Information From IMDb
Oskar Schindler is a vain, glorious 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.
A testament for the good in all of us.
Written by Harald Mayr
Liam Neeson ... Oskar Schindler
Ben Kingsley ... Itzhak Stern
Ralph Fiennes ... Amon Goeth
Caroline Goodall ... Emilie Schindler
Jonathan Sagall ... Poldek Pfefferberg (as Jonathan Sagalle)
Embeth Davidtz ... Helen Hirsch
Malgoscha Gebel ... Wiktoria Klonowska
Shmuel Levy ... Wilek Chilowicz (as Shmulik Levy)
Mark Ivanir ... Marcel Goldberg
Béatrice Macola ... Ingrid
Andrzej Seweryn ... Julian Scherner
Friedrich von Thun ... Rolf Czurda
Krzysztof Luft ... Herman Toffel
Harry Nehring ... Leo John
Norbert Weisser ... Albert Hujar
Adi Nitzan ... Mila Pfefferberg
Michael Schneider ... Juda Dresner
Miri Fabian ... Chaja Dresner
Anna Mucha ... Danka Dresner
Albert Misak ... Mordecai Wulkan
Michael Gordon ... Mr. Nussbaum
Aldona Grochal ... Mrs. Nussbaum
Jacek Wójcicki ... Henry Rosner
Beata Paluch ... Manci Rosner
Piotr Polk ... Leo Rosner
Ezra Dagan ... Rabbi Menasha Lewartow
Beata Nowak ... Rebecca Tannenbaum
Rami Heuberger ... Josef Bau (as Rami Hauberger)
Leopold Kozlowski ... Investor
Jerzy Nowak ... Investor
Uri Avrahami ... Chaim Nowak
Adam Siemion ... O.D. / Chicken Boy
Magdalena Dandourian ... Nuisa Horowitz
Pawel Delag ... Dolek Horowitz
and a cast of many more....
Thomas Keneally (book)
Steven Zaillian (screenplay)
Irving Glovin .... associate producer
Kathleen Kennedy .... executive producer
Branko Lustig .... producer
Gerald R. Molen .... producer
Robert Raymond .... associate producer
Lew Rywin .... co-producer
Steven Spielberg .... producer
Janusz Kaminski (director of photography)
* Tim Roth was considered for the role of Amon Goeth.
* Billy Wilder contributed to the first draft of the screenplay for this film, and at one time early in its production, was set to direct it.
* Spielberg's first R-rated film.
* 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 his childhood in it), and Billy Wilder (who turned it down because was in retirement). Apparently, it was Wilder was convinced Spielberg to direct it himself.
* Director Steven Spielberg was unable to get permission to film inside Auschwitz, 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.
* When Oskar Schindler kisses the Jewish woman at his birthday party, his hands jump from her shoulders to her face, which is possibly a deliberate continuity error designed to highlight the intimacy (or otherwise) of the moment.
* The film, as shown in most countries, had the song "Yerushalayim shel Zahav" - Jerusalem of Gold - at the end. When the film was shown in Israel, audiences laughed at this, as this song was written after the 1967 war as a pop song! They then redubbed a song "Eli Eli" which was written by Hannah Sennesh during WWII over the end which was more appropriate.
* Co-producer Branko Lustig plays the nightclub maître d' in Schindler's first scene. Lustig is an Auschwitz survivor and has produced other movies about the Holocaust, including Sophie's Choice (1982) and Shoah (1985).
* In October 1980, author Thomas Keneally was on his way back to Australia after a book signing when he stopped en route to the airport to buy a new briefcase in a Beverly Hills luggage shop owned by Leopold Pfefferberg - who had been one of the 1200 saved by Schindler. In the 50 minutes Keneally spent waiting for his credit card payment to clear, Pfefferberg persuaded him to go to the back room where the shopkeeper kept two cabinets filled with documents he had collected. Pfefferberg - who had told his story to every writer and producer who ever came into his store - eventually wore down Keneally's reluctance, and the writer chose to make the story into his next book.
* 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.
* The most expensive black & white film ever made to date. The previous record was held for over 30 years by another film about World War II, The Longest Day (1962).
