Schindler's List script
Synopsis: Businessman Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) arrives in Krakow in 1939, ready to make his fortune from World War II, which has just started. After joining the Nazi party primarily for political expediency, he staffs his factory with Jewish workers for similarly pragmatic reasons. When the SS begins exterminating Jews in the Krakow ghetto, Schindler arranges to have his workers protected to keep his factory in operation, but soon realizes that in so doing, he is also saving innocent lives.


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

the tracks.


...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.

CLERKS (V.O.)’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.


...Biberman... Steinberg...


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.


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.


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.

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Steven Zaillian

Steven Ernest Bernard Zaillian (born January 30, 1953) is an American screenwriter, director, film editor, producer, and founder of Film Rites, a film production company. He won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award and a BAFTA Award for his screenplay Schindler's List (1993) and he has been nominated for Awakenings , Gangs of New York and Moneyball. He was also presented with the Distinguished Screenwriter Award at the 2009 Austin Film Festival and the Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement from the Writers Guild of America in 2011. more…

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"Schindler's List" STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 17 Jan. 2018. <'s_list_135>.

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