Yes, I AM writing an entire post about Anne of Green Gables

Yes, I AM writing an entire post about Anne of Green Gables 1My almost-4-year-old and I have been watching "Anne of Green Gables" and "Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel" over the past four days - during her little sister's nap. We sit side-by-side on the brown leather couch, arms linked, smiling.

"This is the best movie ever!" I say, in energetic bursts (and I mean it). She echoes those words. And we hug!

This is like a dream. I have a little girl (two little girls, actually...but one is still too young for movies). And we both love Anne - or "Annie Girl," as my daughter affectionately calls her.

Yes, I AM writing an entire post about Anne of Green Gables 2As a result of the last few days, I now have a sudden urge to read the entire series again from start-to-finish. Perhaps I'll even read it aloud to her (the text may be a bit beyond her attention level, I can't remember...).

If you haven't read the books or seen the movies, Oh! YOU MUST. You're missing out on some exceptional literature with the most lovable characters, painted in all of the glory of their imperfections. I especially love that Anne is smart, witty, opinionated, strong, and kind (all qualities I admire immensely...and would love to have my daughters emulate). Similarly, Gilbert is intelligent, generous, honest, and bold (all qualities I hope my girls someday seek in their future husbands).

As we watched, I wondered to myself if perhaps a modern studio/director should attempt a remake. I am undecided. Sullivan Entertainment did an outstanding job, especially with the casting. In many ways, Megan Follows will forever be Anne in my mind. I also appreciated the performances of Jonathan Crombie as Gilbert and Richard Farnsworth as Matthew.

Yes, I AM writing an entire post about Anne of Green Gables 3That said, I think that maybe...just maybe...a modern movie company could get it right. The visual quality certainly could be much improved (since the film was made in the 80s) and I've often thought that Diana wasn't exactly right.

If a company does move ahead with a remake, they must hereby pledge to follow the books as closely as possible and to not go off on unneeded tangents - thus spoiling the wonder and majesty of the story completely (ahem - Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story).

Have you read the AOGG books or seen the movies? Which characters do you think were cast perfectly (or not)? Do you think a modern movie studio should attempt a remake?

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68 comments on “Yes, I AM writing an entire post about Anne of Green Gables”

  1. I just can say EXCELLENTTTTTTTTT.when i watch this movie more and more be loved on it.i live in Iran , when this film showed in Iran TV i and my friends followe all parts of film.thanks dear Megan

  2. Thank you for writing this - I am SUCH an adorer of the whole series and movies. Well, except the last one, how COULD they have done that!!! But I loved the casting, ESPECIALLY Anne, Gil (and yes, I do have an eternal crush on joins my other enduring love of Mr. Darcy, of course :D), Marilla and Mathew. I agree, Diana seemed sometimes a bit off, but honestly, she played her part well. I do think there should be a continuing story remake, even though one the one that I would want wouldn't be possible because the actors have all grown up or passed on....I would want Marilla alive for the wedding (I am aware that Colleen Dewhurst had passed on by the time the movie came out, but I can dream, anyway), and (this may seem a bit petty) the new fashions to be a bit more....flattering...I understand that times and fashions change, but you don't have to make Anne wear argyle, awful gray and black socks with horrendous brown pump-like things... also, in the scene where Gil convinces Anne to go to New York with him (at the beginning of the movie), he dress and hair are awful, and I can only watch that scene with my eyes shut, as the dialogue is perfect. In the remake, I would not want Gil to go off to war, actually I would definitely prefer it if it took place immediately after the engagement, to see how everyone took the news, and all that lovely stuff. I guess its all immaterial, as the first two films are still truly phenomenal, even if the third is utter rubbish.

