PBS announced today that the classic Lucy Maud Montgomery story of a young girl’s life on Prince Edward Island, L.M. MONTGOMERY’S ANNE OF GREEN GABLES (watch clip here), will air on Thanksgiving night, Thursday, November 24, 2016, at 8:00 p.m. ET (check local listings). Following the two-hour revival the same night is POLLYANNA, the film version of the 1913 best-selling novel by Eleanor H. Porter.
L.M. MONTGOMERY’S ANNE OF GREEN GABLES tells the story of Anne Shirley, a precocious young girl taken from an orphanage and placed in the care of the uptight Marilla Cuthbert and her brother, Matthew. The conservative Marilla has a profound effect on the adventurous Anne and creates a journey of learning and personal engagement that has resonated with generations since L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables was first published in 1908. The book remains an iconic work of Canadian literature and has sold more than 50 million copies worldwide.
More than 100 years after it was first published, L.M. MONTGOMERY’S ANNE OF GREEN GABLES (1908) still resonates with generations of young readers, as evidenced by multiple networks – including Netflix – commissioning film revivals of the timeless tale within the coming year.
I am a huge fan of Anne of Green Gables. I've read the whole series of books at least ten times, and had the mini-series from the 80's memorized. I remember one summer when I was maybe ten or eleven, watching it back to back every day. I had a bosom friend, and my own version of Gilbert who I kicked in the privates instead of hitting with a slate when he teased me. I even lived with my grandparents who, though married and not siblings, had the same type of strict rules as Marilla and Matthew. I think there were twenty Rachel's on our street, and I even started spelling my middle name Anne with an E, a habit I have to this day, even though it doesn't say that on my birth certificate. If I had red hair, I could have been the 20th century version of Anne. It's been a long time since they had a new adaption of the books, so I was super excited to get an advance copy of this film from PBS.
If you aren't familiar with Anne, she is a little orphan who was adopted by a spinster and her bachelor brother. She's plagued with red hair, freckles, and a flair for the dramatic. She goes through a series of mishaps including dying her hair green, getting her best friend drunk, and breaking a slate over someone's head. Throughout all this, she finds a love and compassion with Marilla and Matthew that she never knew before. She overcomes her awkwardness to become top in her class, and the pride and joy of her adoptive family.
This was such a great adaption and it stayed very true to the books. Martin Sheen shines as Matthew. The little girl who plays Anne is following well in the footsteps of Megan Follows. One of the things that disappointed me about the 80s series is that they sort of lumped all the other books together in the Anne of Avonlea edition. I would love to see PBS carry on with the whole series, and staying true to Montgomery's books. I want to see Anne in college, Anne marrying Gilbert, and Anne having babies. Anne of Green Gables was a great start to what I hope will be an ongoing series!