Schindler's List(released Dec/93)was deservedly the big winner of the /93-/94 OSCAR race with seven statuettes awarded.It boasts a powerhouse cast with the likes of Liam Neeson as Oscar Schindler,Ben Kingsley as his Jewish accountant Itzhak Stern,Ralph Fiennes as the sadistic camp commandant Amon Goeth,and many ,many more.The film was shot in b&w for effect,which beautifully served to heighten the intensity and emotion this movie produced.The story is of course based on facts,hard to believe facts in this day and age,but nonetheless they stand as testimony to the brutality(and corruption)of the German WW2 war machine.From the script to the acting to the film's entire execution(no pun intended)on film,it is flawless.Schindler in reality was no saint and in fact a womanizer(he was married during this period),a drunk and a poor businessman.But what in the beginning began as an attempt at selfish monetary gains through bribery and pressure,turned into an honest attempt to save as many Jews as he could in his factories,at an unbelievable personal risk.By the time the film comes to its inevitable conclusion you will,guaranteed,have shed a few tears during some of the many very touching moments.
Technically the film is in its original a/r of 1:85:1 and the picture is crisp and clear.This edition I review is the newest incarnation which celebrates Universal's 100th anniversary.As such there is an outer cover which opens at the front,which the regular DVD case just slips into.This edition is also,unfortunately,a one disc version.This is the only criticism of this DVD,that for a 100th anniversary release,Universal would choose to cheaply put this film onto a double sided DVD;prone to all the scratching and scuff marks one could ask for.This film,along with any other so called anniversary release,deserves much better.Extras include the usual from previous releases of this DVD such as the Shoah Foundation and Voices from the List featurettes,along with some true facts on Schindler himself.
In conclusion I can't say I approve of the manner in which this DVD has been released,but it is the film that is most important,and for that it gets all five stars;it's worth more.This is a film EVERY person in the world should be shown,and most importantly children and history students.This film is just one of the countless reasons that we should NEVER,EVER forget that period,that terrible period in our collective history.Highly recommended.
on June 26, 2004
(...) First of all: Schindler's List is a very very great movie, not about the history itself, but the score, visual effects, etc. The reason from a black-and-white movie is from "smooth" all the blood scenes, because Steven did not want a bloody movie at all. And the movie has many cenes with people being executed. Second, Steven already thinked about doing this movie since 1982 (when universal pictures bought the rights from Thomas Keneally's book). But he didn't considered yourself growned enough as director to make a movie such like this. But, in 1992, shocked with the ethnic clean-up on Bosnia and seeing the Holocaust being forgotten by the coletive memory, he decided to do this movie. Schindler's List is not a "marketing" movie, is a movie made from people REMEMBER, because if the Holocaust will be forgot, this will be happen again. Because there isn't many visual archives when the concetration camps are in activity. All the brutal activies made by those (...) nazis was discovered after the war is over. And many people even believed that the Holocaust actually happened. And movies like this keep the public memory alives. Of course, I have to agree that the movie wasn't realistic enough, Steven completly forgot about the christians and others "minories" genocide. Besides, there isn't one scene with jews fighting back against the nazis on the ghettos. In the movie, the victims are very very passive, but even with those details, the movie is wonderfull. From the American History guy: what the hell are u think? Do you really think the each nation have to learn the history about their own nations only, and that's it? If everybody will think like you, we're gonna have a very stupid generation on the next years... I'm not saying that American History is not important, but try to expand your horizonts a little bit, darling.
on June 10, 2004
This review refers to "Schindler's List - Collector's Widescreen Gift Set"(DVD)...
Well over a year ago, long before The DVD editions were released, I wrote a review of this wonderful film. It's a film that goes beyond the awards and beyond any meaning a 5 star review has. It was one of the most moving expereinces one can have from a cinematic work. I don't usually go in for the "gift sets", and most of the time the special features is not what I base my buying decisions on when shopping for a DVD. When I saw what was offered in the "Schindler's List" Gift Set, and at such a reasonable price, I knew I had to have it. So this review will concentrate on just that..this marvelous package deal.
