOM. NIGHT.
Into her bedroom, Kip can't find her there either. He turns to go,
walking down the wooden stairs, until her voice stops him in his
tracks. She's in the shadows of the eaves.
Sometimes I need you to find me.
175*. INT. THE PATIENT'S ROOM. NIGHT.
The Patient's eyes open to see Caravaggio at the morphine.
Hana tells me you're leaving.
(preparing the injection)
There are going to be trials, they
want me to interpret, don't they
know I'm allergic to courtrooms?
We shall miss you.
He delivers the injection. The Patient sighs. Caravaggio takes off
his jacket. A pistol is stuck in his waistband. The Patient sees it.
So, I come across the Hospital Convoy
(holds up the syringe)
I was looking for this stuff, and some
nurse, Mary, Hana's friend, tells me
about you and Hana, hiding in a
monastery, in purdah, whatever it is -
(he administers his own injection,
using his teeth grip the sleeve)
how you'd come in from the Desert
and you were burned and you didn't
know your name but you knew the
words to every song there was and
you had one possession -
(picks it up)
full of letters and cuttings, and then
I knew it must be you.
I'd seen you writing in that book.
At the Embassy in Cairo, when I
had thumbs and you had a face.
And a name.
Before you went over to the Germans,
before you got 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 they made an impression.
And you thought you'd come and
settle the score?
You were the only man who knew
the desert well enough, the only
man who would cross seventeen
hundred miles of nothing.
I had to get back to the desert. I made a
promise. The rest meant nothing to me.
What did you say?
The rest meant nothing to me.
There was a result to what you did.
It wasn't just another expedition.
(holds up hands)
It did this. If the British hadn't
unearthed your nosey photographer
in Cairo thousands of people could
Thousands of people did die, just
But you were among the British, they
were your friends - why betray them?
(a bitter laugh)
Is that what you thought? That I
betrayed the British? The British
betrayed me. The British betrayed me.
176*. EXT. BASECAMP AT CAVE OF SWIMMERS. 1939. DAY.
Almásy sits on a ridge transferring map of information from his
Herodotus onto a sheet of paper. He looks up at the sound of Clifton's
approaching Steerman. He folds up the map and sticks it inside one of
Clifton's CHAMPAGNE BOTTLES and lodges it between the rocks.
176a*. INT. STEERMAN. DAY.
Clifton is flying the STEERMAN up to Gilf Kebir. From the air it's
possible to make out Almásy scrambling down from the ridge towards
where the stones indicate a landing area, carrying the last of the
materials from the Cave of Swimmers. Almásy waves in recognition and
177 EXT. BASECAMP AT THE CAVE OF SWIMMERS. DAY.
Almásy watches as the plane drops towards him, shielding his eyes
against the sun. the plane bounces along the runway, not quite
landing. Almásy continues packing the equipment.
Almásy looks up to see the plane swerve, now suddenly HEADING STRAIGHT
TOWARDS HIM. He's completely vulnerable, nowhere to run. He dives at
the ground. THE PLANE SMASHES AGAINST AN INVISIBLE RIDGE AND TURNS
OVER AND OVER, the wings snapping off like twigs as it hurtles past the
prostrate Almásy. He gets to his feet and starts to run towards the
A blue line of smoke is uncoiling from the plane, but no fire. Almásy
pulls away the debris to find GEOFFREY - SLUMPED, NECK BROKEN, BLOODY.
He tries to move him, and in the process reveals, to his ABSOLUTE
horror, KATHARINE, STARING GRIMLY AHEAD, UNABLE TO MOVE. He's frantic.
Katharine! Oh dear God, Katharine -
what are you doing here?
(eyes rolling, an incredible weariness)
I can't move. I can't get out.
Almásy starts to pull at the wreck around her.
DURING THIS -
Why did he bring you?
A surprise, he said.
Almásy inspects Clifton, tries to find a pulse. The smoke circles
around them. Katharine looks at her husband.
Poor Geoffrey. He knew. He must
have known all the time. He was
shouting - I love you, Katharine,
I love you so much. Is he badly hurt?
His neck is odd.
Almásy puts his arm around Katharine to try and pull her clear. She
can't stand the pain.
