Trivia - Schindler's List (1993)
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Schindler's List (1993)

Genres: Biography, Drama, History

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

Director: Steven Spielberg

Writers: Thomas Keneally, Steven Zaillian

Stars: Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes, Caroline Goodall, ...

Oskar Schindler is a vainglorious and greedy German businessman who becomes an unlikely humanitarian amid the barbaric German 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, it is a testament to the good in all of us.
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 Aus
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.
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.
Steven Spielberg refuses to autograph any materials related to this film.
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.
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".
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".
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.
In the epilogue, all actors accompany the original Schindlerjuden they portray in the movie in pairs.
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 watched episodes of Seinfeld (1989) every night after work to lighten his mood.
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.
Dustin Hoffman stated in a 1994 interview with Larry King that he had spoken to Steven Spielberg about playing Itzhak Stern but their communications became confused, and Spielberg mistakenly believed that Hoffman turned down the role.
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 Oskar Schindler's grave with stones at the end of the movie.
About 40% of the film was shot using a handheld camera.
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.
"Schindler's List" and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) are the two films Steven Spielberg would like to be remembered for.
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.
After filming this movie, Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes became very good friends.
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).
Steven Spielberg waited 10 years to make the film because he felt he wasn't ready to tackle the Holocaust in 1983 at the age of 37.
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.
In real life, Oskar Schindler was not arrested for kissing the Jewish girl at his birthday party. He was arrested three times for dealings in the black market.
Steven Spielberg's first R-rated film.
The first published account of Schindler's story was an article by Kurt R. Grossman, "The Humanitarian Who Cheated Hitler," which appeared in the September 1959 issue of Coronet magazine.
The film's tagline "Whoever saves one life saves the world entire" is a quotation from the Talmud.
As Oskar 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 zlodziejem ziemniaków", "I am a potato thief."
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.
At Steven Spielberg's request, Aaron Sorkin did a "dialogue wash" on the excessively wordy script.
A direct copy of the real list, which was among other things in Thomas Keneally collection, was found by the staff of the National Library in New South Wales, AU. The 13 page list, after the restoration, is displayed in the library's museum.
Swiss actor Bruno Ganz was sought to play the role of Oskar Schindler, but turned it down. Ganz later appeared in another critically-acclaimed WWII movie: Downfall (2004), in which he played Adolf Hitler.
Embeth Davidtz deliberately chose not to meet Helen Hirsch, the character she was playing in the film, until after shooting had been completed.
Ranked #3 on the American Film Institute's 100 Most Inspiring Movies of All Time (2006).
Though Oskar Schindler did in fact have a Jewish accountant named Itzhak Stern, his role is expanded in the movie, where he serves as a composite of several accountants Schindler had working for him.
The Amblin logo, showing the bike flying past the moon from E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), a regular sight at the end of every Steven Spielberg film, isn't present here, perhaps because of the somber subject matter.
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.
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).
The film that finally netted Steven Spielberg the Oscar for best director, something that had eluded him in the past.
The Thomas Keneally novel on which the film is based was titled "Schindler's Ark".
Liam Neeson admitted in a 60 Minutes (1968) interview that he was disappointed in his performance in this film. He stated "I didn't own the part. I didn't see enough of me in there".
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).
This film's closing epilogue states: "There are fewer than four thousand Jews left alive in Poland today. There are more than six thousand descendants of the Schindler Jews." This film's closing memorial / dedication states: "In memory of the more than si
Helen Hirsch is based on Helen Jonas (nee Sternlicht), whose story in shown in the documentary Inheritance (2006).
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.
Steven Spielberg cast Ralph Fiennes as Amon Goeth after he'd been moved by Fiennes' performance as Lawrence in Great Performances: A Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia (1992). Spielberg has been a lifelong fan of David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia (1962).
In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #8 Greatest Movie of All Time.
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).
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.
Steven Spielberg, as director, has made a number of World War II films or films relating to World War II. They include (in chronological order): Fighter Squad (1961); Escape to Nowhere (1961); 1941 (1979); Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981); Empire of the Sun
Tim Roth was considered for the role of Amon Goeth.
Steven Spielberg watched Good Evening, Mr. Wallenberg (1990) six times before the shooting.
Saul Bass was asked to design the poster for this film. Eventually, his version consisting of an image of barb wire spiking paper containing the names of the people, Schindler saved, was refused.
The cuff links Schindler is seen putting on in the opening scene have the logo of the 'Seabourn' cruise line on them. Spielberg was given them as a gift by his cousin who had taken a Seabourn cruise.
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.
The real Oskar Schindler was said to resemble George Sanders and Curd Jürgens.
According to Liam Neeson's account on Inside the Actors Studio: Liam Neeson (2012), Schindler was the first Steven Spielberg feature film not to be storyboarded.
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.
Ironically, the set decorator on the film's Polish crew is named Ewa Braun, which is almost the same name as Eva Braun, Adolf Hitler's wife.
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.
Filming completed in 72 days, 4 days ahead of schedule. The same time was used for Steven Spielberg's other movies, Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and War of the Worlds (2005).
