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
George Stevens chose to film in black and white as he believed it would heighten the drama. He also deliberately shot some scenes in near darkness, forcing the viewer to really concentrate on the details. See more »
On the first night of Hanukkah, Anne Frank says it is Dec 7, 1942 - a Monday - and two candles are lit and blown out. When Mr. Otto Frank goes to inspect the break-in, he says it is Saturday and no one will return until Monday. The same two extinguished candles are seen throughout the scene. See more »
On July 6th, 1942 Jewish Otto Frank, his wife Edith and their daughters Anne and Margot had to hide from the Nazies.They went to a hidden room in Otto's office in the middle of Amsterdam.On July 13th they were joined by the van Pels family, Hermann, Auguste and Peter van Pels.On November 16th they got another member to the secret annex, the dentist Fritz Pfeffer.A total of eight members had to hide from the evil, that was outside waiting.The evil won, as it too often does.On August 4th in 1944 it came in and took them all.Only one came back alive, Otto Frank, who had to live with the memories and the pain for the rest of his life.All the time his daughter Anne was hiding, she was writing to her diary about everything that was going on there.About her quarrels, about her growing, about her falling in love with Peter van Pels...George Stevens' The Diary of Anne Frank (1959) is the first movie made of this wise young girl.It's a very good portrayal of those events.I could mention that in the diary and in this movie some of the names aren't the original names.Millie Perkins, a model who had no acting experience, is really good as Anne Frank.They originally thought of the great actress Audrey Hepburn for the part, but she had too painful memories of it all, since she had lived in Holland.There were also some other similarities with Anne Frank, for instance they both were born the same year, in 1929.Joseph Schildkraut is great as Otto and so is Gusti Huber as Edith.Diane Baker is amazing as Margot Frank.The always great Shelley Winters was the perfect choice to play the part of Petronella van Daan (Auguste van Pels).Lou Jacobi is terrific as Hans van Daan (Hermann van Pels).Richard Beymer does the role of Peter van Daan (Peter van Pels) and he does it excellently.Today this boy would turn 80, if things would have gone differently.Ed Wynn is magnificent as Mr. Alber Dussel (Mr. Pfeffer).Their wonderful helper Miep Gies is played by Dodie Heath.Douglas Spencer plays another helper, Kraler (Kugler).This is a touching story, a true story about innocent people who did nothing wrong.Their only crime was to be born as Jews, a crime that isn't a crime.This movie focuses pretty much on the relationship between Anne and Peter.The first kissing scene is beautiful.They kiss in the shadows of the secret annex.The movie is in black and white, and the shadows have a big part here.It reminds how the shadows are always lurking there somewhere, trying to take over in our lives.The shadows won back then, in 1944, but none of them died.They all live in the pages of the books, in movies that are made.They all will keep on living in the secret annex. Only hoping the war will be over some day.Hoping to walk out and to be free.
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