Please don't move me. It hurts too much.
We've got to get you out of here.
It hurts too much.
(can't bear to hurt her)
I know, darling, I'm sorry.
The smoke thickens. He pulls - hard - the pain from which causes
Katharine to gasp, then pass out. They slip haphazardly to the ground,
cushioned a little by the sand. He lifts her gently into his arms and
carries her from the danger of the place, then turns and runs back.
THE PLANE SUDDENLY ERUPTS IN FLAMES. Almásy dashes into the fire,
disappearing into the smoke before emerging with Clifton over his
shoulder, fireman's-lift style.
178 EXT. THE CAVE OF SWIMMERS. DAY.
He has WRAPPED KATHARINE IN THE SILK FOLDS OF HER PARACHUTE and emerges
from the near the familiar cleft in the rock, struggling with the
exertion of the climb as they approach the Cave of Swimmers. He has a
large water bottle slung around his neck and a haversack, and is loaded
like a pack horse. Katharine opens her eyes.
Why did you hate me?
Don't you know you drove everybody mad?
You speak so many bloody languages
and you never want to talk.
They stagger on. He suddenly notices a stain of gold at her neck.
It's saffron, leaking from a silver THIMBLE which hangs from a black
You're wearing the thimble.
Of course. You idiot. I always wear it.
I've always worn it. I've always loved you.
Almásy CRIES as he walks - huge sobs, no words - convulsed with the
pain of it. They approach the Cave.
179*. INT. CAVE OF SWIMMERS. DAY.
Almásy comes through in shadows, carrying Katharine, blocking out the
light that pours into the entrance of the cave. Once inside, he sets
her down incredibly gently, makes a bed of blankets and the parachute.
He turns on his flashlight.
It's so cold.
I know. I'm sorry. I'll make a fire.
I'll be back.
Don't leave me!
I'm just going to find things for the fire.
179a*. INT. CAVE OF SWIMMERS. TORCHLIGHT.
Almásy returns with the stocks of ACACIA TWIGS the Expedition had
cached. As he makes the fire, the light sends his shadow flitting
across the walls.
Shall we be all right?
(with a laugh)
(as he works)
Listen to me, Katharine. You've broken
your ankle and I'm going to have to try
and bind it. I think your wrist might be
broken, too - and some ribs, which is
why it's hurting you to breathe. I'm
going to have to walk to El Taj. Given
all the traffic in the desert these days
I should bump into one army or another
before I reach there - or Fenelon-Barnes
and his camel. And then I'll be back
and we'll be fine, and I'll never leave you.
The fire is lit and he comes over to her, kneels beside her.
Do you promise? I wouldn't want to die
here. I wouldn't want to die in the desert.
I've always had a rather elaborate funeral
in mind, with particular hymns. Very
English. 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 you.
I promise I'll come back. I promise
I'll never leave you. And there's
plenty of water and food. You
can have a party.
He kisses her tenderly. Pulls out his HERODOTUS and lays it beside
her. Then he puts down the FLASHLIGHT.
And a good read.
(of the flashlight battery)
Don't waste it.
Will you bury Geoffrey? I know
I'm sorry, Katharine.
Every night I cut out my heart but
in the morning it was full again.
He's tearing strips from the parachute with his knife. As he starts to
bind her wrist he gets her to talk, trying to distract her from the
Tell me about your garden.
(tries to focus)
Our Garden, our garden - not so much
the garden, but the copse alongside it,
wild, a secret way plunging down to the
shore and then nothing but water
between you and France. The Devil's
Chimney it was called -
(he pulls tight on the binding)
The Devil's Chimney, I don't know why.
(he kisses her)
Darling. My darling.
180 EXT. THE DESERT. DUSK.
ALMÁSY BURYING CLIFTON. He's dug a narrow trench, and now he goes to
the body. Clifton's face is oil stained, bloody. Almásy takes his
handkerchief and, pouring his precious water into it, CLEANS GEOFFREY'S
THE PATIENT'S (O/S)
Seventy miles, north - north west.
I had Madox's compass. A man can
walk in the desert as fast as a camel.
That's about two and a half miles an hour.
