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"Anne Frank: The Whole Story"
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Index 66 reviews in total 

28 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

This could be the saddest story ever filmed

7/10
Author: (steve_howard84@yahoo.com.au) from Sydney, Australia
15 January 2004

This well-made TV movie is a very moving experience. Seeing in graphic detail how a well-adjusted and endearing teenage girl deals with the horrors of persecution as her family is forced into hiding to avoid the Nazi terror cannot fail to engage the heart and mind. It shows Anne before the Nazi invasion of Holland as a bubbling girl eager for education and socialisation. Her indomitable spirit is well portrayed during her family's long months of hiding in the back of a factory in Amsterdam. Her physical deterioration after her capture is shown graphically, as is her will to survive to make her mark upon the world. Ironically, she did make her mark upon the world posthumously through her diary, the most-widely read work of non-fiction in the world after the Bible.

For me, the virtual incarceration of her family in the factory was very sad and thought-provoking. Taken from their normal lives and stripped of all those things they held dear, Anne's family strives to remain positive of better times ahead. How would we fare if required to give up all that we possessed and go into hiding for fear of our lives? A totally depressing thought, and yet that is what happened to Anne and her family.

The later scenes, after the family was captured, humiliated, separated and sent to concentration camps, is simply tragic.

The fine performances of Hannah Taylor-Gordon in the title role and Ben Kingsley as her father, Otto Frank, deserve special mention, although the entire cast was believable. Hannah Taylor-Gordon's performance was a revelation - she conveyed a range of emotions that superbly captured Anne's spirit and also her human weaknesses.

The movie is not without its weaknesses. It is slow at times and could perhaps been improved by tighter editing, although this may have detracted from the accurate portrayal of the tediousness of living concealed behind closed doors for so long a period.

The concentration camp scenes are disturbing and Anne's gradual physical deterioration is depressing. It is not a movie to entertain but one to stir the emotions and the resolve to ensure that this sort of persecution and genocide is never again allowed to happen.

It is also a depressing reminder that it still is happening in various parts of the world.

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23 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

The Saddest Movie I've Ever Seen.

10/10
Author: Peter2 from Helsinki, Finland
16 June 2004

What can I say about Anne Frank:The Whole Story that hasn't already been said?Not much I guess.I saw it a week ago when it premiered in Finland and was totally devastated by it.It's quite possibly the saddest movie I've ever seen.There were tears in my eyes throughout the movie and the last half an hour was almost unbearable to watch.

Hannah Taylor Gordon is a revelation.She looks just like Anne Frank but,more importantly,manages to capture her wide-eyed optimism and indomitable spirit perfectly.It's truly heart breaking to see her at the end,her spirit finally broken and all her hope gone.Gordon is so believable in her role,it's almost scary.Ben Kingsley is also wonderful as Anne's father.You really believe they are a father and a daughter.The other actors are good too,but Gordon and Kingsley really stand out.

As I said,there's nothing I can say about this movie that hasn't already been said.It's an experience that will stay with me for a long time and possibly the best holocaust movie I've ever seen. 10/10

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19 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

The whole story, a realistic story

10/10
Author: Bronze from United States
21 May 2001

This movie is so much more realistic than every other Anne Frank film. For starters it does not show Anne as a saint-like person and although she was a great, great person, she was just like every other girl (excuse me) young lady, she had her faults, and beyond Anne there were the others who had their problems.

Anne was magnificently played by Hannah Taylor Gordon. She is one of the best Annex that I have seen yet. She was perfect in her characterization and really made you love her. You looked at her on screen and you were caught in love with instantly, she was like magic on screen. She as well as Ben Kingsley and Brenda Blethyn both deserve Emmy nominations for their work.

Otto and Auguste van Pels were spot on. Ben playing Otto Frank not as a regal saintly savior of the Annex members (although in many respects he really was) but as a guiding light, the leader, and the most intelligent. Brenda Blethyn turns in another great performance as the spoiled and unadaptable Mrs. van Pels. Great in all her scenes you learn to give sympathy to this woman in a way you don't give anyone else, especially when you see her in the end.

The rest on the Annex members were also nice. Edith Frank was shown as she might really have been in real life. A woman going through a mid-life crises of sorts. Looking back and perhaps not being quite satisfied with her marriage and life. Peter van Pels was as I've never seen him before. The actor was excellent and gave life to Peter which is something I've always wanted to see from the Peter van Pels actors. Mr. van Pels and Mr. Pfeffer are wonderful too. And all of the Secret annex occupants really made a great relationship with the workers.

