Movie Review

Anne of Green Gables

Reviewed by: Carrie Rostollan
CONTRIBUTOR

Good
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
All Ages
Genre:
Comedy/Drama
Length:
199 min.
(on two videos)
Not rated

Starring: Megan Follows, Colleen Dewhurst, Richard Farnsworth | Director: Kevin Sullivan

This beautiful film deals with the value of imagination, the importance of respect, and the possibilities of love. Megan Follows gives a consistent and endearing portrayal of Anne Shirley, the orphan who finds her way to the hearts of an entire community on Prince Edward Island, Canada.

Anne is 12 years old when we meet her, living with a foster family, but escaping her dreary situation through books. She struggles with a poor self-image, because they consider her “trash what don’t deserve no better.” It’s when she is taken into the home of Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert in the town of Avonlea, PEI, that her life begins to change for good. Marilla and Matthew are fairly old, brother and sister, but wanting to raise an orphan as their own. Matthew (Richard Farnsworth) is the first to see Anne’s potential, telling Marilla, “We might be of some good to her.” Marilla (Colleen Dewhurst) is more stern, correcting Anne for fits of temper which Anne blames on her red hair, but laughing privately at Anne’s melodramatic personality.

Anne develops numerous relationships with the townsfolk, from her best friend Diana (Schuyler Grant) to her school rival Gilbert Blythe (Jonathan Crombie). Anne’s headstrong determination, along with advice from the many “kindred spirits” she discovers in life, sustain her through the four years this story spans.

There isn’t an overt Christian tone to this film, though God is spoken of numerous times, and always with reverence. In bad times, Anne is reminded that God knows best, an idea which brings comfort where nothing else can. It’s a very virtuous story, with many life lessons which would be well-learned by everyone.

Adapted from the novel by Lucy Maud Montgomery, this film is profanity-free. The uncommon (by today’s film standards) flowery speech is a welcome change, demonstrating how emotion can be expressed without resorting to blasphemy or other filth words. The acting is superb, and each character is distinctly memorable, fun to watch, and easy to care about. I adore this movie, and I think everyone should experience it at least once.

Year of Release—1985

Viewer Comments
I first saw this movie in 6th grade (that was in 1992-93) when our teacher was reading “Anne of Green Gables” to us. Needless to say, I loved the book AND the movie. The movie is a great family flick that promotes Christian values. I always admire Anne for her huge imagination and I always like to imagine myself in 19th century Canada, where the story takes place. I always find it funny when Anne tries to avoid Gilbert. We all know that Gilbert was trying to flirt with Anne when he was pulling on her braids and Anne didn’t realize it until the end of the story. That’s what I find interesting in this flick. I also enjoyed the other one as well, especially when Anne finally gets together with Gilbert. Gilbert is pictured as the ideal guy, respectable, robust, honest, sweet, and loyal. He’s one of those “big softies” with a heart of gold.
—Shannon, age 18
…one of my favorite movies. I have also enjoyed the first three books in the series written by Montgomery.
—Kelly Lord
A story that made me laugh and cry at the same time… [When Marilla] decides to work with Anne and give her proper training and religion, she tells her that “Despair is the absence of God.” She also teaches her how to pray and makes her memorize the Our Father—both scenes were extremely amusing. Both the sister and Anne come to see that they have a lot in common. Anne also meets another girl who becomes her best-friend. She is with her through thick and thin even at times when the two are forbidden to see each other again. Truly unconditional love! No profanity, no violence, no sex. There is a romance plot, but the girl handles it in a Godly way.
—Cynthia Goodich, age 30
Comments from non-viewers
Negative—My concern of Anne of Green Gables are her books, based on this movie! Please go to http://kofcompany.com/butterandhoney/anne-of-green-gables/ This is a critical review of this Godless [book] series! The movie may cause some unsuspecting Believer to fall from Grace!
—Kerry H, age 50+ (Canada)