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74.9K Points

Wed, Jul 22, 2020 1:57 AM

PS: Is Schindler’s List a War Movie?

While in a discussion on cinephile’s proposed poll “Face-Off: Saving Private Ryan vs. Greyhound”*, he informed me that Schindler's List (1993) was not tagged as a “War Movie” in it’s “genres” listing. In fact, it is listed as a “Biography | Drama | History“. We are not debating why the IMDb chose these three. The question is “Yes or No, no in-betweens, do YOU think “Schindler’s List” is a war movie?” Discuss your opinions here. Related polls: Poll: Best Picture Nominated Wartime Movies by ElMaruecan82 * I hope that poll goes live so it can be listed here as related.
This poll is ready to go now.
The list page: https://www.imdb.com/list/ls085426305/

Responses

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74.9K Points

2 months ago

The IMDb.com once was an error. This is the right one. A poll reflecting the user/viewers’ opinions.

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65K Points

2 months ago

Isn't Schindler's List a sitcom?

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74.9K Points

So your vote is no?

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65K Points

My vote was a resounding yes.

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108.4K Points

2 months ago

???? Stalag 17, The Great Escape, Hart's War, Sarah's Key, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas or wartime movies with soldiers but no combat scenes

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125.7K Points

2 months ago

From tvtropes.org

"War movies are a genre depicting real-life wars from the perspective of those who fought in it"

So maybe "Stalag 17" and "Casablanca" qualify (prisoners and resistant members were fighters) but not "Schindler's List" or "Life is Beautiful" (the protagonists were not fighters)

So maybe it's a matter of perspective: is the main protagonist a fighter or not?

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So maybe "Stalag 17" and "Casablanca" qualify (prisoners and resistant members were fighters) but not "Schindler's List" or "Life is Beautiful" (the protagonists were not fighters)
Except that Life is Beautiful is tagged as a war movie.
https://www.imdb.com/search/title/?title_type=feature&release_date=1997-01-01,1997-12-31&genres=war


Honestly, if someone was asking me in a conversation "What is your favorite war movie?", my first reaction would be the name war movies involving combat.

Schindler's List is a movie about wartime, but not really a war film. It is simply depicting war crimes, racism, prejudices, antisemitism during WWII.

A lot of films much more similar to Schindler's List than Saving Private Ryan or Platoon have nothing to do with wartime (Gandhi, To Kill a Mockingbird).

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65K Points

And yet, Google places Schindler's List as a war movie.

Admittedly, like a feisty little troll, I tried to add the War genre to its IMDb page. Would have added this Google fact to help push it (but that isn't an option when editing this section of a movie's IMDb page). Of course, it was declined.

Either way, I haveth no real horse in this race.

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23.5K Points

2 months ago

just as much as Die Hard is a Christmas move!

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2 months ago

My opinion is that it is a war film. Both “The imitation game“ and “The Darkest Hour” and all the “Dunkirk” movies shows characters, who are not soldiers at the time, having an effect on the war or war effort. Aka, the main character doesn’t have to be a soldier for it to be a war film. Schindler fits that qualification! He is, at first a collaborator and a war profiteer providing enameled cookware and mess kits to the German forces. In the 2nd half, he becomes a saboteur by making faulty shells and ammunition for the Germans.
Do you have a military character through which you see the war from his point of view too? Yes! Amon Goeth! In fact, not only were the concentration camps were a military operations, it was a part a German soldiers term of duty if he was on leave from the front for battle fatigue.
Was there armed resistance to the Germans mentioned In the film? yes but it was thin. Also, in war films, scenes of military operations can substitute for battle scenes. You got a very violent one in liquidation of the Krakow ghetto. There is your battle scene.
The most important point is, “ In October 1943, US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet Premier Josef Stalin signed the Moscow Declaration of German Atrocities. The declaration stated that at the time of an armistice, Germans deemed responsible for atrocities, massacres or executions would be sent back to those countries in which the crimes had been committed in order to be judged and punished according to the laws of the nation concerned. “Major” war criminals, whose crimes could be assigned no particular geographic location, would be punished by joint decisions of the Allied governments. The trials of leading German officials before the International Military Tribunal (IMT), the best known of the postwar war crimes trials, took place in Nuremberg, Germany, before judges representing the Allied powers.

Between October 18, 1945, and October 1, 1946, the IMT tried 22 "major" war criminals on charges of crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, and conspiracy to commit such crimes. The IMT defined crimes against humanity as "murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation...or persecutions on political, racial, or religious grounds." ” https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/conten...
In short, for World War 2, the attempted genocide of the Jews is not only a crime against humanity but also a war crime that can not be separated from the war. You got a whole film that filled from end to end with depictions of war crimes. How can you have a film filled with war crimes and not call it a war film?

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You make good points. I think war is a solid element to the story but maybe not THE element. "Schindler's List" is an epic film, too multilayered to be just about war, it's about a human tragedy, a living nightmare, about people at opposite ends of humanity spectrum...

I would say it's as much a war film as "The Godfather" is a gangster picture, it contains crimes and gangsterism but it's certainly more than that.

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2 months ago

I haven't seen anyone talk about the definition of "war movie" itself (according to IMDb) so there it is:
Should contain numerous scenes and/or a narrative that pertains to a real war (i.e., past or current). Note: for titles that portray fictional war, please submit it as a keyword only. Objective.
Examples: 1917 (2019) |Saving Private Ryan (1998) | Platoon (1986)
Source: https://help.imdb.com/article/contribution/titles/genres/GZDRMS6R742JRGAG?ref_=helpsrall#war

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But the point still holds because the Jews were still being used as forced labor to support the Nazis war effort. The film shows it. And all the scenes in the camps and transporting the Jews to the camps are being run by the military. And who kills the Jews in the film? As Churchill, Roosevelt, and yes Stalin too, all said you can not separate separate the Nazis attempt at the genocide of the Jews from the war. It is a war film.

Champion

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174.5K Points

2 months ago

I generally am not a fan of binaries because so few things in life are and yet we (human beings) tend to see things that way, much to our disadvantage. That is also a problem with some labels but yes, I'd say it's partly a war movie. It is not only a war movie but it is, indeed, a war movie. Practically everything that happens is an act of war or a reaction to those acts. Many of those reactions are in resistance or rebellion, a means of fighting, although not violent.

Perhaps it all comes down to this perception: whether both "sides" must use violence or mass violence for it to be a war. Then, of course, in the case of 'Schindler's List,' the matter is further complicated by the fact that there is what anyone would call a war going on that directly involves many of the characters and indirectly involves and impacts all of the characters. All of the characters are also aware of the war and that influences their psyches and behavior. The more I think about it, the more I think "definitely; it's a war movie," as well as biographical, historical, and a drama. 

'Interesting discussion. 

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8.1K Points

2 months ago

Of course it is a war film.

War is not simply battle. The soldiers on the front aren't the only ones experiencing the war. Everyone is affected by it in some way.

Champion

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2 months ago

granger,

please remove "I hope that poll goes live so it can be listed here as related" so it can go live. : )

Oh, and also please put 'Schindler's List' in single quote marks in the title for the same reason. Thank you!