181 EXT. THE DESERT. NIGHT.
Alamos's walking. He slides and collapses as he misjudges a dune, gets
up, stumbles on.
THE PATIENT (O/S)
I stopped at noon and at twilight.
Three days there, I told her, then
three hours back by jeep. Don't go
anywhere. I'll be back.
182 EXT. THE DESERT. DAWN.
He trudges on, his eyes opening and closing. He's singing to keep
awake. Darktown Strutter's Ball. - I'll be down to get you in the
taxi, honey... He does a little shuffle. Looks behind at the crazy
trail of his footprints.
182a*. EXT. THE CHOTT. DAWN.
A vast flat expanse of dried salt lake. A remorseless horizon. Almasy
walks, checking the compass, squinting at the sun. then he sees a
cloud of dust traveling across the horizon. It comes closer moving at
great speed, reveals itself. An OSTRICH.
183 EXT. WELL. DAY.
Almásy lowers himself by an old rope down into a gully. He approaches
a pile of stones and removes them to reveal a brackish pool of filthy
water. He drinks, pouring water over his head, grimacing at the taste,
but parched too.
184*. EXT. APPROACHING EL TAJ. DAY.
Almásy gets his first sight of the fortress town of EL TAJ and sinks to
his knees, in relief and exhaustion. Then he gets up and trudges
towards the town. A CORPORAL with a rifle in his hands appears.
184a*. INT. EL TAJ. DAY.
The Corporal brings Almásy into a square. A young OFFICER appears from
the shadows of his office. His JEEP is parked in the shade.
Could I trouble you for some water?
(registering the accented English)
Yes, of course.
(the Corporal has a water bottle,
hands it to Almásy)
So, golly, where have you come from?
(gulping the water)
I desperately need a jeep. There's
been an accident.
No, I'm not thinking clearly - I need
a doctor too, to come with me, can I
take this vehicle? I'll pay, of course -
and some morphine and...
Seventy miles - I can be back
here by dusk.
Do you have your papers, sir?
If I could just see some identification.
Am I not talking sense? - forgive me,
I'm, I've been walking, I've - there's a
woman badly injured at Gilf Kebir,
in the Cave of Swimmers. I am a
member of the Royal Geographical
Right. And what's your name, sir?
Count Laszlo de Almásy.
The Officer is writing this down. A glance at his Corporal.
Almásy - would you mind just
spelling that for me? What
nationality would that be?
Look, listen to me. A woman is dying -
my wife! - is dying seventy miles from
here. I have been walking for three
days! I don't want to spell my name,
I want you to give me this jeep!
I understand you are agitated -
perhaps you would like to sit down
while I radio back to HQ -
No! NO! Don't radio anybody,
just give me the fucking jeep!
Almásy sets on the Officer, hauling him by the lapels, but them
immediately loses his balance. As he stumbles up he gets the stock of
the Corporal's RIFLE across his head, KNOCKING HIM TO THE GROUND.
185*. EXT. EL TAJ STREET. DAY.
Almásy, head pounding, is in the back of the jeep, chained to the
tailgate. He's desperate. The Corporal is driving.
Hey! Hey! Stop this jeep! Let me
out of here - there's a woman dying,
there's a woman dying while I'm - Hey!
Please - I beg you, I beg you, I beg you,
please listen to me, this is a terrible
mistake. Just stop, please, and
listen to me. My wife is dying.
Listen, Fritz, if I have to listen
to another word from you I'll
give you a fucking good hiding.
Fritz? What are you talking about?
That's your name innit? Count
Fucking Arsehole Von Bismarck?
What's that supposed to be then, Irish?
Almásy, berserk, starts to yank at his chains, screaming.
Let me out, let me out, let me out -
186 INT. CAVE OF SWIMMERS. TORCHLIGHT.
Katharine has been writing in the Herodotus. The torchlight FLICKERS.
She shakes the torch. It FLICKERS again. Then goes out. Absolute
BLACKNESS. The sound of her trembling breath.
187*. EXT. A TRAIN. THE DESERT. DUSK.
A TRAIN scuttles through the desert.
187a*. INT. THE TRAIN. THE DESERT. DUSK.
