Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Schindler's List (1993)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Schindler's List (1993)

In Steven Spielberg's Best Picture-winning historical epic of the Holocaust:

  • the crisp black and white cinematography
  • the opening restaurant/cabaret scene in which would-be war profiteer Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) wheeled and dealed his way into the pocketbooks of SS officers in a Krakow nightclub
  • the interview scene with eighteen pretty secretaries
  • the many scenes of random and indiscriminate killings including the one-armed worker and the female construction engineer - usually at point-blank range with a gun
  • the stunning and brilliant performances by the three male leads - Schindler, Amon Goeth (Ralph Fiennes), and Itzhak Stern (Ben Kingsley)
  • the brutal scene of the clearing and liquidation of the Krakow Ghetto
  • the image of a girl in a drab red coat walking amidst the murderous chaos (and later spotted on a cart piled with corpses) as Krakow's ghetto was liquidated
  • the night-time follow-up hunt
  • the scene in which a shirtless, overweight Goeth fired his telescopic rifle from his villa's balcony perch above the Plaszow work camp at innocent prisoners
  • the hinge-making scene and its aftermath
  • Schindler's delivery of the speech about power with restraint
  • the disturbing sexual confrontation of Goeth with his trembling housekeeper Helen Hirsch (Embeth Davidtz) in her basement living quarters
  • the scene of the winnowing out of the healthy from the unfit with prisoners running naked before doctors in the medical examination scene
  • the image of children hiding waist-deep in latrine excrement
  • Schindler's birthday celebration including a sustained kiss of a young Jewess
  • the exhumation and incineration of the corpses in graves
  • the labored compilation and typing of 'Schindler's List' by Stern as Schindler desperately paced the room - including Stern's eloquent summation: "The list is an absolute good. The list is life. All around its margins lies the gulf"
  • the arrival of a boxcar of female workers at Auschwitz and the intense shower scene
  • Schindler's receipt of a golden ring, his emotional final address to his factory workers following the war and his farewell to Stern: ("I could've got more... I didn't do enough")
  • the final coda (in color) pairing real-life survivors with their counterpart actors-actresses as they placed rocks on the real-life grave of Schindler


Greatest Scenes: Intro | What Makes a Great Scene? | Scenes: Quiz
Scenes: Film Titles A - H | Scenes: Film Titles I - R | Scenes: Film Titles S - Z