Vulture

Skip to content, or skip to search.

treasured cultural documents

Anne Frank’s Diary, as Interpreted by David Mamet

“Disney has acquired pic rights to a new rendition of The Diary of Anne Frank, to be written and helmed by David Mamet ... The film will be an amalgamation of the famed diary; the stage adaptation by Albert Hackett and Frances Goodrich; and Mamet’s own original take on the material ... ” — Variety, August 12

OTTO FRANK: I’ve gotta get out of this fucking room.
ANNE: Keep your voice down.
OTTO [voice rising]: I am not going to keep my voice down, girlie. I have to get the hell out of here.
MARGOT: Dad, you know you’re going to get us killed.
OTTO: Jesus. I’m the head of this household, I can’t say a goddamn word. I’m nothing here. This room.
[Long pause]

ANNE: It’s the silence that frightens me most.
OTTO: You know what frightens me most? The fucking Nazis marching past the house, that’s what frightens me most.
Miep Gies, the homeowner, enters through the secret door, bearing supplies.
GIES: All right, I’m here.
MR. VAN DAAN: I could use some coffee.
GIES: There’s no coffee. It’s rationed.
MR. VAN DAAN: That’s just fucking great. Maybe I’ll go to sleep now. You got anything else?
GIES: Like what?
MR. VAN DAAN: I don’t know. Cigarettes, maybe.
GIES: Is it a good idea to smoke in here? They might see it around the windows.
MR. VAN DAAN: What? [Long pause] What?
Gies shrugs, peers into bag, pulls out a pack of cigarettes.
Anne is writing in her diary, and Peter looks over her shoulder.

PETER: What are you doing?
ANNE: When I write I can shake off all my cares. My sorrow disappears, my spirits are revived!
PETER: Sure, that’s great. Then the machine gets a hold of you. You know they want rewrites? Just you wait.
ANNE: But I want to be a writer!
PETER: And then you file your manuscript, and they cut the goddamn heart out of it. They want more of this, less of that. Add a hot girl, take out the power games, make it prettier. And Nazis. They always want Nazis. Such certainty they provide. I can’t stand it.
MRS. VAN DAAN: You’re not a writer ... what has you so upset?
PETER: This room. This goddamn fucking room.
[Another long pause]
OTTO [taking Mr. Van Daan aside]: The women seem content, don’t they?
MR. VAN DAAN: You never can tell with women.

Photo: Getty Images; Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images