Schindler's List (1993)

 ●  English ● 3 hrs 15 mins

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Evocative and exquisitely crafted, this epic World War II drama follows the brave and noble struggles of Oskar Schindler, a vainglorious and greedy German businessman who becomes unlikely humanitarian amid the barbaric 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, this touching and inspiring tale stands testament for the good in all of us.
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Cast: Ben Kingsley, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes

Crew: Steven Spielberg (Director), Janusz Kaminski (Director of Photography), John Williams (Music Director)

Rating: U (India)

Genres: Drama, History

Release Dates: 15 Dec 1993 (India)

Tagline: The List Is Life.

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Did you know? Harrison Ford was offered the title role but declined, saying that some people would not be able to look past him as a star to see the importance of the film. Read More
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as Itzhak Stern
as Oskar Schindler
as Amon Goeth
as Mila Pfefferberg
as Mordecai Wulkan
as Mrs. Nussbaum
as Julian Scherner
as Danka Dresner
as Manci Rosner
as Nightclub Maitre d'
as Emilie Schindler
as Helen Hirsch
as Rolf Czurda
as Mr. Löwenstein
as Poldek Pfefferberg
as Josef Liepold
as Nuisa Horowitz
as Wiktoria Klonowska
as Marcel Goldberg
as Mr. Nussbaum
as Juda Dresner
as Chaja Dresner
as Albert Hujar
as Dolek Horowitz
as Wilek Chilowicz
as DEF Foreman
as Grun


First Assistant Director
Second Assistant Director


Executive Producer
Associate Producer


Screenplay Writer

Camera and Electrical

Director of Photography


Music Director


Foley Artist


Production Designer

Costume and Wardrobe

Costume Designer



Makeup and Hair

Makeup Artist


Stunt Coordinator
Film Type:
Colour Info:
Sound Mix:
DTS, DTS Stereo
Frame Rate:
24 fps
Aspect Ratio:
The List Is Life.
Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire.
Character Error
(German version only) When Oskar Schindler and Goeth argue about the disposition of Helen Hirsch, we hear Goeth pronouncing the name of Auschwitz incorrectly, he says "Aus-schwitz". This error can be noticed at times in German public as people indeed seem to confuse the name of Auschwitz (which is German for the Polish town name Oswiecim) with "Ausschwitz" (where "ausschwitzen" actually means "to exude").

Character Error
After the little boy takes the saddle out of the car and after Oskar Schindler says thank you - he passes on some cigarettes to an SS personnel at the camp and Schindler calls him "Rottenführer", but the rank/insignia of the SS man responds to a different rank called Sturmmann which is one rank lower than the Rottenführer rank.

After Goeth attempts to shoot the rabbi only to have his pistol fail to fire he pulls a second semi-automatic pistol from his pocket to shoot the rabbi. After this pistol also fails to fire several times Goeth hits the rabbi and walks away dropping the pistol on the ground. The pistol that he drops is a revolver and not the semi-automatic he removed from his pocket.

The Doctor who poisons his patient in an act of mercy killing is first seen covered in blood scrambling to get the poison from a pharmacy. Moments later he is seen in a perfectly clean identical coat when he is distributing the poison. A bit later he is seen carrying a wounded woman who is subsequently shot by an SS man, the former bleeding out on the doctor.

When Schindler goes to kiss the Jewish girl, he puts his hands on her shoulders. In the next shot, he pulls his hands away from her cheeks.

Crew/Equipment Visible
When Oskar Schindler and Itzhak Stern negotiate with the Jewish investors outside the ghetto, Steven Spielberg is reflected on the rear window (his jacket is blowing in the wind).

Factual Mistake
The hanging of Amon Goeth looks absolutely nothing like the actual film footage of the execution. Place, clothing, procedures, number of people involved and the graphic events that took place are all wrong.

Factual Mistake
The Golden Party Badge (Goldenes Parteiabzeichen) that Oskar Schindler is holding is the "large" military version and not the civilian type that he would have had, if he had been awarded one.
This is the most expensive black and white film made till date, with a budget of 22 million US dollars.

To gather costumes for 20,000 extras, the costume designer took out advertisements seeking clothes. As economic conditions were poor in Poland, many people were eager to sell clothing they still owned from the 1930s and '40s.

It is said that, during the filming, the atmosphere was so grim and depressing that Steven Spielberg asked his friend Robin Williams if he could film some comedy sketches.

During the scene in which the last of the Krakow Jews are taken from their homes to be relocated to the ghetto, one man stops to remove something from the door post of his residence. What he removes is a Mezuzah, a case containing a passage from the Torah (Deuteronomy 6:4-9), which Jews traditionally affix to the door frames of their houses as a constant reminder of God's presence.