* According to the art directors; no green was used on the set in form of paint or clothing because it did not show up well on black and white film. Special attention was paid to how much lighting or paint was used in order to appear correctly on film regardless of how unrealistic it seemed in real life.
* The first black & white film to win a Best Picture Oscar since The Apartment (1960).
* Stellan Skarsgård was considered for the role of Oskar Schindler. The role went to Liam Neeson. Neeson was originally set to play Father Frank Merrin in Exorcist: The Beginning (2004), but dropped out and was replaced with Skarsgård.
* 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.
* The line "God forbid you ever get a taste for Jewish skirt. There is no future in it," was spoken by Scherner, but in the original script was supposed to be spoken by Goeth. This is why in the next scene where Goeth says "When I said they didn't have a future I didn't mean tomorrow" doesn't really make any sense since he didn't say the line.
* 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. Schindler stayed there during the last few months before his death in 1974.
* For the epilogue scene, all actors are required to accompany the original Schindlerjuden they portrayed in the movie in pairs (actor and the Jew they portrayed carrying and placing a pebble on the grave). This actually explains why Liam Neeson was the one placing the flowers on the stone before the end credits roll in.
* Swiss actor Bruno Ganz was sought to play the role of Oskar Schindler, but turned it down.
* Director Trademark: [Steven Spielberg] [mirror] An important image in the rear-view mirror of a car (see _Duel (1971/I) (TV)_ , Jurassic Park (1993)).
* About 40% of the film was shot using a handheld camera.
* When we see the Jews marching across the bridge into the ghetto, this is not the direction they would have walked in real life. Since the movie company couldn't get permission to film on the other side of the bridge (the actual location of the Jewish ghetto) the actors are walking the wrong way. Also, a large modern radio tower exists in direct view when walking in the correct historical direction across the bridge into the Krakow ghetto - another reason this shot was filmed in the other direction.
* The girl in the red dress was a real girl named Roma Ligocka. Unlike her film counterpart, she survived the war, and wrote a memoir titled "The Girl in the Red Coat: A Memoir".
* Without adjusting for inflation, this is the highest-grossing black-and-white film of all time (taking in $96 million domestically and $321 million worldwide).
* There is a Jewish tradition that when one visits a grave, one leaves a small stone on the marker as a sign of respect. This is why the cast and the Schindlerjuden cover Schindler's grave with stones at the end of the movie.
* In reality it was not Itzhak Stern who helped 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 real life, Schindler was not arrested for kissing the Jewish girl at his birthday party. He was arrested three times for dealings in the black market.
* The film's tagline "Whoever saves one life saves the world entire" is a quotation from the Talmud.
* Filming was completed in 72 days, four days ahead of schedule.
* Sidney Lumet was originally attached to direct but felt that he had already covered off the subject of the Holocaust with his film The Pawnbroker (1964). Then Billy Wilder turned in a draft of the screenplay before deciding that he wanted to retire from film-making.
* The only film released in the last quarter century to make it onto the American Film Institute's top ten list of best American movies of all time.
* Ranked #3 on the American Film Institute's 100 Most Inspiring Movies of All Time (2006).
* [June 2008] Ranked #3 on the American Film Institute's list of the 10 greatest films in the genre "Epic".
* In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #8 Greatest Movie of All Time.
* The song being played when Schindler enters the night club and meets all of the Nazi officials is called “Por Una Cabeza”. The same song is played as the tango in the films True Lies (1994) and Scent of a Woman (1992).
* 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.
* Amon Goeth's name is pronounced "Aimen Gert". Ralph Fiennes said in an interview that one of the reasons he was interested in playing Amon was because both their names are spelled differently then they are pronounced.
* During the liquidation scene, 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.
* Ralph Fiennes put on 13kg by drinking Guinness for his role. Steven Spielberg cast him because of his "evil sexuality".
* Claire Danes was originally considered by Steven Spielberg for a role, but she turned it down because he couldn't provide her with tutoring on the set. The part she was considered for is unknown.