On Roger Ebert's list of great movies.
[June 2008] Ranked #3 on the American Film Institute's list of the 10 greatest films in the genre "Epic".
One of two Best Picture Oscar winners to show a child jumping into the waste pond under a toilet. The other is Slumdog Millionaire (2008).
One of two films where Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson characters pretend to be allies of each other while making separate schemes for themselves. In here, Neeson's character wants to save people from death while in Clash of the Titans (2010) Fiennes charac
After finishing Hook (1991), Steven Spielberg wanted to make Schindler's List (1993) next. Sid Sheinberg greenlit the film on the condition that Spielberg make Jurassic Park (1993) first.
In 1994, John Williams conducted the scores for Schindler's List (1993) and Jurassic Park (1993) in concerts; he took a break from film score assignments while doing so.
Only Hollywood feature to date (2013) to be filmed by Polish cinematographer Janusz Kaminski on location in his homeland (Poland).
Steven Spielberg left the editing on Jurassic Park (1993) for two weeks so he could start shooting Schindler's List in Poland.
Branko Lustig:  nightclub maître d' in Oskar Schindler's first scene. Lustig is one of the film's producers and a Holocaust survivor (upon receiving his Oscar, he recited his serial number, A3317).
Steven Spielberg:  a liberated Schindler Jew among the hundreds crossing a field near the end of the film.
Steven Spielberg:  [mirror]  An important image in the rear-view mirror of a car (see Duel (1971), Jurassic Park (1993)).
Steven Spielberg:  [father]  Oskar Schindler tells his wife he can't commit to a family.
Steven Spielberg:  [music]  John Williams score.
The ending of real life survivors visiting Schindler's grave was not in the script. Steven Spielberg had the idea in the middle of filming, Locating the survivors and arranging the gathering on short notice was a challenge.
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".
According to Czech filmmaker Juraj Herz, the scene where a group of women confuse a shower for a gas chamber was taken direct from his own The Night Overtake Me (1986) shot for shot. Herz wanted to sue but he couldn't come up with the money to fund it.
Steven Spielberg was not paid for this film. He refused to accept a salary, citing that it would be "blood money". Instead, he gave the money to the Shoah Foundation.
Ralph Fiennes put on 13kg by drinking Guinness for his role of Amon Goeth. Steven Spielberg cast him because of his "evil sexuality".
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 and neither were European actors.
Spielberg had to make Jurassic Park (1993) before "Schindler's List" in terms of his projects for 1993. It was even written into his contract because had he made "Schindler's List" first, he would have been too drained to make "Jurassic Park".
During the night time raid on the Krakow ghetto by the SS, two officers see a man playing a piano and wonder if the music is Johann Sebastian Bach or 'Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart'. The piece is actually Bach's "English Suite No.2 in A Minor" despite the one o
The most expensive black & white film to date. The previous record was held for over 30 years by another film set during World War II, The Longest Day (1962).
"Schindler's List" and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) are the two films Steven Spielberg would best like to be remembered for.
After filming this movie, Liam Neeson (Schindler) and Ralph Fiennes (Göth) ironically became very good friends.
Harrison Ford was offered the title role but declined, saying that some people would not be able to look past the former Indiana Jones as a star to see the importance of the film, set in real life after the Indy movies take place.
When Oskar Schindler berates Itzhak Stern for sending too many force-labor camp workers to his factory, Stern (Ben Kingsley) reminds him about Amon Goeth shooting 25 men from Bejski's camp. The Bejski that Stern refers to is none other than Moshe Bejski -
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 his pal George Lucas.
In 1994, John Williams conducted the scores for Schindler's List (1993) and Jurassic Park (1993) in concert; he took a break from film score assignments while doing so.
In 1962, on his birthday, Schindler planted a tree on Avenue of Righteous, Israel.
Details about Thomas Keneally's book "Schindler's List" (on which this film is based on) is mentioned in the documentary "Adolf Hitler: the greatest story never told."
During the list scene, there was an exchange between Itzhak Stern (Ben Kingsley) and Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) that goes as: Stern - "How many cigarettes do you smoke?" Schindler - "Too many". This exchange was taken directly from a real-life exchange
After finishing Hook (1991), Steven Spielberg opted to make Schindler's List (1993) next. Sid Sheinberg greenlit the film on the condition that Spielberg make Jurassic Park (1993) first.
Amon Goeth (Ralph Fiennes) quotes Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice to Helen Hirsch, saying "Hath not a Jew eyes?" Fiennes's brother, Joseph Fiennes, appears in the film The Merchant of Venice (2004).
While the Nazis are moving confiscated luggage, one of the bags is labeled "Sonnenschein". Ralph Fiennes who plays Amon Goeth, appears in the holocaust movie "Sunshine" as Ignatz Sonnenschein .
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 explains the epilogue where the cast and the Schindlerjuden cover Oskar Schindler's grave with stones.
During the Jewish ghetto liquidation scene, a Jewish boy being dragged by two SS soldiers is shot and killed by a third SS man as the SS soldiers walk towards him. What follows is a heated exchange between the two SS soldiers. In the subtitles of the DVD
The first published account of Oskar Schindler's story was an article by Kurt R. Grossman, "The Humanitarian Who Cheated Adolf Hitler," which appeared in the September 1959 issue of Coronet magazine.
