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The Diary of Anne Frank (1959)

aka The Diary of Anne Frank

Directed By: 
Details: 180 mins · English, German

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Cast:

Small Anne Frank
Small Otto Frank
Small Auguste Van Pels
Small Peter Van Daan
No_movie_poster Edith Hollander-Frank
No_movie_poster Mr. Hans Van Daan
Small Margot Frank
No_movie_poster Viktor Kugler
Small Miep Gies
No_movie_poster Fritz Pfeffer
No_movie_poster SS-Offizier # 1
No_movie_poster SS-Offizier # 2
No_movie_poster Sanne Ledermann
No_movie_poster Lagerarbeiter
Small Radiosprecher
No_movie_poster Nachtwächter
No_movie_poster Dieb
Small
Small
No_movie_poster Kraler
Small
No_movie_poster Mr. Albert Dussell
Small Mouschi (uncredited)

Crew:

No_movie_poster Albert Hackett Screenplay
No_movie_poster Albert Hackett Story Contributor
No_movie_poster Alfred Newman Original Music Composer
No_movie_poster Anne Frank Author
No_movie_poster Anne Frank Story Contributor
No_movie_poster Ben Nye Makeup Artist
No_movie_poster Charles Le Maire Costume Design
No_movie_poster David Bretherton Editor
No_movie_poster Frances Goodrich Screenplay
No_movie_poster Frances Goodrich Story Contributor
No_movie_poster George Stevens Director
No_movie_poster George Stevens Jr. Producer
No_movie_poster George W. Davis Art Direction
No_movie_poster Helen Turpin Hairstylist
No_movie_poster L.B. Abbott Special Effects Coordinator
No_movie_poster Lyle R. Wheeler Art Direction
No_movie_poster Mary Wills Costume Design
No_movie_poster Robert Swink Editor
No_movie_poster Stuart A. Reiss Set Decoration
No_movie_poster Walter M. Scott Set Decoration
No_movie_poster William C. Mellor Director of Photography
No_movie_poster William Mace Editor

Plot:

In 1945, as a truckload of war survivors stops in front of an Amsterdam factory at the end of World War II, Otto Frank (Joseph Schildkraut) gets out and walks inside. After climbing the stairs to a deserted garret, Otto finds a girl's discarded glove and sobs, then is joined and comforted by Miep Gies (Dodie Heath) and Mr. Kraler (Douglas Spencer), factory workers who shielded him from the Nazis. After stating that he is now all alone, Otto begins to search for the diary written by his youngest daughter, Anne. Miep promptly retrieves the journal for Otto, and he receives solace reading the words written by his young daughter three years earlier.


The action moves to July 1942, and Anne (Millie Perkins) begins by chronicling the restrictions placed upon Jews that drove the Franks into hiding over the spice factory. Sharing the Franks' hiding place are the Van Daans (Lou Jacobi and Shelley Winters) and their teenage son, Peter (Richard Beymer). Kraler, who works in the office below, and Miep, his assistant, have arranged the hideaway and warn the families that they must maintain strict silence during daylight hours while the workers are there. On the first day, the minutes drag by in silence. After work, Kraler delivers food and a box for Anne compiled by her father, which contains her beloved photos of movie stars and a blank diary. In the first pages of the diary, Anne describes the strangeness of never being able to go outside or breathe fresh air. It states that everybody is good at heart.


As the months past, Anne's irrepressible energy reasserts itself and she constantly teases Peter, whose only attachment is to his cat, Moushie. Isolated from the world outside, Otto schools Anne and Margot (Diane Baker) as the sounds of sirens and bombers frequently fill the air. Mrs. van Daan passes the time by recounting fond memories of her youth and stroking her one remaining possession, the fur coat given to her by her father. The strain of confinement causes the Van Daans to argue and pits the strong-willed Anne against her mother (Gusti Huber). One day, Kraler brings a radio to the attic, providing the families with ears onto the world. Soon after, Kraler asks them to take in another person, a Jewish dentist named Albert Dussell (Ed Wynn). When Van Daan complains that the addition will diminish their food supply, Dussell recounts the dire conditions outside, in which Jews suddenly disappear and are shipped to concentration camps. When Dussell confirms the disappearance of many of their friends, the families' hopes are dimmed.


One night, Anne dreams of seeing one of her friends in a concentration camp and wakes up screaming. In October 1942, news comes of the Allied landing in Africa, but rather than producing relief, the bombing outside the factory intensifies, fraying the refugees' already ragged nerves. During Hanukkah, Margot longingly recalls past celebrations and Anne produces little presents for everyone. When Van Daan abruptly announces that Peter must get rid of Moushie because he consumes too much food, Anne protests. Their argument is cut short when they hear a prowler break-in the front door and the room falls silent. Peter then sends an object crashing to the floor while trying to catch Moushie, and the startled thief grabs a typewriter and flees. A watchman notices the break-in and summons two Gestapo officers, who search the premises, shining their flashlights onto the bookcase that conceals the attic entrance. The families wait in terror until Moushie knocks a plate from the table and meows, reassuring the officers that the noise was caused by a common cat. After the officers leave, Otto, hoping to foster faith and courage, leads everyone in a Hanukkah song.


In January 1944, Anne, on the threshold of womanhood, begins to attract Peter's attention. When Miep brings the group a cake, Dussell and Van Daan bicker over the size of their portions and then Van Daan asks Miep to sell his wife's fur coat so that he can buy cigarettes. After Kraler warns that one of his employees asked for a raise and implied that something strange is going on in the attic, Dussell dourly comments that it is just a matter of time before they are discovered. Anne, distraught, blames the adults for the war which has destroyed all sense of hope and ideals. When she storms out of the room, Peter follows and comforts her. Later, Anne confides her dreams of becoming a writer and Peter voices frustration about his inability to join the war effort. In April 1944, amid talk of liberation, the Franks watch helplessly as more Jews are marched through the streets. Tensions mount, and when Van Daan tries to steal some bread from the others, Edith denounces him and orders him to leave. As Dussell and Van Daan quarrel over food, word comes over the radio of the Normandy invasion and Van Daan breaks into tears of shame. Heartened by the news, everyone apologizes for their harsh words, and Anne dreams of being back in school by the fall.


By July 1944, the invasion has bogged down and Kraler is hospitalized with ulcers. Upon hearing that the Gestapo has found the stolen typewriter, Anne writes that her diary provides her a way to go on living after her death. After the Van Daans begin to quarrel once more, Peter declares that he cannot tolerate the situation and Anne soothes him by reminding him of the goodness of those that have come to their aid. Their conversation is interrupted by the sirens of an approaching Gestapo truck. As Anne and Peter bravely stand arm in arm certain of their impending arrest, they passionately kiss. As the German soldiers break down the bookcase entrance to the hideout, Otto declares they no longer have to live in fear, but can go forward in hope.


The film returns to 1945 as Otto tells Miep and Kraler that on his long journey home after his release from the concentration camp he learned how Edith, Margot, the Van Daans, and Dussell perished, but always held out hope that perhaps Anne had somehow survived. Otto sadly reveals that only the previous day in Rotterdam he met a woman who had been in Bergen-Belsen with Anne and confirmed her death. Otto then glances at Anne's diary and reads, "In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart," and is left in total shame.

Release Dates:

Theatrical : 1959-03-18 : United States of America

DVD : 2004-02-03

DVD : 2009-06-16