* Martin Scorsese turned down the chance to direct the film in the 1980s, as he felt he couldn't do as good a job as a Jewish director. He agreed to swap films with Steven Spielberg, taking over Cape Fear (1991) instead.
* Steven Spielberg began work on this film in Poland while Jurassic Park (1993) was in post-production. He worked on that film via satellite, with assistance from George Lucas.
* 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 person who places the flower on top of the stones in the closing credits is Liam Neeson and not Steven Spielberg, as some people think.
* Steven Spielberg was not paid for this film. He refused to accept a salary citing that it would be "blood money".
* 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).
* Director Trademark: [Steven Spielberg] [music] John Williams score.
* Steven Spielberg watched God afton, Herr Wallenberg - En Passionshistoria från verkligheten (1990) six times before the shooting.
* 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.
* 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.
* Steven Spielberg initially intended to make the film in Polish and German with English subtitles, but rethought the idea because he felt he wouldn't be able to accurately assess performances in unfamiliar languages.
* Steven Spielberg gave Liam Neeson home movies of his mentor Steve Ross - the late chairman of Time Warner - to help him develop his portrayal of Schindler.
* After the book's author Thomas Keneally wrote a miniseries-length script, Kurt Luedtke was hired by Steven Spielberg to write the screenplay, but he gave up after four years' work.
* When Steven Spielberg returned to Cal State Long Beach 34 years after dropping out to earn his BA, his film professor accepted this movie in place of the short student film normally required to pass the class.
* Director Cameo: [Steven Spielberg] a liberated Schindler Jew among the hundreds crossing a field near the end of the film.
* Director Trademark: [Steven Spielberg] [father] Schindler tells his wife he can't commit to a family.
* At Steven Spielberg's request, Aaron Sorkin did a "dialogue wash" on the excessively wordy script.
* 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.
* Juliette Binoche was offered a role, which she has described in interviews as a woman who was to be raped and then murdered, but she turned it down. She had already turned Steven Spielberg down once that same year, passing on the role of Ellie Sattler in Jurassic Park (1993) to make Trois couleurs: Bleu (1993).
* 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.
* Production designer Allan Starski's replica of the forced labor camp at Plaszow was one of the largest sets ever built in Poland. The movie set was constructed from the plans of the original camp. The production built 34 barracks and seven watchtowers and also recreated the road into the camp that was paved with Jewish tombstones.
* Both Kevin Costner and Mel Gibson offered their services, but Steven Spielberg decided to go with less familiar names, as the presence of a major star would be too distracting.
* Violinist Itzhak Perlman performs John Williams' haunting score on the soundtrack. Perlman is on record as saying that his contribution to the film is one of his proudest moments in an illustrious career.
* Embeth Davidtz deliberately chose not to meet Helen Hirsch, the character she was playing in the film, until after shooting had been completed.
* Sid Sheinberg brought "Schindler's List" to Steven Spielberg's attention when the novel was published in 1982 and purchased the rights, hoping that Spielberg would someday direct it. The movie's enormous success finally came at around the same time that Sheinberg was leaving MCA/Universal.
* The real Oskar Schindler was said to resemble George Sandersand Curd Jürgens.
* As Schindler is given a tour of the camp, he passes a boy in prisoner's clothing with his hands raised over his head and a sign hanging over him. It reads "jestem zÅ‚odziejem ziemniaku," "I am a potato thief."
* Continuity: Placement of Stern's arm around one-armed worker at Schindler Warehouse.
* Factual errors: Schindler was never awarded the Golden Nazi Party Badge, and thus couldn't have sold it to save more Jews. In any event, all but a few of the badges were made of gold-plated brass.
* Factual errors: The Golden Party Badge (Goldenes Parteiabzeichen) that Schindler is holding is the 'large' military version and not the civilian type that he would have had, if he had been awarded one.
* Continuity: 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.
* Continuity: When the boy is caught by the Nazi troops, he drops his case next to his feet. When we cut back to him, the bag is a meter away.
* Continuity: When Schindler is reprimanded for kissing the Jewish girl by the SS officer, the SS officer picks up his cup twice in the same sentence.