  3. I just got done watching Anne of Green Gables with the 3rd and 6th graders I babysit, and we loved it! My daughter and I loved it...still do...but it was fun to share it again. Megan Follows IS Anne Shirley...if they remade it I can't imagine anyone ever coming close to her...or to Gilbert Blythe. He is so genuine and sweet. I actually like Diana a lot...she is sort of a follower, so she shouldn't stand out too much...I thought she was very believable in the movie. LOVE Richard Farnsworth as Matthew and Colleen Dewhurst as Marilla. Honestly, I can't imagine remaking this till you can take old performances and put them in a movie with new performances, because these actors ARE their characters. The sequel disappoints because it veers so far away from the written stories...what were they thinking?...altho the part where Anne and Gilbert get together is nicely done. And the third one is a travesty and unwatchable...shouldn't it be illegal to pretend you are adapting a book and have it be totally different??
    But the first Anne of Green Gables is PERFECTION!

  4. Stephanie!! I JUST finished listening to the whole series on my mp3 player on the way to/from school. It is such a wonderful story! I thought about reading them to my 6 year old, but I think they are still a little too old for her. We're reading the Little House series right now with the Narnia books to follow. now that I've re-listened to the whole story, and I have not more to listen to, I feel like I'm missing an old friend. I have to find something else wonderful to listen to instead.

  5. I love Anne (read all the books and I have seen all the movies...that Continuing story was way even had them living in the wrong time...really bugged me). I always have. Who didn't have a little crush on Gil?

  6. My sister owned the series and so I read it through a few times as a young girl. It remains one of my very favorite. I have watched with my big girl as well. We also tried watching "the continuing story" together but agreed that it was not worth our time. I agree with you, Anne, Mathew, and Gilbert were perfectly cast! But I always pictured Diana, Marilla and Mrs. Lynde a little different. I might enjoy a remake, if they makers were true to the story. I would just love to sit in a theater and "look" at green gables :)

  7. LOVE, LOVE, LOVEEEEEEEEEEEEEE the book series and the movies!!! i was just telling my friend the other day I had the sudden urge to watch the movies and read the books again. Sadly, I realized they were on VHS so i'm off to get the DVD copies. =)

  8. I've read all of the books and seen the movies, as have my daughters. We used to watch the series they had on Disney (I think?) called Avonlea. I think they did a pretty good job of casting the characters, but then I saw the movie before reading the books, so I might have felt differently if I'd read the books first. LOVE them all!

  9. I can't say these are my favorite movies, but there must be something special about them since you sucked me into watching them with the two of you.

    1. I know you secretly love them. ;)

      It's truly a story that can captivate the hearts of all people - regardless of age or gender.

  10. Love Anne!!!! The movies and the books!!! My little one has the flu today and I was just think about having an Anne marathon since I'm sitting on the couch with a bowl holding her :(

    I was also very disappointed in the 3rd movie and how far off it was from the books.

    Might have to read the books again now too!!!

  11. I loved Anne of Green Gables growing up.....and now you have inspired me to get the movies, so my daughter and I can watch them together. Perhaps maybe even read the books first! I actually think that my daughter is SO MUCH like Anne, I know that she will love them too!

  12. Did you read the "Emily" series by the same author? I devoured the AGG series as a little girl and saw the "Emily" series on the library shelf right next door. If it's possible (get ready for AGG blasphemy), I think I love the "Emily" series MORE. I know... But I think identified a little more closely with the Emily character, although there were ways I am SO ANNE. :) I have known I wanted to name one of my daughters Emily, ever since I read those books. And I did! :)

    1. Emily is a beautiful name. We considered it for our youngest.

      I know I've read Emily of New Moon, but I'm not positive I've read the whole series. I'd like to do that sometime soon.

  13. I can't imagine anyone but Megan Follows, Jonanthan Crombie, and Richard Farnsworth in those roles, but I DO wish they'd kept in the fun stuff from Anne of the Island and not skipped over it in favor of the Windy Poplars storylines. And then continuing story? Don't get me started! Grrr.

    I'd love to see a version of Rilla of Ingleside or The Blue Castle. (Yes, I'm a Montgomery freak.)