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 zlodziejem ziemniaków", "I am a potato thief."
Saul Bass was asked to design the poster for this film. Eventually, his version consisting of an image of barb wire spiking paper containing the names of the people Schindler saved, was refused.
In 1962, on his birthday, Oskar Schindler planted a tree on Avenue of Righteous, Israel.
Details about Thomas Keneally's book "Schindler's List" (on which this film is based on) is mentioned in the documentary Adolf Hitler: The Greatest Story Never Told (2013).
While the Nazis are moving confiscated luggage, one of the bags is labeled "Sonnenschein". Ralph Fiennes who plays Amon Goeth, appears in the Holocaust movie Sunshine (1999) as Ignatz Sonnenschein.
Amon Goeth (Ralph Fiennes) quotes William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice to Helen Hirsch, saying "Hath not a Jew eyes?" Fiennes' brother, Joseph Fiennes, appears in the film The Merchant of Venice (2004).
Steven Spielberg:  [father]  Oskar tells his wife he can't commit to a family.
The ending of real life survivors visiting Oskar Schindler's grave was not in the script. Steven Spielberg had the idea in the middle of filming, Locating the survivors and arranging the gathering on short notice was a challenge.
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
Contrary to popular belief, this was not the first film Steven Spielberg directed that received an R-rating by the Motion Picture Association of America. That credit goes to his short film Amblin' (1968).
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 hand the project to Steven Spielberg, who was working on Cape Fear (1991), which Scorsese took over.
The film finally netted Steven Spielberg the Oscar for Best Director, something that had eluded him in the past.
In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #8 Greatest Movie of All Time, & Steven Spielberg's greatest film.
In 1994, John Williams conducted the scores for Schindler's List and Jurassic Park (1993) in concert; he took a break from film score assignments while doing so.
The extras were not all of Jewish decedent, but Germans also. Most extras volunteered without being paid to be part of the movie.
After finishing Hook (1991), Steven Spielberg opted to make Schindler's List next. Sid Sheinberg greenlit the film on the condition that Spielberg make Jurassic Park (1993) first.
Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
The first collaboration between Steven Spielberg and his cinematographer Janusz Kaminski.
In 1964, MGM announced that they were making an Oskar Schindler biopic to be written by Howard Koch. It was intended for Delbert Mann to direct.
Branko Lustig: nightclub maître d' in Oskar Schindler's first scene. Lustig is one of the film's producers and a Holocaust survivor (upon receiving his Oscar, he recited his serial number, A3317).
Steven Spielberg: a liberated Schindler Jew among the hundreds crossing a field near the end of the film.
Steven Spielberg: [mirror] An important image in the rear-view mirror of a car (see Duel (1971), Jurassic Park (1993)).
Steven Spielberg: [music] John Williams score.
Steven Spielberg: [father] Oskar tells his wife he can't commit to a family.
The girl in the red coat 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".
Steven Spielberg's first R rated movie.His others are Amistad (1997), Saving Private Ryan (1998) and Munich (2005).
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 the
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 k
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 locat
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 w
When the film was to be shown in the Philippines, the censors decided to cut out certain scenes of nudity and violence. When Steven Spielberg learned of this he wanted to pull the film out unless it was shown as it is. So Philippine President Fidel Ramos
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"
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 G
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
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 Fra
According to the art directors, no green paint or clothing were used on the set because the color would 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 regard
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 shoul
The story features a character called Poldek Pfefferberg. Later, a Leopold Pfefferberg places a stone on Schindler's grave. Finally, a Leopold Page is credited as a consultant on the film. Despite the different names, these all refer to the same person. P
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
During the night time raid on the Krakow ghetto by the SS, two officers see a man playing a piano and wonder if the music is Johann Sebastian Bach or Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The piece is actually Bach's "English Suite No.2 in A Minor" despite the one off
When Schindler berates Itzhak Stern for sending too many force-labor camp workers to his factory, Stern reminds him about Amon Goeth shooting 25 men from Bejski's camp. The Bejski that Stern refers to is none other than Moshe Bejski - who eventually becam
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 fu
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 S
Steven Spielberg cast Ralph Fiennes as Amon Goeth after he'd been moved by Fiennes' performance as T.E. Lawrence in Great Performances: A Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia (1992). Spielberg has been a lifelong fan of David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia (19
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 re-dubbed the
Steven Spielberg, as director, has made ten films either about or relating to World War II. (in chronological order): Fighter Squad (1961); Escape to Nowhere (1961); 1941 (1979); Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981); Empire of the Sun (1987); Indiana Jones and
When we see the Jews marching across the bridge into the ghetto, this is not the direction they would have walked in real life. There was a large modern radio tower exists in direct view when walking in the correct historical direction across the bridge i
When Steven Spielberg was dividing time between Schindler's List and Jurassic Park (1993), he was in contact with ILM four times a week via satellite. He described the extra workload as "a bipolar experience, with every ounce of intuition on Schindler's L
This film's epilogue states: "There are fewer than four thousand Jews left alive in Poland today. There are more than six thousand descendants of the Schindler Jews." This film's closing memorial / dedication states: "In memory of the more than six millio