Lili Taylor pulled of a nice performance as Miep, very selfless and hard working. The rest were great too, including the warehouse worker. However, my main complaint was that Bep Voskuijl was shown to be an utter ditz. Maybe she was written this way because Miep said that that was the way she was, however, I did find it somewhat sad to see her portrayed that way.

The crew also pulled of excellent work. The costuming was nice. Barbara Lane was able to show with good quality how that Franks, van Pels, and Mr. Pfeffer were not poor. Never were they poor, they were very well off. I feel many costumers in the past have assumed that because they were all Jews being persecuted and in hiding that they were poor. Although the quality of clothing would have gone down with time (as shown) she still was able to put forth wonderful work. As did the art department going into nice detail to recreate the annex and the Frank house. Brilliantly filmed all around, power to the writer and producers for going outside the annex.

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16 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Honest, Truthful, Real...Truly Anne Frank

Author: ConfuciusSay from United States
21 May 2001

Anne Frank. A girl like anyone else. Anne Frank. A girl who wanted to travel, to do great things, to be a "modern woman". Just an ordinary girl, who lived and died under extraordinary circumstances. Forced into hiding after the Germans gained control of the Netherlands, she was confined in an annex for two years, and then discovered and with her family was taken to a concentration camp. She later perished there. The only survivor of the annex group was Anne's father, Otto Frank. All that is left of her story is the diary she left behind. Her diary, her legacy to the world, defined the voice of a generation. Her irrepressible spirit and pure heart shine through within its pages. Her words, some of the most precious words in history, have been preserved for posterity in the novel, Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. This movie, Anne Frank: the Whole Story, tells this tale with such power it leaves the viewer in tears. From her bright, hopeful beginning to her heart-wrenching end, this movie grows a step further than the diary and really does show the "whole story". Inspiring, truthful, tragic, heartbreaking, yet triumph. 10/10

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11 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Sensitive, heart-warming & realistic

10/10
Author: Curly-27 from Los Angeles, CA
22 May 2001

Having read several books about Anne Frank and seeing the wonderful documentary, ANNE FRANK REMEMBERED, I was very curious about this film. I could not have been more impressed. The casting was excellent, and the acting superb, especially with Hannah Taylor-Gordon as Anne and the riveting presence of Ben Kingsley as Otto. Yes, it was difficult to watch and yes, it was not "entertaining" by definition. But if you want a very accurate portrayal of the before, during and after events of the group who inhabited the "secret annexe," you won't do better than this film. I'm sure it will be a treasure for years to come. Beware: Although it is an excellent educational tool, the last 45 minutes are quite intense and do include some brief nudity. Small children may find it too graphic.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A Fantastic Adaptation of Anne Frank's Diary!

10/10
Author: (sylviastel@aol.com) from United States
15 May 2007

Let's face this fact that Anne Frank's diary is almost as well read as the Bible, Torah, and Koran. We all know about Anne Frank, the Dutch Jewish girl, who hid in the attic with her family during World War II from the Nazis. She wrote in her diary about life in the attic and how they lived under constant fear and terror. The cast has Sir Ben Kingsley as Anne's father, Otto Frank, and lone survivor. Brenda Blethyn OBE is also in the cast. It's chilling when they get to the concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen, the separation, hair-shaving, and ritual act of dehumanizing everybody there. There was no talk among them as they sat with their hair being cut off for another purpose. We know who made it and didn't. After visiting Auschwitz in 2000, I didn't feel what I supposed to feel like ghosts and hauntings which I feared the most because it drains you emotionally. Even 60 years after the Holocaust, I fear that people are forgetting about it and not learning from it. We haven't learned because there are other Anne Franks out there. It is still a haunting and chilling testament of survival and the human spirit.

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9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

The Battle for Humanity

Author: Matthew Ignoffo (mermatt@webtv.net) from Eatontown, NJ, USA
22 May 2001

This TV mini-series shows us the horrors resulting from the cold, clinical meeting dramatized in HBO's film CONSPIRACY.

But beyond the horrors, this film is a touching presentation of the events behind the book THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK and goes far beyond the stage play and film of that title. Anne, her friends, her family, and her world are depicted before, during, and after the long, hopeful, but futile hiding in an attic. Various forms of the monstrosities of humans who forget their humanity are pitted against the perseverance of people who maintain their humanity.

