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The Diary of Anne Frank (1959) Movie Review

Updated on October 8, 2014

The 1959 Movie Version of The Diary of Anne Frank

George Stevens' 1959 Academy Award winning version of The Diary of Anne Frank was based on an award-winning play of the same name which, of course, was from the book that many of us know and love. The book was based on a diary written by a young Jewish girl who lived in hiding in Amsterdam during the First World War. The diary was published after the war by her father who was the only member of the family to survive the concentration camps.

The Diary of Anne Frank is a good movie which tells an important story. The film is in black and white which serves only to set the appropriate mood and, as an individual who has visited Anne Frank's house in Amsterdam, I appreciate that the set is an exact replica of 'The Annex' as the attic space has been named. It is a lengthy film which serves to give enough time to tell the story of the Frank family's life hiding from the Nazis.

Blu-ray.com summed it up rather nicely when they called The Diary of Anne Frank "one of classic cinema's great treasures" but explained it better when they went on to explain that it was so NOT because of technical or acting merit but rather because of the powerful story that it shares. This is a movie that is different because it is watched AND experienced.

On this page you will find more information about this movie including the official movie trailer. As one of only two Anne Frank movies available on blu-ray, you will also find a bit of information about the blu-ray release.

Click here to order your copy of the 1959 version of The Diary of Anne Frank from Amazon.

The Diary of Anne Frank (1959) Official Trailer

The Diary of Anne Frank Story

In 100 Words or Less

This movie follows the story of Anne Frank, a young Dutch Jewish girl during World War II. Anne and her family take refuge in an attic with another family and wait for it to be safe to come out of hiding. The tension of so many people living in such a cramped space is huge and the threat of discovery very real. They survive in the attic for two years until eventually they are turned in. The identity of the person who turned them in is not and probably will not ever be known.

The Diary of Anne Frank Movie
The Diary of Anne Frank Movie
The Diary of Anne Frank Millie Perkins
The Diary of Anne Frank Millie Perkins

Fast Facts About The Diary of Anne Frank Movie

This movie won three Oscars and was nominated for five more.

Year Filmed: 1959

Director: George Stevens (Giant)

Cinematographer: William C. Mellor

Written by: Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett

Studio: 20th Century Fox

Run Time: 180 minutes

Rating: Not Rated, suggested rating 12 Years & Up

CAST

Anne Frank: Millie Perkins

Otto Frank: Joseph Schildkraut

Mrs. Van Daan: Shelley Winters

Dentist: Ed Wynn

Peter van Daan: Richard Beymer

Edith Frank: Gusti Huber

Hans van Daan: Lou Jacobi

Margot Frank: Diane Baker

Kraler: Douglas Spencer

Miep: Dodie Heath

Shelley Winters won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress

George W. Davis, Stuart A. Reiss, Walter M. Scott, and Lyle R. Wheeler won the Academy Award for Best Art Direction - Set Decoration, Black-and-White

William C. Mellor won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography, Black-and-White

The Diary of Anne Frank Reviews

Reviews by ordinary consumers like you and I.

The Diary of Anne Frank book is a much beloved story and it turns out that the movie is equally well loved. As always, I have turned to the Amazon customer reviewers to see what they have to say about the movie.

Amazon customer Paul Kesler says that the film is faithful to Anne Frank's journal and includes her emotions and conflicts and her growing knowledge about where the family stands in relation to the Nazis. He says that this DVD is well transferred and that it features excellent supplements including a 90- minute documentary.

An anonymous Amazon customer reviewer says that the movie is well done in all aspects from acting, to writing, directing and editing. He praised Millie Perkins, saying that she did a fine job of displaying teenage emotions.

Finally, another anonymous reviewer said that she was ten when she read the story for the first time and that she has read it many times since. Despite the outcome of the story, it manages to be uplifiting. Describing it is near impossible. Everyone should see it.

The Diary of Anne Frank Rated

Is The Diary of Anne Frank appropriate for your children?

If you are wondering whether or not The Diary of Anne Frank is appropriate for family viewing, remember that this is a movie during which horrible things are happening to people in the world off screen, that there is a lot of tension in the attic as they are constantly under the threat of being discovered and that this story has quite a tragic ending. The Movie Mom recommends The Diary of Anne Frank for children in middle school or about 12 years of age and up. That sounds about right to me.

