Anne Frank: The Whole Story

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Anne Frank: The Whole Story
Anne Frank The Whole Story cover.jpg
Based on Anne Frank: The Biography
by Melissa Müller
Screenplay by Kirk Ellis
Directed by Robert Dornhelm
Starring Ben Kingsley
Brenda Blethyn
Lili Taylor
Hannah Taylor-Gordon
Tatjana Blacher
Jessica Manley
Theme music composer Graeme Revell
Country of origin UK / Czech / USA
Original language(s) English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 2 (list of episodes)
Producer(s) David R. Kappes
Kirk Ellis
Hans Proppe
Cinematography Elemér Ragályi
Editor(s) Christopher Rouse
Mark Fitzgerald (uncredited)
Running time 190 minutes
Distributor American Broadcasting Company
Original release May 20, 2001 – May 21,2001

Anne Frank: The Whole Story is a two-part mini-series based on the book Anne Frank: The Biography by Melissa Müller. The mini-series aired on ABC on May 20 and 21, 2001. The series starred Ben Kingsley, Brenda Blethyn, Hannah Taylor-Gordon, and Lili Taylor. Controversially, but in keeping with the claim made by Melissa Müller, the series asserts that the anonymous betrayer of the Frank family was the office cleaner, when in fact the betrayer's identity has never been established. A disagreement between the producers of the mini-series and the Anne Frank Foundation about validity of this and other details led to the withdrawal of their endorsement of the dramatization, which prevented the use of any quotations from the writings of Anne Frank appearing within the production. Hannah Taylor-Gordon received both Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominations for her performance as Anne Frank, while Ben Kingsley won a Screen Actors Guild Award for his performance as Otto Frank, Anne's father. It is revealed in the miniseries that the cleaning lady of Opekta betrayed Anne and her family.

Plot overview[edit]

In 1939, Anne Frank (Hannah Taylor-Gordon) realizes her world is beginning to change around her. Eventually, the Nazis invade the Netherlands. Anne becomes increasingly distressed as her rights are taken away, and her family is ominously being forced to register as Jews with the government and to wear yellow stars. She is then forced to leave her school and attend a Jewish lyceum, where she meets her new best friend, Jacqueline van Maarsen (Victoria Anne Brown), who is only half-Jewish. Anne also meets Hello Silberberg (Nicky Cantor), on whom she develops a crush; it is implied that Hello also reciprocates her feelings. On her 13th birthday, she receives the famous checkered-patterned diary and immediately goes to her room to write her first entry.

A few weeks later, on a normal Sunday in July 1942, Margot (Jessica Manley), Anne's sister, receives a call-up from the Germans to be deported to a "labor camp" in the East. Otto Frank (Ben Kingsley) moves his family into the now-renowned "Secret Annex", followed soon by Hermann and Auguste van Pels (Joachim Krol and Brenda Blethyn), their son Peter (Nicholas Audsley), and Fritz Pfeffer (Jan Niklas), the Frank family's dentist. During their stay in the annex, the Van Pels family members are noted for their constant bickering. Fritz becomes Anne's antagonist, and Anne has her first serious relationship with Peter, from whom she receives her first kiss. All the while, she wishes for an end to the war. Anne also gets her first period while in the annex - an occasion that she had been anxiously awaiting. One night a thief breaks into the building below the annex, leaving the eight refugees in terror.

Eventually, on August 4, 1944, the Franks are denounced by Lena Hartog (Veronica Nowag-Jones), the cleaning lady of the business in which the annex resides. The eight people in the hiding are arrested and Anne's diary is dumped onto the floor while SS man Karl Silberbauer searches for hoarded money. Two of the helpers (of those in the Secret Annex) are also arrested. In conversation with Otto, Silberbauer is stunned to learn that he served as an officer in the Imperial German Army during World War I. Silberbauer laments that, if they had not gone into hiding, Otto and his family would have received decent treatment.

