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Trivia / The Diary of Anne Frank

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  • Acclaimed Flop: Despite winning two Academy Awards, the film ultimately was not a financial success.
  • Approval of God: Though he couldn't bring himself to watch the film or stage adaptation, as the subject matter was too personal, Otto Frank approved the castings of Millie Perkins and Diane Baker as his daughters and was involved in the production as a technical adviser.
  • Dawson Casting: Millie Perkins, Diane Baker and Richard Beymar were all twenty playing the teenage Anne, Margot and Peter respectively.
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  • Dyeing for Your Art: Shelley Winters gained twenty-five pounds, and then had to lose fifteen as the film progressed.
  • Enforced Method Acting: For the scene where the American plane passes by, George Stevens had trouble getting genuine reactions out of the cast. So he had a record player play "The Star Spangled Banner" on set to provoke the patriotism in the American actors.
  • Executive Meddling:
    • The studio insisted the film be shot in Cinemascope, which George Stevens was not happy with. He wanted to create a sense of claustrophobia in the audience - something that the wide spectrum of Cinemascope prevented. As such, he deliberately added columns to either side of the set, in order to make the frame smaller.
    • After the film lost money at the Box Office, Fox also had it trimmed by twenty minutes.
  • Fake Nationality: Several American actors play Dutch characters.
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  • Focus Group Ending: A planned ending was to show Anne at Auschwitz, but that was rejected for seeming too depressing. Thus the movie ends with a more uplifting shot of the sky.
  • Playing Against Type: Ed Wynn portraying Mr. Dussel, in a performance that earned him an Academy Award nomination.
  • Production Posse: Shelley Winters worked with George Stevens in A Place in the Sun and The Greatest Story Ever Told as well.
  • What Could Have Been: Audrey Hepburn was the first choice to play Anne, Otto Frank even writing a letter to her personally. She turned it down, feeling she was too old for the part.