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Based on Anne Frank's diary, and the stage play that was adapted from it: In Nazi-occupied Holland, Otto Frank and his family have decided to go into hiding, because of the increasing persecutions against Jews. The businessman Kraler and his assistant Miep prepare a hiding place in the rooms above their place of business, and arrange for the Franks and another family, the Van Daans, to stay there. Later on, they are joined by the dentist Dussel. Together, they try to avoid detection while hoping for Holland to be liberated by the Allies, but even meeting basic needs can become a challenge, and even minor incidents could present a grave risk. Written by
The first time I saw this film was on the old Saturday Night at the movies back in the early sixties. I have since bought the video.
I have had people tell me how depressing this movie is.Those folks have missed the point for years. We do know what fate befell Anne and her family and friends,but the overriding feeling is,as Anne says near the end of the film, that in time things can and will change. The entire cast is wonderful.Millie Perkins brings a charm and innocence to Anne that cannot be duplicated. Joseph Schildkraut and Gusti Huber as Anne's parents are different as day and night in their relationship to Anne.Shelley Winters deserved her Oscar as the 'ultimate Jewish mother" Mrs Van Daan. Lou Jacobi is superb as Mr Van Daan and Ed Wynn is brilliant as fussbudget Dussel. As a long time fan of Richard Beymer, I have to say that Peter remains his best work. The "First kiss" sequence still gives me goosebumps,and the final segment in the attic just before the SS arrives still brings tears. A bravo to Diane Baker as the long suffering Margot.
The fact that director George Stevens shot the film in black and white adds to the tension. I just hope it never gets colorized. I know that the film was nominated for Best Picture, but didnt stand a chance against "Ben Hur",although I would have picked it! When I travel I always take a copy of the book. If the movie comes out on DVD,I may take it too.
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