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The Diary of Anne Frank Reviews

Millie Perkins seems too mature and too flat for the pivotal role in this touching film, based on the famous WWII diary of the young Anne Frank. Skillfully directed by George Stevens (who photographed much of the famous concentration camp footage after Germany's defeat), the film is told in flashback, as Anne's father Schildkraut, a camp survivor, returns to the warehouse attic in Amsterdam where his Jewish family hid from the "Green Police" (the Dutch Gestapo) for two years. Cramped in uncomfortable quarters, Schildkraut, his wife Huber, and their two daughters, Baker and Perkins, are sheltered through the kindness and courage of two Gentile shop owners. Also sharing the tiny living space are husband and wife Jacobi and Winters (in the first of her character parts), their teenage son Beymer, and the aging dentist Wynn. As the atrocities rage outside their hideaway, Anne concerns herself with many of the usual teenage problems--parental relationships, her affection for Peter, her jealousy towards her older sister--and records them in her diary. There are a number of close calls, surprise searches, and suspenseful moments that terrify the hidden inhabitants, who, when they are finally discovered, are carted off to a concentration camp. Only Otto Frank survives, returning to the attic to find Anne's written reflections. He is moved to tears and shamed when he reads Anne's famous line: "In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart." A vivid and carefully produced work of poignancy and loss.