Schindler's List: 20th Anniversary Limited Edition (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 37 Old 02-19-2013, 09:56 AM - Thread Starter
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109943&d=1210373647

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
89





Studio and Year: Universal - 1993
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 196 minutes
Genre: Drama

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Embeth Davidtz, Ralph Fiennes, Caroline Goodall, Jonathan Sagalle
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Music by: John Williams
Written by: Steven Zaillian based on the novel by Thomas Keneally
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 5, 2013







"The List is Life…."


Film Synopsis:

Schindler’s list presents the indelible true story of the enigmatic Oskar Schindler, a member of the Nazi party, womanizer, and war profiteer who saved the lives of more than 1,100 Jews during the Holocaust. It is the triumph of one man who made a difference, and the drama of those who survived one of the darkest chapters in human history because of what he did.

My Take:

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 Itzhak Stern (Ben Kingsley) serves as his conscience, as Schindler conducts business with an obstinate and cruel Nazi commander Amon Goeth (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.

I would like to believe that most that have seen Schindler’s list were affected by it on at least some level. It is based on one of the darkest periods in human history however its subject represents a defining light amidst unspeakable atrocities. No matter how many times I have seen Schindler’s list it always evokes the same responses. Frankly, it isn’t a movie that leaves you yearning to see it over and over. However it leaves an indelible impression that serves as a reminder of past events, that while difficult to watch, should never be forgotten.

Director Steven Spielberg, screenwriter Steven Zaillian, composer John Williams, cinematographer Janusz Kaminski and the wonderful ensemble portray the story of Oskar Schindler and those he helped save with respect, dignity and at times brutal frankness that imparts perspective for audiences as to the heart wrenching events perpetrated upon the victims and the idea that one person can make a difference.

With its initial release in 1993, Schindler’s List rapidly became one of the most honored films of all time, garnering twelve Academy Award nominations and taking home seven Oscars, including Best Director and Best Picture for Spielberg. The film also earned Oscars® for composer John Williams, screenwriter Steven Zaillian and director of photography Janusz Kaminiski, as well as art directors Allan Starski and Ewa Braun, editor Michael Kahn and producers Gerald R. Molen and Branko Lustig.

Based on real events Schindler’s list is a powerful and moving film that tells a timeless and important story of survival during the holocaust and the man that discovered that whoever saves a life, saves the world entire. I am thrilled to add it to my Blu-ray library.


Parental Guide:

The rating is for language, some sexuality, violence and thematic material.



AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


Audio: 86

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692



Video: 92

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692


Schindler’s list comes to Blu-ray from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 22 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4 Mbps.

Director Steven Spielberg supervised the high definition restoration of the original 35mm film negative and the results are impressive. Images onscreen have excellent depth with rendering that draws out plenty of delineation. Close ups and mid level pans reveal perceptible detail in the faces, hair and clothing worn by the cast as well as the texture on objects/surfaces within the frame which imparts a noticeable sense of depth. Blacks have plenty of dynamic range and consistency which plays very well against the various stages of white and gray. The film uses lots of low level sequences that feature streaming light, shading and mixed content. While there is some natural loss of visibility in dark backgrounds the level of shadow detail is excellent.

The superb cinematography by Janusz Kaminski uses a variety of lighting schemes, transitions and purposeful shadows that translate extremely well in this high definition presentation. Contrast is stable and supports the film’s elements naturally. Grain is presented in predominantly even layers that provide a satisfyingly filmic texture. The use of light artificial sharpening and digital noise reduction as tools in the restorative process can be seen from time to time however neither negatively impacts fidelity. 20 years later this wonderful film looks terrific thanks to a well executed restoration that gives fans the opportunity to experience it like never before. Kudos to Universal Studios on a job well done.

Presented via a lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio surround mix this is an open and airy soundtrack where low level detail, musical accompaniment and the reproduction of dialogue, is integral to the story’s telling. I would say this is a dynamically satisfying (albeit reserved) and definitively refined audio presentation that rewards with sibilant free highs and a warm midrange that compliments the variants found in the recording. There are moments in the film where traditional/broader elements are present and all are delivered with supportively gratifying and complimentary results.