The Diary of Anne Frank
The Diary of Anne Frank

The Diary of Anne Frank (1959) Blu-ray Reviews

A blu-ray review by an ordinary viewer and three reviews from three excellent blu-ray movie sites.

AMAZON CUSTOMER REVIEW:

I particularly enjoyed E. Hunger’s review of the blu-ray disc THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK. She called the blu-ray transfer outstanding and praised the commentary track and the extras. She says that it IS worth upgrading to blu-ray.

She adds that the DVD extras are present on the blu-ray disc but that the blu-ray disc contains ADDITIONAL special features that are worth having in themselves. One a section, in which Millie Perkins and Diane Baker talk about how they were picked for the movie and how they enjoyed working with the director, George Stevens, moved her to tears. There is bonus material here that she had not seen before and that you likely have not seen either.

Hunger closes by saying that “if you are interested in classic films and/or Anne Frank then this blu-ray edition will be treasured addition to your library.” She closes by giving The Diary of Anne Frank movie a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

This definitive, hardcover edition of Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl includes entries that were omitted from the original book, sharing many more of Anne's thoughts. In this more complete version of the book, she becomes more human. This book contains about 30 percent more information than the 1947 edition and was published in 1995.

AMAZON CUSTOMER REVIEW:

E.R. Bird calls this book remarkable. Teenage girls simply understand Anne’s situation. The teenage angst years are difficult to forget for anyone and yes, Anne experiences many of those emotions but by the end of the book, she becomes more philosophical. She now asks deeper questions rather than simply recording events. Questions like whether young people are lonelier than old people or what it means to be good. When you read this story, you understand and sympathize with Anne. She was a great author, especially if you keep it in mind that this diary was not meant to be read by anyone but herself.

Bird closes by saying, “If I could require kids to read something in school, I think this would top the list. It probably remains the best Holocaust children's book in existence today."

Pair this book with a copy of the movie for an amazing gift idea for a tween, teen or adult who might or who does love Anne Frank.

Anne Frank Movies
Anne Frank Movies

"In spite of everything,

I still believe that people are

really good at heart."

~~ Anne Frank

Have you seen this version of The Diary of Anne Frank?

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    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 7 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I haven't seen it, but I would like to. I love the black and white look of this lens. Thanks for the great reviews!

    • profile image

      Joan4 7 years ago

      One of my favorite movies/stories! Beautiful lens!

    • justholidays profile image

      justholidays 7 years ago

      This is the very first movie I saw about Anne Frank, and I still love those black and white movies made in the 40's and the 50's! They are the only ones that return a small part of the atmosphere and genre of the time even if this movie is Americanized and more "luxurious" than the reality as everything was quite grey in Europe in the years before the sixties (before, during and after WWII).Movies made after the seventies look and feel the new wave, no matter the actors and their fantastic performances: we don't speak like in the 40's, nor have the same voices and accents; which were quite loud, we evolved over the decades, we don't have the grace and elegance of the times, etc. Even the notion of the music people listened to at that times is false; therefore it's almost impossible to make a movie of such a quality nowadays. These are all the reasons why this one is my favorite. And I definitely enjoyed the review!You should have read the cards, Brenda as you would have learnt that I blessed this lens!Dom.

    • WildFacesGallery profile image

      Mona 7 years ago from Iowa

      What an excellent and informative lens. :) 5*

    • profile image

      NWTG 7 years ago

      I think it is important for everyone to see or read the Anne Frank story. We must not let this type of situation happen again. Lensrolled to the Northwest Washington Theatre Group lens.

    • poptastic profile image

      Cynthia Arre 7 years ago from Quezon City

      I've never seen this version but I can tell how much you love it just by reading this very thorough review/tribute to the movie. Excellent work as always Brenda! *blessed by an angel*

    • Bellezza-Decor profile image

      Bellezza-Decor 7 years ago from Canada

      This is a very comprehensive article about the book and movies about the life of poor Anne Frank! If we do not learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it.

    • jadehorseshoe profile image

      jadehorseshoe 5 years ago

      Great Movie!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      No, I haven't, but I sure what to!:)

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