Audrey Hepburn was first offered the role of Anne Frank. She refused it for three reasons. Firstly, she had decided to accept the role in Green Mansions. Secondly, she had lived in occupied Holland during the war and had seen the Nazis carry out street executions and watched as they herded Jews onto boxcars to carry them to concentration camps. She knew that making the film would bring back memories that were far too painful for her. However, thirdly, she was thirty and felt that she was too old to play a teenage character convincingly on screen.

Diane Baker's film debut.

Joseph Schildkraut and Gusti Huber originated the roles of Anne Frank's parents in the original 1955 Broadway production of "The Diary of Anne Frank." Lou Jacobi also appeared as Mr. Van Daan in the cast of the Broadway play.

George Stevens chose to film in black and white as he believed it would heighten the drama. He also deliberately shot some scenes in near darkness, forcing the viewer to really concentrate on the details.

George Stevens had trouble getting suitable emotion from the actors when the American plane passes by. So a record player was hidden in the soundstage and set to play "The Star Spangled Banner" to evoke an emotional reaction from the American actors.

Susan Strasberg was nominated for the 1956 Tony Award (New York City) for Actress in a Drama for "The Diary of Anne Frank" as the title character.

Natalie Wood turned down the part of Anne Frank.

Shelley Winters donated the best supporting actress Academy Award she won for the role of Mrs. Van Daan to the Anne Frank museum in Amsterdam.

Shelley Winters had to gain 25 pounds for the role of Mrs. Van Daan. She then had to lose 15 of it as the movie progressed.

Miep Gies, played by Dodie Heath, died on January 11, 2010 at the age of 100. Gies was the last friend of the Frank family who helped hide them, provided them with food and news, and who found Anne Frank's diary.

Otto Frank and one of the men who had helped his family, Johannes Kleiman, were hired as technical advisers.

20th Century Fox insisted the film be shot in Cinemascope, a decision that George Stevens was not happy with.

All annex scenes were shot on the largest sound stage at 20th Century Fox in Hollywood. The real annex would have been too small to accommodate a film crew.

Although it received much critical praise on its release, The Diary of Anne Frank was not a financial success. 20th Century Fox subsequently asked George Stevens to trim it by about 20 minutes.

Anne Frank's father Otto wanted Audrey Hepburn to play his daughter in the film. Hepburn was born in the same year as Anne Frank and had also lived a life of privation in Nazi-occupied Netherlands. She had read the diary when it was first published in 1947 and had found it a devastating experience. So raw were the emotions that she felt compelled to turn down the chance to play Anne, and also because she didn't feel she could convincingly play a teenager.

Anne Frank's father, Otto Frank - the only survivor of his immediate family - signed a contract with 20th Century Fox in May 1957, giving his approval for a film version of Anne Frank's story. Shooting started the following spring with a $3 million budget.

Average Shot Length (ASL) = 9 seconds

In total, George Stevens spent four years working on the film.

It was initially hoped that the cast of the original Broadway stage production would reprise their roles in the film but only Joseph Schildkraut, Gusti Huber and Lou Jacobi did. Susan Strasberg, who had played Anne on stage, turned down the chance to play her on film.

Prior to filming the Hanukkah scene, Shelley Winters gave Millie Perkins a glass of Scotch to calm her nerves. The scene had to be reshot because Millie was drunk.