A gorgeous adaptation, this charming and reverent retelling of Lucy Maud Montgomery's beloved book stars Megan Follows ("Romeo and Juliet," "Reluctant Angel") as Anne Shirley, an imaginative, independent-minded orphan who takes bucolic Prince Edward Island by storm. Tony Award winner Colleen Dewhurst ("Road to Avonlea"), Richard Farnsworth ("The Grey Fox"), and Patricia Hamilton ("Road to Avonlea") co-star. CC, 3 hours 15 min. on 2 cassettes In one of the rare cases where the film version does the book version justice, and where a sequel matches its predecessor, "Anne of Avonlea" continues the story of headstrong Anne Shirley as an adult, struggling as an aspiring writer and English teacher. Two suitors vie for Anne's affections while she courageously and optimistically rallies against rejection letters, indifferent mainlanders, and crotchety hearts-of-gold. Intelligent, faithful scripting and beautiful camera work, plus scores of inspiring moments. CC, 3 hours 45 min. on 2 cassettes.
This gorgeous adaptation of Lucy Maud Montgomery's classic children's story is well worth watching with the whole family. Produced for Canadian television, it's one of those rare productions that actually sticks to the book and even enhances it through first-rate performances and an excellent script. Set on bucolic Prince Edward Island in the late 19th century, Anne of Green Gables
is the story of Anne Shirley, an imaginative and headstrong orphan. When brother and sister Marilla and Mathew Cuthbert decide to adopt an orphan boy to help Matthew work the farm, they are astonished when Anne arrives at the train station by mistake. "What use is she to us?" grumbles the gruff Marilla. "We might be of some use to her," answers Matthew, who has taken an instant liking to the talkative Anne. As Anne grows up, her adventures are both hilarious and moving. It's a delight to watch as she forms a friendship with the beautiful Diana and her admirer--the dashing Gilbert Blythe--then dyes her hair green, cracks a slate over Gilbert's head when he calls her "Carrots," and finds a sympathetic teacher who encourages her to attend college.
Richard Farnsworth is perfect as the shy and gentle bachelor Matthew, who confides to Anne that he never went courting because "I would have had to say something." Colleen Dewhurst delivers a nuanced and powerful performance as Marilla, a seemingly cold-hearted spinster whose no-nonsense exterior conceals a warm heart. And as Anne, Megan Follows strikes the perfect note, maturing from freckle-faced orphan to elegant and poised young woman. --Elisabeth Keating