Schindler's List

Schindler's List is a 1993 movie based on the book Schindler's Ark by Thomas Keneally (the book was later renamed Schindler's List as well). The movie, directed by Steven Spielberg, relates the tale of Oskar Schindler, a German entrepreneur who was instrumental in saving the lives of over one thousand Polish Jews during the Holocaust. The title refers to a list of the names of 1,200 Jews whom Schindler hired to work in his factory and kept from being sent to the concentration camps.

Plot Summary

Spoiler warning: Plot or ending details follow.

The movie begins with a depiction of a Jewish prayer.

The German Army Invades Poland

The Polish Army has been defeated by the German Army in the initiating event of World War II in Europe. Jews living in occupied Poland are ordered to relocate to population centers. The film's action starts with crowds of Jews from all over the country, hasidic, assimilated, rich, and poor, detraining in Krakow, and submitting their names to German officials waiting on the station platforms with typewriters and lists.

As this is happening, a newcomer has arrived in Krakow; his name is Oskar Schindler. Schindler, a heretofore unsuccessful businessman from Germany, has come to Poland with the hope of using the now abundant slave labor force of Jews and Poles to manufacture goods for the German Army. Schindler makes a very good impression with the occupation authorities early on, being a member of the Nazi Party and lavishing gifts and bribes upon the army and SS officials now running southern Poland. He becomes a friend to the SS and Police Leader of Krakow, Julian Scherner, and quickly calls in favors as Schindler begins to establish himself as a businessman in the Krakow region.

Schindler's Factory

With his military sponsors in his back pocket, he sets out to acquire a factory for the production of enamelware, mainly cookery. He hasn't the money to buy it, and his administrative skills are dubious at best, but he finds through his contact Itzhak Stern, a functionary in the local judenrat (Jewish Council) who in turn has contacts with the now underground Jewish business community. Schindler makes the Jewish businessmen a deal they cannot refuse: they will loan him the money for the factory, and he will give them a small share of the pots and pans produced. He takes particular pleasure in telling them that they must take him at his word, and that no court would ever uphold a contract between a German and a Jew.

Schindler gets his money and starts the factory; he keeps the Nazis happy and enjoys his new-found wealth, while Stern actually operates the factory and uses his position to help his fellow Jews, who have now been confined to a ghetto within Krakow. Workers in Schindler's factory are allowed outside the ghetto, and are certified as "essential workers," guaranteeing that they will not be rounded up at night by the Gestapo. This last point is key, and Stern uses his considerable skills to make sure as many people as possible are deemed "essential" by the Nazi bureacracy, even children, the elderly, and the infirm - people who would otherwise be rounded up and sent away. Schindler becomes aware of what is going on, and seems embarrassed by the whole arrangement, but takes no action to stop it.

Where exactly the "unessential" people are sent is a matter of rumor among the Jews; a few suggest that they are taken off to concentration camps, but people hearing this reject the idea as ridiculous. One old woman exclaims, "We are their work force! Why would they want to kill their own work force?"

The Razing of the Ghetto

At this point, an SS officer named Amon Goeth arrives in Krakow to initiate construction of a labor camp, Plaszow, and to take over control of the Ghetto. In one of the most sickening scenes in the film, a Jewish engineer explains that a foundation has been improperly laid, and for this he has her shot in the head. He then, in the next breath, orders that everything she requested be done. Goeth is the focus of the film's depiction of Nazi sadism and inhumanity, not only taking pleasure in murder and torture, but considering it an integral part of his job, a matter of duty. In one scene, he decides not to shoot a young boy for not properly cleaning his bathtub, but then, after reflecting, decides that he must be firm, and shoots him in the back as he walks away.

In due course, Goeth razes the Krakow ghetto, sending in hundreds of troops to clear the cramped rooms and shooting anyone who refuses or cannot leave. Schindler watches the massacre from the hills overlooking the ghetto, and is profoundly affected. But, he now faces the more immediate problem of how to run his factory without his workers. He meets Goeth, befriends him, and convinces him to let him keep his workers for considerable bribes and payoffs. Schindler is now, though reluctantly, sheltering people who have very few skills in his factory.

