On this day in 1993, filming ended on Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List, four days ahead of schedule. Spielberg had shopped the film around for years, eventually trading projects with Martin Scorsese to direct it himself. He personally interviewed several Holocaust survivors, sometimes incorporating their experiences into the script. This three-hour epic retold the true story of Oskar Schindler, a Sudeten German businessman who saved the lives of over 1,000 Polish Jews by making them slave laborers in his factory. The film was unanimously lauded and was nominated for 12 Academy Awards, winning seven. It is the most commercially successful black and white film in cinematic history and is ranked among the greatest movies of all time by AFI, IMDb viewers and critics Leonard Maltin and Roger Ebert. Spielberg won his first two Oscars for Best Director and Best Picture.
Factoid: In 1998, Steven Spielberg received the highest civil distinction the Federal Republic of Germany has for his sensible representation of Germany’s history in this film.