It is a great year for Spielberg fans with Schindler’s List finally on Blu-ray Disc from Universal Studios Home Entertainment – released March 5th, 2013.
The 1993 epic drama was based on Thomas Keneally’s novel Schindler’s Ark, and tells how German businessman Oskar Schindler saved the lives of more than a thousand Polish Jews during the Holocaust by employing them in his factories.
The film won Academy Awards for both Best Director and Best Picture.
Schindler’s List the Movie
After the German army invaded Poland in 1939, they move the Polish Jews to the Krakow Ghetto.
Oskar Schindler, a German descended businessman from Moravia, comes to the city looking to take advantage of the war for personal profit.
Schindler was a member of the Nazi Party and showed favors to the SS officials in order to improve his prospects.
Not being very experienced in business, Schindler teams up with a Jewish accountant named Itzhak Stern who who has contacts with the Jewish business community and the black marketers inside the ghetto.
He then takes advantage of the Jewish predicament to gain investment to acquire a factory that made supplies for the German army.
Schindler reopens the factory and discovers new found wealth and status while Stern handles business side.
They hire Polish Jews since they cost less to hire than regular Polish workers.
Stern does what he can to ensure that as many people as possible are considered essential to the German war effort, which saves them from being killed or transported to concentration camps.
SS-Lieutenant Amon Goeth arrives in Krakow to oversee construction of the Plaszow concentration camp.
As the camp is completed, Goeth orders the liquidation of the ghetto and the Jewish population is violently rounded up and taken to the camp.
Any Jews that resist are killed on sight and Schindler is deeply moved by what he sees.
Amon Goeth is a sadist who shoots and kills prisoners in the camp on a whim.
Schindler continues to befriend the German forces including Goeth and through bribery maintains his business enterprise and Jewish workforce.
As the war shifts, the Germans start moving the Jews to the Auschwitz concentration camp, and it becomes clear to Schindler that he can either leave Poland with his fortune, or use it to bribe the Germans to take his Jewish workforce with him back to the Czech Republic.
Schindler’s List is certainly and modern epic, running over three hours, and is a very moving drama that recounts one of the most disturbing events in recent history.
The film is mostly shot in a documentary style, which contributes to the realism and impact of the film.
The movie is also almost entirely presented in Black and White, with colour occasionally used to great effect.
In 2007 the AFI ranked Schinder’s List 8th on its list of the 100 best American films of all time.
The film won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction and Best Original Score.
All in all Schinder’s List is an exceptional historic drama that recounts stories and events that should never be forgotten.
The cast includes Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes and Ben Kingsley in the principal roles, along with Embeth Davidtz, Caroline Goodall and Jonathan Sagalle.
Schindler’s List was directed by Steven Spielberg, whose huge body of work includes Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Minority Report, The Color Purple, The Adventures of Tintin, War Horse, Jaws, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park, and Lincoln.
Reviews for the movie were excellent, with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 97% and an IMDb score of 8.9/10.
Schindler’s List also earned $96.1M at the US box office.
Schindler’s List on Blu-ray Disc
The video on the disc is an AVC 1080p encode at 25 Mbps, and is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1.
The Award winning cinematography here is presented in an excellent transfer that was supervised by Spielberg himself.
See the details page for Schindler’s List for full resolution PNG screen captures taken directly from the disc.
The main audio is lossless DTS-HD Master Audio with 5.1 channels – 24 bits resolution at 48 kHz.
The disc is a dual layer BD50, with 46.5 GB used and is coded for All Regions.
Schindler’s List on Blu-ray Disc – The Bonus Features
Perhaps due to the length of the feature film, the Blu-ray Disc doesn’t actually feature any supplemental features.
The DVD version is split into two discs, one with most of the film and the second with the end of the film and the supplemental features.
The main supplement is a feature length documentary Voices from the List.
The documentary tells the same story as the movie using testimonies from those who experienced it along with archival footage and photographs from the era.
Voices from the List is well worth a look for the real background behind the story, told by those who experienced it first hand.
There is also the USC Shoah Foundation Story with Steven Spielberg which discusses the goals of the Shoah Foundation.
The foundation was set up in order to archive the testimonies of the Holocaust survivors for future generations.
Survivors of other genocidal events in recent histories have also been asked to contribute to the archive.
As well as the DVD Copy of the movie, this release also includes an UltraViolet Digital Copy code that doubles as an iTunes code.
Schindler’s List on Blu-ray – Final Thoughts
Schindler’s List is an exceptional movie that is a must own for any serious movie collectors.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment has put together an excellent anniversary release with a great new transfer.
The supplements are not in high definition and are in fact on the DVD discs included in the package.
Both DVD and Digital Copy are included with this release.
The retail price is $34.98, or order it right now at Amazon for $23.98, saving 31%!
- Voices From the List: Feature Length Documentary with Testimonies and Archival Footage
- USC Shoah Foundation Story with Steven Spielberg: A Behind the Scenes Look
Adapted from the novel by Thomas Keneally, Steven Spielberg’s masterful film tells the incredible true story of the courageous Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson). Initially a member of the Nazi party, the Catholic Schindler risks his career and life, and ultimately goes bankrupt, to employ 1,100 Jews in his crockery factory during the Holocaust. Schindler’s Jewish accountant (Ben Kingsley) serves as his conscience, as Schindler conducts business with an obstinate and cruel Nazi commander (Ralph Fiennes), who viciously kills Jewish prisoners from the balcony of his villa overlooking a prison camp. Filmed entirely in black-and-white on location in Poland, Schindler’s List does not downplay the faults of its magnanimous and unlikely hero, but relates a story of the triumph of the human spirit in the face of horrific devastation and tragedy.