Almásy is HANDCUFFED to the metal grille of the goods compartment.
He's lying down amongst a bunch of other prisoners and their little
bundles of possessions in this makeshift cell - some Arabs, some
A SERGEANT pushes a lavatory-bound prisoner along the corridor, leaving
behind A YOUNG PRIVATE who sits on a packing case, with a rifle across
his lap, reading a Penguin edition of Gulliver's Travels. Almásy is in
complete despair to be on the train. He tries to move, but he's locked
tight to the grille. He rattles the cuffs against the metal.
(the Soldier looks up)
I also need to use the lavatory.
You'll have to wait.
(calls up the corridor)
Sarge! Jerry wants to use the lav -
says it's urgent.
Where are we going, please?
To the coast. Benghazi. Soon be there.
Get a boat home. You'll be all right.
ALMÁSY CAN'T BEAR THIS NEWS. The SERGEANT returns.
Cramps. It's urgent.
Go on then - you take him.
188 INT. THE TRAIN CORRIDOR. THE DESERT. DAY.
The Soldier pushes Almásy along the corridor. They arrive outside the
lavatory. The Soldier is distracted for a split second. Enough for
Almásy to ELBOW HIM savagely in the stomach, winding him, then he KICKS
HIM REPEATEDLY in the head. He wraps his cuffs around the Soldier's
neck and - yanking them together and twisting - produces a tiny,
efficient and sickening snap.
He finds the KEY to the handcuffs, unlocks them, grabs the soldier and
drags him into the empty lavatory.
189 INT. TRAIN. THE DESERT. EVENING.
Almásy arrives at the rear of the train, passes the Kitchen carriage,
where Arabs sweat over the boiler. He pulls open the back door only to
surprise a GUARD, who's lolling casually, enjoying the sunset. Almásy
SHOOTS HIM with his stole rifle. He clambers over the guard rail and
leaps off the train - tumbling into the desert sunset.
190 EXT. RAILWAY TRACK. THE DESERT. EVENING.
Almásy, silhouetted against the evening sky, walks back down the track,
THREE HUNDRED MILES AWAY from the dying Katharine Clifton, no way now
of saving her. He is a tiny speck in the vast desert. His heart
broken. He sinks to his knees in despair.
191*. INT. THE PATIENT'S ROOM. NIGHT.
The Patient is exhausted. He has said aloud what has tortured him.
His failure to save Katharine. He looks at Caravaggio.
So yes. She died because of me.
Because I loved her. Because I
had the wrong name.
192 INT. THE MONASTERY STABLES. DAY.
Kip is working at a BLACKSMITH'S FORGE in the Stables. He is heating
pieces of metal. He has arranged his material on a bench - a bayonet,
a rifle, a piece of bomb casting.
Hana enters, goes up, hugs him from behind.
What are you up to?
That gun at Lahor, Kipling's cannon -
Zamzammah - remember? That was
made out of the metal of ordinary things.
I want to make an ordinary thing
out of guns.
His bayonet is thrust into the forge. It's red hot.
When I went to England I was amazed at
what went on, the waste - I'd been taught
to re-use everything, the dung from a cow
to cool a radiator, a fork to fix a
typewriter - India could live for a
hundred years on what I saw thrown away.
I should go to the house, get breakfast.
The lamp was burning all night in his
room. Caravaggio was there with him.
She goes to kiss him. He is over the fire and protests.
This is hot!
193*. INT. THE PATIENT'S ROOM. DAY.
Caravagio is injecting the Patient with morphine.
And did you never see Katharine? You
never got back to the Cave?
Yes, I got back there finally to keep
my promise. To come back for her.
And then of course I couldn't... I
couldn't even do that properly.
194 INT. THE MONASTERY STABLES. DAY.
Kip hammers the metal into its new shape. He stops, distracted by
something he's listening to on his crystal set. It's new he seems not
to fully understand, about a bomb dropping on Japan. A NEW KIND OF
THE METAL GLOWS A VIVID RED ON THE ANVIL.
Suddenly Kip slops it into the trough of water, sending a great hissing
column of steam.
195*. INT. THE PATIENT'S ROOM. DAY.
