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#007: Steven Spielberg: Schindler’s List vs. 1941

In today’s episode Nate and Austin compare Steven Spielberg’s best and worst rated films, Schindler’s List (1993) and 1941 (1979), respectively. Nate talks about his issues with Spielberg’s semi-racist crapstick comedy 1941, Austin brings up his new-found respect for Schindler’s List, and they both leave a little bit sadder about this world.

Check back next Sunday at 7pm PST where we will compare Denis Villeneuve’s Incendies and Enemy, his best and worst rated films.


Also, check out the documentary Inheritance (2006), about Amon Goeth’s daughter facing one of her father’s victims, Helen Jonas-Rosenzweig (who is portrayed in Schindler’s List):


Schindler’s List Notes

PLOT: In Poland during World War II, Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecuting by the Nazis.

Ratings: iMDb 8.9 | RT 96% C / 97% A
Released: 1993
Director: Steven Spielberg (Jaws, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, E.T., Saving Private Ryan)
Writer(s): Steven Zaillian, Thomas Keneally
Cinematographer: Janusz Kaminski (Saving Private Ryan, Catch Me If You Can, Minority Report)
Notable actors: Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes, Caroline Goodall
Budget: $22 million
Box office: $321.2 million ($96 million US, $225.2 million international)

Fun Facts:

-Steven Spielberg wouldn’t accept a salary for this film, saying it would be “blood money”
-When survivor Mila Pfefferberg was introduced to Ralph Fiennes on the set, she began
shaking uncontrollably, as he reminded her too much of the real Amon Goeth.
-Spielberg was able to get permission to film inside Auschwitz, but chose not to out of respect for the victims, so the scenes of the death camp were actually filmed outside the gates on a set constructed in a mirror image of the real location on the other side.
-The most expensive black and white film to date
-After filming this movie, Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes became good friends
-Bruno Ganz (Downfall [Hitler]) was sought to play Oskar Schindler but turned it down
-The only film released in the last 25 years to make it onto the AFI’s top ten list of best American movies of all time


1941 Notes

PLOT: Hysterical Californians prepare for a Japanese invasion in the days after Pearl Harbor.

Ratings: iMDb 5.9 | RT 32% C / 49% A
Released: 1979
Director: Steven Spielberg (Jaws, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, E.T., Saving Private Ryan)
Writer(s): Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale, John Milius
Cinematographer: William F. O’Brien
Notable actors: Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, John Candy, Christopher Lee
Budget: $35 million
Box office: $92.5 million ($31.7 million US, $60.2 million international)

Fun Facts:

-The extras cast as the Japanese submarine crew were hired because they were Asian. Most were typical laid-back Southern Californians, and none had any acting training. Toshirô Mifune was so outraged at their attitudes that he asked Steven Spielberg if he could deal with them. He then started yelling at them to get in line, and slapped one of them, saying, “This is how Japanese men are trained!” Mifune worked with them from that point on.
-Dan Aykroyd’s American feature film debut
-Steven Spielberg shot one million feet of film over 247 shooting days
-This was regarded as such a failure in the US that when the advance teaser trailer for Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) was made, it listed all of Steven Spielberg’s previous films except this one.


 

Intro music by: Calm The Fuck Down (Broke For Free) / CC BY 3.0

The Best and Worst of the Best Podcast is a show where host’s Nate and Austin compare a film director’s best and worst rated movies to see where they went wrong.



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