  14. I LOVED AOGG! My friend and I have been planning a trip to PEI for years, but it has fallen through each year. I WILL go. . . I just have to fulfill my AOGG dream sometime. :)

    I actually reread the first book when I was planning the trip a few years ago. Very fun to remember Ann(e) and to remember what it was like to read the book as a 4th grader. :)

  15. I love those movies, the TV series, and the books! My mother-in-love (her idea, I adore it) let me borrow the books a few years ago, and as soon as I finished them I wanted to start at the beginning again. I have been slowly growing my L.M. Montgomery collection. Have you read her Emily series? They aren't quite as optimistic as the Anne books, but they are just as good.

  16. I absolutely love these movies and books. I used to check both out at the library over and over again throughout HS. Now, in my early 30's I still watch the movies with the same excitment. I am not sure if I would want a remake...there is something magical about the original.

  17. My daughter and I watched this just this week after I saw your tweet! She loved it -- and for the 12th or so time, I did, too!

    I think Anne is just perfect. It's what I imagined her to be like. When I re-read the books, I picture that Anne.

    Gilbert is spot-on, too. And Matthew, yes.
    Diana and Marilla? Not so sure.

    I don't think it should try to be re-made, unless it sticks strictly to the book, which is not popular in Hollywood nowadays. I like the classic -- but of course, I'm a classic film buff at heart!

  18. We went out east in 1989 and I think we saw Anne in the theatre. I can't even remember seeing the movie but of course I must have. Megan Follows is pretty familiar as Anne. I'm actually distantly related to LMM (fourth cousin, three times removed!) so we got a special tour of the house. I don't remember much though, I was more interested in playing cards than museums! We had read the whole series and I have a substantial amount of her various series. I actually liked the Emily books better than Anne - Anne was a bit too energetic for me. I also really love some of her short stories about orphans, even if the same plots do tend to show up over and over again.

  19. I remember reading those books over and over again and the movies...I always want to move there! Now you have me thinking maybe it is time to introduce my 5 year old to Anne. I may have to make a trip to the library this weekend. Thanks for making me remember.

  20. I absolutely adore Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea. I watched all as a child, and would love to read and watch them all again! I dreamed of going to Prince Edward Island, lol!

    Great post!

  21. My friends and I used to have "Anne parties" where we'd reenact scenes and have Anne Movie Marathons all night. We have tea parties and especially loved the Raspberry Cordial scene! I have read all the books, and nearly everything LMM has written. Emily of New Moon is one of my favorite Trilogies and it's a MUST read if you like Anne (much "darker" though).
    I probably would be devastated if there was an Anne remake - Megan Follows was amazing and always will be "Anne" and who could be a better Matthew... no no, it just wouldn't do in my book! :)

  22. That Drama was perfectly cast and is a CLASSIC! They should not even consider making it anew, they could only ruin perfection. I did see a continuation with Gil in the Army that I did not care for, I prefer the original miniseries. I've only read one of the books, it took place after Gil and Anne had married.

  23. Oh, my heart leapt when I saw this was an Anne post! I don't know how I would feel about a remake. I couldn't believe how true to the spirit of the books the series was (well, except for The Continuing Story). Is it possible to do it again? I don't know.

    I loved all the casting, but - aside from Anne and Gilbert - my absolute fave was Marilla! Colleen Dewhurst did such a fabulous job as Marilla, that when the actress passed away, it was as if Marilla herself had died for me.

    I have sometimes wondered if a modern-day version could be pulled off. But what would you replace the broken slate scene with? ;)

  24. The most amazing series ever!!! Love Love Love Anne of Green Gables. It would be great it they remade them, however; I feel that it will probably never be the same as the original. Even so it would still be fun to seem them as a remake. I think I still have the first book on tape Ava would love to listen to the story.

  25. I LOVED this movie and the books growing up! Never would have thought to show it to my 4 year old daughter, but now I wonder why not?! AND it's a great excuse for me to be able to watch it again! Hm... Maybe I need to work this into homeschooling somehow this year. Wonder if my 6 year old son would be interested in watching it too?? =)

    1. My opinion? It's an equally wonderful story for boys.

      Gil is an excellent role model on so many levels and his pursuit of Anne is nothing short of extraordinary.

