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Schindler's List (1993)

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In German-occupied Poland during World War II, Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazi Germans.

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Top Rated Movies #6 | Won 7 Oscars. Another 78 wins & 44 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Poldek Pfefferberg (as Jonathan Sagalle)
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Wiktoria Klonowska (as Malgoscha Gebel)
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Wilek Chilowicz (as Shmulik Levy)
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Marcel Goldberg
Béatrice Macola ...
Ingrid (as Beatrice Macola)
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Rolf Czurda (as Friedrich Von Thun)
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Herman Toffel
Harry Nehring ...
Leo John
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Storyline

Oskar Schindler is a vainglorious and greedy German businessman who becomes an unlikely humanitarian amid the barbaric German Nazi reign when he feels compelled to turn his factory into a refuge for Jews. Based on the true story of Oskar Schindler who managed to save about 1100 Jews from being gassed at the Auschwitz concentration camp, it is a testament to the good in all of us. Written by Harald Mayr <marvin@bike.augusta.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some sexuality and actuality violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

4 February 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La lista de Schindler  »

Box Office

Budget:

$22,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$656,636 (USA) (17 December 1993)

Gross:

$96,067,179 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Billy Wilder contributed to the first draft of the screenplay. Wilder had many relatives who died in the Holocaust, and tried to convince Steven Spielberg to let him direct the film. Spielberg was already prepared to shoot the film in Poland, and turned it down. See more »

Goofs

When Rudolph Höss meets with Schindler, Höss states that I.G. Farben needs labor for "his chemical factory" as if the name were for a specific person. I.G. Farben was in fact the name of an industrial conglomerate and the not the name for one particular individual. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[a Hebrew prayer is chanted, followed by a flashback to 1940s Poland]
Krakow registrar: Name?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Polish fonts were used in the credits sequence See more »

Connections

Referenced in Action: Dead Man Floating (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Szomorú Vasárnap
(uncredited)
Written by Rezsö Seress
Performed by Rezsö Seress
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
No more than a useful public service announcement...
11 February 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Schindler's list is not a bad film per se - Liam Neeson is very good as Schindler and if you edit out some of the more overblown scenes - the story is still riveting. Yet it could have been so much more if the story just told simply and if the central theme were fully understood and developed.

Before the war Schindler and his friend, Goeth were boozy, flirtatious German businessmen. Both would have likely been uninspired failures had there been no war. In a kinder world, Goeth's and Schindler's moral differences might have manifested themselves in the size of the tip that they would leave the barmaid. In war, the consequences of moral choices are greatly magnified, resulting in Schindler becoming a most unlikely heroic figure, and Goeth becoming a loathed prison commandant. In the film, Spielberg elevates Schindler to sainthood status and portrays Goeth as a sadistic psychopath. By sanitizing Schindler's many faults (boozing, gambling, womanizing...) and by demonizing Goeth, Spielberg severs our connection with them and, ironically, blunts the conflict between them. Adolf Eichmann was far more chilling than Charles Manson. Unlike Manson, whom we could dismiss as psychotic, Eichmann was the faceless functionary that we have all experienced, whose defense of "following orders" is one that we have all heard, a defense that was used by many during the war, and one that we might see ourselves using under similar circumstances had we not Schindler's courage. By making Schindler a saint, Spielberg diminishes both his accomplishment and his inspiration to us - saints have no problems making the right decision - the rest of us do. Rather than a gaping chasm, there is but a fine moral line between Schindler and Goeth - one that we tread every day, which fortunately for us, rarely does more than determines a barmaid's salary.

Spielberg does not develop this simple theme, preferring to impress us with a grandiose view of a great moral tale. Instead, he comes off as the underskilled sous-chef drowning a wonderful filet mignon in an overly rich sauce. The quality of the ingredients still shine through despite the clumsy handling but does not approach its great potential. In the end, the best thing about the film is that it reminds Americans of a monstrous event in history. It is unfortunate that this reminder is necessary and that it reduces such a timeless parable to a useful public service announcement.


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