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The Diary of Anne Frank Film Review

Updated on January 30, 2018
Coffeequeeen profile image

I am a film enthusiast and enjoy reviewing films I have watched. I like all sorts of films but mainly black & white ones from the 50's & 60s

Millie Perkins
Anne Frank
Joseph Schildkraut
Otto Frank
Gusti Huber
Edith Frank
Shelly Winters
Petronella Van Dan
Richard Beymer
Peter Van Daan
Lou Jacobi
Hans Van Daan
Diane Baker
Margo Frank
Douglas Spencer

Film Information

  • 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

My thoughts

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


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    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 

      2 years ago

      I talked about the book to friends and they haven't seen it either. They all want to see current movies not a must see. It is sad how selfish people are today. It's like they don't want to know the past. The past keeps us from making the same mistakes by teaching us we are better than this. All we have to do is try and help each other instead of hurt. Thank you for bringing good movies into my life. Have a lovely day.

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 

      2 years ago

      I have heard so much of the book over the years but some how avoided reading it. I didn't even know they made a movie of it. I think I get too emotional and things like this bother me for a long time after. After reading the review I will push myself to see it. It is a part of history that has to be understood no matter how bad it is. I find it hard to believe that my life is going so nice and if I lived at a different time I could be experiencing the worst of the worst. Thank you for sharing and bringing out the best of the best in your film reviews. Have an amazing day.

    • Tamarajo profile image


      2 years ago

      Your review of this classic is spot on in that it is well made with solid acting. Some of the older films can be a little quirky and overdramatic. This one not so.

      I also agree that, although not intentional, the black and white really does capture the dark and eerie atmosphere of their experience.

      Anne's quote you included really is amazing "In spite of everything..."

      Though she perished, her beautiful life story lives on.

      Great review.

    • Coffeequeeen profile imageAUTHOR

      Louise Powles 

      2 years ago from Norfolk, England

      Thankyou Dora for stopping by and reading my article. It is indeed a very moving film.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      2 years ago from The Caribbean

      I've heard the story but never watched it. Because of your review, it's going down on my 2018 to-do list. Thanks for the good job you do with these films.

    • Coffeequeeen profile imageAUTHOR

      Louise Powles 

      2 years ago from Norfolk, England

      Otto, Anne and Margot's father, survived the concentration camps, but both Margo and Anne and their mother, Otto's wife Edith, died. Anne and Margot both died of typhus. Terrible state of affairs, but such a well made film. The book is very interesting too.

    • schoolgirlforreal profile image


      2 years ago

      I read this book years ago. Would love to see the movie. I don't remember what happened to Anne. Was she captured by the enemy or died from starving? Or what happened to the family. And you said her father found her diary and had it published, so some of them survived?

      Fascinating story/film/book. Gonna put it on my list to see!!!! Thanks

    • Coffeequeeen profile imageAUTHOR

      Louise Powles 

      2 years ago from Norfolk, England

      Thanks for the comment, Kenna. I didn't know about the director, so thanks for that. It's interesting to know he directed comedies too.

    • Kenna McHugh profile image

      Kenna McHugh 

      2 years ago from Northern California

      Thank you for reviewing The Diary of Anne Frank. I have heard a couple of unique stories about the film production and play productions. I believe, Shelly Winters won an Academy Award.

      Director George Stevens was part of the D-Day documentary team. They were the team that filmed the arrival at Auschwitz. The experience affected him deeply, to say the least. Before WW II, he directed brilliant comedies like Woman of the Year and Swing Time. After WW II, he only directed dramas. While directing Anne Frank, he wore sunglasses throughout the production and was very somber. Directing the movie meant so much to him and his message came through.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      2 years ago from USA

      Such a sad movie and book. I visited the Holocaust museum in D.C. several times and still can’t believe the things we people do to one another. To this day, genocides go on although the victims and perpetrators may chance. It’s heartbreaking.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      The story of Anne Frank is very sad but also very important for us to remember. I've never seen the movie. It sounds interesting. Once again, thank you for sharing the film review, Louise.

    • bloggermelive profile image


      2 years ago from East Yorkshire, UK

      Very touching. I live just across from the water from Amsterdam and have never been. After reading, I think it is time I ventured out. It seems very disrespectful not to, now.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      2 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      I'm not sure if I've seen this movie but I'm thinking I may have way, way back. I'm going see if our public library has it. Such a powerful story. Nice review.

    • Coffeequeeen profile imageAUTHOR

      Louise Powles 

      2 years ago from Norfolk, England

      Yes that's right, it's very sad. Thankyou for stopping by and reading my article. =)

    • Coffeequeeen profile imageAUTHOR

      Louise Powles 

      2 years ago from Norfolk, England

      Yes, I agree. It's such a shame that people don't learn from history. I hate to see all this suffering and persecution in the world.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      2 years ago from Oklahoma

      I saw this one a long time ago.

      A necessary bug agonizingly sad narrative. Great review.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      This is really a heart wrenching movie and the book as well which I enjoyed very much. I do hope that this persecution must stop but sadly, they still happen in many parts of the world.


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