Caravaggio sits by the Patient.
You get to the morning and the
poison leaks away, doesn't it?
Black nights, fucking black nights,
when you want to howl like a dog.
I thought I would kill you. You
killed my friends, you ruined my
hands. But the girl was always
here, like some Guardian Angel.
You can't kill me. I died years ago.
No, now I can't kill you.
Kip storms into the room, walks straight up to the Patient and POINTS A
GUN AT HIM. Caravaggio is taken by surprise.
Kip - what are - ?
Stay out of this.
I looked up to you, Uncle. My brother
always said I was a fool. Never trust the
British, he said: the deal-makers, the
map-makers; never shake hands with them.
What are you talking about?
What have I been doing all this time?
Do you know how many mines I've seen? -
more mines than there are soldiers, more -
how many mines we've put in the ground
ourselves, stuffed in corpses, dropped
out of the sky. And now this.
He approaches the bed. Caravaggio tries to intervene.
Kip, listen -
Kip sings the rifle at him, KNOCKING HIM to the floor.
I said keep out of this!
He pulls of his earphones and rams them around the Patient's head,
dropping the set onto the bed. The Patient listens, coughing.
Can you hear? Can you hear what they're
celebrating? I listened to you, Uncle.
Sitting at your feet - always sitting at
somebody's feet - trying to learn. The
right way to hold a teacup, otherwise
you're out, the pukkah knot in your tie -
as if everything can be explained in
terms of a cricket bat and an accent.
Kip! - it's not even my name because
you can't say it. Kirpal Singh Bhuller
is my name.
Hana runs in, alerted by the commotion, stunned by what she sees.
Well, then ask him his name!
(getting in between Kip and the Patient)
What's happened? Kip! What's happening?
Don't shoot, please, don't shoot anybody.
They're excited! They're happy about
destroying a whole city. Would they
do that to a White Man's City? Never!
(pulling off the earphones)
Go on, do it. I don't need to hear any more.
Kip, listen, he lost everything because
he wasn't English - Jesus! - shoot me,
I'm more English than he is!
Kip levels the gun at the Patient. Then breaks it open, throws it down
on the bed, next to the earphones, from which the news continues to
leak, some words audible - Eunola Gay... Hiroshima... and from
different voices - It was beautiful! just beautiful! Bang! the
biggest bang you ever saw!
196 EXT. KIP'S TENT. LATE DAY.
Hana approaches. Kip is inside the tent, the flap zipped. She sees
his shadow move, then freeze as she calls his name. It's like a
confessional. The flap between them, the man in shadows, Hana
Kip. Kip. It's me.
Why? It's another bomb. However
big, what's the difference? There've
been so many bombs. What about
Coventry? What about Dresden?
Where were those cities?
I don't understand. Let me come in.
The shadow doesn't move. Hana is at a loss.
197 INT. THE PATIENT'S ROOM. EVENING.
The Patient becomes aware of something in the room, opens his eyes,
squints into the darkness and sees A FIGURE hovering against the wall.
He's in the Cave, he thinks, he's seeing the painted figures moving,
he's seeing the Swimmer.
KIP - bare chested, no turban, hair loose - stands in the shadows at
the foot of the Patient's bed.
198 INT. HANA'S ROOM. EVENING.
Kip comes into the room. Hana sits in the corner. She is nervous of
him, his look, his intensity.
Will you come with me?
Of course. When?
I mean home. India.
Kip... I -
I know - here I am always a brown man,
there you would be always a white woman.
Is that what you think? Is that what
you think I think?
It's what I've learned.
I'm thinking about your heart, not
your skin. And how to reach it. And
that I don't think I can. A bomb
has ruined us, just not the bomb
I thought would ruin us.
She stands, goes to him.
I've clung to you. I've clung to you.
Kip. Life a raft.
(clinging to her)
Then come with me.
199 EXT. THE MONASTERY. DAY.
Next morning and Kip has attached what he was making in the forge - A
NEW HANDLE - to the pump. Now he works it, producing a steady stream
of water. His motorbike is against the wall. He goes to it.
Caravaggio is watching. He hugs Kip, wrapping his arms around the boy
like a bear.
