EW's New Issue

Schindler's List

Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley (1993, Universal)

Liam Neeson, Schindler's List
Image credit: Schindler's List: The Everett Collection

Why YOU say ''Schindler'' is a top tearjerker

While we make light of it, crying happens to be an especially personal behavior -- a fact that bears heavily during Steven Spielberg's vivid Holocaust memorial. Impressively anchored by Neeson (as the Nazi businessman who saved over 1,000 Polish Jews), Kingsley (as his trusted Jewish accountant), and Ralph Fiennes (as a psychotic camp commandant), the Best Picture winner is enough to make one person sit in silent shock while their neighbor sobs straight through. Which is to say that not only is it difficult to quantify the tear factor herein, it's just not right.

KLEENEX MOMENT As that weighty mix of emotions washes over, the coda features the surviving Schindler Jews visiting his grave.

WHY WE TEAR-JERKED IT Because it's the Holocaust, that most pulverizing of topics (even more so than slavery, only for its immediacy), and because it's a true story. Quite simply, it was too big, too vast, too deep a topic for our schmaltzy list.

Originally posted Dec 30, 2003
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