Billy Wilder contributed to the first draft of the screenplay. Wilder had many relatives who died in the Holocaust, and tried to convince Steven Spielberg to let him direct the film. Spielberg was already prepared to shoot the film in Poland, and turned i
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
During the list scene, there was an exchange between Itzhak Stern and Oskar Schindler that goes as: Stern - "How many cigarettes do you smoke?" Schindler - "Too many". This exchange was taken directly from a real-life exchange between Edward the Duke of W
One of two films where Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson's characters pretend to be allies of each other while making separate schemes for themselves. In here, Neeson's character wants to save people from death while in Clash of the Titans (2010) Fiennes char
After one of Schindler's workers is killed by the SS, mention is made of the "SS Office of Budget and Construction" which was an agency set up in the late 1930s to coordinate construction (and later slave labor) projects in occupied territories. This offi
The first war film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture Oscar since Platoon (1986), a gap of seven years. The first predominantly black-and-white war film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture Oscar since The Longest Day (1962), a ga
The Set Decorator on this film, who shared the Best Art Direction Academy Award with Allan Starski, is named Ewa Braun. Eva Braun was also the name of Adolf Hitler's mistress. Billy Crystal later said that he regretted not being the host of the Oscars tha
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
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 fro
During the Jewish ghetto liquidation scene, a Jewish boy being dragged by two Schutz-Staffel soldiers is shot and killed by a third SS man as the SS soldiers walk towards him. What follows is a heated exchange between the two SS soldiers. In the subtitles
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
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 the Auschwitz concentration camp. After learning this, Spielberg immediately and repeatedly apologized for bringing up such a traumatic memory. Polanski would later direct his own film about the Holocaust, The Pianist (2002).
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.
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 the film was to be shown in the Philippines, the censors decided to cut out certain scenes of nudity and violence. When Steven Spielberg learned of this he wanted to pull the film out unless it was shown as it is. So Philippine President Fidel Ramos intervened and overruled the censors and the film was shown without any cuts.
At his insistence (citing that it would be "blood money"), 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.
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 and he would watch episodes of Seinfeld.
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 room 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.
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.
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.
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 Anne Frank: The Whole Story (2001).
Harrison Ford was offered the title role but declined, saying that some people would not be able to look past his Indiana Jones persona to see the importance of the film.
According to the art directors, no green paint or clothing were used on the set because the color would 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.
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. He agreed to hand the project to Steven Spielberg, who was working on Cape Fear (1991), which Scorsese took over), 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.
The story features a character called Poldek Pfefferberg. Later, a Leopold Pfefferberg places a stone on Schindler's grave. Finally, a Leopold Page is credited as a consultant on the film. Despite the different names, these all refer to the same person. Poldek Pfefferberg changed his name to Leopold Page after the war when he moved to the United States.
After filming this movie, Liam Neeson (Schindler) and Ralph Fiennes (Göth) became very good friends.
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.
During the night time raid on the Krakow ghetto by the SS, two officers see a man playing a piano and wonder if the music is Johann Sebastian Bach or Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The piece is actually Bach's "English Suite No.2 in A Minor" despite the one officer's conclusion that it was Mozart.
When Schindler berates Itzhak Stern for sending too many force-labor camp workers to his factory, Stern reminds him about Amon Goeth shooting 25 men from Bejski's camp. The Bejski that Stern refers to is none other than Moshe Bejski - who eventually became Oskar Schindler's document forger and later the Israeli Supreme Court Judge from 1979 to 1991. He is mentioned in the book. In the list, he is #531 on the men's list and occupation was a draftsman.
At Steven Spielberg's request, Aaron Sorkin did a "dialogue wash" on the verbose script.
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.
Steven Spielberg cast Ralph Fiennes as Amon Goeth after he'd been moved by Fiennes' performance as T.E. Lawrence in Great Performances: A Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia (1992). Spielberg has been a lifelong fan of David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia (1962).
In 1962, on his birthday, Oskar Schindler planted a tree on the Avenue of the Righteous Among the Nations, in Jerusalem, Israel.
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 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 re-dubbed the song "Eli Eli," which was written by Hannah Sennesh during World War Two over the end. However, some criticized this decision as a misinterpretation of the scene, since the song serves as a lead-in to a scene that takes place in modern-day Israel (long after the release of "Yerushalayim Shel Zahav") not during the Holocaust.
Steven Spielberg, as director, has made ten films either about or relating to World War II. (in chronological order): Fighter Squad (1961); Escape to Nowhere (1961); 1941 (1979); Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981); Empire of the Sun (1987); Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989); a remake of the WWII movie A Guy Named Joe (1943) entitled, Always (1989); Schindler's List; and Saving Private Ryan (1998).