It is during the clearing out of the ghetto that Spielberg introduces a character known as "the girl in red": a young girl wearing a red coat. The color of the coat stands out, because it is the only object that appears in color throughout the entire film (except for two instances of a candle flame); the rest of the movie is filmed in black-and-white, except for the final present-day coda. Film critics and scholars have suggested the appearance of the girl in the red coat is a "marker" used by Spielberg to denote the transformation of Schindler's personality. The first time she appears, Schindler changes from a cold-hearted businessman interested only in profit into a person struggling to do the right thing; he makes his first attempts to covertly assist his workers and save them from persecution and death afterwards. With the second appearance of the girl in red, Schindler makes a further transformation into an altruistic angel whose primary motive is not profit, but rather to save the lives of his workers.

The List

To Amon Goeth's considerable consternation, and to Schindler's horror, an order arrives from Berlin commanding Goeth to exhume and destroy all bodies of those killed in the ghetto razing, to dismantle the Plaszow, and to ship the whole population to Auschwitz. Goeth remarks sarcastically, "It will take about four weeks for me to do the paperwork -- that ought to be fun." Schindler prevails upon Goeth to let him keep his workers, so that he can move them to a factory in his old home of Zwittau-Brunnlitz, Czechoslovakia, away from the Holocaust - now fully underway in Poland. Goeth acquiesces, for a payoff in the order of millions of Reichsmarks. So that his workers can be kept off the trains to the killing centers, Schindler, with Stern, assembles a list of his workers.

This list of "skilled" inmates was Schindler's List, and for many of the inmates of Plaszow camp, being on the list meant the difference between life and death. Except for a railway mishap, in which one of the trains carrying women was accidentally redirected to Auschwitz, all the people on Schindler's list arrive safely at the new site. Those who went to Auschwitz were soon returned by a train which was sent to Schindler's camp, after Schindler bribes another Nazi official. Once the workers arrive in Czechoslovakia, Schindler institutes firm controls on the Nazi guards assigned to the factory, permits the Jews to observe the sabbath, and spends the rest of his fortune bribing Nazi officials. He runs out of money just as the war in Europe comes to an end.

As a German, a Nazi, and a "profiteer of slave labor" (his words), Schindler must flee the oncoming Soviet Army. He packs a car in the night, and bids farewell to his workers. They give him a letter, explaining to others that he is not a criminal, and they also give him a ring, engraved with the Talmudic quotation, "Whoever saves one life saves the world entire." Schindler is wracked with guilt, seeing his car, and realizing he could have bribed ten more people from Goeth for it. He pulls the Nazi Party pin from his lapel, and cries, "This is gold. I could have gotten one more person for this. He would have given me one... One more person." He then leaves. The next morning, a Russian dragoon arrives, and announces to the Jews, "You have been liberated by the Soviet Army!"

The Coda

The film ends in Israel, at the grave of Oskar Schindler, in the present day. The actors portraying the major characters in the film pass by the grave, and place stones on it, while the actual persons they portrayed walk beside them doing the same. The camera pans, revealing a long line of people.

In a final shot, a man places a flower on the grave, and stands contemplatively over it. Though many believe it to be Director Steven Spielberg, it is actually the shadow of Liam Neeson who portrayed Oskar Schindler in the film. (www.imdb.com)

Tagline: Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire.

The Movie

The girl in red

The movie was directed by famed director Steven Spielberg, who later spoke of the making of the movie as affecting him deeply. It was produced almost entirely in black and white (with a color prologue and epilogue, a red coat in two scenes, and color candle flames in another). It starred Liam Neeson as Oskar Schindler, Ben Kingsley as Itzhak Stern, and Ralph Fiennes as Amon Goeth. Its tagline was simply, "Whoever saves one life saves the world entire" a quote from the Talmud. Critically acclaimed, the film won praise for depicting—often in exceptional, graphic detail—the horrible brutality of the Holocaust.