This film should be seen in conjunction with CONSPIRACY, SCHINDLER'S LIST, VOYAGE OF THE DAMNED and other films that vividly show us what happened at a time when the human race was supposedly at a very highly civilized point. Such films show what horrors the human race can create when we forget who and what we are -- human.

We should see such horrors so that we do not forget. As the old saying goes, he who forgets the past...

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10 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Scary

Author: muslihajanssen from The Netherlands
6 May 2003

I know someone said that this wasn't an accurate account of Anne Frank's life but as an Asian and having only heard of Anne Frank through summaries in WWII stories, this movie really helped me to get to know this girl and her account of her life as a Jewish girl during WWII. Some facts and accounts may have been manipulated to make the story more interesting but the essence of the story was there. Hannah Taylor Gordon played Anne Frank almost too good; she even looked like the real girl and it was really scary. She really captured the spirit of the sweet wide eyed hopeful girl who never truly comprehended with the horrors of the war. It was heart wrenching to watch an innocent girl being thrown into a concentration camp but I doubt it was to get our sympathies; it was just an inkling of how the children were treated during the Holocaust. The young ones were sent directly to the gas chamber (they were useless; couldn't work) and others like Anne Frank, were made to work and suffer eventhough she was still struggling through her puberty. It wasn't a horror movie but it was scary, if you know what I mean; you can't help but cry for another innocent life lost and then be reminded in the end that Anne Frank was only one of the one and a half million children who died in the Holocaust.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Emotional (contains spoilers)

Author: Paul (paul_draper2001@yahoo.co.uk) from Colchester, England
25 January 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In January 2003 on a college trip to Amsterdam, i and other friends went into the Anne Frank Huis on the last day. This is the famous place where she and her family went into hiding. i found it strange to actually walk up those hidden stairs and see things such as the heights of the two girls still preserved on the walls in pencil. i found the whole experience to be the most moving place i've ever been to.

seeing Anne Frank: the Whole Story on tv a few months after i just had to see it. It is a film which does everything right, its doesn't hide behind any barriers and shows the truth as it really was. We all know about Anne Frank's life during the time she wrote in her diary and in the 'hiding period' and it does show this, but what it also shows is afterwards - after they were found out and taken away. It shows just how Jews were treated and is unbelievable such terrible things occured in only the 20th century - a century most of us were born in, and yet similar regimes in the world today still treat humans like this.

You see the Frank and Van Pels' family split up by their sex, stripped naked and the women having their hair cut short and sleeping in cramped conditions, starving and forced to dig...presumably mass graves in which they would be buried. We can only imagine what was going through her mind as Anne didn't take her diary with her to the Camp. To be told your father is already in the gas chambers is not what any 16 year old girl should ever be told.

All in all i cant find any fault with the film, it gives her diary and the whole story justice and is nice to see the helper's of Otto's factory to be shown quite frequently and involving them. It is also supported by a strong cast, especially Ben Kingsley as the father who survives the concentration camp to learn after the war that his wife and two daughters are dead.

Perhaps the most moving aspect i found were the actual words at the end telling you statistics and what happened to the individuals (including the factory workers/helpers) and it leaves you with something really strong which really makes you think "One and a half million children were murdered in the genocide the Nazi's called 'The Final Solution'. Anne Frank's story is only one of them"

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

The continuing story of Anne Frank

Author: Rio-7 from Washington
21 May 2001

I was skeptical of this TV movie when I found out it was not based on Anne's diary, but on a biography of Anne Frank written by Melissa Muller. I am sure I am not the only one who wondered if any truth would be presented. I was pleasantly surprised.

I have just finished watching the second half of this movie on ABC. The scenes of the concentraion camps are horrific, and really tug at your heart. I can only imagine what these camps were like for the real people and how survivors live life today. Since the story wasn't told from Anne's diary, the viewers got another view of the short but significant life Anne lived, headed by a wonder all-star cast. The movie began with Anne in 1936 and ended upon her death at Bergen-Belsen in 1945.

Hannah Taylor-Gordon was excellent as Anne. At first I wondered if she was too young (at age 14) to portray such a dramatic role, but as Anne grew, Hannah grew as well. Ben Kingsley and Tatjana Blacher played Anne and Margot's parents wonderfully, and the rest of the cast added to the beauty, horror, and passion of the film: Lili Taylor, Rob Das, Brenda Blethyn, and many more.

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