Schindler's List is the true story of Oscar Schindler, a Nazi party member, a war profiteer, and a man responsible for saving the lives of over 2000 Jews in the Holocaust. As would be expected from the majority of Holocaust movies, Schindler's List is a film that you cannot say you love without feeling like a total schmuck (or, practicing my Yiddish again, being very Vashnuked). However Schindler's List is what you would call an endearing film.
Schindler's List utilizes a stark score by John Williams and a black & white photography by Janusz Kaminski in order to provide the full effect of the Holocaust: utter depression and hopelessness. The film is about as depressing to watch as Leaving Las Vegas. However, despite the desire to use a Smith & Wesson on yourself while watching this movie, the film manages to compel your interest.
Zaillian's script is right on target: pulling us in at the beginning with the story of Oscar's brilliant (although narcissistic) formation of a business out of nothing. The business exploits the Jew so much that you begin to wonder if you are watching the wrong movie. However, after Schindler witnesses the liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto (still the most touching bunch of celluloid I have ever watched), he begins to work subversively against the Germans and for the Jews.
The one thing that weakens the film is the presence of humor. If a movie is going for the absolute drab, as Schindler's List did, it would be a good idea to not try to lighten a moment by adding in a joke that you would find in a second-rate comedy. Humor has never been Zaillian's strongpoint, and he shouldn't have tried to start.
Regardless, Schindler's List is still the best movie that Spielberg ever made, and the second-best film about the Holocaust. Schindler's List is a true dramatic classic, capable of making anyone cry.
See Nazis run.
Run time: 195 mins
In Theaters: Friday 4th February 1994
Box Office Worldwide: $321.3M
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Production compaines: Universal Pictures, Amblin Entertainment
Contactmusic.com: 5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Fresh: 76 Rotten: 2
IMDB: 8.9 / 10
Director: Steven Spielberg
Screenwriter: Steven Zaillian
Starring: Liam Neeson as Oskar Schindler, Ben Kingsley as Itzhak Stern, Ralph Fiennes as Amon Goeth, Caroline Goodall as Emilie Schindler, Jonathan Sagall as Poldek Pfefferberg, Embeth Davidtz as Helen Hirsch, Malgoscha Gebel as Victoria Klonowska, Shmuel Levy as Wilek Chilowicz, Mark Ivanir as Marcel Goldberg, Béatrice Macola as Ingrid, Andrzej Seweryn as Julian Scherner, Friedrich von Thun as Rolf Czurda, Krzysztof Luft as Herman Toffel, Harry Nehring as Leo John, Norbert Weisser as Albert Hujar, Adi Nitzan as Mila Pfefferberg, Michael Schneider as Juda Dresner, Miri Fabian as Chaja Dresner, Anna Mucha as Danka Dresner, Albert Misak as Mordecai Wulkan, Michael Gordon as Mr. Nussbaum, Aldona Grochal as Mrs. Nussbaum, Jacek Wójcicki as Henry Rosner, Beata Paluch as Manci Rosner, Piotr Polk as Leo Rosner, Ezra Dagan as Rabbi Menasha Lewartow, Uri Avrahami as Chaim Nowak, Elina Löwensohn as Diana Reiter
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