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Mainstream - The Diary of Anne Frank - 50th Anniversary Edition

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The Diary of Anne Frank - 50th Anniversary Edition
Millie Perkins, Joseph Schildkraut, Shelley Winters
Richard Beymer, Lou Jacobi
Directed by George Stevens
20th Century Fox 1959
Fox Home Video 2009
179 minutes Widescreen

The Diary of Anne Frank won Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actress Shelley Winters, Best Cinematography Black and White, and Best Art Direction in addition to 5 other denominations. The 50th Anniversary Edition DVD is not exactly chock full of extras and celebratory bells and whistles and the double sided DVD is on the save-a-buck side but this is a great movie. You do have to have 3 hours ahead of you though.

Millie Perkins is excellent as Anne Frank who, along with her father, mother, and sister, family friends and their son, and later another man move into a friend’s attic to escape capture from the Germans. Logically, this is a rather claustrophobic movie. 8 people living in a very confined space and never going out and rarely a scene without three or four characters at the same time put a lot of demands on your attention span.

Director George Stevens is very good at conveying the tension the characters feel both towards each other and towards the various incidents that keep threatening their safety. Their fear of being discovered is also something Stevens adroitly shows the viewer.

It is hard to quibble with a classic but 3 hours is a bit long to tell this story. Some of the day-to-day details that advance characters and story little could have been excised. Then again, a more modern audience has a lesser attention span in the first place.

Special features on the 50th Anniversary Edition The Diary of Anne Frank DVD include a commentary track with George Stevens jr. and Millie Perkins; featurettes on George Stevens in WW II, The Making of The Diary of Anne Frank, a Son’s Memories; Memories from Millie Perkins and Diane Baker; Shelley Winters and The Diary of Anne Frank; The Sound and The Music; Correspondence; and Fox Movie Channel presents Fox Legacy with Tom Rothman; and assorted galleries.

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