Analysis of Schindler's List

Executive Summary


Genres: Drama, War, Historical

Setting: The screenplay is set during World War II, primarily in Cracow, Poland, and later in Brinnlitz, Czechoslovakia., The story takes place in various locations including hotels, nightclubs, apartments, factories, ghettos, and concentration camps.

Overview: Set in the backdrop of World War II, Schindler's List follows the story of Oskar Schindler, a charismatic and self-centered businessman who transforms into a compassionate savior. Initially motivated by profit, Schindler witnesses the atrocities of the war and the suffering of Jewish prisoners, leading him to question his own actions and eventually risk everything to save the lives of over a thousand Jews. The story is a poignant exploration of redemption, sacrifice, and the human spirit's resilience in the face of unimaginable adversity.

Themes: Power and Corruption, Resistance and Survival, Humanity and Compassion, Ethics and Morality, Injustice and Oppression

Conflict and Stakes: The primary conflict in this story is the struggle between good and evil during the Holocaust, with the stakes being the lives of over a thousand Jewish workers who are at risk of being killed in concentration camps.

Overall Mood: The overall mood of the screenplay is somber and reflective, with moments of tension and hope.

Mood/Tone at Key Scenes:

  • Scene 1: The mood in this scene is mysterious and tense as Schindler attracts attention and the lieutenant becomes curious about him.
  • Scene 2: The mood in this scene is tense and uncertain as Schindler tries to convince Stern of his plan and Stern remains cautious.
  • Scene 3: The mood in this scene is tense and secretive, as the characters engage in black market activities and discuss sensitive matters.

Standout Features:

  • True Story: Based on the true story of Oskar Schindler's efforts to save Jewish lives during the Holocaust.
  • Powerful Performances : The screenplay offers opportunities for actors to deliver powerful and emotionally charged performances.
  • Historical Significance : The screenplay explores an important chapter in history and sheds light on the heroism and atrocities of the Holocaust.

Comparable Scripts:

  • Schindler's List
  • The Pianist
  • Life is Beautiful
  • The Diary of Anne Frank
  • The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
  • Sophie's Choice
  • The Book Thief
  • The Counterfeiters
  • The Reader
  • Inglourious Basterds


Explanation: The screenplay for 'Schindler's List' is recommended for its effective portrayal of the atmosphere and mood of the time, as well as its strong character introductions and development. The transitions between scenes and locations could be smoother, and there is a need for more context and background information to provide a deeper understanding of the historical and political context. The screenplay would benefit from a clearer resolution to certain conflicts and a more cohesive exploration of the relationships between characters. Overall, the narrative is engaging and compelling, with notable scenes that effectively capture the contrasts and tensions of the story.
Market Analaysis

Budget Estimate:$50-70 million

Target Audience Demographics: Adults aged 25-54, fans of historical dramas and war films

Marketability: The screenplay is based on a true story and has received critical acclaim, making it highly marketable to a wide adult audience.

The screenplay explores important themes and features compelling characters, which will attract audiences looking for thought-provoking dramas.

The screenplay has the potential to generate awards buzz and attract a diverse audience due to its historical significance and emotional impact.

Profit Potential: High, due to the strong appeal of the story, critical acclaim, and potential for award recognition.

Analysis Criteria Percentiles
Writer's Voice

Summary:The writer's voice is characterized by descriptive and atmospheric language, sharp and impactful dialogue, and a focus on power dynamics and moral ambiguity. The narrative descriptions create vivid imagery and set the tone and atmosphere of each scene. The dialogue reflects the motivations and emotions of the characters, while also exploring complex themes and conflicts. The writer's voice adds depth and complexity to the screenplay, emphasizing the moral dilemmas and transformations of the characters.

Best representation: Scene 1 - A Business Proposition. This scene is the best representation of the writer's voice because it showcases the descriptive and atmospheric language, sharp and impactful dialogue, and focus on power dynamics and moral ambiguity that are characteristic of the writer's style. The narrative description sets the tone and atmosphere of the scene, while the dialogue reflects the power dynamics and manipulation of the characters. The writer's voice adds depth and complexity to the scene, emphasizing the conflicting values and moral dilemmas faced by the protagonist.

Memorable Lines:

  • Schindler: I could've got more... (Scene 40)
  • Amon Goeth: Today is history and you are a part of it. (Scene 15)
  • Schindler: All I have is Jews. (Scene 19)
  • Schindler: There’s no way I could have known this before, but there was always something missing. In every business I tried, I see now it wasn’t me that was failing, it was this thing, this missing thing. Even if I’d known what it was, there’s nothing I could have done about it, because you can’t create this sort of thing. And it makes all the difference in the world between success and failure. (Scene 8)
  • Schindler: I’m a member of the Nazi party. I’m a munitions manufacturer. I’m a profiteer of slave labor, I’m a criminal. At midnight, you will be free and I will be hunted. (Scene 39)

Writing Style:

The writing style of the entire screenplay is characterized by a blend of sharp and impactful dialogue, exploration of complex moral dilemmas, and the creation of tension and suspense through dialogue and unexpected conflicts.

Style Similarities:

  • Quentin Tarantino
  • Aaron Sorkin
Other Similarities: The screenplay demonstrates a skillful balance between intense and thought-provoking dialogue, vivid descriptions, and exploration of deeper themes. The scenes often feature negotiation, conflicting motivations, and unexpected interactions, which contribute to the overall intrigue and tension of the story.

Oskar Schindler:A German businessman who becomes an unlikely hero by saving over a thousand Jewish lives during the Holocaust.

Itzhak Stern:Schindler's Jewish accountant who helps him in his efforts to save Jewish workers.

Amon Goeth:A sadistic SS officer who oversees the Plaszow concentration camp and poses a threat to Schindler's mission.

Emilie Schindler:Oskar Schindler's wife who supports his efforts to save Jewish lives.

Poldek Pfefferberg:A Jewish worker who becomes a close associate of Schindler and helps him in his mission.

Rabbi Levartov:A rabbi who provides spiritual guidance to the Jewish workers and plays a key role in their survival.

Story Shape