The set includes a beautifully transfered edition of the film to DVD. The film looks immaculate. The black and white images are sharp and clear. The sound gives you the choice of DD5.1 or DTS 5.1. I viewed it in the DTS..and wow...fabulous surround sound. It may also be viewed in French(DD5.1) and Spanish(DD5.1). There is English captioning and subtitles in Spanish and French as well. The disc is two sided and must be turned over about half way through the film. There are also several very informative bonus features found on Side B of the Disc(see buying info for complete list). The music for this film, composed by John Williams is a very big and emotional part of this film. The CD of the Soundtrack is also among the gifts in this package. It sounds wonderful on the stereo as you relive all the moments of the film. So already this package is well worth it for those who love this film.
There's more...A hardcover book with 70 pages of stirring images of the film, another 6 pages of productions notes, and a foward by Steven Spielberg is included. Keep looking, you'll also find an Actual Film Frame from "Schindler's List", a certificate of authenticity, and it all comes exquistly packaged in a plexiglass case(DVD and CD in their own beautiful case), with names from 'the list' engraved on it.
This Gift Set truly is just that... it is filled with the most wonderful gifts for those that have been so touched by this cinematic work of art depicting a man who defines the word human, during one of the most horrifying chapters in world history. I usually recommend going with the less expensive editions for those not interested in all the frills, but not in this case. This is a must have.
For those looking for a summary of the film itself, there are many wonderful reviews here. If you would like to read mine, you have to go back a ways, as it was written on March 7, 2003.
Thank you...and enjoy this great treasure....Laurie
on May 7, 2004
Well, where to begin? Usually I can twitter on for pages about a product, but this is a tough one. Well, let me start with my opinion that Schindler's List is the best film ever made, and deserves all the critical praise it has received. Never before have I seen such an emotionally powerful film.
I am the grandson of a man who, at the age of 14, was trapped in a concentration camp, before later escaping through some miracle. He wasn't Jewish, but lived in Russia and was hauled off one day when he found out that his father had been dead for months, even though he continued to receive letters from him. He later discovered the letters had been written by the Nazis, and sent to him as a cover up. He refused to talk about his experiences, even until his death in July 1996, so I have always tried to find other information about this dark period in history through sources such as books, films and documentaries. I first saw Schindler's List a few years ago, but never watched it all the way through - until recently.
Schindler's List revolves around a true story of Oskar Schindler who helped save the lives of more than a thousand Jews from a terrible fate. In the film, Oskar Schindler is a well-known Catholic, drinker and womaniser who is just in the whole extermination process to make pots of money at the expense of the Jews. He only cares about himself, and is more bothered about his public image than anything else. With all this behind him, he is hardly a man who thinks about...until he starts spending more time at the concentration camps. As the true horrors of the Holocaust unfold, his conscience changes dramatically until the point where he is willing to do anything he can in his power to save 1,100 Jews.
Liam Neeson is absolutely amazing as Oskar Schindler. I cannot think of any other actor than him to play this part. He pulls off the role very effectively and professionally, considering the subject was so hard to pull off. The perfect counterpart to Schindler's character is that of the evil German Nazi commandant Amon Goathe. Played by the remarkable Ralph Fiennes, his character is one of pure evil. The man is demonic, heartless and totally frigid. He has no care for anyone else but himself, and has piercing eyes that will no doubt have been the subject of millions of nightmares. Continual praise is essential for Fiennes, as it must have been very hard to re-enact some of the scenes that caused so much shock and terror throughout the world.
Ben Kingsley is also wonderful as Itzhak Stern, the Jewish man who works as Schindler's accountant. He doesn't have much of a large part in the film, but that all changed when he is needed to type up Oskar's list of people to save. The entire cast consists of more than 30,000 extras who give amazing performances as truly terrified Jews, giving the film a very real feel of what actually happened.
The way Schindler's List is filmed in black and white is perfect. This gives the film a documentary style, which is just the way director Steven Spielberg wanted it. There are only a few colour segments, but these are put to optimum use in making the viewer take note. The most famous of these is the one where Schindler sees a little girl in a red coat running away from the Nazis. He continues to watch her escape, until he later sees her on a pile of bodies awaiting cremation at a concentration camp. He is truly shocked. Spielberg is expressing the horror of the Holocaust here by saying that not even the young and innocent are spared. There are some truly shocking and disturbing scenes in this film, but all of which are brilliant in their tried ways to describe what actually went on. There are many random killings for no apparent reason at all.