"Schindler's List" and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) are the two films Steven Spielberg would like to be remembered for.

As a producer, Steven Spielberg shopped directing duties on this film to numerous colleagues, because he was afraid he couldn't do the story justice. He was turned down by Martin Scorsese (who was interested but ultimately felt it was a subject that should be done by a Jewish director), Roman Polanski (who didn't feel he was yet ready to tackle the Holocaust after surviving it in childhood), and Billy Wilder (who wanted to make this as his last film). Apparently, it was Wilder who convinced Spielberg to direct it himself.

After filming this movie, Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes became very good friends.

Harrison Ford was offered the title role but declined, saying that some people would not be able to look past him as a star to see the importance of the film.

Steven Spielberg was not paid for this film. He refused to accept a salary, citing that it would be "blood money".

When Survivor Mila Pfefferberg was introduced to Ralph Fiennes on the set, she began shaking uncontrollably, as he reminded her too much of the real Amon Goeth.

Steven Spielberg offered the job of director to Roman Polanski. Polanski turned it down because the subject was too personal. He had lived in the Krakow ghetto until the age of 8, when he escaped on the day of the liquidation. His mother later died at Auschwitz concentration camp. Polanski would later direct his own film about the Holocaust, The Pianist (2002).

The Krakow ghetto "liquidation" scene was only a page of action in the script, but Steven Spielberg turned it into 20 pages and 20 minutes of screen action "based on living witness testimony". For example, the scene in which the young man escapes capture by German soldiers by telling them he was ordered to clear the luggage from the street was taken directly from a survivor's story.

The original missing list of Schindler's Jews was found in a suitcase together with his written legacy hidden in the attic of Schindler's flat in Hildesheim in 1999. Oskar Schindler stayed there during the last few months before his death in 1974.

Director Steven Spielberg was able to get permission to film inside Auschwitz, but chose not to out of respect for the victims, so the scenes of the death camp were actually filmed outside the gates on a set constructed in a mirror image of the real location on the other side.

Months before he landed the title role, Liam Neeson had auditioned for Schindler but, assuming that he'd never get the part, accepted instead an offer to play opposite wife-to-be Natasha Richardson in a Broadway revival of Eugene O'Neill's "Anna Christie" at New York's Criterion Center in 1993. After a performance one evening, Neeson was in his dressing when a knock on the the door announced the arrival of Steven Spielberg, wife Kate Capshaw and her mother. After Spielberg had introduced his wife and mother-in-law, Neeson hugged the older woman in a manner that stuck with Capshaw, who later commented to husband Steven, "That's just what Oskar Schindler would have done". Neeson received a call a week later from Spielberg with the offer of the lead role.

Steven Spielberg's resolve to make the film became complete when studio executives asked him why he didn't simply make a donation of some sort rather than wasting everyone's time and money on a depressing film.

Ralph Fiennes put on 13kg by drinking Guinness for his role. Steven Spielberg cast him because of his "evil sexuality".

When Steven Spielberg first showed "John Williams" a cut of the film, Williams was so moved he had to take a walk outside for several minutes to collect himself. Upon his return, Williams told Spielberg he deserved a better composer. Spielberg replied, "I know, but they're all dead."

When Steven Spielberg returned to Cal State Long Beach to earn his BA 34 years after dropping out, his film professor accepted this movie in place of the short student film normally required to pass the class. This movie had already won Spielberg Golden Globes and Oscars for Best Director and Best Picture.

In reality it was not Itzhak Stern who helped Oskar Schindler put the list together, but Marcel Goldberg. Many survivors who speak of Goldberg do so with disdain, as he was unscrupulous in deciding who ended up on the list, reportedly accepting bribes from some Survivors, taking names off the list to add theirs instead.

In the epilogue, all actors accompany the original Schindlerjuden they portray in the movie in pairs.

Spielberg had to make Jurassic Park (1993) before "Schindler's List". It was even written into his contract because if he made "Schindler's List" first, he would have been too drained to make "Jurassic Park".

Steven Spielberg refuses to autograph any materials related to this film.

Steven Spielberg watched episodes of Seinfeld (1989) every night after work to lighten his mood.

At his insistence, all royalties and residuals from this film that would normally have gone to director Steven Spielberg instead are given to the Shoah Foundation, which records and preserves written and videotaped testimonies from survivors of genocide worldwide, including the Holocaust.

During filming, Ben Kingsley, who played Itzhak Stern, kept a picture of Anne Frank, the young girl who died in a concentration camp and whose personal diary was published after the Holocaust, in his coat pocket. Some years later, Kingsley played Otto Frank, Anne's father, in the telefilm "Anne Frank: The Whole Story."
Movie Connection(s):
References: Citizen Kane (English)