When Steven Spielberg was dividing time between Schindler's List and Jurassic Park (1993), he was in contact with ILM four times a week via satellite. He described the extra workload as "a bipolar experience, with every ounce of intuition on Schindler's List and every ounce of craft on Jurassic Park (1993). He rented two satellite channels through a Polish television station (for $1.5 million a week), keeping them open at all times. He downloaded from Hollywood each day the visuals on one and the sound through the other. He then spent his evenings and weekends working on them with video equipment.
When we see the Jews marching across the bridge into the ghetto, this is not the direction they would have walked in real life. There was a large modern radio tower in direct view when walking in the correct historical direction across the bridge into the Krakow ghetto.
This film's epilogue states: "There are fewer than four thousand Jews left alive in Poland today. There are more than six thousand descendants of the Schindler Jews." This film's closing memorial / dedication states: "In memory of the more than six million Jews murdered."
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 Three Colors: Blue (1993).
Billy Wilder contributed to the first draft of the screenplay. Wilder had many relatives who died in the Holocaust, and tried to convince Steven Spielberg to let him direct the film. Spielberg was already prepared to shoot the film in Poland, and turned it down.
During the list scene, there was an exchange between Itzhak Stern and Oskar Schindler that goes as: Stern - "How many cigarettes do you smoke?" Schindler - "Too many". This exchange was taken directly from a real-life exchange between Edward the Duke of Windsor and his physician (Edward was asked the exact question) weeks before his death in 1972.
The film was banned in several Muslim-majority nations, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Lebanon and Egypt. The general excuse for the bans was that the film was unfair towards Germans (meaning Nazis) and overly sympathetic to Jews. Neo-Nazis in Western countries, including the U.S. and Canada, campaigned for the film to be banned there but were entirely ignored.
After one of Schindler's workers is killed by the SS, mention is made of the "SS Office of Budget and Construction" which was an agency set up in the late 1930s to coordinate construction (and later slave labor) projects in occupied territories. This office was merged with several others in 1941 to become the extremely powerful "SS Main Office of Economics and Administration", known as the WVHA, which ran all slave labor and concentration camps throughout Nazi Germany. Department W of the WVHA (which Schindler mentions at the end of the film) was in charge of labor projects and frequently came into conflict with Department D (Concentration Camps) whose SS personnel were often the ones who arbitrarily killed workers.
One of two films where Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson's characters pretend to be allies of each other while making separate schemes for themselves. In here, Neeson's character wants to save people from death while in Clash of the Titans (2010) Fiennes character wants to destroy people.
At 66th Academy Awards, Steven Spielberg's Schindler's list and Jurassic Park competed for Best Sound category. Ultimately, Jurassic Park won the Academy Award for Best Sound.
The first war film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture Oscar since Platoon (1986), a gap of seven years. The first predominantly black-and-white war film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture Oscar since The Longest Day (1962), a gap of thirty-one years. The first predominantly black-and-white World War II war film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture Oscar since From Here to Eternity (1953), a gap of forty years. Other black-and-white World War II war films which have won the Academy Award for Best Picture Oscar include Mrs. Miniver (1942); Casablanca (1942) and The Best Years of Our Lives (1946). As such, "Schindler's List" is the fifth black-and-white World War II war film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture Oscar. The first World War II film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture Oscar since Patton (1970), a gap of twenty-three years. The first World War II film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture Oscar since John Boorman's Hope and Glory (1987), a gap of six years. The first predominantly black-and-white film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture Oscar since The Apartment (1960), a gap of thirty-three years. The first war film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture Oscar since Born on the Fourth of July (1989), a gap of four years. The first predominantly black-and-white film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture Oscar since both The Elephant Man (1980) and Raging Bull (1980), a gap of thirteen years. The first Steven Spielberg war film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture since Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), a gap of twelve years. The first Spielberg war film since Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), a gap of four years.
Thomas Kenneally (the author of 'Schindler's List') has claimed in an interview that he was personally shown a 6 hour plus 'rough cut' by Stephen Spielberg which he found far better than the theatrical version. as of 2016, this version has never been released in any authorised format.
The Set Decorator on this film, who shared the Best Art Direction Academy Award with Allan Starski, is named Ewa Braun. Eva Braun was also the name of Adolf Hitler's mistress. Billy Crystal later said that he regretted not being the host of the Oscars that year because he heard the name on television and wanted to call host Whoopi Goldberg right away and point out the odd coincidence.
In a memorable scene when Poldek Pfefferberg (Sagall) runs into a German patrol during the Ghetto clearing he is forced to improvise and snaps to attention and salutes the Germans with two fingers to his forehead. (He exclaims he was ordered to clear the road of rubble so the troops could run without hindrance.) This two-finger salute is actually the correct way of saluting in the Polish military though the Germans were obviously not impressed by it.
in a TV interview with Larry King on 'Larry King live'; Dustin Hoffman claimed he was originally offered the role of Isaac Stern by Stephen Spielberg & gladly accepted but was quoted in the media as declining the part. he said that this was only due to a mix up in communication between his agent & Stephen Spielberg. on the same programme, he praised Ben Kingsley's performance of Isaac Stern as "a marvellous job".
