It's easy to ignore Steven Spielberg's movies when musing on the greatest film projects of all time. He makes great, family films, often amongst the best of their generation, though there's always something a little more hard-hitting, a little edgier than Spielberg. There is however one film in the director's oeuvre that is unarguably one of the greatest of all time - Schindler's List.
The movie - available this week on Blu-Ray - followed the true story of German businessman Oskar Schindler, played by Liam Neeson, who sees an opportunity to make money from the Nazis' rise to power. Mr Schindler starts a company to make cookware and utensils, using bribes to win military contacts. He staffs his factory with Jews though when all of Krakow's Jewsish men, women and children are assigned to the Plaszow Forced Labor Camp - headed by Commander Amon Goeth (Ralph Fiennes) - Schindler comes to realise his factory is the only thing preventing his staff from being shipped to the death camps. He begins demanding more workers and bribing Nazi leaders to keep Jews on his employee list, losing his entire fortune and saving 1,100 people from likely death.
The film was nominated for 12 Academy Awards and won 7, including Best Picture and Best Director for Spielberg. The critics were emphatic in their praise, with the New Yorker saying, "Few American movies since the silent era have had anything approaching this picture's narrative boldness, visual audacity, and emotional directness."
The movie is considered the greatest Holocaust movie of all time, and, ahead of the Blu-Ray release, Spielberg shared the backstory of his thinking before making the film. "It was a subject that was very open in my formative years, and I saw a lot of documentaries. I was just like a passive witness; I wasn't doing very much about it," he told the Hollywood Reporter, "I was just taking it all in. I couldn't believe that something like that could've happened in the 20th century - it was just unfathomable - but it did."
Both Liam Neeson [L] and Ralph Fiennes [R] Gave Stunning Performances In Spielberg's 'Schindler's List'
Schindler's List , which grossed more than $320 million worldwide after its release, is available on Blu-Ray on March 5, 2013.