Ossus Library Index Drama Movie Index

ANNE OF GREEN GABLES
THE SEQUEL

Directed by Kevin Sullivan (1987, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)
Starring Megan Follows, Colleen Dewhurst, Jonathan Crombie, and Frank Converse

After studying her relationships in Avonlea, Anne decides to teach in New Brunswick, where she must gain the confidence of the town.

View Count: 4 times

 

 

4 stars

July 14th to 15th, 2002, on DVD

 
   

I was not as impressed with the sequel as I was with the original Anne of Green Gables. I don't really know why. Maybe it's because she is growing up. Maybe it's something else. The show was really good, but not as great as I remember it being.

I still think most of what I said below holds. But the story was rather slow. It didn't have the wonder that the first one had, the awe of Prince Edward Island. And all the time that Anne was in PEI, I was sickened by her horrible hair style! It was fixed by the time she gets to New Brunswick, but returns at the end again. Yuck! The adventures that she had in PEI were fun, but still seemed tame compared to all the mischief she got into in the first film. I didn't find the experience with the cow to be funny this time around.

I liked the experience she had in New Brunswick, though. The old woman, Mrs. Harris, seemed like Diana's aunt Josephine from the first mini-series, a crotchety old woman, who is completely taken by Anne when she is forced to get to know the girl. But I love the way she grows as a character because of Anne. I think she respected the way Anne stood her ground, and even the way she manipulated everybody.

It's too bad that Gilbert doesn't get too much of a role in this film, but I wonder if it's more than he got in the last one! He sure is persistent. He knows that they are meant for each other, even if she doesn't. I like the way he has to bare his soul to her, and she still doesn't realize it. It's a cheap shot, but I understand completely why he says about her Prince Charming, "I hope he breaks your heart".

I was rather unimpressed with her other love interest, Mr. Harris. No wonder she realized that she couldn't love him. He really did love himself as much as everybody else in the town loved themselves! At least she forced a reconciliation between him and his daughter.

As with the original Anne of Green Gables, the DVD is not much more than good picture and good sound. There are no real extras, beyond a director's commentary -and even then, he sounds very tired, like he was forced into it. And the picture has some glitches in it, while the sound is not always mixed properly, with backgrounds that sometimes overpower the main dialog. I question the cover that tells us it has been digitally remastered. I also don't understand why we can't get a liner with these discs.

The three deleted scenes were nothing special this time around, which made me wonder why they were even included. Most surprising, this DVD is actually two-sided. Instead of being on two layers, we had to physically flip the DVD over to play the second half!

Still, the actors who played the main characters did a terrific job. Anne was best when conniving to upset the balance between the Pringles! Marilla and Rachel were expert at bantering with each other. Too bad Matthew didn't get a part, though his picture was on Anne's dresser. Impressive, but not up to the standard of the first.

 

 

5 stars

May 28th, 2000 on Video

 
   

In the sequel, they still knew how to portray Anne.  Since the first mini-series, she has grown up, but she can still be that impertinent little girl that we grew to know and love.  She is completely independent, and she speaks her mind.  But she still gets upset when people comment on her hair! 

Anne must be a couple of years older now, but she still has all the same charm she has always had.  And Gilbert is still chasing her, even though he always has a date on his shoulder.  Unfortunately, that is never the girl he wants.  So after seeing Diana get engaged, he asks Anne to marry him.  But she feels that Diana has "settled" for someone, instead of waiting for a better husband, and she doesn't want to do the same. 

There are so many moments in the beginning of the film that are pure Anne.  She lets the pages of her manuscript fly all over the beach while dreaming, she dances with a make-believe partner, her ideal man.  And then she freezes up when Gil makes an appearance and asks her to dance. 

She is still as impulsive as ever, selling her cow when it breaks into Rachel's yard, even though the one she saw trampling and sold was Rachel's own cow! 

But Gil's proposal makes her think.  She needs to get away, and Kingsport Ladies College is just the place for her.  What she doesn't know is that the town is run by the Pringles, several related families who wanted their own clan to get her position.  The task daunts her, and she doesn't know how she'll get through the year.  In fact, we don't, either. 

But she is Anne, so she gets into trouble, and she wins hearts.  She starts big with the trouble, and small with the hearts, of the girls who aren't Pringles.

Eventually she is nearly fired for the troubles, but Miss Stacey, the wonderful kindred spirit from the last film, organizes a benefit play on her behalf.  After that play, she is loved by all. 

One of her student's, Emmiline Harris, is withdrawn from the school very early on, but when she reveals that she wants to be in the play, Anne goes to talk with her grandmother, and sort of blackmails her into letting her tutor the girl.  They form a deep bond, and eventually she forms another bond with Mrs. Harris, the grandmother. 

This leads to the hilarious picnic in the park scene, where Anne drags Mrs. Harris out into the sun and the greenery almost against her will.  But she knows that she is no match for Anne, so she proceeds.  None of her attention-grabbing tactics work with Anne, but that doesn't stop her from trying. 

Emmiline's father, the ever out-of-town Mr. Harris, wonders at the woman who could get his mother outside, let alone on a picnic with a dozen other girls.  As he gets to know Anne, he falls in love.  And in late winter, he asks her to marry him. 

But that is when she realizes that she loves Gilbert.  For a glorious five seconds, as Anne puts it, she lived the life she had always dreamed of, with her knight in shining armor, and her castle with gold spirals.  But then the reality sets in, and she realizes that she must decline.  He is heartbroken, but she now knows that she belongs in Avonlea. 

She had been offered a five year contract at the school, but turns it down now.  She had met Gilbert in Kingsport when he is at a conference, and he tells her that he is engaged.  As he leaves, we know that he wanted her to tell him to leave his fiancée for her.  But she stands there, watching him go. 

So as she returns to Avonlea at the end of the school year, she gets to hold Diana's new baby, listens to Rachel prattle on, soaks up Marilla's love and support, and hears that Gilbert has caught scarlet fever.  She is devastated, and sulks in her room (probably for a couple of days).  Then Marilla comes from the post office with a package for her. 

At the beginning of the film, Anne's first work of fiction was refused from publication.  Gilbert told her the truth about it, that she needed to bring it back to Earth.  She denied it then, and gave him the cold shoulder.  But when she met him in Kingsport, he suggested again that she write about Avonlea, and she returned to her dorm and began writing immediately. 

She received $250 as an advance, and Marilla had just returned with some copies of it.  The dedication is to Marilla, Matthew and Gilbert.  She knows that she has to go and see him.  And that, of course, it what pulls him through.  Her love pours out onto him, and a few weeks later, he is through and almost back to normal. 

They go for a walk on their bridge across the pond, and Gilbert tries again.  This time she accepts his hand, and they kiss.  It is the most wonderful kiss, which has been anticipated since the beginning of the first film. 

The directing is superb, and the acting is first rate also.  But what softly underscores this part of the story is the music.  It is very beautiful.  The story is terrifically written, and it has a great balance between the romance, some comedy and tragedy. 

All in all, this is one which we should watch more often.

 
   

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