Bonus Features:

  • Disc 1:


  • Blu-ray feature of Schindler’s list

  • Disc 1:


  • DVD feature – part 1 of Schindler’s list

  • Disc 3:


  • DVD feature – part 2 of Schindler’s list

  • Voices from the list – 77 minute documentary

  • USC Shoah Foundation story with Steven Spielberg

  • About I Witness – 3 minutes

  • Digital Copy

  • Ultraviolet Digital Copy




Final Thoughts:

Schindler’s list needs no introduction among film enthusiasts and stands as a testament to its subject matter. I have loved it since first seeing it and fully appreciate the efforts of all of those involved in bringing such an important story to the big screen. It makes its debut on Blu-ray featuring beautifully restored high definition video, complimentary lossless sound and the same legacy supplements found on the 2004 DVD release. Schindler’s list is a marvelous cinematic gem that belongs in every video collection. If by some chance you have never seen it I can’t think of a better introduction than this terrific Blu-ray offering from Universal Studios Home Entertainment.





attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
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post #2 of 37 Old 02-19-2013, 10:50 AM
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Hi Ralph

Thanks for the great review of a very good movie. In your opinion, is this BluRay disc a sufficient upgrade over the 2004 DVD to warrant a double dip? My guess is that your answer will be yes, but I just wanted to double check. Thanks.

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post #3 of 37 Old 02-19-2013, 11:00 AM
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Not quite reference grade in Audio that's too bad!

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post #4 of 37 Old 02-19-2013, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cal68 View Post

Hi Ralph

Thanks for the great review of a very good movie. In your opinion, is this BluRay disc a sufficient upgrade over the 2004 DVD to warrant a double dip? My guess is that your answer will be yes, but I just wanted to double check. Thanks.

Cal68

Greetings,

Cal68, I would say that the upgrade is absolutely worth it. smile.gif


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post #5 of 37 Old 02-19-2013, 12:49 PM
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Greetings,

Cal68, I would say that the upgrade is absolutely worth it. smile.gif


Regards,

Thanks Ralph. I figured that the B&W PQ would definitely show up better on BluRay than on a 480p DVD!

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post #6 of 37 Old 02-19-2013, 02:43 PM
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Ralph -- Thanks for the review. I can't overstate how excited Schlindler's List finally coming out on BD has made me. I've been looking forward to this ever since I bought my first BD player. I ordered the Schlindler's List BD before I finished reading your review and am looking forward to seeing this great film again.
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post #7 of 37 Old 02-19-2013, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwsat View Post

Ralph -- Thanks for the review. I can't overstate how excited Schlindler's List finally coming out on BD has made me. I've been looking forward to this ever since I bought my first BD player. I ordered the Schlindler's List BD before I finished reading your review and am looking forward to seeing this great film again.

Greetings,

Glad to hear it gwsat. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts once you have experienced it on Blu-ray. smile.gif


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post #8 of 37 Old 02-19-2013, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
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Greetings,

Glad to hear it gwsat. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts once you have experienced it on Blu-ray. smile.gif

Count on it my friend.
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post #9 of 37 Old 02-19-2013, 05:23 PM
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I originally encountered this film in my teens on Channel 13 (where are my other displaced New Yorkers?) and it left an impression like no other film before it. I revisited the DVD in my early adulthood and, with a much better perspective, was impacted even more deeply. I'm not entirely sure that I'm ready to revisit this film just yet, but I appreciate this thorough review. I now know I can expect a solid presentation when I do eventually revisit it (and I shall). Thanks Ralph.
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post #10 of 37 Old 02-19-2013, 09:47 PM
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I've never had the opportunity in actually watching this film, I'm very much looking forward to it.

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post #11 of 37 Old 02-20-2013, 10:17 AM
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Awesome now I can sell my special edition dvd, thanks Ralph


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post #12 of 37 Old 02-20-2013, 11:01 AM
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I've never had the opportunity in actually watching this film, I'm very much looking forward to it.

If there should ever be a blind buy the Schindler's List BD is it. Liam Neeson and Ben Kingsley gave performances that were among the best of their careers and Ralph Fiennes' performance as a psychotic concentration camp commander garnered an Oscar nomination and made him a star. The film deservedly won Oscars for Best Film, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. I could go on, but you get it.smile.gif
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post #13 of 37 Old 02-20-2013, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwsat View Post

If there should ever be a blind buy the Schindler's List BD is it. Liam Neeson and Ben Kingsley gave performances that were among the best of their careers and Ralph Fiennes' performance as a psychotic concentration camp commander garnered an Oscar nomination and made him a star. The film deservedly won Oscars for Best Film, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. I could go on, but you get it.smile.gif


Ralph Fiennes plays that character so well I forgot that was him, A-MAZING:eek:

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post #14 of 37 Old 02-20-2013, 05:18 PM
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Sad to see how far Liam, Ben Kingsley, and Ralph Fiennes have sunk in their careers. It's almost like Liam was in one good role, Ben in two, and Ralph in only a handful... and then splat!

