Steven Spielberg is without a doubt one of film industry’s most talented and most highly acclaimed personality. With over four decades of film making, Spielberg’s works have touched almost all every kind of genre known to movie making- from romance, action, thriller, animation and so many others. He is also the recipient of countless awards from the top and the most prestigious award giving bodies in the film industry.Because of the numerous box office films he has created in over forty years, it is difficult, even impossible to single out a movie and dub it as his best work. Different critics have different takes on their best Steven Spielberg films but one of the most popular choices is his work in 1993 on Schindler’s List.
The movie depicts the real life and horror of the Jews that lived during the reign of the Nazis. But aside from that, the movie also shows the innate compassion of humanity as the story revolved around a native German saving a thousand Jews from Nazi execution.The creation of the story line began with real life holocaust survivor, Poldek Pfefferberg, who was actually part of the group of Jews in the movie. Poldek Pfefferberg sought the help of writer, Howard Koch to put his story into paper. Steven Spielberg came across the story after it was handed to him by MCA president, Sid Sheinberg.
Although at first, Spielberg had no plans to direct the film himself and passed it on to several other directors, the job eventually went back to him.Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes were the very first people to be casted on the lead roles and filming officially started in the 1st of March, 1993. What set the movie so different from all the rest of the holocaust movies were its documentary approach of filming. The movie was all set in black in white giving it a more nostalgic feel. The entire film was mostly shot with handheld cameras and a budget of just about $25 million, shot for over 72 days.But nonetheless, the film was able to gross a whooping $96.1 million in the US, opening in three major cities: New York, Los Angeles and Toronto in December 1993.
Worldwide, the film earned over $321 and was surprisingly well accepted in Germany as well with over 5.8 million admission tickets sold. The film also garnered 7 Oscar awards including Best Director and Best Picture. Acclaim for the movie was universal but also gained a number of criticisms. Time Magazine later included it into its 100 Greatest Films Centenary Poll in 1995. And the Vatican dubbed it as the top 45 best films ever made in history.Two years later, Steven Spielberg eternalized his name in the film history as he was awarded the American Film Institute Life Achievement Award in 1995. And for his work in Schindler’s List in particular, he was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit with the Ribbon of the Federal Republic of Germany, presented to him by the president himself in 1998. In 2005, he was named as “the greatest director of all time” by Empire Magazine.