From the moment L.M. Montgomery created her own alter-ego in the impetuous but tender-hearted Anne Shirley and published her first novel in 1908, a silent film, movies, theater and television adaptations have pole-vaulted Anne across cultural borders and allowed her to reach out to “Kindred Spirits” everywhere around the world.
Kevin Sullivan’s adaptations of Anne of Green Gables are one of those rare and cherished series of films where every aspect of film making has been brought together with authenticity and insight: the extraordinary performances, the breathtaking pastoral beauty of Prince Edward Island, the costumes, sets and production design, as well as the sweeping but intimate musical score that combine to create a unique and immersive movie experience.
Kevin Sullivan's films created a world that is not only a home for Anne, but the doorway into a story of survival, triumph and acceptance. The cinematic journey through Anne’s world is coveted by viewers around the world because it signifies security, family and community – all of the essentials that bind humans together in happiness.
When Anne Shirley arrives at the Cuthbert’s Farm on Prince Edward Island, she is a precocious, romantic child, desperate to be loved, and highly sensitive about her red hair and homely looks. Anne moves from one mishap to another as her wild imagination and far-fetched antics combine to constantly bring trouble upon her shoulders. Filmed amidst the spectacular scenery of Prince Edward Island, Canada, this Emmy Award-winning production follows the enchanting life of orphan Anne Shirley, from her struggles as an adolescent to her triumphs as a young woman. A delicate epic full of wit, style, and emotional power.
In this enchanting sequel to the Emmy Award-winning ‘Anne of Green Gables’, Anne Shirley makes the transition from a romantic, impetuous orphan to an outspoken, adventurous and accomplished young teacher. After the wedding of her best friend, Diana Barry, and a proposal from Gilbert, Anne decides to leave Avonlea to accept a teaching post at Kingsport Ladies College. In order to succeed, Anne must win over the icy Katherine Brooke and endure tormenting from the snobby Pringle family. Anne finds a kindred spirit in Emmeline Harris, who is being raised by her intolerant grandmother, Mrs. Harris, and wants nothing more than to be loved by her absent father, Morgan Harris. Anne and Emmeline become fast friends, and Anne quickly forces her way into the Harris family and ultimately changes their lives. However, after a chance encounter with Gilbert, Anne begins to re-evaluate what is important to her. Canadian actress Megan Follows returns to her role as Anne. Tony Award-winner Colleen Dewhurst stars opposite her as aging Marilla Cuthbert and Oscar-winning actress Dame Wendy Hiller appears as the prickly dowager Mrs. Harris. A stirring and charming follow-up, to the epic tale of the beguiling red-head.
For more about Anne of Avonlea see: Is Anne of Green Gables The Sequel The Same As Anne of Avonlea and The Making of Anne of Avonlea
Now in her twenties, Anne returns to Avonlea for the first time since Marilla Cuthbert’s death. Gilbert has been offered a position in a hospital in New York, and he persuades Anne to come with him. He arranges a position for her at a large publishing house. However, big city life isn’t what they expected, especially when Anne’s manuscript is stolen by a dashing American writer, Jack Garrison. After many unsuccessful months, Anne and Gilbert move back to Avonlea and into the middle of wartime society. Gilbert feels pressure to join the army as a medical officer, and is soon listed as missing in action. The indomitable Anne then sets off to the battlefields of Europe in search of Gilbert, and helps a young French woman and her son who are in the line of danger along the way. For more about Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story read our blog: Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story Explained.
It is 1945 and Anne Shirley, now a successful, middle-aged writer, has returned to Prince Edward Island for an extended visit. On a whim, she agrees to write a play for a theater producer. The play, she reasons, will keep her busy – at least busy enough to not go out of her mind with worry about her only son who has yet to return from the war overseas. But a long-hidden secret in the form of a letter from her errant father, discovered under the floorboards at Green Gables, provides a distraction of its own. As Anne struggles to complete the play, she delves into long-buried memories, reliving the troubled years before she arrived as an orphan at the Green Gables farmhouse. Over the course of one remarkable summer, Anne Shirley discovers the astonishing truth about her father, the origins of her quest for “kindred spirits” and the roots of her brilliant, magical imagination.