This Special Edition of Schindler's List is truly one of the most essential DVD's you could ever hope to own. The movie is, in my opinion, the best I have ever had the pleasure to view. The emotion on display just blows you away, and to own the Special Edition is a great advantage for DVD fanatics. The extra features include:
- Movie soundtrack
- Senitype from the film
- Voices From The List documentary
- The Shoah Foundation Story With Steven Spielberg
- Cast and crew
- About Oskar Schindler
OVERALL GRADE: 10/10
Schindler's List is my all-time favourite film and is definitely one that all young people should see. It's different for me because my grandad went through almost everything that is in this film, and that makes me think of him as someone very heroic and courageous. While not a film you can watch again and again, Schindler's List is one that will change you and your views on the supposed idealistic world that we live in. It makes you realise how cruel society can be and how far it is possible of going if we let it. Buy this film now - you'll see things totally differently after watching it.
on May 6, 2004
Schindler's list stands alone as the most important movie made about the holocaust. No other film comes close to it's message and delivery than perhaps Roman Polanski's "Pianist". I first saw "Schindler's list" when I was in middle school and what I saw capitivated me and sparked a desire in me to learn more about the subject. My history classes up until that point had mentioned the holocaust but never provided me with any indepth or important information. "Schindler's list" is excellent in depicting the brutality in which the Germans operated. The Germans exterminated whole towns, used jews as target practice and made them strip naked and run laps like cattle, but most importantly the movie shows how we can change ourselves and do whats right. Whatching Mr. Schindler change though the movie is touching and inspiring. A once petty and corrupt man who plans to use jews as slave labor, Schindler begins to question his morality once his witnesses the horrors of the holocaust first hand. Although many questions about Schindlers character have been analyzed and debated even before the films release, I stand ferm with my respect for what he did. He as been criticized for not doing enough. I say at least he did something. I can't say enough good things about this movie. It is definitaly one of the greatest achievements in modern film making.
on April 29, 2004
This posting is in direct response to the post placed by: < M R Hocker from London United Kingdom >
First off "pal", pardon the pun, but you are a complete buffoon! DVDs in the UK, yes that includes england, are all region (2) encoded. Well guess what Einstein, in the U.S., all DVD Players are programmed to play DVDs encoded as region (1). So, your bloody little UK edition of 'Schindler's List' would not play on the DVD Players here.
Secondly, with the exception of computers but not as a primary, there are NO primary applications of the PAL Formatting currently in use here in the United States. Many DVD Players here that are little more than a year old or older & even some new ones will not properly recognize the PAL Format (the European Format) because all commercially/mass produced movie-DVDs in the United States & Canada are created in the NTSC Format. Just as most all of our related A/V equipment that it would be played on, is programmed to run the NTSC mediums as well. Further, let us not forget that a 3rd type of Format called SECAM is also used in Europe (France). Besides, which type of PAL Formatting are you using?? Throughout Europe there are many different *types* of PAL Formats currently in use...*A, B, I, H, G*, so-on & so-on...
Thirdly, there is no definitive proof, in the old debate, that either the PAL (at 25 fps - frames per second) or NTSC (at 30 fps) Format is any better than the other. The sole reason we have ALL these various Formats everywhere is quite simple, marketing strategy. This is the case basically because unique marketing styles were developed & are in use in different parts of the World. It's actually really quite simple indeed; get off of your british bum & swap-out, instead of flip-flop, your two sad little region (2) discs. And if you require anymore cheeses to go with that whine of yours, I suggest that you "secam" in France "pal"!
on April 24, 2004
Schindler's List tells the story of one man's defying struggle to help the suffering Jewish during the Nazi reign of WWII. Widely considered to be Spielberg's greatest film ever, this doesn't go without a reason. Every frame of Schindler's List is breathtaking, beautiful, and sometimes horrific. But if there is a perfect film out there, this would be it. This epic features amazing performances from every cast member, and unbelievable performances from from Liam Neeson and Ben Kingsley. (...)