  26. Amen and amen! I should also re-read the series again. I love L.M. Montgomery stories. They're so simple and sweet.

  27. I freaking love AOGG. I have to admit that I have not read the books (bad librarian!) but love the movies. I wouldn't change a thing about them.

  28. I read the whole 8-book series this summer. In about a week. I'd started reading the first book to my daughter but she got a little bored so I read it to myself and loved it all over again. For the sixth time.

  29. My very favorite movie ever!!! My family migrated from Scotland to Prince Edward Island in the late 1800's and most of my extended family is still there..This series will always hold a dear place in my heart. I would love to see a remake but I am weary. They have to get it right and I don't know if that would happen..Maybe they need to release the original on Blu-ray =)

  30. Love both the books and the movies! They are want I want to watch when I am sick, or when I am cuddling little with a cold. Perfect for a long, cold winter day while quilting, or just because I have not watched them in a few months! I would think the text of the books would be a bit beyond a 4 year old, but you never know. It would be a good vocab builder for sure! NO! I would not watch any new making of the movies. I am with you Megan Follows will ALWAYS be Anne in my mind.

  31. I LOVED LOVED LOVED these books. They're on my list for re-reads--last year I re-read Montgomery's Pat books and Emily books, so Anne will have to follow soon.

    Plus I felt a special bond with Anne, since that's my middle name, and I was also always using ridiculously long words. :) I never got into the movies though, I'm a big book-movie adaptation snob, and I was not a fan of them when I was little.

    1. I'm typically not a huge fan of book-movie adaptations either, but...I do love the Anne movies. I think Sullivan pulled it off wonderfully...well, the first two movies anyway.

  32. Oh, no remake, PLEASE! But, I never got into the books. They were a little too full of adjectives, to hold my immature attention span. So, the Anne story to me, if the Sullivan films.
    I love, love, love the movies. (But never watched the continuing story... I heard it was bad before I got a chance to see it.)
    I think I tried to emulate Anne a bit too much as a girl. I thought it was cool to scream at the boys & stuff. Ha!

  33. I am reading the collected works of L. M. Montgomery right now. I loved Anne as a child and as I'm reading it, I realize how many of Anne's traits I have taken with me to adulthood. It's true that everything I needed to learn I learned reading those books - the importance of books, the knowledge that it's okay to be smart, the excitement of being imaginative, love comes to those who wait, great examples of parenting, accepting diverse backgrounds, the list goes on and on.

    I was such a lonely child. Anne of Green Gables, Francie from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and Sara Crewe from A Little Princess were characters that inspired me and comforted me. I am getting weepy just thinking about these books.

    1. I also appreciate the lessons that you mentioned from AOGG. I desperately want my daughters to have "the knowledge that it's okay to smart." I adore that Anne is quick-witted, bookish, and almost always at the top of her class.

  34. I LOVE Ann of Green Gables, man it's been so long since I read the books. I forgot half the stories. Your post has inspired me to dig them out again. I did enjoy the movies and thought they were well done. I would also love to see an updated movie as well

  35. Oh...and who on earth would replace Richard Farnsworth as Matthew?!? He was probably one of my favorite characters. I still bawl like a baby everytime I see him going home. This was a great post! It has me thinking about actors & actresses that would work. And, I'm pretty sure I'm going to reread the books now!:)

  36. It has been YEARS since I read the books. However, I just rewatched the movies for the zillionth time with my 3 year old for her first time a few weeks ago. She LOVED it! My cousin and I have a saying..."Everything you need to know in life, you can learn from Anne of Green Gables!" I remember being SO in love with Gilbert, and praying that God would send me someone just like him. And, He did, only better.:) Our youngest daughter's middle name is Anne-with an e, of course!:) I don't know how I would feel about a remake. Like previous posters have said, Megan Follows IS Anne. But, I can assure you, if one was made, I would be first in line to see it. My only advice would be (like you) stick as closely to the books as possible! And, don't try to "Hollywood it up". The Continuing Story was a huge disappointment for me.

    1. Your advice is spot-on. One reason I would love to see a re-make is that I would be delighted if a studio would make the ENTIRE SERIES into movies. Wouldn't that be wonderful?

