Schindler’s List returns to the big screen for its 25th Anniversary
Fully restored from original negatives, Steven Spielberg’s timeless masterpiece returns to Cineplex theatres to inform and inspire a new generation.
Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes
December 15th, 1993
Released in theatres on December 15, 1993, Schindler’s List recounts the true life story of Oskar Schindler and one of the darkest moments in human history. Inspired by Thomas Keneally’s novel, “Schindler’s Ark,” it stars Ralph Fiennes and Ben Kingsley alongside Liam Neeson.
Directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg, the film was a massive success, bringing in over $321M at the worldwide box office. It took home 7 of the 12 Academy Awards it was nominated for – including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay.
In honour of the film’s 25th Anniversary and theatrical re-release, here are six fascinating facts on the making of the film.
1. Hollywood heavyweights Kevin Costner, Mel Gibson, and Warren Beatty were all considered for the role of Oskar Schindler. When Spielberg opted instead for a relatively unknown actor, he auditioned Liam Neeson after watching his performance in Anna Christie on Broadway.
2. Principal photography for Schindler’s List took place in and around the wartime city of Kraków, Poland over the course of 72 days. Nearly 15 years after the film’s release, the historic city purchased and preserved Oskar Schindler’s Enamel Factory as a permanent museum and exhibition.
3. When the film’s tragic subject matter became overwhelming, Spielberg would reportedly have funny man Robin Williams call him to lighten the mood. As Spielberg noted in 2018: “Robin knew what I was going through, and once a week, Robin would call me on schedule, and he would do 15 minutes of stand-up on the phone, and I would laugh hysterically, because I had to release so much.”
4. Labeling any personal revenue from the film as “blood money,” Spielberg renounced his usual salary for Schindler’s List. Instead, the director used his box office profits to found the Shoah Foundation in 1994. Established to honour and remember survivors of genocide, the Foundation receives all of Spielberg’s royalties and residuals from the film.
5. In an attempt to source authentic period-piece costumes for 20,000 extras, the film’s costume designers took out advertisements in local papers while shooting on location in Poland. Given the country’s poor economy at the time, many locals were eager to sell their old 1930s and 1940s clothes.
6. The cemetery scene featuring real-life Holocaust survivors was not in the original shooting script. When Steven Spielberg conceived the idea halfway through filming, producers began the difficult task of locating Schindlerjuden across the globe and bringing them to Jerusalem.
On December 7, Schindler’s List returns to Cineplex theatres for a limited engagement.
See one of the greatest films ever made on the big screen in celebration of its 25th Anniversary. Schindler’s List tells an inspirational story during history’s darkest moment. It is a film that will always be resonant, and a masterclass in filmmaking by one of our greatest living directors.