The Diary of Anne Frank

1959

Action / Biography / Drama / Family / History / War

The Diary of Anne Frank (1959) download yts

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Richard Beymer as Peter Van Daan
Shelley Winters as Mrs. Petronella Van Daan
Ed Wynn as Mr. Albert Dussell
Diane Baker as Margot Frank
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2.30 GB
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bkoganbing 10 / 10

Hiding from Horror

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.

Reviewed by Claudio Carvalho 9 / 10

Good but inaccurate

From 1942 to 1944, in a Nazi occupied Amsterdam, the thirteen years old German Jewish girl Anne Frank (Millie Perkins) lives hiding in an attic of a condiment factory with her sister, her parents, three members of another family and an old dentist. Along more than two years, she wrote in her diary, her feelings, her fears and relationship with the other dwellers.

When I was about the same age of Anne Frank, I read her book for the first time and I recall how sad I became. Then I read it at least two times more, and in the bottom of my heart, I was maybe expecting a happy ending and that this teenager and the other persons were saved after their tough struggle for survival. In the 90's, I visited her Museum and again I became very sad. Her story is certainly the saddest and most touching journal ever written and published, and shows how cruel the human being can be. This movie has been recently released on DVD in Brazil with 171 minutes running time, and I really liked it. The cinematography is very beautiful, and the tense and claustrophobic story highlights some of the most important parts of the book with minor modifications to keep the movie tense and in an adequate pace. The cast is excellent, and although having about twenty-one years old at that time, the mignon Millie Perkins performs a good Anne Frank. The person who betrayed Anne Frank and the other Jews has never been discovered. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): "O Diário de Anne Frank" ("The Diary of Anne Frank")

Reviewed by harry-76 5 / 10

Stevens' Big Gamble


Just as Otto Preminger gambled in the casting of unknown Jean Seaberg in the title role of "St. Joan," so George Stevens similarly took a big risk with Millie Perkins in "The Diary of Anne Frank."

As the story goes, Stevens saw model Millie on a magazine cover, fell in love with her expressive eyes, and theorized that this unknown would be more effective than an established star to portray Anne.

Though Perkins had no acting experience, Stevens--at the peak of his career--was confident that he could teach Millie to act, at least for this film.

Although Audrey Hepburn was very interested in the part (as was Stevens in her) Stevens finally decided that it would be more effective to use a fresh actor--one with whom the public would have no pre-conceptions. (Other successful cases to support his theory being Hurd Hatfield as Dorian Gray and Robert Alda as George Gershwin.) Still, it was a huge gamble, since Anne was the pivotal role in this major production.

Well, the results are now history. For many moviegoers Perkins was just fine. While some critics easily spotted her reedy inexperience and rather sympathized with her being thrust into a super-professional arena, they conceded that Millie did do a commendable job.

Unfortunately, Perkins took a lashing from most critics, and her subsequent acting career has been relegated to minor roles in "B" films. Those are the "breaks," though in the fickle film world.

Yet, with all this, many people still think of Perkins' countenance when they envision of Anne Frank. So she and Stevens made a lasting impression.


Likewise, for many, this production remains the definitive version of a profoundly touching World War II real-life chronicle.

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