Nominated for twelve Academy Awards, this movie won seven, including the coveted Best Picture and Best Director awards for Spielberg, which many of his supporters felt he had been unfairly denied for prior productions, although he had previously received the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award.

In the years since its release, Schindler's List has risen in status to be considered one of the greatest movies of the 1990s, if not of all time. It is also considered to be Steven Spielberg's greatest directorial accomplishment by many viewers and critics; the former vote it consistently among the top ten (#6) movies on the Internet Movie Database Top 250, while the latter voted it #9 in the American Film Institute's 100 Greatest Movies series.

Following the critical and box office success of Schindler's List, Spielberg founded and continues to finance the Shoah Project, a non-profit organization with the goal of providing an archive for the filmed testimony of as many survivors of the Holocaust as possible, so that their stories will not be lost in the future.

However, the Holocaust historian David M. Crowe has questioned in a new book the authenticity of the facts portrayed in the movie. "Schindler had nothing to do with the list," the author writes in the new biography of the German businessman. Oskar Schindler was in jail for bribing the Secret Service commander Amon Goeth when the famous list was being drawn up and had little involvement in it, according to a New York Times report. From the total of nine lists, four were drawn up primarily by Marcel Goldberg, a corrupt Jewish assistant to the SS officer in charge of transporting Jews, Crowe wrote.

Credits

  • Director: Steven Spielberg
  • Cast: Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes, Caroline Goodall
  • Writing credits: Thomas Keneally (novel), Steven Zaillian (screenplay)
  • Composer: John Williams
  • Editor: Michael Kahn
  • Producer: Branko Lustig, Gerald R. Molen, Steven Spielberg for Amblin Entertainment / Universal Pictures.

1997 TV controversy

In February of 1997, the film was shown on television in the United States, being carried by NBC in two parts, on consecutive Sunday and Wednesday evenings (February 23 and 26). The telecast was the first ever to receive a TV-M (now TV-MA) rating under the TV Parental Guidelines that had been established at the beginning of that year, and many fundamentalist and evangelical Christian groups stridently objected to the film's being shown on network television at all, due to scenes of nudity and the use of vulgar language which were not edited out of the TV production.

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The telecast was the first ever to receive a TV-M (now TV-MA) rating under the TV Parental Guidelines that had been established at the beginning of that year, and many fundamentalist and evangelical Christian groups stridently objected to the film's being shown on network television at all, due to scenes of nudity and the use of vulgar language which were not edited out of the TV production.
. In February of 1997, the film was shown on television in the United States, being carried by NBC in two parts, on consecutive Sunday and Wednesday evenings (February 23 and 26). The Rocky video game was released in 2002 for many of the popular consoles at that time. From the total of nine lists, four were drawn up primarily by Marcel Goldberg, a corrupt Jewish assistant to the SS officer in charge of transporting Jews, Crowe wrote. The steadycam, a video camera attached to a weighted system of pulleys so that it would not shake while its operator ran, was invented for this movie, during Rocky's training run up the flights of stairs. Oskar Schindler was in jail for bribing the Secret Service commander Amon Goeth when the famous list was being drawn up and had little involvement in it, according to a New York Times report. Another legacy of the Rocky movies is a statue of Stallone as Rocky Balboa that stands in front of Wachovia Spectrum, the arena where the first Balboa-Creed fight took place in the original movie.

"Schindler had nothing to do with the list," the author writes in the new biography of the German businessman. Canadian jazz trumpeter Maynard Ferguson put "Gonna Fly Now (Theme from Rocky)" on the pop charts with an instrumental disco rendition from his 1977 album, Conquistador.. Crowe has questioned in a new book the authenticity of the facts portrayed in the movie. One legacy of the original movie is the theme music that was composed by Bill Conti and is often played at sporting events. However, the Holocaust historian David M. The American Film Institute placed Rocky at number 78 of its "100 Greatest Movies of All Time" list. Following the critical and box office success of Schindler's List, Spielberg founded and continues to finance the Shoah Project, a non-profit organization with the goal of providing an archive for the filmed testimony of as many survivors of the Holocaust as possible, so that their stories will not be lost in the future. The film was made on an extremely low budget of $1.1 million, and was shot in only 28 days.