The best part of Schindler's List is how you feel as if you fit into the film. It's not just a story about Schindler, but a story that actually makes the viewer feel as if they are a part of the (...)Nazi world. You feel pity for the Jewish, feel hatred for the Germans, and feel sadness for Oskar Schindler.
Spielberg obviously took time to make every frame feel as important as the next one, and they are all terrific. From witnessing the liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto, to the horror of the gas chambers, every part of the film is an epic. If only every film would follow Schindler's List's lead, the world would have a perfect cinematic experience. But a movie such as Schindler's List is so rare and few between, that you shouldn't expect to feel this moved ever again. A moviemaking masterpiece!
on April 23, 2004
my jewish grandfather escaped nazi germany and fled to the states so i for one was grateful when this came out.
however, my feelings about it are mixed for a couple of reasons.
there are a couple of false notes in the film and the film, despite an overwhelming amount of beauty and truth, really misses one big opportunity.
the first and minor complaint is the 'breakdown' scene.
schindler, being the business man that he was, did not break down into tears at the end of his heroic efforts. he merely said look i am a nazi so im wanted and i gotta go. bye'.
by doing this honestly spielberg would have been truer to who schindler really was.
the second complaint is a major one towards a missed opportunity and somewhat related to my first complaint.
the two dimensional portrait of the nazi soldier.
he is a standard cardboard villian and by making him out this way this belittles our understanding of what caused the anti german anti sematism in the first place. it had been around of course for a hundred years or more before the second world war. and it was the banality of thought and misunderstanding of a different culture that caused all of it in the first place.
my grandfather substantiated this and he used to tell me that the hatred towards the jews was around a long time before hitler came into power. the jews were always treated indifferently.
spielberg missed the opportunity to allow people to see how ignorance can be instilled in an otherwise good person and cause them to become evil.
but despite that,
this is a flawed masterpiece and that little girl in the red coat haunted me for a long time after.
and dont get me wrong i am grateful to spielberg. i lost many relatives in the holocaust. luckily my grandfather wasnt one of them and he had the foresight and means to escape it.
so may god bless steven spielberg for this effort.
on April 22, 2004
I remember waiting years to see this film on a DVD transfer, and I'm disgusted with reading the complaints about the dual-sided single DVD that requires you to flip the disc half-way through the film. Is that all you people can come up with to judge one of the most coveted releases on the DVD format?
Let's talk about the technical merits of the DVD presentation. The video and sound quality are superb; this is certainly the finest treatment this film has ever received and for the price of what Amazon is offering, the Collector's Gift Set cannot be beat. Because this film was so late in getting released, no doubt it has had the benefit of better restorative methods to preserve and enhance the original print. If anything, we should also thank the studios for releasing this film with the Collector's Edition the same time as the standard widescreen release, instead of trying to force the consumers to double-dip on two different versions.
The price of this set at Amazon clearly beats any B&M store in the country. I haven't seen a single person criticize the video and sound quality, the CD soundtrack, the book or limited senitype, and if you are a true collector only that should matter. The plexiglass case is prone to cracking (most likely due to being dropped during shipping), but is clearly a defining piece to your DVD shelf.
Regardless of what you think of this film, this is one of the finest (and cost-friendly) Collector Edition sets ever released, period.
on April 16, 2004
A few months ago I made a list of the best movies not available on DVD and "Schindler's List" was at the top. This is a stunning film on so many levels and I am delighted that it is finally back. I, of course, got the widescreen edition and the picture looks great - crisp and clear, preserving Janusz Kaminski's glorious black and white cinematography. True, it is rather strange that you need to flip the DVD, especially since so many other 3-hour plus films are on one side. The special features should have been put on a separate DVD. You think Spielberg would have wanted to have a direct role in the DVD release, but for some strange reason he did not. No commentary from him either, which is disappointing. Oh, well, perhaps he is too busy with his ultra-left wing Hollywood cronies trying to get a Democrat in the White House. It's a shame when people put politics ahead of their art. But I digress - this still remains a deeply moving, beautifully made epic. It's one of the best looking movies of the '90s and maybe of the last fifty years. In a time when anti-Semitism once again seems to be not only tolerated but fashionable, it remains one of the single most important films ever made. This should be mandatory viewing in every school everywhere. A real triumph.