When SS Commandant Amon Goeth tries to shoot one of the laborers both of his pistols jam, which results in the laborer being spared his life. Goeth's first pistol is a Walther P38. One of the common sidearms for German soldiers during World War Two (and it seen frequently throughout this film). The second pistol that Amon Goeth tries to use, but also jams, after pulling out of his pocket, is a Czech CZ Vz-27 semi-automatic pistol. These were produce by CZ before the war in Czechoslovakia, but during the German occupation were produced under German direction. These pistols were issued to German police, SS, and some Army units during the war. The possible reason that both reliable pistols jam, is because many of the Walther P38s and CZ-27s were made by forced labor, and may have been sabotaged.
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.
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 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 Oskar 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.
During the Jewish ghetto liquidation scene, a Jewish boy being dragged by two Schutz-Staffel soldiers is shot and killed by a third SS man as the SS soldiers walk towards him. What follows is a heated exchange between the two SS soldiers. In the subtitles of the DVD version, it is possible to see exactly what is being said in the original German. The text translates as: "Just what did you think you were shooting at, are you crazy? With this rifle you could have shot me! You came that close to shooting me!" The second soldier then says something that includes "Entschuldigung", which is "apologies" in German. The NCO then responds with: "What do we call excuses here? You are certainly crazy!" Thus, the translation sheds light that the SS soldier was not concerned that the Jewish boy had just been murdered, but rather that the SS soldier was in the line of fire.
Ralph Fiennes's character (Amon Goeth) doesn't appear in the film until nearly 52 minutes
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.
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, he told Spielberg he deserved a better Composer. Spielberg replied, "I know, but they're all dead."
When the film was to be shown in the Philippines, the censors decided to cut out certain scenes of nudity and violence. When Steven Spielberg learned of this, he wanted to pull the film out, unless it was shown as it is. So Philippine President Fidel Ramos intervened, and overruled the censors, and the film was shown without any cuts.
Ralph Fiennes put on 28 pounds (13 kilograms) by drinking Guinness for his role of Amon Goeth. Steven Spielberg cast him because of his "evil sexuality".
At his insistence (citing that it would be "blood money"), all royalties and residuals from this film, that would normally have gone to 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.
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 room 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.
During production, the atmosphere was so grim and depressing that Steven Spielberg asked his friend Robin Williams if he could tell some jokes and do comedy sketches while Spielberg would watch episodes of Seinfeld (1989). Some of Williams' sketches, while played through the speaker phone to the cast and crew, ended up being part of dialogue material for his character in Aladdin (1992), the Genie.
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, and neither were European actors.
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.
The most expensive black-and-white film to date. The previous record was held for over thirty years by another film set during World War II, The Longest Day (1962).
Harrison Ford was the first choice for the title role, but declined, saying that some people would not be able to look past his Indiana Jones persona to see the importance of the film.
According to the art directors, no green paint or clothing were used on the set, because the color would 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 story features a character called Poldek Pfefferberg. Later, a Leopold Pfefferberg places a stone on Schindler's grave. Finally, a Leopold Page is credited as a consultant on the film. Despite the different names, these all refer to the same person. Poldek Pfefferberg changed his name to Leopold Page after the war, when he moved to the United States.
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. He agreed to hand the project to Steven Spielberg, who was working on Cape Fear (1991), which Scorsese took over), 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.
During filming, Sir 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 Anne Frank (2001).
Production Designer Allan Starski's replica of the forced labor camp at Plaszow was one of the largest sets ever built in Poland. The set was constructed from the plans of the original camp. The production built 34 barracks and seven watchtowers, and also re-created the road into the camp that was paved with Jewish tombstones.
Steven Spielberg waited ten years to make the film, because he felt he wasn't ready to tackle the Holocaust in 1983 at the age of 37.
Spielberg had to make Jurassic Park (1993) before this film in terms of his projects for 1993. It was even written into his contract, because had he made this film first, he would have been too drained to make Jurassic Park (1993).
About forty percent of the film was shot using a hand-held camera.
"Schindler's List" and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) are the two films, for which Steven Spielberg would best like to be remembered.
In real-life, Oskar Schindler was not arrested for kissing the Jewish girl at his birthday party. He was arrested three times for dealings in the black market.
During the nighttime raid on the Krakow ghetto by the SS, two officers see a man playing a piano and wonder if the music is Johann Sebastian Bach or Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The piece is actually Bach's "English Suite No.2 in A Minor", despite the one officer's conclusion that it was Mozart.
At Steven Spielberg's request, Aaron Sorkin did an uncredited touch up and "dialogue wash" on the verbose script.
Dustin Hoffman stated in a 1994 interview with Larry King, that he had spoken to Steven Spielberg about playing Itzhak Stern, but their communications became confused, and Spielberg mistakenly believed that Hoffman turned down the role.
The extras were not all of Jewish descent but Germans as well. Most extras volunteered without being paid to be part of the film.
When Schindler berates Itzhak Stern for sending too many forced-labor camp workers to his factory, Stern reminds him about Amon Göth shooting 25 men from Bejski's camp. The Bejski that Stern refers to is Moshe Bejski, who eventually became Oskar Schindler's document forger and later an Israeli Supreme Court Judge from 1979-91. He is mentioned in the book. In the list, he is #531 on the men's list, and his occupation was a draftsman.
