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Diary of Anne Frank


classiccinemafan
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No, Millie wasn't related to Tony.

 

 

The 1980 version was a "Made-for-TV" production, and my guess is that at the time, Gilbert was the popular young TV star from her turn on "Little House", and casting her might have brought in the viewers. TV movies started out good enough. Some were so good that many of them found theatrical release overseas. But eventually, they went in more for showcasing stars from other and popular TV shows, and focusing on current social problems (drugs, adultry, disease of the month) and lost their punch.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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>So in at least two films, the gentile Steiger played a very Jewish character. I'm trying to think of other actors who did this.

 

Danny Thomas did this.

 

Also, George Arliss.

 

On the Arliss Archives website, here is an interesting spoof of the 1934 movie, THE HOUSE OF ROTHSCHILD, as recorded on the old Jack Benny radio show in 1934:

 

Scroll down and click on the player button:

 

http://arlissarchives.com/2012/07/09/jack-benny-spoof-of-the-house-of-rothschild-1934-live/

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I love that movie--one of my all time favorites (though admittedly there are a bunch of those). The coolest thing about it, to me, is that it was directed by George Stevens who was the army photographer on the job when they liberated the first concentration camp, so he saw this stuff not only first-hand, but among the first of all.

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I remember all the publicity in the late l950s regarding the search for the actress to play Anne Frank in the movie version. The result: New York fashion model, Millie Perkins, who, to me, never looked like anything else in the movie version but a well fed New York model. One has to wonder how she was selected from the socalled "hundreds" if not thousand or more actresses with training who were tested to create such a complex role in a motion picture? Perkins herself in later years said that her only claim to fame was playing Anne Frank. She vanished into obscurity after that, only to appear in forgettable movie/tv projects.

 

 

Her hair style was definitely the fashionable cut for l959. In no way did she convey my vision of a shy, gangley, talented young Jewish girl with long hair--which Anne Frank supposedly took great pride in. Added to her miscasting, Richard Beymer also came across as just as a well-fed American boy who projected zero anxiety or hardship that the character was experiencing while hiding out from the Nazi monsters.

 

 

But this was the way studios still cast projects during this era: have a massive talent hunt--a la Gone With the Wind--pluck a girl from obscurity, surround her with "name" performers like Shelley Winters, Ed Wynn (?), create a love interest that might or might not have actually occurred, and hope it would make enough money to cover the production cost. As far I can tell, it took years of screenings to make even a modest profit.

 

 

At the time, though, you were taking your life in your hands if you dared criticize such a noble and serious movie like this one, much like the bland and over-hyped production of "Judgement at Nuremberg" which was another example of miscasting.

 

 

 

 

 

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I agree with much of your post, princessananka. I felt that Perkins was a bit of a misfit. I don't think that she portrayed the complexity that the real Anne Frank probably had (based on her journal).

 

Still, I'm sure it was not easy to cast the right young actress in this role...

 

I've also read that Anne took great pride in her long hair. :)

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>I agree with much of your post, princessananka. I felt that Perkins was a bit of a misfit. I don't think that she portrayed the complexity that the real Anne Frank probably had (based on her journal).

 

I think she did fine for 1959.

 

We did not know as much then as we do today. We had not seen as many photos of Anne as we have seen since 1959.

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The role was intially offered to Audrey Hepburn who turned it down (being too close to her war memories growing up) She would've been too old for the part, but could've acted rings around Millie Perkins, who isnt awful, but just isnt up to playing this iconic part..........

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