Listen up, studios! Just say "NO" to DNR and EE!!
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post #15 of 37 Old 02-20-2013, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwsat View Post

If there should ever be a blind buy the Schindler's List BD is it. Liam Neeson and Ben Kingsley gave performances that were among the best of their careers and Ralph Fiennes' performance as a psychotic concentration camp commander garnered an Oscar nomination and made him a star. The film deservedly won Oscars for Best Film, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. I could go on, but you get it.smile.gif

Thanks gwsat, looking forward to it.

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post #16 of 37 Old 02-21-2013, 05:26 AM
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I remember being stunned at how powerful and moving this movie was, after seeing it in a theater, when it was first released.
Everyone in the audience was mesmerized and said nothing as they exited the auditorium.
Some people were crying while others were fighting back tears.

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post #17 of 37 Old 02-27-2013, 09:11 PM
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Cant wait to buy this!!!
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post #18 of 37 Old 02-28-2013, 09:07 AM
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Great movie I haven't seen it in years. Last time I watched it was on a laserdisc which I still own. I'm guessing the bluray will look much better than my old laserdisc?
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post #19 of 37 Old 02-28-2013, 02:43 PM
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Great movie I haven't seen it in years. Last time I watched it was on a laserdisc which I still own. I'm guessing the bluray will look much better than my old laserdisc?

You will be amazed by how much better the PQ of any film on BD is compared to that of LD. I watched my old LD version of 1776 not long ago and although it was upconverted to 1080p and I watched it on a 60 inch Pioneer Kuro plasma display, it fell far short of what I have come to expect, even from DVDs. I have the 1776 DVD too but decided to watch the LD instead because some stuff in the movie was cut from the DVD but everything was included in the LD version of the film.
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post #20 of 37 Old 03-05-2013, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Dan Hitchman View Post

Sad to see how far Liam, Ben Kingsley, and Ralph Fiennes have sunk in their careers. It's almost like Liam was in one good role, Ben in two, and Ralph in only a handful... and then splat!

Nice Hyperbole. Some of the Notable Appearances for each since Schindler's List, listed only because I've seen these movies, there may be others in their respective filmographies that should be on this list.

Liam Neeson

The Dark Knight Rises
The Grey
Ponyo
Taken
Seraphim Falls
Batman Begins
Kingdom of Heaven
Kinsey
Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace
Les Misérables
Rob Roy
Nell

Ralph Fiennes

Skyfall
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Coriolanus
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
The Duchess
In Bruges
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
The Constant Gardener
The Chumscrubber
Quiz Show

Ben Kingsley

The Dictator
A Common Man
Hugo
Shutter Island
Transsiberian
House of Sand and Fog
Sexy Beast
Species
Death and the Maiden

Granted - they've all been in some stinkers - but I'm not one to begrudge a man a fair days work.

Looky here!
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post #21 of 37 Old 03-06-2013, 06:51 PM
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Don't understand why the special features are only on DVD. I realize that they were recorded in SD, but SD using AVC compression looks laeaps and bounds better than SD using MPEG2 compression.

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post #22 of 37 Old 03-06-2013, 07:53 PM
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wow.. I think something is wrong with my replacement disc.. It worked last night but now in the PS3 what happens is I will load the disc, the Universal logo comes up then the video of the Universal logo.. then it will hang at a black screen for 30 seconds or so.. then it got to the main menu and the little Universal logo came up and then went away so I was just stuck with the candle but no side bar..

Has anyone seen this issue before? I'm not sure walmart will let me do another exchange? I'm kinda pissed since it worked fine last night.. I was skipping chapters and all.
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post #23 of 37 Old 03-07-2013, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robnix View Post

Nice Hyperbole. Some of the Notable Appearances for each since Schindler's List, listed only because I've seen these movies, there may be others in their respective filmographies that should be on this list.

Liam Neeson

The Dark Knight Rises
The Grey
Ponyo
Taken
Seraphim Falls
Batman Begins
Kingdom of Heaven
Kinsey
Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace
Les Misérables
Rob Roy
Nell

Ralph Fiennes

Skyfall
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Coriolanus
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
The Duchess
In Bruges
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
The Constant Gardener
The Chumscrubber
Quiz Show

Ben Kingsley

The Dictator
A Common Man
Hugo
Shutter Island
Transsiberian
House of Sand and Fog
Sexy Beast
Species
Death and the Maiden

Granted - they've all been in some stinkers - but I'm not one to begrudge a man a fair days work.