Without adjusting for inflation, this is the highest-grossing black-and-white film of all time (taking in 96 million dollars domestically and 321 million dollars worldwide).
Bruno Ganz was sought to play the role of Oskar Schindler, but turned it down. Ganz later appeared in another critically-acclaimed World War II movie, Downfall (2004), in which he played Adolf Hitler.
The Amblin Entertainment logo, showing the bike flying past the moon from E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)--a regular sight at the end of every Steven Spielberg film--is not shown in this film.
In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #8 Greatest Movie of All Time, and Steven Spielberg's greatest 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 Göth. This is why in the next scene where Göth 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.
Steven Spielberg cast Ralph Fiennes as Amon Göth after he'd been moved by Fiennes' performance as T.E. Lawrence in Great Performances: A Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia (1992). Spielberg has been a lifelong fan of David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia (1962).
In 1994, John Williams conducted the scores for this film and Jurassic Park (1993) in concert. He took a break from film scoring assignments while doing so.
The film, as shown in most countries, had the song "Yerushalayim Shel Zahav"--Jerusalem of Gold--at the end. When it was shown in Israel audiences laughed at this, as this song was written after the 1967 war as a pop song. The producers then re-dubbed the song "Eli Eli," which was written by Hannah Senesh during World War Two, over the end. However, some criticized this decision as a misinterpretation of the scene, since the song serves as a lead-in to a scene that takes place in modern-day Israel (long after the release of "Yerushalayim Shel Zahav") not during the Holocaust.
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.
Helen Hirsch is based on Helen Jonas (nee Sternlicht), whose story is shown in the documentary Inheritance (2006).
Steven Spielberg, as director, has made ten films either about or relating to World War II. (in chronological order): Fighter Squad (1961), Escape to Nowhere (1961), 1941 (1979), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Empire of the Sun (1987), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), a remake of the World War II movie A Guy Named Joe (1943) titled, Always (1989), Schindler's List (1993), and Saving Private Ryan (1998).
The cufflinks Schindler is seen putting on in the opening scene have the logo of the Seabourn cruise line on them. Steven Spielberg was given them as a gift by his cousin, who had taken a Seabourn cruise.
When Steven Spielberg was dividing time between this film and Jurassic Park (1993), he was in contact with special effects company Industrial Light & Magic four times a week via satellite. He described the extra workload as "a bipolar experience, with every ounce of intuition on 'Schindler's List' and every ounce of craft on 'Jurassic Park'.". He rented two satellite channels through a Polish television station (for 1.5 million dollars a week), keeping them open at all times. He downloaded from Hollywood, each day, the visuals on one, and the sound through the other. He then spent his evenings and weekends working on them with video equipment.
After finishing Hook (1991), Steven Spielberg opted to make this film next. Universal Pictures Chairman Sid Sheinberg greenlit the film, on the condition that Spielberg make Jurassic Park (1993) first.
Tim Roth was considered for the role of Amon Göth.
The film was banned in several Muslim-majority nations, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Lebanon and Egypt. The general excuse was that it was "unfair" towards Germans (meaning Nazis) and overly sympathetic to Jews. Neo-Nazis in Western countries, including the U.S. and Canada, campaigned for the film to be banned there, but were ignored.
When we see the Jews marching across the bridge into the ghetto, this is not the direction they would have walked in real-life. There was a large modern radio tower in direct view when walking in the correct historical direction across the bridge into the Krakow ghetto.
The song being played when Schindler enters the nightclub and meets all of the Nazi officials is called "Por Una Cabeza". The same song is played as the tango in True Lies (1994) and Scent of a Woman (1992).
Steven Spielberg left the editing on Jurassic Park (1993) for two weeks, so he could start shooting this film in Poland.
This film's epilogue states: "There are fewer than four thousand Jews left alive in Poland today. There are more than six thousand descendants of the Schindler Jews." This film's closing memorial/dedication states: "In memory of the more than six million Jews murdered."
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, for which she was considered, is unknown.
Filming was completed in 72 days, four days ahead of schedule.
Sidney Lumet was approached to direct, but felt that he had already covered the subject of the Holocaust, with The Pawnbroker (1964).
During the list scene, there was an exchange between Itzhak Stern and Oskar Schindler. Stern--"How many cigarettes do you smoke?" Schindler--"Too many". This was taken directly from a real-life exchange between Edward the Duke of Windsor and his physician (Edward was asked the exact question) weeks before his death in 1972.
While the Nazis are moving confiscated luggage, one of the bags is labeled "Sonnenschein". Ralph Fiennes who plays Amon Göth, appears in the Holocaust movie Sunshine (1999) as Ignatz Sonnenschein.
Details about Thomas Keneally's book "Schindler's List", on which this film is based, is mentioned in the documentary Adolf Hitler: The Greatest Story Never Told (2013).
In June 2008 this film was ranked #3 on the American Film Institute's list of the 10 greatest films in the genre "Epic".
