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The Diary of Anne Frank (1959)

Approved | | Biography, Drama, Family | 1959 (UK)
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During World War II, a teenage Jewish girl named Anne Frank and her family are forced into hiding in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Won 3 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Anne Frank
... Otto Frank
... Mrs. Petronella Van Daan
... Peter Van Daan
... Mrs. Edith Frank
... Mr. Hans Van Daan
... Margot Frank
... Kraler
Dodie Heath ... Miep (as Dody Heath)
... Mr. Albert Dussell
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Storyline

In Nazi-occupied Holland in World War II, shopkeeper Kraler hides two Jewish families in his attic. Young Anne Frank keeps a diary of everyday life for the Franks and the Van Daans, chronicling the Nazi threat as well as family dynamics. A romance with Peter Van Daan causes jealousy between Anne and her sister, Margot. Otto Frank returns to the attic many years after the eventual capture of both families and finds his late daughter's diary. Written by Jwelch5742

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Approved | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

1959 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Anne Franks dagbok  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$5,014,000
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (FMC Library Print)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original Broadway production of "The Diary of Anne Frank" by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett opened at the Cort Theater on October 5, 1955, ran for 717 performances and won the 1956 Tony Award for the Best Play, as well as the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in the same year. Joseph Schildkraut, Gusti Huber and Lou Jacobi recreated their stage roles--respectively Otto Frank, Edith Frank, and Mr. Van Daan--in the movie version for which Goodrich and Hackett also wrote the screenplay. Susan Strasberg, who had played Anne on stage, and was nominated for 1956 Tony Award for Actress in a Drama, turned down the chance to play her on film, so Millie Perkins took over the role. See more »

Goofs

On the first night of Hanukkah, Anne says it is December 7, 1942 - a Monday - and two candles are lit and blown out. When 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 »

Quotes

[first lines]
Kraler: Mr. Frank. - Mr Frank?
Otto Frank: Kraler. - Mr. Kraler. Miep. My good friends.
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Crazy Credits

At the end, neither a "The End" credit nor a cast list appears, only the title of the film once more ("The Diary of Anne Frank"). See more »

Connections

Referenced in When Comedy Was King (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

Tales from the Vienna Woods (G'schichten aus dem Wienerwald, Op. 325)
(1868) (uncredited)
Written by Johann Strauss
Hummed and danced by Millie Perkins and Joseph Schildkraut
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Hiding from Horror
25 September 2005 | by See all my reviews

The film The Diary of Anne Frank is not taken directly from her world famous diary, but it is rather an adaption of a play based on that diary. The play was written by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett and it ran on Broadway from 1955 to 1957 for 717 performances.

Three members of the original Broadway cast did their roles for the screen, Joseph Schildkraut, Lou Jacobi, and Gusti Huber. Joseph Schildkraut as Otto Frank is the backbone of the film, providing the moral authority in the cast. He's a teacher and a scholar and makes sure that even under these circumstances, the education of his daughters is not neglected. Gusti Huber is Mrs. Frank and Lou Jacobi is Mr. Van Daan.

The Van Daans and the Franks have been offered shelter in a third floor apartment that is kept secret by a hidden door in a factory owner. The owner Mr. Kraler played by Douglas Spencer is an anti-Nazi and has offered to keep these two Jewish families hidden for the duration of the war in Holland. For two years they live in that apartment and aside from radio news all they know of the outside world is that street in Amsterdam where the factory is located. Director George Stevens to keep the viewer from getting claustrophobic provides us with occasional shots of the outside street and canal. This film is the ultimate in cabin fever.

But it has to be so for the Van Daans and the Franks are hiding for their lives. It's a community of necessity that's created up in the third floor.

Young Millie Perkins does fine in the title role originated on Broadway by Susan Strassberg. She has an Audrey Hepburn like appeal, but never had the career Audrey certainly did. Her sister Margit is played by Diane Baker who's career was a bit more substantial. Two very normal average teenage girls, except that Anne has a talent for writing and observing.

The frightening thing about this film is the very ordinariness of the characters. What have these people ever done that the might of the Nazi war machine should be out looking for them? Some of them are certainly not noble specimens as the movie shows, but their lives are so humdrum like millions of us. Simply because for politics sake, someone was scapegoating a religion.

Ed Wynn as Drussel the dentist and Shelley Winters as Mrs. Van Daan were nominated for supporting players in the male and female categories that year. Wynn lost, but Winters won the first of her two Oscars for this film. Up to then Ms. Winters played some pretty brassy characters in film. She fought for and won this role and got acclaim worldwide for her portrayal as a wife and mother. It was a transition into those kind of roles for her.

So Anne observed and wrote about her impressions of what she saw and heard and the people around her for two years. In a sense this is like Moby Dick with the Pequod being the apartment and the white whale being the Nazis. Joseph Schildkraut is no Ahab, he's just trying to lead his community for survival.

When the Nazis come, Anne's diary is hidden and after the war one of the community comes back and like Ishmael retrieves the diary and very much tells the tale.

Anne's diary, the hopes and dreams of a teenage girl caught up in a world of hate she couldn't comprehend, is now classic literature. It serves as a dark reminder of the bestial nature we can sink to. And it reminds us that hope, courage and love can spring from the darkest places.


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