The English Patient

Factual error: After Hardy dies and they're going through his possessions, a football scarf is pulled from his kit bag. The scarf has a Sunderland AFC badge. The film is set in World War II. The badge on the scarf was introduced in the 1970s.

Factual error: Prochnow is addressed as "Major," in English, but he wears the collar tabs of an SS lieutenant colonel. He should've been addressed as "Obersturmbannfuhrer," or, in English, as "Colonel," because lieutenant colonels are acceptably addressed as "Colonel," as are full colonels.

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Suggested correction: Obersturmbannfuher is also incorrect. The single oak leaf on each lapel of the uniform is the insignia for a full Colonel or Standartenführer. Therefore it would be acceptable to address him as Colonel because that is his rank.

This isn't a valid correction because you're agreeing he was called by the wrong rank. If you disagree with the word and want to make the entry more clear, do a word change.


Factual error: In the interrogation scene with Carravaggio, the SS officer (incorrectly addressed as the Wehrmacht equivalent "Herr Major") does not have the correct collar insignias. For a Sturmbannführer they should have four small squares on the black background.

Factual error: The bird calls used in the film, such as the Cactus Wren, are from the USA, not Tunisia and Italy where the film is set.

Factual error: In the interrogation scene with Carravaggio, the German officer is addressed by the private Wehrmacht soldier as "Herr major". The officer is SS. By his shoulder patches he indeed has the equivalent rank of a major, but the correct SS rank is "Sturmbannführer". SS officers were never addressed as "Herr", but simply with the rank.

Factual error: Radial tires - bulging - and jeep-like tread in 1914 on the pickup aren't right. Most of 1914 tires were bias ply and very narrow, like 6 inches wide.

Continuity mistake: In the scene where Willem Dafoe is conversing with another male British agent as the German paratroopers invade, a British female worker passes him as he is about to go down the flight of stairs. As he reaches the ground floor, she passes by him again as she goes up the same stairs he just came down - seemingly far too quick to be possible.

More mistakes in The English Patient

Hana: There's a man downstairs. He brought us eggs. He might stay.
Almásy: Why? Can he lay eggs?
Hana: He's Canadian.
Almásy: 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?

More quotes from The English Patient

Trivia: This is not made entirely clear in the movie but in the book it is nearly seven years before the Count returns to the cave for Katherine's body.


More trivia for The English Patient

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