IN BLACK AND WHITE:
TRAIN WHEELS grinding against track, slowing. FOLDING TABLE
LEGS scissoring open. The LEVER of a train door being pulled.
NAMES on lists on clipboards held by clerks moving alongside
...Rossen... Lieberman... Wachsberg...
BEWILDERED RURAL FACES coming down off the passenger train.
FORMS being set out on the folding tables. HANDS straightening
pens and pencils and ink pads and stamps.
...When your name is called go over
there... take this over to that
TYPEWRITER KEYS rapping a name onto a list. A FACE. KEYS
typing another name. Another FACE.
...you’re in the wrong line, wait
over there... you, come over here...
A MAN is taken from one long line and led to the back of
another. A HAND hammers a rubber stamp at a form. Tight on a
FACE. KEYS type another NAME. Another FACE. Another NAME.
As a hand comes down stamping a GRAY STRIPE across a
registration card, there is absolute silence... then MUSIC,
the Hungarian love song, "Gloomy Sunday," distant... and the
stripe bleeds into COLOR, into BRIGHT YELLOW INK.
INT. HOTEL ROOM - CRACOW, POLAND - NIGHT
The song plays from a radio on a rust-stained sink.
The light in the room is dismal, the furniture cheap. The
curtains are faded, the wallpaper peeling... but the clothes
laid out across the single bed are beautiful.
The hands of a man button the shirt, belt the slacks. He
slips into the double-breasted jacket, knots the silk tie,
folds a handkerchief and tucks it into the jacket pocket,
all with great deliberation.
A bureau. Some currency, cigarettes, liquor, passport. And
an elaborate gold-on-black enamel Hakenkreuz (or swastika)
which the gentleman pins to the lapel of his elegant dinner
He steps back to consider his reflection in the mirror. He
likes what he sees: Oskar Schindler -- salesman from Zwittau --
looking almost reputable in his one nice suit.
Even in this awful room.
INT. NIGHTCLUB - CRACOW, POLAND - NIGHT
A spotlight slicing across a crowded smoke-choked club to a
small stage where a cabaret performer sings.
It’s September, 1939. General Sigmund List's armored
divisions, driving north from the Sudetenland, have taken
Cracow, and now, in this club, drinking, socializing,
conducting business, is a strange clientele: SS officers and
Polish cops, gangsters and girls and entrepreneurs, thrown
together by the circumstance of war.
Oskar Schindler, drinking alone, slowly scans the room, the
faces, stripping away all that’s unimportant to him, settling
only on details that are: the rank of this man, the higher
rank of that one, money being slipped into a hand.