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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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(book), (screenplay)
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255 ( 14)
Top Rated Movies #6 | Won 7 Oscars. Another 82 wins & 49 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Oskar Schindler
... Itzhak Stern
... Amon Goeth
... Emilie Schindler
... Poldek Pfefferberg (as Jonathan Sagalle)
... Helen Hirsch
Malgorzata Gebel ... Wiktoria Klonowska (as Malgoscha Gebel)
... Wilek Chilowicz (as Shmulik Levy)
... Marcel Goldberg
Béatrice Macola ... Ingrid (as Beatrice Macola)
... Julian Scherner
... Rolf Czurda (as Friedrich Von Thun)
... Herman Toffel
Harry Nehring ... Leo John
... Albert Hujar
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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:

The List Is Life. 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  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$22,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$656,636, 17 December 1993, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$96,067,179

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$221,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

|

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

About forty percent of the film was shot using a hand-held camera. See more »

Goofs

After the party at the beginning when we first see Schindler, there is a shot of a column of German solders marching down the street. One of them is carrying a MG42 machine gun over his shoulder. That weapon was not introduced until 1942, yet this scene takes place before the deadline for the Jews to move into the ghetto which, according to the movie, was in March 1941. See more »

Quotes

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

Crazy Credits

The theatrical version juxtaposed images from the film of the actors portraying certain identified "Schindler Jews" as each actual person placed a stone on Schindler's grave. The VHS version does not use this device, showing only the actual persons, credited by name. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Movie Dude 98 Reviews: The Commuter (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Meine Lippen, sie küssen so heiss
(uncredited)
from operetta "Giuditta"
Music by Franz Lehár
(plays workers welcome Schindler, then kisses to girls)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
No more than a useful public service announcement...
11 February 2002 | by 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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