Thursday, April 14, 2022

Thursday Movie Picks: Diaries

 

This week I am speaking about Diaries. Wandering Through The Shelves created this posting where you pick 3 films that fit the theme.  I decided to be very narrow in this week’s theme and hope you enjoy it. 

1. THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK-1959

I fell in love with this amazing girl when I, myself, was her age. Every year I read her book, her diary, about her and her family's experience during WW2. I had the honour of visiting where she and her family hid when the Nazis occupied Holland. When I found out she died and only her dad survived, I cried. This was the first film I saw that dealt with her experiences and the people we got to know through her eyes. I was impressed with Ed Wynn's dramatic performance since he was known as a comic. Shelley Winters played the mom of Peter ( who kissed Anne) and won the Oscar for her portrayal. Joseph Shildkraut played Otto Frank and he did a fine performance. The only one that grated on my nerves like fingernails to a blackboard was Millie Perkins who played Anne. I did not think she was good at all even though the real Otto Frank approved her.

2. THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK-1980

This was a TV movie but, it's a movie so I am including this one. This one has Melissa Gilbert as Anne Frank and she does a much better job than Millie. At this time, Gilbert was getting raves as Laura Ingalls and made quite a few movies like the remake of the Miracle Worker. Doris Roberts plays Peter's mom with James Coco as Roberts' husband. This was a better telling of the famous Anne Frank and her family. Its still not the best but it's worth seeing if you can ever find it.

3. THE ATTIC: THE HIDING OF ANNE FRANK-1988

This TV film ( I couldn't find a small video of this film just this interview) is also about the Frank Family but through the eyes of Miep Gies who helped shelter them for the 2 years before being ratted out by someone. Miep was played by Mary Steenbergen and, to me, this seemed to be the best version of this tragic, true story that I have seen so far. Paul Scofield plays Otto Frank while Lisa Jacobs plays Anne Frank. Jacobs has not done a ton of acting but she just seemed the most natural and genuine. I need to watch this one again plus I want to see the one with Ben Kingsley in the role of Otto Frank. 

The beautiful soul of Miep Gies died at 100 years old! She, her husband and a few others did their utmost to shelter Jewish people from the Nazis. If you have never read Anne's diary, you should. If you ever get to go to Amsterdam, seeing where they hid for 2 years is a must. Shelley Winters donated her Oscar there and it can be seen there to this day.

 


30 comments:

  1. This is the only movie about a diary that comes to mind. I too have visited Anne Frank's house. It is very disturbing to hear people say the Holocaust didn't happen and now, that the war in Ukraine is not real. How did the world get here?

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    1. I don't understand morons and I wish they would not get on the TV with those idiotic notions.

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  2. Hi, Birgit!

    Thank you for reviewing these three Anne Frank films. I have not seen them, but they are certainly important and educational. While I admire Melissa Gilbert, Mary Steenbergen, wife of Ted Danson, is a favorite of mine, a wonderful actress, a smart, educated woman and a supporter of worthy causes, part of the solution. Taking those factors into account and based on your evaluation, it is her production that would most interest me.

    I actually had a chance to watch Mary's 1988 TV movie The Attic: The Hiding of Anne Frank a couple of years after it first aired, but somehow missed doing so. It was purchased by the TV station where I worked at the time as part of a broadcast movie package. I can tell you a brief, funny story related to it. Our station's promotions guy came to me one day to help him record voice-over tags for promos of he films in that package. I set up the equipment to tape his voice. When he came to the tag for Mary's film, the title was simply listed on his sheet as "The Attic." Because he was busy and in a hurry that day, the promo guy didn't take time to research what the movie was actually about. To him, the title sounded like that of a horror movie, and so he jotted down a voice-over tag he thought would be appropriate. I rolled tape and, in his best Vincent Price voice, he uttered the following: "What horrors await you up there.... in The Attic? (followed by a fiendish laugh). Luckily, we caught his blunder before the promo aired.

    I am very happy to learn that the beautiful soul, the courageous and caring Miep Gies, lived to be a centenarian. I enjoyed her interview with Mary on that morning network news segment.

    I wish you a happy Thursday, Birgit. Drive safely. F.Y.I. - I'm going over the Falls in a barrel this morning, so remember to glance out the window of your office at precisely 10 am. I'll wave to you. Have a happy Thursday and a safe and restful weekend, dear friend BB!

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    1. Yes, this one with Mary Steenbergen is the best, to me anyway. That is a very funny anecdote and I am glad they caught it before the promo aired.

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  3. While I've never seen any of those, I am quite familiar with the actors in the movies.

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    1. Yes, Shelley Winters, Melissa Gilbert and Mary Steenbergen are all very well known.

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  4. A theme within the theme!!! Always love those!

    And such a worthwhile one. I agree about Millie Perkins in the big screen version, I'm sure she's a lovely woman but I've never seen her give a performance that moved me. Otherwise the film is a good one with Shelley most impressive along with the other adult performers. I also have been to the Anne Frank House, Shelley's Oscar was there by the time I visited, and while it would have been surely cramped with all those people there it was larger than I had anticipated.

