The Diary of Anne Frank Film Review
Petronella Van Dan
Peter Van Daan
Hans Van Daan
- Director: George Stevens
- Producer: George Stevens
- Released: 1959
- Running time: 3 hours
- Genre: Family, Drama, Biography
- Budget: $3,000,000
- Distributed by: Twentieth Century Fox
About the film
The Diary of Anne Frank has gone in history, significantly because it was written by a 13 year old girl who was in hiding during WW2 in Amsterdam, Holland and kept a diary throughout her hiding. The film begins with Otto, Anne's Father, going into now the empty attic to search for her diary. Clearly upset, he gets comfort in reading her diary. A shopkeeper called Kraler hides two Jewish families in the attic above his shop - the Franks and the Van Daans, and a dentist called Mr Dussell. During their time in the attic, Anne diligently keeps a diary ever day which gives us an insight into how these 2 families coped with ever day life. The film chronicles the ever day life of the two families as they lead this secret life in the attic and how they dealt with every day life. There was the constant fear of being found and the bombings that went on around them. We follow Anne on her journey as she keeps her diary ever day, which she starts with 'Dear Kitty' every day. And as she grows from a 13 year girl to a 15 year old young lady, we see how she strikes up a close bond with Peter, which will be difficult with little privacy around them.
The film is shot entirely in this one room where the Franks and Van Daans lived for 2 years. Shot in black and white, the film has a slightly dark and eerie feel to it. Forbidden to go out, Otto schools his daughters, Anne and Margot throughout their time in the attic, and it is interesting to see how the 2 families interact with each other. There are times where there is tension, of course, and arguments will understandably occur. And with the war going on around them, we witness the bombings and air raids that go on around them. It must have been terribly difficult and tense at times having to be confined in such a small space for all this time, but it is interesting to see how they cope under all this pressure and strain.
There is plenty of dialogue in the film, and with Anne being the central character in the film, I think that Millie Perkins who plays her does an excellent job at playing the role of Anne. What is interesting is how we see how these people live in such a confined space for 2 years. They have to rely on outside help to bring them food etc, and it is in the end sad to see what becomes of the family. Anyone who has read the book will be familiar with what happened. But it is indeed heartwarming and touching to see her Father go back to the attic to look for her diary.
In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.— Anne Frank
This is a remarkable film, which I enjoyed watching. I found it very well made, and the acting exceptional. Although made in this one room, we see how these people coped with living in such a small space. For 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, they have to eat, sleep and talk with each other. It is interesting to see how the relationships develop between certain people, like Anne and Peter, much to Margo's annoyance. We witness Anne grow into a lovely young lady and how she keeps her diary every day throughout her time in the attic. Her Father, Otto, later had the diary published which has proved to be highly successful. We see how life was like for them every day in this small space.
I give the film 10/10, and definitely a must see film.
The Diary of Anne Frank film trailer
© 2018 Louise Powles