It is also considered to be Steven Spielberg's greatest directorial accomplishment by many viewers and critics; the former vote it consistently among the top ten (#6) movies on the Internet Movie Database Top 250, while the latter voted it #9 in the American Film Institute's 100 Greatest Movies series. The success of Rocky spawned four sequels, though none were quite as successful as the original. In the years since its release, Schindler's List has risen in status to be considered one of the greatest movies of the 1990s, if not of all time. Avildsen for best director, as well as best film editing for Richard Halsey and Scott Conrad. Thalberg Memorial Award. Rocky won the 1976 Oscar for "Best Picture" and earned Stallone a nomination for "Best Actor." It also won Oscar awards for John G. Nominated for twelve Academy Awards, this movie won seven, including the coveted Best Picture and Best Director awards for Spielberg, which many of his supporters felt he had been unfairly denied for prior productions, although he had previously received the Irving G. Michael Dorn, who would later play the Star Trek: The Next Generation character Worf, played an uncredited role as one of Apollo Creed's bodyguards.

Critically acclaimed, the film won praise for depicting—often in exceptional, graphic detail—the horrible brutality of the Holocaust. Los Angeles television sportscaster Stu Nahan played himself. Its tagline was simply, "Whoever saves one life saves the world entire" a quote from the Talmud. Other co-stars included Burt Young as Rocky's best friend Paulie and Thayer David as the fight's promoter and ringside announcer. It starred Liam Neeson as Oskar Schindler, Ben Kingsley as Itzhak Stern, and Ralph Fiennes as Amon Goeth. This comparison was extended to that year's Academy Awards where Ali had a little comic scene of confronting Stallone onstage which ended amiably to make it clear that he was not offended by the film. It was produced almost entirely in black and white (with a color prologue and epilogue, a red coat in two scenes, and color candle flames in another). Given the inevitable comparison between the outspoken Apollo Creed and the real-life outspoken Muhammad Ali, one interesting detail is the cameo appearance of Joe Frazier, a former world heavyweight champion who fought Ali three times and who Apollo accuses of "dodging him" prior to the start of the match with Rocky.

The movie was directed by famed director Steven Spielberg, who later spoke of the making of the movie as affecting him deeply. Rocky proves himself to all those who had doubted him before, including his trainer Mickey, and demonstrates that one man can stand in the face of overwhelming odds. Tagline: Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire. Rocky refuses to give up and fights Creed for all fifteen rounds (a feat no one had previously accomplished) only to lose on a split decision, but not before gaining instant fame worldwide. (www.imdb.com). In the first round, Rocky nearly knocks Creed out, but from that point on Creed takes the match seriously and the fighters beat each other bloody. Though many believe it to be Director Steven Spielberg, it is actually the shadow of Liam Neeson who portrayed Oskar Schindler in the film. After intense training and with a new found focus and determination, Rocky takes his thousand-to-one shot at the title, deciding that even though he probably can't win he will go the distance (compete in the maximum duration of 15 rounds) with Creed.

In a final shot, a man places a flower on the grave, and stands contemplatively over it. At the same time, he falls in love with his best friend's sister, Adrian (Talia Shire). The camera pans, revealing a long line of people. In the time leading up to the fight, Rocky trains with crusty, 1920s-era bantamweight fighter Mickey Goldmill, played by Burgess Meredith. The actors portraying the major characters in the film pass by the grave, and place stones on it, while the actual persons they portrayed walk beside them doing the same. With all the deserving competitors unavailable for one reason or another, Creed comes up with the perfect bout: he will fight the local underdog "Italian Stallion" Rocky, and by doing so give him a chance at the world title. The film ends in Israel, at the grave of Oskar Schindler, in the present day. With the nation's bicentenary coming up, the undefeated heavyweight champion Apollo Creed searches desperately for a match worthy of the nation's birthday.

