'Schindler's List' up next on State Theater's classic film series schedule

Universal Pictures

Liam Neeson as Oskar Schindler in “Schindler’s List.”

The film “Schindler’s List” was released in theaters in 1993.

Local residents will once again have the opportunity to watch the film in a theater when the State Theatre in Uniontown shows the film Nov. 8 as part of their Classic Film Series.

Mark Deming wrote the synopsis for the film on Rotten Tomatoes.

Based on a true story, director Steven Spielberg’s “Schindler’s List” stars Liam Neeson (“Kinsey” and “The Grey”) as Oskar Schindler, a German businessman in Poland who sees an opportunity to make money from the Nazis’ rise to power.

He starts a company to make cookware and utensils, using flattery and bribes to win military contracts, and brings in accountant and financier Itzhak Stern (Ben Kingsley, “Ghandi” and “Iron Man 3”) to help run the factory.

By staffing his plant with Jews who’ve been herded into Krakow’s ghetto by Nazi troops, Schindler has a dependable unpaid labor force. For Stern, a job in a war-related plant could mean survival for himself and the other Jews working for Schindler.

However, in 1942, all of Krakow’s Jews are assigned to the Plaszow Forced Labor Camp, overseen by Commandant Amon Goeth (Ralph Fiennes, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “The Constant Gardener”), an embittered alcoholic who occasionally shoots prisoners from his balcony.

Schindler arranges to continue using Polish Jews in his plant, but, as he sees what is happening to his employees, he begins to develop a conscience. He realizes that his factory (now refitted to manufacture ammunition) is the only thing preventing his staff from being shipped to the death camps.

Soon Schindler demands more workers and starts bribing Nazi leaders to keep Jews on his employee lists and out of the camps. By the time Germany falls to the allies, Schindler has lost his entire fortune but saved 1,100 people from likely death.

The film was nominated for 12 Academy Awards and won seven, including Best Picture and Best Director.

Trivia on IMDb includes the fact that to gather costumes for 20,000 extras, the costume designer took out advertisements seeking clothes. As economic conditions were poor in Poland, many people were eager to sell clothing they still owned from the 1930s and 1940s.

Also, when survivor Mila Pfefferberg was introduced to Ralph Fiennes on the set, she began shaking uncontrollably, as he reminded her too much of the real Amon Goeth.

Finally, at his insistence (citing that it would be “blood money”), all royalties and residuals from this movie that would normally have gone to Spielberg instead are given to the Shoah Foundation, which records and preserves written and videotaped testimonies from survivors of genocide worldwide, including the Holocaust.

Showtimes for the film are 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and admission is $5 for adults and $3 for seniors and students.

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