The Diary of Anne Frank (1959) Poster

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  • Indirectly, yes. The film was based on a 1955 play by American screenwriters Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett. The play itself was based on the book, The Diary of a Young Girl (1952), a collection of writings from the personal diary of Anne Frank, a young Jewish girl whose family went into hiding between July 1942 and August 1944 in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands suring World War II. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl is the English translation of the first publication of the diary in Dutch under the title Het Achterhuis: Dagboekbrieven van 14 juni 1942 tot 1 augustus 1944 (The Annex: Diary Notes from 14 June 1942 to 1 August 1944) (1947).

  • Anne had turned 13 on 12 June 1942, just 23 days before the family went into hiding on 6 July 1942. She had just turned 15 when the family was arrested on 4 August 1944.

  • Altogether, eight people live in the Achterhuis ("back house" or "secret annex") over the spice factory. The Frank family consists of father Otto (played by Joseph Schildkraut), mother Edith (played by Gusti Huber), Anne (played by Millie Perkins), and her older sister Margot (played by Diane Baker). The Franks are joined by the van Pels family: father Hermann, mother Auguste, and 16-year-old Peter. (Anne refers to them in her diary, as well as in the movie, as the Van Daans: Hans (played by Lou Jacobi), Petronella (played by Shelley Winters), and Peter (played by Richard Beymer)). About four months later, dentist Fritz Pfeffer (name changed to Dr Albert Dussel and played by Ed Wynn) moves in with them.

  • The idea, we can only assume, is because Anne hoped and believed that they all would make it out of hiding together and survive the war. In case they were found, however, she didn't want to use their real identities in her diary.

  • At the start of the movie is a note saying: "The filming of scenes at the house where Anne Frank wrote her diary was made possible through the cooperation of the City of Amsterdam." This is somewhat misleading. While many of the exterior shots were actually filmed around what is now called The Anne Frank House on Prinsengracht canal in Amsterdam (photo here), the inside annex scenes were shot on a sound stage at 20th Century Fox in Hollywood. The real annex would have been too small to accommodate a film crew.

  • It is the 4th of August, 1944. For three days, Miep (Dodie Heath) hasn't come by, and Kraler (Douglas Spencer) is in the hospital for an operation, so there is little to do but wait and pray they don't starve. As Anne and Peter stand at the attic window looking out at the clouds, they hear the sirens of yet another Gestapo truck. When the truck stops directly in front of their building, Anne and Peter engage in one desperate kiss. Downstairs, the others amass in the kitchen, fearing the worse. Suddenly the doorbell rings, then the pounding begins. Otto hands Margot and his wife their bags, and they wait for the Gestapo to break though the bookcase that conceals the Achterhuis. Otto says to everyone, "For the past two years we have lived in fear; now we can live in hope." In a voiceover, Anne reads the final entrance in her diary: "And so it seems that our time here is over. They've given us a moment to get our things. We can each take a bag and whatever it will hold of clothing...nothing else. So, dear diary, it seems I must leave you behind. Goodbye for a while. P.S. Please please anyone...if you should find this diary, please keep it safe for me. I hope that..." The final scene is an epilogue that continues from where the prologue left off. Otto has retrieved Anne's diary. Miep explains that she left that day to go to the country to look for supplies and, when she got back, the Gestapo were already in the house. Kraler tells Otto that it was the thief who turned them in. Otto informs them that everyone—his wife, the van Daans, Dussel, and Margot—are dead and that, just yesterday, he learned about Anne's fate. In a final voiceover, Anne says, "In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart." Otto adds, "She puts me to shame."

  • Anne Frank died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in northwestern Germany.

  • Margot Frank also died of typhus at Bergen-Belsen. Edith Frank died of starvation and exhaustion at Auschwitz, having suffered a nervous breakdown after being separated from her daughters. Hermann van Pels was gassed at Auschwitz. Auguste van Pels is believed to have died either en route to the Theresienstadt ghetto or shortly after her arrival. Peter van Pels died after a death march at Mauthausen. Fritz Pfeffer died at the Neuengamme concentration camp. Otto Frank survived Auschwitz and returned to the Netherlands. He died of lung cancer in 1980 at the age of 91. Miep Gies died in January 2010, reportedly following a fall. She was 100 years old.

  • Yes. Anne expressed the desire to become a writer or journalist one day. To that end, she also wrote several short stories and essays. They have been compiled and published as Tales from the Secret Annex.


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