      I was so disappointed with The Continuing Story and always wished they would have stayed true to the series with Megan Follows as Anne.

  37. I have watched these with my family and also watched the entire Avonlea series by Sullivan that is also great family entertainment.

  38. We are having an AOGG watch party with some friends from my husband's college days (mind you, it's just the girls that I've gotten to know- no boys allowed!)

  39. About a month ago, I read it to my daughter. She wasn't too interested in reading the rest of the books. However, I couldn't stop. I'm about halfway through the third book. I love it! It really is such a great story. I haven't read them since I was in the 4th grade, and I'm so happy I decided to read them again!

  40. I ADORE Anne! I have been watching and re-watching the TV series and reading and re-reading the books for over 20 years. In college, I had friends tell me that I was "so Anne" and to me that was a BEAUTIFULLY amazing compliment. I introduced the TV series to my cousin who is 17 years younger than me when she was about 8 years old and she became a lover of Anne too.

    I, like you, can ONLY picture Megan Follows as Anne, but I could grudgingly allow that for "this" upcoming generation a remake would cause them to "fall in love" the way I did as a young girl in the 80's.

    Thanks for writing on this! LOVE IT!!

    (P.S. Other truly believeable characters in the series were Rachel Lynde, Marilla, Matthew, Gilbert, Josie Pye, Miss Stacy, and I like Diana too)

    1. Now that I stopped over at your blog again, I can see why your college friends compared you to Anne. Your hair is the same gorgeous shade of red!

  41. My 6 year old daughter and I started listening to the books on cd about a month ago. We haven't gotten very far, but I decided to watch the movies with her now instead of waiting to finish the series. We finished the first movie today and we'll start the second one tomorrow. Love them! Love the story, love the characters, love the growth of the characters. Love it all!

  42. Oh I love Anne! I remember my mom rented the movies from the library back when I was a teenager, I was not happy. But then, I watched them and was hooked. I think you put it all perfectly. Except, I think Diana was cast well, although now you have me questioning it. I do not like The Continuing Story at all. They went WAY off on it and ruined it. The books are incredible and I really think that I will have to read them to my daughters soon (a thought I had never thought of until you mentioned it). A remake would be fun, but I might be disappointed if someone can't play Anne and Gilbert as well as Megan and Jonathan did.

    1. I think Schuyler Grant did a perfectly decent job playing Diana, but...I'd also be interested to see someone else's rendition of the part.

  43. Oh, how I loved these books growing up! For a few months, I wanted to change my name to Cordelia- probably until I understand what Marilla meant about Anne being a good, sensible name. :) Our church put on elaborate drama productions growing up (they now have a community theater operating out of the church) and my senior year I played Marilla in "Anne of Green Gables." It was by far my favorite role!

    I'm torn about a remake. Who could possibly replace Megan Follows? It would have to be a completely unknown actress, but even so, Megan Follows IS Anne in my head. However, an update could be a lot of fun too.

    1. What an honor to play Marilla! Are you still active with any kind of community theater?

      I agree that IF a re-make is made, the actress would have to be unknown.

  44. Oh Stephanie..this post made me so happy! I just rewatched those movies myself two weeks ago (in fact, I still have them checked out from netflix!) nd like you, I was immediately struck by the desire to read all the books again. Anne is like a dear old friend...I love reacquainting myself with her :) One of my favorite books is the last one; I love seeing how Rilla develops and changes and yet stays so much herself :) I'm curious..which is your favorite of the books?

  45. Hi, you've inspired me to read AOGG now! I find it really frustrating when books are translated into movies - mostly because, more often than not, it gets lost in translation and the story is changed dramatically (see Prince Caspian) or the characters aren't how I'd always imagined them!
    Oh and I have a book suggestion for you: "Edward the Emu" (and sequel Edwina the Emu). They're not very long at all especially considering your girls are up to chapters (wooohoo) but the rhyming story is wonderful, and a good moral to the story: be yourself! And good Australian central character too! :)

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