Parents' Guide to

The Diary of Anne Frank

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Poignant adaptation is still powerful decades later.

Movie NR 1959 180 minutes
The Diary of Anne Frank Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 6+

Mild violence is all

PG: mild violence and brief insults
age 14+


This book is so inspirational! It tells us to always keep fighting. I think kids need to know this in order to live a happy life. Since it talks about the Holocaust, of course there will be violence, and this book probably should not be a child's introduction to the Holocaust. Overall, great book!

This title has:

Great messages
Too much violence

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5):
Kids say (14):

This is a poignant drama about possibly the most inspiring diarist of the 20th century. Although a Pulitzer-Prize-winning play preceded it, director George Stevens's The Diary of Anne Frank is the earliest filmed version of the biographical work, and the standard for the many miniseries and plays that have followed in the past five decades. Fifty years later, the movie is still a powerful, touching drama. There's an appropriate balance of foreboding, inter-personal drama, and even humor. Upbeat scenes in which Anne gives out small homemade Hanukkah gifts or prances around wearing Mrs. Van Daan's beloved mink coat contrast beautifully with more haunting images of the confined trying desperately not to make noise as an unexpected thief trashes the office below or of Anne's nightmares of what's happened to her captured, concentration camp-bound friends. Excerpts from the diary are mixed in with the original dialogue, which captures the way domestic minutia can easily turn into heated drama under the emotionally charged circumstances.

At 180 minutes, the movie runs at least 30 minutes too long, and it seems now that Millie Perkins was miscast for the seminal role. Looking like a cross between Audrey Hepburn and Natalie Wood, Perkins is almost too beautiful to play Anne, and her sing-songy tones make her sound more pouty and melodramatic than precocious. Perkins does have a believable chemistry with Beymer (Tony from West Side Story), who does an impressive job of darting furtive, smoldering glances at Anne throughout the movie. Winters and Jacobi are spot-on as the meddling, tactless Van Daans -- especially Winters, who knows how to steal a scene.

Movie Details

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