199a*. EXT. HANA'S VEGETABLE GARDEN. DAY.
HANA stands by her Vegetable Garden. Kip stops the motorbike. She
goes to him, stands, FASTENS THE TOP BUTTON of his coat. You feel she
might jump on the seat behind him. But she doesn't.
I'll always go back to that church.
Look at my painting.
I'll always go back to that church.
So one day we'll meet.
He nods, winds up the throttle, and is gone.
200 INT. THE PATIENT'S ROOM. DAY.
Hana comes in carrying FLOWERS and sets them down on the table next to
a clutch of MORPHINE AMPOULES. She picks up the hypodermic to prepare
his injection. She takes a phial. THE PATIENT REACHES OUT AND PUSHES
TWO MORE TOWARDS HER. THEIR EYES MEET, THEN HE SHOVELS ANOTHER, THEN
ALL OF THEM. She looks at him. IT'S A MASSIVE, LETHAL DOSE.
Hana starts to prepare the injection, her eyes filling with tears. The
Patient nods, smiles, whispers.
Thank you. Thank you.
She kisses him, gently on the mouth. He closes his eyes.
Read to me, will you? Read me to sleep.
201*. EXT.(NEAR THE) BASECAMP. CAVE OF SWIMMERS. 1942. DAY.
The familiar cleft in the rocks. A PLANE is coming in to land.
202 INT. CAVE OF SWIMMERS. TORCHLIGHT.
A flashlight flickers in the cave. ALMÁSY APPEARS.
KATHARINE'S CORPSE lies where he left her - a ghost on a bed of silk
and blankets. The chill of the cave has preserved her. She could be
asleep. She clutches the Herodotus.
Katharine, my darling.
He sobs, whispering to her. He's terribly cold, exhausted. He slips
underneath the covers to be next to her, and closes his eyes.
I'm so tired.
203*. INT. THE PATIENT'S ROOM. DAY.
The Patient is slipping away. Hana is reading from the last pages of
the Herodotus where KATHARINE HAS WRITTEN IN THE MARGINS.
My darling, I'm waiting for you - how
long is a day in the dark, or a week?
The Patient looks across AND WHAT HE SEES IS KATHARINE BESIDE HIM IN
THE BED, SMILING, STROKING HIS HEAD, SPEAKING TO HIM.
204 INT. CAVE OF SWIMMERS. FLASHLIGHT.
Katharine is writing. The FLASHLIGHT is faint. She shivers.
...the fire is gone now, and I'm
horribly cold. I really ought to
drag myself outside but then
there would be the sun...
She passes the flashlight across the wall, the painted figures dancing
in the pale light.
I'm afraid I waste the light on the
paintings and on writing these words...
205 INT. THE PATIENT'S ROOM. DAY.
THE BED IS EMPTY, THE MATTRESS STRIPPED. Hana stands in the doorway,
then sees THE HERODOTUS on the bedside table.
She picks it up, goes to the page of Katharine's letter, continues to
We die, we die rich with lovers and
tribes, tastes we have swallowed...
206*. EXT. LANE OUTSIDE THE MONASTERY GARDEN. DAY.
Caravaggio is at the gate to the Monastery. The TRUCK we saw before is
waiting with him. The PARTISAN with his head bandana and shotgun
remains the same, but now there are CHILDREN in the back and a WOMAN
sits behind the man, nursing a two-year-old.
Hana! Come on!
He gets up into the BALUSTRADE, tentatively finds his balance, then
starts to walk, heel to toe - slowly, and then with more confidence -
along the long thin line of stone. The children watch intently. He
turns and bows.
...bodies we have entered and swum up
like rivers, fears we have hidden in
like this wretched cave...
207*. EXT. THE MONASTERY CLOISTERS. DAY.
Hana walks across the cloisters, passing the chalked hopscotch squares,
leaving it all behind. Then she stops, bends, retrieves A SNAIL SHELL,
keeps going. KATHARINE'S VOICE CONTINUES.
208 INT. THE CAVE OF SWIMMERS. TORCHLIGHT.
ALMÁSY SMUDGES KATHARINE'S PALE FACE WITH COLOR. OCHRE across her
brow, BLUE on her eyelids, RED on her lips. He presses his cheek to
hers, smoothes her hair.
