Movie Hype
New Releases, Oscar-Winners and Obscure Movies!
Schindler's List (movie)

A Holocaust drama directed by Steven Spielberg.

< read all 8 reviews

We Must Add Our Own Stones

  • Jul 12, 2003
Curious about the etymology of "holocaust," I again consulted John Ayto's ever-reliable Dictionary of Word Origins and learned that the word has classical origins (as do most other words) and was first used in English by John Milton in reference to "complete destruction by fire." Related meanings include "a complete burning" (from "burnt offering") and "a sacrifice completely consumed by fire." In our own time we capitalize the word when referring to the process of systematic elimination by the Third Reich of everyone perceived to be an enemy. Most were Jews but hundreds of thousands of non-Jewish gypsies, clergy, artists, journalists, and political opponents were also among the victims.

I am unqualified to comment on this film's authenticity. However, I believe that to the extent possible and appropriate, Spielberg and his screen writers Steven Zaillian and Allan Starski were faithful as well as respectful to the historical material first provided to Thomas Keneally by "Schindlerjuden" ("Schindler's Jews"). The film is based on his book, Schindler's Ark (1982), later retitled Schindler's List. In 1993, the film as well as Spielberg and Zaillian and Starski were among the recipients of Academy Awards.

The basic situation is that Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) is a German industrialist in Poland whose company manufactures household items. After the Jews in the Krakow ghetto are transported to the Plaszow Forced Labor Camp in 1942, and Schindler's company is required to manufacture munitions for the German war effort, he seizes the opportunity to have Jews work for him as unpaid laborers. He maintains cordial relations with German officers with bribes and lavish entertainment and even enlists Commandant Amon Goeth (Ralph Fiennes) as his negotiator to obtain concessions (for a price) from Goeth's superior. The war continues. Over time, for reasons revealed in the film, Schindler develops a benevolent and then paternalistic attitude toward his Jewish workers, all of whose names are carefully recorded on a list compiled by the company's secretary/treasurer, Itzhak Stern (Ben Kingsley). Schindler exhausts his funds trying to protect them from reassignment to concentration camps. Eventually his efforts save approximately 1,100 Jews but by the film's conclusion, he is a bankrupt and broken man. His own life has also become "a sacrifice completely consumed by fire."

Important films are not necessarily great films. Schindler's List is both. For obvious reasons, it portrays experiences of unique importance to Jews but to a Gentile such as I, it also has much of great value to say about what it means to be a human being worthy of the name. From accounts provided by the "Schindlerjuden," Spielberg and his associates created great cinematic art without even once allowing even the subtlest suggestion of melodrama or sentimentality to compromise the humanity of Oskar Schindler or, more importantly, the integrity of those on his list.

What did you think of this review?

Fun to Read
Post a Comment
More Schindler's List reviews
Quick Tip by . March 31, 2013
posted in Movie Hype
I know I'll be loathed for not giving Schindler's List a perfect rating, but here's my stance on it.      While the overall story was presented in a really good fashion, what I thought hindered this movie a little was the black-and-white cinematography and the use of English-speaking actors speaking in German accents.  The former in that the visuals don't show the true colors of the horrors of the Holocaust, merely making it look …
review by . April 22, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Theatrical poster
Steven Spielberg has always been a director for whom I have a great deal of respect and admiration. Throughout the 1970s and ‘80s, Spielberg had one colossal success after another (not including his mega-flop 1941) and yet he never received the critical praise that he deserved. Most of Spielberg's films at the time fell into two categories: adventure and science fiction. Jaws and Raiders of the Lost Ark became his crowning achievements in the adventure genre and Close Encounters of the Third …
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Powerful performances of all actors masterfully put together into a great film by Spielberg.
review by . November 12, 2003
posted in Movie Hype
I have only seen this on the big screen so I am not sure how it looks on video. The use of black and white was sheer genious and the times color was used was the most effective since The Wizard of Oz. I am not a huge Liam Neelson fan but his performance in this film was huge. The film is the closest I have seen to capturing the horror of the holocaust while still having the characters appear very human.
About the reviewer
Robert Morris ()
Ranked #74
Professionally, I am an independent management consultant who specializes in accelerated executive development and breakthrough high-impact organizational performance. I also review mostly business books … more
Consider the Source

Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.

Your ratings:
rate more to improve this
About this movie


Steven Spielberg had a banner year in 1993. He scored one of his biggest commercial hits that summer with the mega-hitJurassic Park, but it was the artistic and critical triumph ofSchindler's Listthat Spielberg called "the most satisfying experience of my career." Adapted from the best-selling book by Thomas Keneally and filmed in Poland with an emphasis on absolute authenticity, Spielberg's masterpiece ranks among the greatest films ever made about the Holocaust during World War II. It's a film about heroism with an unlikely hero at its center--Catholic war profiteer Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), who risked his life and went bankrupt to save more than 1,000 Jews from certain death in concentration camps.

By employing Jews in his crockery factory manufacturing goods for the German army, Schindler ensures their survival against terrifying odds. At the same time, he must remain solvent with the help of a Jewish accountant (Ben Kingsley) and negotiate business with a vicious, obstinate Nazi commandant (Ralph Fiennes) who enjoys shooting Jews as target practice from the balcony of his villa overlooking a prison camp. Schindler's List gains much of its power not by trying to explain Schindler's motivations, but by dramatizing the delicate diplomacy and determination with which he carried out his generous deeds.

As a drinker and womanizer who thought nothing of associating with Nazis, Schindler was hardly a model of decency; the film is largely ...

view wiki


Director: Steven Spielberg
Genre: Biography, Drama, History, War
Release Date: December 15, 1993
Runtime: 195 minutes
Studio: Universal Studios
Polls with this movie

Steven Spielberg Films


© 2015, LLC All Rights Reserved - Relevant reviews by real people.
Movie Hype is part of the Network - Get this on your site
This is you!
Ranked #
Last login
Member since