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 by Skarsgård.
Thomas Keneally (the author of the book "Schindler's List") has claimed in an interview that he was personally shown a six-hour-plus "rough cut" of the film by Steven Spielberg that he found far better than the final theatrical version. As of 2016, this rough-cut version has never been released in any authorized format.
The first collaboration between Steven Spielberg and Cinematographer Janusz Kaminski.
Amon Göth (Ralph Fiennes) quotes William Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice" to Helen Hirsch, saying, "Hath not a Jew eyes?" Fiennes' brother, Joseph Fiennes, appears in the film The Merchant of Venice (2004).
In a memorable scene when Poldek Pfefferberg (Jonathan Sagall) runs into a German patrol during the Ghetto clearing he is forced to improvise and snaps to attention and salutes the Germans with two fingers to his forehead (he explains that he was ordered to clear the road of rubble so the troops could run without hindrance). This two-finger salute is actually the correct way of saluting in the Polish military, though the Germans were obviously not impressed by it.
One of two films where Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson's characters pretend to be allies of each other while making separate schemes for themselves. Here, Neeson's character wants to save people from death, while in Clash of the Titans (2010), Fiennes character wants to destroy people.
When SS Commandant Amon Göth tries to shoot one of the laborers, both of his pistols jam, which results in the laborer being spared. Göth's first pistol is a Walther P38, a common sidearm for German soldiers during World War II (and seen frequently throughout this film). The second pistol that he tries to use, but which also jams after pulling it out of his pocket, is a Czech CZ Vz-27 semi-automatic. These were produced by CZ before the war in Czechoslovakia, but during the German occupation, were produced under German direction. These pistols were issued to German police, SS, and some army units during the war. The possible reason that both usually reliable pistols jammed is that many of the Walther P38s and CZ-27s were made by in factories by forced (i.e., slave) laborers who may have sabotaged them, a fairly common occurrence in those types of factories during the war.
This is the first war film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture Oscar since Platoon (1986), the first predominantly black-and-white war film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture Oscar since The Longest Day (1962) and the first predominantly black-and-white World War II war film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture Oscar since From Here to Eternity (1953), a gap of forty years. It is also the fifth black-and-white World War II war film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture Oscar, the first World War II film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture Oscar since Patton (1970), the first World War II film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture Oscar since John Boorman's Hope and Glory (1987), the first predominantly black-and-white film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture Oscar since The Apartment (1960), the first war film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture Oscar since Born on the Fourth of July (1989), the first predominantly black-and-white film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture Oscar since both The Elephant Man (1980) and Raging Bull (1980). It is the first Steven Spielberg war film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture since Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981); the first was Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989).
Only Hollywood feature to date (2017) to be filmed by Polish Cinematographer Janusz Kaminski, on location in his homeland of Poland.
At the 66th Academy Awards, this film and Jurassic Park (1993), both directed by Steven Spielberg, competed for the Best Sound category. Jurassic Park (1993) won.
In 1964, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer announced that it was making an Oskar Schindler biopic, to be written by Howard Koch. It was intended for Delbert Mann to direct.
In a television interview with Larry King on Larry King Live (1985), Dustin Hoffman claimed that he was originally offered the role of Itzhak Stern by Steven Spielberg, and accepted it, but was quoted in the media as declining the part, due to a mix-up in communication between his agent and Spielberg. However, he praised Ben Kingsley's performance of Itzhak Stern as "a marvelous job."
Selected by the Vatican in the "values" category of its list of 45 "great films."
The Krakow ghetto "liquidation" scene was only a page of action in the script, but Steven Spielberg turned it into twenty pages and twenty minutes of screen action "based on living witness testimony". For example, the scene in which Leopold Pfefferberg escapes capture by German soldiers by telling them he was ordered to clear the luggage from the street and saluting them was taken directly from his own account.
The ending of real-life survivors visiting Oskar Schindler's grave was not in the script. Steven Spielberg had the idea in the middle of filming, Locating the survivors and arranging the gathering on short notice was a challenge.
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.
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.
A direct copy of the real list, which was among other things in Thomas Keneally collection, was found by the staff of the National Library in New South Wales, Australia. The thirteen-page list, after the restoration, is displayed in the library's museum.
During the Jewish ghetto liquidation scene, a Jewish boy being dragged by two SS soldiers is shot and killed by a third SS man as the other soldiers walk towards him. What follows is a heated exchange between the two SS soldiers. In the subtitles of the DVD version, it is possible to see exactly what is being said in the original German. The text translates as: "Just what did you think you were shooting at, are you crazy? With this rifle you could have shot me! You came that close to shooting me!" The second soldier then says something that includes "Entschuldigung", which is "apologies" in German. The NCO then responds with, "What do we call excuses here? You are certainly crazy!" Thus, the translation sheds light that the SS soldier was not concerned that the Jewish boy had just been murdered, but rather that he himself was in the line of fire.
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 1,200 saved by Oskar Schindler. In the fifty 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.
Ralph Fiennes' character (Amon Göth) doesn't appear until nearly 52 minutes into the film.