...I want all this marked on my body.
We are the real countries, not the
boundaries drawn on maps with the
names of powerful men...
209*. EXT. THE LANE OUTSIDE MONASTERY GARDEN. DAY.
KATHARINE'S VOICE CONTINUES. Hana comes out to the truck, carrying her
small bundle. Caravaggio effects some introduction, beginning with the
woman driver, Gioia. She and Caravaggio smile like lovers.
Hana - this is Gioia.
Gioia smiles, shakes her hand. Then Hana meets the others - Gioia's
brother and wife, their children. She smiles at them.
She can take you as far as Florence.
I can get in the back.
And she clambers up, sits down between the children. They exchange
some small stiff, shy smiles, and then the truck bounces away. Hana
takes one final look at the Monastery as it disappears around the bend
and then turns and confronts the life insisting noisily in the truck.
210 EXT. CAVE OF SWIMMERS. DAY.
Almásy comes out of the cave, carrying the bundle of Katharine in his
arms, wrapped in the silks of her parachute.
...I know you will come and carry me
out into the palace of winds, the rumors
of water... That's all I've wanted -
to walk in such a place with you, with
friends, on earth without maps.
211 EXT. TIGER MOTH. DAY.
THE PLANE growls and complains into the air.
212 INT. TIGER MOTH. DAY.
INSIDE THE COCKPIT: THE COUPLE AS AT THE FRONT OF THE FILM. Almásy
obliterated by goggles and helmet. Katharine behind him, slumped
forwards as if sleeping.
Almásy banks across the plateau of the Gilf Kebir and glances down. In
a ravine is a sudden OASIS OF WHITE ACACIAS. He is mesmerized.
And then it's gone and he passes into the earth without maps - the
desert - as it stretches out for mile after mile.
The lamp's gone out and I'm writing
in the darkness...
Almásy, the English Patient, begins to sing - Szerelem, Szerelem -
until that also fades and is replaced by the woman's tender lament
heard at the beginning of the film, singing for all that has been lost.
The sound of gun fire...
Count László Almásy Ralph Feinnes
Hana Juliette Binoche
Katharine Clifton Kristin Scott Thomas
Caravaggio Willem Dafoe
Kip Naveen Andrews
Geoffrey Clifton Colin Firth
Peter Madox Julian Wadham
Major Müller Jürgen Prochnow
Sergeant Hardy Kevin Whately
Fenelon-Barnes Clive Merrison
D'Agostino Nino Castelnuovo
Fouad Hichem Rostom
Bermann Peter Rühring
Mary Torri Higginson
Oliver Geordie Johnson
Jan Liisa Repo-Martell
Kamal Samy Azaiez
Rupert Douglas Raymond Coulthard
Corporal Dade Philip Whitchurch
Al Auf Habib Chetoui
Officer, El Taj Dominic Mafham
Corporal, El Taj Gregor Truter
Sergeant, Desert Train Roger Morlidge
Private, Desert Train Simon Sherlock
Beach Interrogation Officer Anthony Smee
Kiss Me Soldier Jason Done
Lady Hampton Paul Kant
Sir Ronnie Hampton Amanda Walker
Ancient Arab Abdellatif Hamrouni
Aicha Rim Turki
Arab Nurse Sonia Mankai
Injured Canadian Soldier Matthew Ferguson
Screenplay Adapted and Film Directed by Anthony Minghella
Produced by Saul Zaentz
Executive-Produced by Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein,
and Scott Greenstein
Line-Produced by Alessandro von Norman
Cinematography by John Seale
Production Design by Stuart Craig
Costume Design by Anne Roth
Make-up by Fabrizio Sforza
Original Music by Gabriel Yared
Film Edited by Walter Murch
Casting by Michelle Guish
Cinematography (Second Unit) by Remi Adefarasin
Directed (Second Unit) by Peter Markham
Music Performed by The Academy of St Martin-In-The-Fields
Conducted by Harry Rabinowitz
English Patient, The
Writers : Anthony Minghella
Genres : Drama Romance