Kevin Sullivan (1985, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)
Starring Megan Follows, Colleen Dewhurst, Jonathan Crombie, and
An imaginative orphan girl wins the heart of a small Prince Edward
Island town, and a boy for whom she holds a large grudge.
July 1st, 2015 on
DVD for the 5th time
It's been a long time since I've watched
this show, and it hasn't lost any of its magic.
As I mentioned below, there are so many good plot points that by
themselves wouldn't mean that much, but put together, they make amazing
characters. The time at Queen's college seems to go by way too quickly
compared to the rest of Anne's life, but I suppose it has to, because
the core story is her family, not her school life. I think I will need
to upgrade this film, though, because my DVD version of the movie is of
very poor quality on my HDTV. It's amazing that the movie held up so
well despite this.
June 11th, 2002 on
DVD for the 4th time
There is no other movie that can make me laugh and cry as much as I do with
this one. And they don't come from situations that would normally make me laugh
or cry. Anne does things and says things that make me laugh, simply because she
has those romantic opinions that make her innocent, even though she could never
be "angelically good". I laugh because she's so naive, because she's so
innocent, and because she's so cute.
But the moments that make me cry are not necessarily the sad ones, either. Most
of the tears come because of Matthew, her kindred spirit and silent solace. From
the moment he gazes on her and hears her talk of spending the night in a cherry
tree, he's taken. And so he convinces her to apologize to Rachel Linde because
he can't bear to see her go. Anne sees that, too. And when Matthew goes to the
store to buy a dress with puffy sleeves, he's too shy to actually ask for it until
he's bought a rake (in the middle of winter) and twenty pounds of brown sugar!
The look on Anne's face, and that on Matthew's, was enough to bring out the
tears. He also stuns us and Mirella when he voices his opinion about the
Christmas ball, telling her that Anne should have all of the joys that the
brother and sister missed out on when they were young. Way to go Matthew,
especially after seeing her save the life of Diana's baby sister! Of course,
there is Matthew's death, which also brings raging tears. But I found the most
memorable moment to be Anne's sacrifice because of it. When she announces her
decision to stay at Green Gables, and becomes adamant about it, I was
overwhelmed. Gilbert's sacrifice for her, out of love that he hopes will someday
be returned, is almost as sweet.
Anne is a ray of light, an unpredictable personality in a small town that prides
itself on rationality. Anne is anything but rational, though she tries hard to
be. It is a complete joy to watch Megan Follows depict Anne's bright and
cheerful face, or the haughty look she gives Gilbert whenever she catches him
looking her way. She has an incredible development from beginning to end, most
noticeably in her temper. She has managed to turn it into a sarcastic wit. Who
knows what she might have done when Josie Pye insulted her at Queen's College if
she hadn't. It might have been worse than another slate being broken broken,
maybe a brawl, started right on
campus! Instead, she returns the rhetoric with a blade as sharp as the original.
Although the DVD doesn't come with all that many extras, many of them are very
interesting. I was very surprised (and disappointed) to learn that most of the show was not filmed
in PEI, but in Ontario! I have not watched many director's commentaries, but
this seems to be one of the best. I have only watched a small part of the
commentary so far, but it is extremely interesting, to say the least. Other
extras include the trailers for the two sequels and the animated series, cast
biographies in text form, which were mildly interesting (though difficult to
read), and a few photo
The screen tests of Megan Follows were kind of neat for a while, but often
became repetitive. The missing scenes were very interesting, having been aired
in Germany but never in Canada, mostly because they featured European actors.
The acting was not as great as in the rest of the film, so I understand why they
might have been cut, however, they add a few nice touches and another kindred
spirit to Anne's life. It might have been better to present them as separate
chapters, though, instead of a single one.
The sound was amazing, compared to the video version, which makes all the
difference, and the DVD is worth it just for that. However, if the director's
commentary remains as interesting as in the first few chapters, it will
definitely be the highlight of the extras.
29th, 2000 on Video for the 3rd time
Anne is the most
realistically portrayed girl in film, I think. She is bumbling at
times, and she lives in her own world almost all of the time. Her
attitude towards Gilbert is just perfect, even after he saves her from
under the bridge in the river.
Anne is a small town girl, who gets along with everyone.
She does things her own way, and she often gets in trouble for it, because
she doesn't pay attention to the people and things around her. The
story brings laughter and tears, and a sense of dread after every turn.
We are never sure if something she does is going to bring her pleasure
or get her in trouble. And that's the beauty.
You can feel exactly what Mathew is thinking when he can't leave
her at the train station, after seeing her wide-eyed innocence, and the
expressions on her face when she sees the beautiful countryside.
And it makes you look at everything differently after hearing
Anne prattle on about how something should have a different name, because
the one it has doesn't suit it, or her opinions on how romantic or unromantic
it should be when you die. An especially funny scene takes place
after a mouse drowns in a pudding sauce. She thought that there might
have been less romantic ways for a mouse to die!
The supporting cast is also great. Mirella is the perfect
mix of strict old maid and sympathetic ear. Bussom buddy Diana is
just as romantic as Anne, but she has a more firm footing in reality.
Rachel the gossip is one that we love to dread seeing. Diana's rich
aunt is a joy to behold as well, gaining pleasure just from Anne's presence.
Finally, Gilbert would chase Anne to the ends of the Earth, but
after he called her Carrot in class, and got his slate broken over his
head, she would never forgive him, no matter how hard he tried to patch
things up. In the end, of course, with Mirella's help, he manages
to get her to call a truce. He even gives up his position as Avonlea
teacher for her. We all know that she's in love. She just doesn't
realize it yet.
The pace of the show is very relaxed. We get to watch Anne
grow up, in the three years that she is at Green Gables. She is the
smartest person in the school, and she doesn't have time for romance, even
though she loves all romantic notions. We get to see the town of
Avonlea go from wary around her (and even actively disliking her), warm
to her, and then embrace her with all its heart. The turnaround is
realistic. But I don't think there is anyone who Anne couldn't warm
Last, but not least, there is the silent performer in this show:
Prince Edward Island. It is so beautiful, and Green Gables is so
peaceful, that it holds the movie for entire scenes. There is no
need for anybody to talk (even though Anne must talk enough for all of
it), but just to ride around and enjoy the scenery.
It seems that the childhood struggles are over, but Anne still
has a lot of growing up to do. That's why there are two more parts
to this series.