    The TV version suffered from the same problem as the first, a weak lead performer. I suppose Melissa Gilbert was button cute in her youth but I've never thought her much of an actress and after struggling through her autobiography not much of a person either. I've rarely disliked someone as much as she when I've finished their story.

    I agree that the third of your choices is the best and is fortunate to have a talent like Mary Steenburgen drive the film. I watched it when it was first broadcast.

    My first thought was also The Diary of Anne Frank, then the brilliantly realized French film-Diary of a Country Priest and one that you'd have to tie to a chair to watch again-Diary of a Mad Housewife, which is filled with incredibly hateful people except the lead character who is a pathetic doormat!!

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    1. You made me laugh about the Mad Housewife which I have not seen. The Priest one sounds good. I was surprised how large the Annex was too but I bet it was cramped with all the people there who had to tippy toe around during the day time.
      So...Melissa is not a fav of mine now. I liked her in Little Outhouse and some of the TV movies she made but there is something about her that makes me want to run in the other direction. I have not read her bio but I'd love to know what is it that makes you dislike her so. Narcissistic? Controlling?

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  5. Many years ago I'm pretty sure I saw the 1959 Anne Frank movie--I saw something I know about Anne Frank. Haven't seen your other picks.

    There are many diary films that I can recall seeing but as usual not many names immediately come to mind. The first thing that popped into my head was the oft-reviled The Notebook. I recall liking that film.

    One of my absolute favorite films that include a plot device of a diary is Limbo (1999). After seeing it in the theater I bought a DVD copy and have watched it several times. When I saw it in the theater many people were visibly angry at the end while I was perplexed. That film stayed with me for days and I eventually came up with my own interpretation about what the diary in the story represented. This is the kind of film that I really like. It leaves you frustrated, but provides enough food for thought to chew on for days. At least that's how it affected me.

    This is a really good topic because there are many films that have used the diary as a central part of the story.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. The Notebook is an excellent choice even though I only liked the film when it showed James Garner and Gena Rowlands. I have not seen Limbo but will check it out for sure.

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  6. Wow, what a testament to Miep's character that she lived to be 100. Thank you for showing this side of the story, Birgit. It's truly inspiring.

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    1. She really is an amazing person. Actually Oskar Schindler's secretary, Mimi Reinhard, who typed up the list just passed away at 107.

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  7. It's April, so it's time for The Diary of Anne Frank. The 8th graders read it in their English classes (at least in the district I work for). I've seen the '59 movie at times when I covered the classes, but not the whole thing all at once. I've probably seen most of the movie, but not in order.

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    1. Yes, I guess it would be that time....Funny that, in my school, they never taught it but I heard about it which set me to the library to read it.

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  8. I haven’t seen any of the movies, but I have read the book and visited the Anne Frank House.

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  9. I so admire the brave souls that hid the people that were being persecuted at great risk to themselves.

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    1. Yes...me too. I hope I would be one of those people.

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  10. Althouogh I have never seen any of these films, I am in awe of how you were able to create a theme within a theme. I am in awe of those who hid Jews in WWII. Sort of reminds me of what is going on in Ukraine and Russia today.

    As an aside, I saw an article last night about a group of Russian women who are going to Russian grocery stores and changing price tags to show things like 1448 Rubles are for the 1448 known people to have been killed by Russian soldiers in Bucha. They are also using the price of items like coffee to tell the average Russian about the war in Ukraine. It is their way of getting the word out about the atrocities. One woman got caught and now she will go to prison for at least 15 years.

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    1. Wow! I did not read that. It's amazing how brave many people are in the face of such a tyrant.

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    2. First, happy belated Easter. Sorry this wish is late, but I was offline most of yesterday. Second, I saw Easter Parade for the first time last night. They showed it on the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) channel. Not sure if you can get that channel in Canada, though.

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  11. Hi Birgit - I've read about Anne Frank, and seen documentaries ... I wrote about a Dear Diary exhibition in London in 2017 ... where I list a few famous/recognised diaries ... and included Anne Lister's (Anne Lister 1791 - 1840)diaries ... which has now been turned into tv series, which I love!! The tv series is entitled "Gentleman Jack" ...

    Thanks for these three films ... have a happy Easter - cheers Hilary

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    1. That would have been a pretty cool exhibition to go to.

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  12. The Diary if Ann Frank was so moving, I've seen a couple of film so that title, and enjoyed both of them, Kate x

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    1. The people who experienced this earn my respect.

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  13. Nice theme! I cannot for the life of me remember which one of these is the one I watched though. I'm thinking it was the 1959 version.

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    1. Could be...I would try others. Have you read the book?

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  14. A fascinating, sad story. I read the book but didn't see the movies.

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  15. Love your take on the theme, just added three to my to watch list.

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