* Revealing mistakes: At the train station, when Schindler saves Itzhak Stern from being sent away, an officer is seen flipping through pages of names, but all the pages are exactly the same.
* Continuity: The position of Amon Goeth's arms as he is talking to Helen in the basement before he beats her.
* Continuity: when Schindler is in bed with his wife and talking, his head is resting on her. But in the next shot, when she leans up/turns over to talk to him he is a lot further away from her.
* Anachronisms: Yerushalayim shel Zahav was not written until twenty years after WWII
* Continuity: When the kid is painting the letters "DIREKTOR" for the first time, a serif font is used. In a subsequent shot the word is shown in a san-serif, bolder, almost stencil-like font.
* Anachronisms: The bottle of Hennessy cognac as seen in the movie is the new shape released in 1990s. The original bottle shape was taller and had different label.
* Continuity: When Goeth attempts to shoot a Jewish worker for not producing enough hinges during his shift, first we see his service automatic (a Luger) jam, followed by a small automatic he produces from his pocket. However, as he walks away, he drops a revolver (not previously shown, and rarely, if ever, carried by SS personnel).
* Revealing mistakes: Just after the little boy is held up to pull down another icicle from the roof of the train, the camera angle switches to the exterior and pulls back to show the train going by with no trace of snow or ice anywhere else on the train except right over that one doorway.
* Continuity: In the early scene when Oskar is getting ready to go out you see him tuck his handkerchief in his suit pocket. Clearly visible is a Nazi party pin on his lapel. Shortly thereafter he is shown pinning it to his lapel as a finishing touch.
* Crew or equipment visible: When Schindler and Stern negotiate with the Jewish investors outside the ghetto, Steven Spielberg is reflected on the rear window (his jacket is blowing in the wind)
* Continuity: In the opening sequence when Schindler is preparing for the party (dressing up, getting money) the shape of his hands (and nails) differs from shot to shot.
* Continuity: When the train of women is pulling into Aushwitz, ramps are already in place next to the track. They then disappear, and are put in place when the train stops.
* Audio/visual unsynchronized: In the scene were Amon is picking a servant, he moves to a Jewish girl that does not raise her hand and asks her to get in his car. When he tells her to speak up, his voice is heard but his lips are not moving.
* Crew or equipment visible: The scene inside the cellar between Oskar and the maid, when she faces the camera head on, there is no light coming from the right, yet as the scene progresses and the shot tightens, somebody turns on a light which becomes visible as they cut to her left and her head tilts forward.
* Continuity: When Oskar first meets Amon over lunch, there is an officer who pours water twice, from two different angles.
* Continuity: Oskar sits down at Amon's table for lunch, getting ready to eat, with the camera looking from behind Amon. When they change angles you can see him already chewing the food.
* Continuity: The opening sequence in the train station, one can clearly see that there is no metal cover where the guy is setting up the table, yet as they begin to take names, it seems that the action is happening in a different place.
* Miscellaneous: When the doctor goes into his secret stash of fine liquors, there seems to be a ray of light inside. How is that possible since it must be inside a wall?
* Continuity: The sequence of Oskar interviewing for a secretary position opens with a wide shot showing furniture in the room that is covered while the walls are being painted. Once it cuts to a close shot, the furniture is gone.
* Anachronisms: The Billie Holiday song heard from a radio is not the wartime recording stated on the end credits. It's a later version from the 1950s.
* Factual errors: When Oskar Schindler takes his meal he uses his fork with the right hand and his knife with the left. Not being left-handed this would be a very unusual thing for a German man to do.
* Anachronisms: When one train of the male Jews were taken to "Czechoslovakia" (wrong name for that history period) we can see some electric columns for electric rail tracks. That could be impossible because till the end of War there was no electric tracks in that area. Even all locomotives were steam-engine.
* Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): After the little boy takes the saddle out of the car and after 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.
* Anachronisms: Amon uses the terms "scam" and "scamming." Scam did not become part of the lexicon until the late 1970s (Dictionary of European Slang).
* Crew or equipment visible: The first time Amon Goeth shoots a Jewish prisoner, the large dirt squib is clearly visible in the background before it detonates.
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