The next morning, a Russian dragoon arrives, and announces to the Jews, "You have been liberated by the Soviet Army!". Rocky Balboa is a dead-end, "bottom of the barrel" guy from Philadelphia who is going nowhere in life. One more person." He then leaves. The movie was inspired by a real-life fight between Muhammad Ali and Chuck Wepner, as well as having parallels to Ali's two fights with George Chuvalo. He would have given me one.. Avildsen. I could have gotten one more person for this. It tells a rags-to-riches tale about Balboa, a slightly dull-witted but good-hearted "collection agent" for a loan shark in Philadelphia with a penchant for boxing who gets a shot at the world heavyweight title in the Philadelphia Spectrum. It was written by Stallone and directed by John G.

He pulls the Nazi Party pin from his lapel, and cries, "This is gold. Rocky is a motion picture released in 1976 starring Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa and Carl Weathers as Apollo Creed. They give him a letter, explaining to others that he is not a criminal, and they also give him a ring, engraved with the Talmudic quotation, "Whoever saves one life saves the world entire." Schindler is wracked with guilt, seeing his car, and realizing he could have bribed ten more people from Goeth for it. He packs a car in the night, and bids farewell to his workers. As a German, a Nazi, and a "profiteer of slave labor" (his words), Schindler must flee the oncoming Soviet Army.

He runs out of money just as the war in Europe comes to an end. Once the workers arrive in Czechoslovakia, Schindler institutes firm controls on the Nazi guards assigned to the factory, permits the Jews to observe the sabbath, and spends the rest of his fortune bribing Nazi officials. Those who went to Auschwitz were soon returned by a train which was sent to Schindler's camp, after Schindler bribes another Nazi official. Except for a railway mishap, in which one of the trains carrying women was accidentally redirected to Auschwitz, all the people on Schindler's list arrive safely at the new site.

This list of "skilled" inmates was Schindler's List, and for many of the inmates of Plaszow camp, being on the list meant the difference between life and death. So that his workers can be kept off the trains to the killing centers, Schindler, with Stern, assembles a list of his workers. Goeth acquiesces, for a payoff in the order of millions of Reichsmarks. Goeth remarks sarcastically, "It will take about four weeks for me to do the paperwork -- that ought to be fun." Schindler prevails upon Goeth to let him keep his workers, so that he can move them to a factory in his old home of Zwittau-Brunnlitz, Czechoslovakia, away from the Holocaust - now fully underway in Poland.

To Amon Goeth's considerable consternation, and to Schindler's horror, an order arrives from Berlin commanding Goeth to exhume and destroy all bodies of those killed in the ghetto razing, to dismantle the Plaszow, and to ship the whole population to Auschwitz. With the second appearance of the girl in red, Schindler makes a further transformation into an altruistic angel whose primary motive is not profit, but rather to save the lives of his workers. The first time she appears, Schindler changes from a cold-hearted businessman interested only in profit into a person struggling to do the right thing; he makes his first attempts to covertly assist his workers and save them from persecution and death afterwards. Film critics and scholars have suggested the appearance of the girl in the red coat is a "marker" used by Spielberg to denote the transformation of Schindler's personality.

The color of the coat stands out, because it is the only object that appears in color throughout the entire film (except for two instances of a candle flame); the rest of the movie is filmed in black-and-white, except for the final present-day coda. It is during the clearing out of the ghetto that Spielberg introduces a character known as "the girl in red": a young girl wearing a red coat. Schindler is now, though reluctantly, sheltering people who have very few skills in his factory. He meets Goeth, befriends him, and convinces him to let him keep his workers for considerable bribes and payoffs.