Afterwards, the Franks are sent on a train to Westerbork, a transit camp, where Anne, her family and friends are held in the criminal "S Barracks". There, Anne meets a woman, Janny Brandes-Brilleslijper (Klara Issova) and her sister Lientje (Zdenka Volencova), who are later seen with Anne in Bergen-Belsen. Anne also befriends the camp's schoolteacher (Jaroslava Siktancova), who often invites Anne to the camp school to tell the students stories. (One of them is Mrs. Quackenbush, a story that Anne had written before going into hiding, and had been assigned to write by her math teacher as punishment for repeatedly talking in class)

Anne and her family are soon transported to Auschwitz, where the women are stripped of their clothing and their hair is shorn. She is sadly separated from her father and the other men. During a selection for women in the camp to go to a safer place to work in a munitions factory, Anne's mother and sister are chosen, but Anne is not. Therefore, Edith and Margot choose to remain behind. Anne and Margot are sent to a scabies barracks and later deported to Bergen-Belsen, which is no more than many large tents on a muddy ground surrounded by an electric fence. Mrs. Van Pels eventually arrives at the camp to find Anne very thin and Margot sick with typhus. One night Anne sees her old friend, Hannah (Jade Williams), through the fence. Hannah is a privileged prisoner and tells Anne that her father is dying but her sister is alive. She throws a package with bread and socks over to Anne.

In the last scene with Anne, a fevered Margot and Anne speak of the days before they went to Bergen-Belsen. They go to sleep. The next morning, Anne opens her eyes, and hears birds outside. She nudges Margot to show her, but Margot doesn't wake up, and instead falls out of bed onto the ground. Anne realizes that Margot is dead, and lifts her eyes to the sky, her will defeated.

After the war in 1945, it is revealed that Otto is, in fact, alive. He looks for information about his daughters, but has no luck in doing so until he is directed to find Janny Brandes, who survived the camp. Otto is told that Anne died a few days after Margot. Miep Gies (Lili Taylor), who helped the Franks hide, gives Anne's preserved diary to Otto. Otto reads it all. He then goes up to the now empty annex and photos. He collapses in a crying heap in front of Anne's wall, which is still plastered with movie stars. An epilogue is then shown which describes what happened to everyone mentioned in the story.


Home video release[edit]

Anne Frank: The Whole Story was released on VHS and DVD on August 28, 2001 by Buena Vista Home Entertainment. There is not much difference between the DVD and VHS version of this movie since the only special feature on the DVD is a trailer of South Pacific.


Anne Frank: The Whole Story earned critical acclaim from critics and viewers. The New York Post called the mini-series "undeniably powerful"[citation needed], whereas others deemed it "a stunning tribute".[citation needed] This adaptation has been named as "the best Anne Frank movie or mini-series yet."[by whom?] It was nominated for three Golden Globes, and won the Emmy Award for the Best Miniseries and a 2001 Peabody Award.[1]

Series Overview[edit]

Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 2 May 20, 2001 (2001-05-20) May 21, 2001 (2001-05-21)


No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date Production
U.S. viewers
(in millions)
1 "Episode 1" Robert Dornhelm Kirk Ellis May 20, 2001 (2001-05-20) 101 TBA

A German-Jewish teenage girl named Anne Frank hides behind the book case in her father's office. By February 1939, Anne's friend, Sanne, invites her to play Monopoly. But, she is too busy. Later, Anne goes by Opekta to find her father. While their Mr. Van Pels tells Anne a hilarious joke and that Mr. Van Pels is trying on new recipes.

Later, At Anne's apartment, Anne and Margot discover their grandmother will be living with them and she gives Anne a fountain pen and she says that she will treasure it all ways and next, they head out to the Goslar's for dinner. While at the Goslar's, Hanneli's mother says servants and Anne tells Hanneli that their called Maids and Hanneli's mother says,"God knows everything, but Anne knows everything better." Later on, at Anne's apartment, Otto tells Anne the story about good polars and bad polars.

Four months later, In June 1939, Anne, Margot, Otto, and Edith go to the beach. Later, at Anne's apartment, it's Anne's birthday and she invites her friends, Hanneli, Sanne, and everyone has cake. Later, an uninvited guest, Hanneli's father, dresses up as Hitler and wishes Anne a very happy birthday. Afterward, Anne and Otto go to the Cinema and see a movie about Hitler and the Nazis. And other people watching the movie are shouting and booing.

