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Anne of Green Gables will always hold a special place in my heart as this is one of my grandmother’s favorite movies. I have many fond memories of curling up on the couch in the summer and bingeing this show with her.
Anne of Green Gables Books
To stay true to myself, I always have to start with the book series. I feel that you’ll always get more out of a movie adaptation if you’ve read the book series itself first.
I highly recommend checking out Scribd. If you’ve never used it, there is a 30-day free trial but it lets you reach as much as you want for a set monthly fee. On Scribd, you can check out the books as well as the audiobooks, there is even a dramatic reading version of one of the books.
Summary of Book One
Anne of Green Gables recounts the adventures of Anne Shirley, an 11-year-old orphan girl who is mistakenly sent to Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, a middle-aged brother and sister who had intended to adopt a boy to help them on their farm in Prince Edward Island. The novel recounts how Anne makes her way with the Cuthberts, in school, and within the town.
The Original Eight-Book Series by Lucy Maud Montgomery
- Anne of Green Gables
- Anne of the Island
- Anne of Avonlea
- Anne of Windy Poplar
- Anne’s House of Dreams
- Anne of Ingleside
- Rainbow Valley
- Rilla of Ingleside
Companion Books by Lucy Maud Montgomery
- Chronicles of Avonlea
- Further Chronicles of Avonlea
- The Road to Yesterday
- The Blythes Are Quoted
Plus, there is an official prequel called Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson. There is also a manga adaptation by Crystal Chan and Kuma Chan.
Anne of Green Gables Movies & TV Adaptations
So, how many adaptations of Anne of Green Gables are there? There are a variety of different adaptations of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables and each film series interprets these books differently.
Anne of Green Gables (1919)
This is a silent film directed by William Desmond Taylor, written by Frances Marion, and stars Mary Miles Minter (Anne Shirley) and Paul Kelly (Gilbert Blythe). Unfortunately, this is a lost film, which not only is devastating for the silent film community, but also for fans of Anne of Green Gables.
RKO Pictures Movies
In this adaptation, the first movie is directed by George Nichols Jr., written by Sam Mintz, and stars Anne Shirley (name previously Dawn Evelyeen Paris as well as multiple other names until settling in with Anne Shirley), O.P. Heggie (Matthew Cuthbert), Helen Westley (Marilla Cuthbert) and Tome Brown (Gilbert Blythe). The second movie is directed by Jack Hively, written by Michael Kanin and Jerome Cady, and the cast is very different so Patric Knowles is Gilbert Blythe, James Ellison is Tony Pringle, and Louise Campbell is Catherine Pringle.
- Anne of Green Gables (1934)
- Anne of Windy Poplars (1940)
The BBC mini-series is directed by Kevin Sullivan, written by Kevin Sullivan and Joe Wiesenfeld, and stars Megan Follows (Anne Shirley) and Jonathan Crombie (Gilbert Blythe). In the fourth movie, Anne Shirley is recast by Barbara Hershey.
- Anne of Green Gables (1985)
- Anne of Avonlea (1987)
- Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story (2000)
- Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning (2008)
PBS TV Movies
This is directed by John Kent Harrison, written by Susan Coyne, and stars Ella Ballentine (Anne Shirley), Martin Sheen (Matthew Cuthbert), and Sara Botsford (Marilla Cuthbert).
- Anne of Green Gables (2016)
- Anne of Green Gables: The Good Stars (2017)
- Anne of Green Gables: Fire & Dew (2017)
If you’re into musicals, there is a musical stage production of this series as well. I am not so sure if there is currently a way to watch this musical online, but it’s definitely something to look into further if that’s your jam.
Whichever series you decide to try out, this is a lovely period drama that you will absolutely adore. Whether you’re in it for the spectacular scenery, L. M. Montgomery’s amazing characters, or just a movie that’ll bring you comfort, this is a beloved classic that worms so many hearts. This is a book series that has a lot more movies & TV adaptations than most classic series, and it’s absolutely worth it. There are also a lot of original films that completely branch off the books, allowing you to have a little more to the story than just the source material.