Add "Red Dragon" to Ralph Fiennes' resume'. I recently saw a documentary on the daughter of Amon Goeth, the real camp commandant played by Fiennes, and she remarked on seeing "Schindler's List" for the first time, how much Fiennes resembled her father.

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post #24 of 37 Old 03-07-2013, 06:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolls-Royce View Post

Add "Red Dragon" to Ralph Fiennes' resume'. I recently saw a documentary on the daughter of Amon Goeth, the real camp commandant played by Fiennes, and she remarked on seeing "Schindler's List" for the first time, how much Fiennes resembled her father.

+1! Thomas Harris' Francis Dolarhyde is one of my favorite fictional characters. I thought Fiennes performance as Dolarhyde was perfect. Dolarhyde was crazy and as dangerous as a rattlesnake but still had enough humanity left to love the blind girl. He was creepy, pathetic, but, in a weird way, sympathetic.

EDIT: Typo corrected.
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post #25 of 37 Old 03-07-2013, 08:26 PM
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I was shocked when flipping through channels the other day I saw our man Liam along side Oscar totin' D.D.Lewis in The Bounty starring, wait for it, Hannibal Lector himself. Fresh from IMBD, I am informed this was way before my first memory of Mr Neeson which was High Spirits, a silly little film I remember fondly. Small world, Spielberg, Neeson (his first choice for Abe), Lewis drinking all our milk shakes...Where's Kevin Bacon when you need him? Enough OT gibberish, back to Schindler and his List.
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post #26 of 37 Old 03-08-2013, 08:40 AM
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Amazon has shipped my Schindler's List BD. Alas, it probably won't be delivered until next week because it didn't leave Phoenix until yesterday afternoon.
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post #27 of 37 Old 03-08-2013, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwsat View Post

Amazon has shipped my Schindler's List BD. Alas, it probably won't be delivered until next week because it didn't leave Phoenix until yesterday afternoon.

Mine won't arrive till next week either, looking forward to it.

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post #28 of 37 Old 03-09-2013, 11:49 AM
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Originally Posted by coolcat4843 View Post

I remember being stunned at how powerful and moving this movie was, after seeing it in a theater, when it was first released.
Everyone in the audience was mesmerized and said nothing as they exited the auditorium.
Some people were crying while others were fighting back tears.

+1 same for me as well. Have had a lot of great memorable movie experiences, but Schindlers List was different than anything else.

Back in those days, there was no CHUD, no aintitcool news and Spielberg was always tight-lipped about his movies, so I was really curious about it. Especially when Siskel and Ebert appeared on Leno and said it was easliy the best movie of the year. Wanted to see this over the christmas holiday December 1993, but only 1 theatre in chicago was playing it (it was the old downtown McClurg Court theatre that always had the big chicago premieres).

The next weekend, it was released to one more theatre at the old One Schaumburg Place shopping mall (now torn down and rebuilt into Streets of Woodfield). This was much more convenient location and I went with My dad to a noon showing (i think it was noon). This was before the big multiplexes boom; it was just a theatre in the mall. And I remember the actual auditorium was kind of tucked away in a corner. The showing was a sell-out! This surprised me because there were no commercials and not much promotion except the NewsWeek cover. It wasnt really until the 1994 Oscar nominations that i recall seeing serious promotion.

At age 18, I was far and away the youngest person at the showing. Half the people were my Dads age and the other half were in their 60s or older! I didnt see anyone else of my age! Its ironic considering how much Spielbergs movies have meant to Generation Xers.

The showing had no trailers. Twice the audience gasped in disbelief - 1 was when Goeth still went ahead and killed the young boy cleaning the bathtub and another was when the little boy tried to hide in the latrine. I always heard the cliche of people crying during a movie but the first time I saw it happen was during that horrible Auschwitz shower scene.

After the showing, everyone just slowly got up and exited the auditorium...walked thru the hallway and did not say a word. I turned back and no one was even looking at each other, everyone looked straight ahead.

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post #29 of 37 Old 03-09-2013, 07:14 PM
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Yeah I thought he would of let the boy that was cleaning the tub go but he let the evil get to him again.
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post #30 of 37 Old 03-16-2013, 06:57 AM
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Will finally get a chance to watch this, never seen before so Im very interested to see how good it is.

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