The next day, Miep, Bep, Mr.Kuglar, and Mr.Kleiman are listening to the radio station broadcasting. When suddenly, an alert goes on all over Germany that everyone can hear. Anne wonders and Edith tells Anne to get back inside and Edith, Anne, Margot, and Anne's grandmother cover each other's head at the light above them on the ceiling begins to shake like an earthquake. Later, when the alert signal goes off, flyers are going on the ground and everyone goes outside their house to look at the flyers and on a tree one of them says, "Citizens of Amsterdam surrender now or suffer the faite of your countrymen!" While, everyone begins to pick them up. so Otto and Edith hasten their plans of going in hiding when Margot gets call up papers to attend to a Nazi work camp by ten-days earlier.
2 "Episode 2" Robert Dornhelm Kirk Ellis May 21, 2001 (2001-05-21) 102 TBA

A German-Jewish teenage girl, Anne Frank (Hannah Taylor-Gordon), hides with her family and others during World War II and while in hiding, writes all of her thoughts,feelings,and dreams in a red-checkered Diary to entertain herself. She also writes of the nightmares of being discovered by the Nazis and about her changing and sharing a friendship. later,a kiss. On August 4,1944, her and her family and friends' nightmare comes true when it is revealed the clean lady turned the Frank Family and the VanPels family over to the Gestapo. Miep,one of the helpers of the secret annexe, finds Anne's Diary and keeps it,hoping Anne would return. In September,1944, Anne,Otto,Edith,Margot,and the VanPels' are transported to Westerbork Transit Camp. As the story continues,Anne and her family are seperated and the VanPels are as well. Leaving, Mrs.VanPels,Anne,Edith,and Margot alone without Otto and are sent to Auschwitz Concentration Camp somewhere in Poland. As the months at Auschwitz go by, Anne and Margot are transported to Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp in Germany,without Edith,their mother,somewhere around October-November,1944. During their time at Bergen-Belsen, Anne finds Mrs.VanPels at Bergen-Belsen without Edith They discovered, Edith, was left behind and not sent to be relocated. Around the early months of January,1945, Mrs.VanPels finds Anne's friend, Hannah on the other side of Bergen-Belsen and Anne and Hannah discuss about how Hannah thought Anne would be in Switzerland as the note on her mother's desk stated that Anne and her family would move and live in Switzerland. During the winter of February,1945,Anne and Margot talk about what they wanted to be when they grew up and what they dream of doing after the war,when they were liberated from Bergen-Belsen. However, the unthinkable happens, Margot died in her sleep when Anne tries to wake her up telling her of hearing birds when Anne realizes Margot is dead,she looks up into the sky in shock of being alone. On June 3,1945, Otto returns to Amsterdam,Netherlands from being liberated from Auschwitz on January 27,1945 and find Miep and Jan Gies and they talk about what happened to all of the people in hiding so Otto wonders if his daughters survived or died. Later, Otto goes to the Red-Cross and talks to Janny,whom her and her sister,last saw Anne and Margot at Bergen-Belsen and writes a letter to Otto,that Anne and Margot died of Thyphus and Miep gives Otto,Anne's Diary and papers that Anne wrote in hiding. In the end, a epilogue is shown about what happened to the people in hiding after the were all sent to Concentration Camp and when they died. In conclusion, a part of the epilogue states,"one and half-million children,were murdered by the Nazis in what the Nazis called the final solution". And another quotes states, "Anne's diary is the most widely read non-fiction book in world #1,after the diary".

Note: Anne's diary was published 2 years after she died at Bergen-Belsen by her father known as The Diary of a Young Girl.

TV rating[edit]

The production was rated TV-14 for concentration camp depictions, including brief nudity. The brief nudity takes place where Anne, Margot, Edith, and Mrs. Van Pels get their heads shaved at Auschwitz and are disinfected. There are also some disturbing images, including dead bodies.

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External links[edit]