Schindler’s list, a movie review

A movie review written by: Lee Sonogan

(1993) 3h15min/ Biography, Drama, History


One of the best Nazi/war movies directed by Steven Spielberg. The movie is based in German-occupied Poland during World war 2 and Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution. With a $22 million dollar budget, this movie made 321.2 million at the box office. The epic historical period drama film is a perfect film to show people in a history class. It is often listed as one of the greatest films ever made and would be on my potential top movie lists as well.

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. At his insistence, all royalties and residuals from this film that would normally have gone to the director,  instead are given to the Shoah Foundation, which records and preserves written and videotaped testimonies from survivors of genocide worldwide, including the Holocaust.

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. 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. 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 made in 1962.

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. About 40% of the film was shot using a handheld camera.

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.

In conclusion, Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley and Ralph Fiennes all play important characters in the movie. As the story develops, to their credit, they play their characters perfectly. Fun fact: Steven Spielberg refuses to autograph any materials related to this film. The movie is a brutal portrayal of WW2 but it ends with a happy ending. I recommend this movie to all those people who like history and epic Spielberg movies.


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