But, he now faces the more immediate problem of how to run his factory without his workers. Schindler watches the massacre from the hills overlooking the ghetto, and is profoundly affected. In due course, Goeth razes the Krakow ghetto, sending in hundreds of troops to clear the cramped rooms and shooting anyone who refuses or cannot leave. In one scene, he decides not to shoot a young boy for not properly cleaning his bathtub, but then, after reflecting, decides that he must be firm, and shoots him in the back as he walks away.

Goeth is the focus of the film's depiction of Nazi sadism and inhumanity, not only taking pleasure in murder and torture, but considering it an integral part of his job, a matter of duty. He then, in the next breath, orders that everything she requested be done. In one of the most sickening scenes in the film, a Jewish engineer explains that a foundation has been improperly laid, and for this he has her shot in the head. At this point, an SS officer named Amon Goeth arrives in Krakow to initiate construction of a labor camp, Plaszow, and to take over control of the Ghetto.

One old woman exclaims, "We are their work force! Why would they want to kill their own work force?". Where exactly the "unessential" people are sent is a matter of rumor among the Jews; a few suggest that they are taken off to concentration camps, but people hearing this reject the idea as ridiculous. Schindler becomes aware of what is going on, and seems embarrassed by the whole arrangement, but takes no action to stop it. This last point is key, and Stern uses his considerable skills to make sure as many people as possible are deemed "essential" by the Nazi bureacracy, even children, the elderly, and the infirm - people who would otherwise be rounded up and sent away.

Workers in Schindler's factory are allowed outside the ghetto, and are certified as "essential workers," guaranteeing that they will not be rounded up at night by the Gestapo. Schindler gets his money and starts the factory; he keeps the Nazis happy and enjoys his new-found wealth, while Stern actually operates the factory and uses his position to help his fellow Jews, who have now been confined to a ghetto within Krakow. He takes particular pleasure in telling them that they must take him at his word, and that no court would ever uphold a contract between a German and a Jew. Schindler makes the Jewish businessmen a deal they cannot refuse: they will loan him the money for the factory, and he will give them a small share of the pots and pans produced.

He hasn't the money to buy it, and his administrative skills are dubious at best, but he finds through his contact Itzhak Stern, a functionary in the local judenrat (Jewish Council) who in turn has contacts with the now underground Jewish business community. With his military sponsors in his back pocket, he sets out to acquire a factory for the production of enamelware, mainly cookery. He becomes a friend to the SS and Police Leader of Krakow, Julian Scherner, and quickly calls in favors as Schindler begins to establish himself as a businessman in the Krakow region. Schindler makes a very good impression with the occupation authorities early on, being a member of the Nazi Party and lavishing gifts and bribes upon the army and SS officials now running southern Poland.

Schindler, a heretofore unsuccessful businessman from Germany, has come to Poland with the hope of using the now abundant slave labor force of Jews and Poles to manufacture goods for the German Army. As this is happening, a newcomer has arrived in Krakow; his name is Oskar Schindler. The film's action starts with crowds of Jews from all over the country, hasidic, assimilated, rich, and poor, detraining in Krakow, and submitting their names to German officials waiting on the station platforms with typewriters and lists. Jews living in occupied Poland are ordered to relocate to population centers.

The Polish Army has been defeated by the German Army in the initiating event of World War II in Europe. The movie begins with a depiction of a Jewish prayer. The title refers to a list of the names of 1,200 Jews whom Schindler hired to work in his factory and kept from being sent to the concentration camps. The movie, directed by Steven Spielberg, relates the tale of Oskar Schindler, a German entrepreneur who was instrumental in saving the lives of over one thousand Polish Jews during the Holocaust.

Schindler's List is a 1993 movie based on the book Schindler's Ark by Thomas Keneally (the book was later renamed Schindler's List as well). Molen, Steven Spielberg for Amblin Entertainment / Universal Pictures. Producer: Branko Lustig, Gerald R. Editor: Michael Kahn.

Composer: John Williams. Writing credits: Thomas Keneally (novel), Steven Zaillian (screenplay). Cast: Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes, Caroline Goodall. Director: Steven Spielberg.

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