November 23, 2002

Road to Avonlea (1990-1996)

Road to Avonlea cast photograph featuring (from left to right) the characters Cecily King (Harmony Cramp), Olivia King (Mag Ruffman), Janet King (Lally Cadeau), Felicity King (Gema Zamprogna), Alec King (Cedric Smith), Sara Stanley (Sarah Polley), and Hetty King (Jackie Burroughs).


Road to Avonlea (1990–1996) is a television series produced by Sullivan Entertainment that aired for seven seasons on the CBC. The storylines in Road to Avonlea are based in part on L.M. Montgomery's novels The Story Girl and The Golden Road as well as her short story collections Chronicles of Avonlea and Further Chronicles of Avonlea.

Road to Avonlea takes place in the early 20th century in the fictional town of Avonlea, Prince Edward Island, the home of the Anne of Green Gables novels and Sullivan Entertainment’s Anne of Green Gables miniseries. The series begins when Sara Stanley is sent to live in Avonlea with her mother's family, the Kings, after her father is accused of embezzlement. Sara is a wealthy girl, who is used to life in big city Montreal. She must adjust to new experiences in a small village and her close-knit relatives.

Over the course of the series, its focus expanded from Sara to the rest of the King family and residents of Avonlea. Like other productions by Sullivan Entertainment, Road to Avonlea is humorous, romantic, and heart-warming. Its visually beautiful with a talented cast.

Road to Avonlea was a celebrated television series, winning 15 Gemini Awards and three Emmys. It aired in the United States on the Disney Channel with the title Avonlea. The series concluded after airing 91 episodes. Following the series finale, the Road to Avonlea cast reunited in a 1998 made-for-television film called Happy Christmas, Miss King (also known as An Avonlea Christmas). Set in 1914, the storyline was set during the first World War.

Image credit:
The Road to Avonlea photograph above features (from left to right) the characters Cecily King (Harmony Cramp), Olivia King (Mag Ruffman), Janet King (Lally Cadeau), Felicity King (Gema Zamprogna), Alec King (Cedric Smith), Sara Stanley (Sarah Polley), and Hetty King (Jackie Burroughs). © Sullivan Entertainment

External link:
Road of Avonlea
: The Official Website


Purchase and watch all seven seasons of Road to Avonlea:


Road to Avonlea Seven Season DVD Box Set by Sullivan Entertainment


Created November 23, 2002. Re-posted online March 12, 2022. Last updated March 12, 2022.

August 15, 2002

Anne of Green Gables (1956)

Anne of Green Gables (1956), photo of John Drainie as Matthew Cuthbert and Toby Tarnow as Anne Shirley


In March 1956, Anne of Green Gables was broadcast as a black and white television musical film by the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC). The 90-minute program aired as part of the CBC Folio series. The musical was based upon L.M. Montgomery's novel Anne of Green Gables and starred Toby Tarnow as Anne Shirley.

The musical film was directed by Don Harron, a Canadian actor, comedian, author, composer, director, and journalist. It written by James Costigan and Harron. Two years later, a second CBC-TV production aired on November 18, 1958, starring Kathy Willard as Anne Shirley. The 1956 television production was the basis for the stage production Anne of Green Gables - The Musical, which has been performed every summer since 1965 at the Charlottetown Festival in Prince Edward Island, Canada. This musical is the longest-running stage musical in Canada.

Image Credit:
"Anne of Green Gables in Hollis" by Michael Cleveland, Merrimack Journal, December 30, 2005.



Created August 15, 2002. Re-posted online June 12, 2021. Last updated June 12, 2021.

Anne of Avonlea (1940)

Anne of Avonlea (1940) Play by Jeanette Carlisle

In 1940, James Reach, writing under the pseudonym Jeanette Carlisle, adapted L.M. Montgomery's novel Anne of Avonlea into a play titled Anne of Avonlea: A Comedy in Three Acts. This play was the first dramatization of Anne of Avonlea written for the stage. It was published by Samuel French, Inc., the same company that printed the 1937 stage adaptation of Anne of Green Gables by Wilbur Braun (pseudonym Alice Chadwicke).

James Reach (1909–1970) was an American playwright who wrote under several pseudonyms. Along with writing under the name Jeanette Carlisle, he also published plays under the names Hilda Manning, John Rand, and Thomas Sutton. Reach wrote many comedies, mystery-comedies, and dramatic plays, including The Wagon To The Star, Women in White, Afraid of the Dark, Blind Gambit, and Life Begins at Sixteen.

In the opening pages of Anne of Avonlea (1940), the "Story of the Play" states,

"Here is the first dramatization of L. M. Montgomery’s famous novel which has been read and loved by millions since its publication more than thirty years ago. The play is in one simple living-room set, with most of the characters young ones, and should appeal particularly to clubs, schools and churches. Its heroine is the same adorable little red-headed vixen whose acquaintance so many of you have made in 'Anne of Green Gables.' But the little girl of 'Green Gables' has become a grown-up school teacher of seventeen. How she faces and overcomes the first real problems of her life form the basis of Miss Carlisle’s faithful adaptation, of which it may be said, as Meredith Nicholson said of the original, 'A story to lift the spirit and send the pessimist into bankruptcy!'"

The story involves Anne’s experiences teaching at the Avonlea School, her friendships with Diana and Gilbert, her neighbor Mr. Harrison, and her work with the Avonlea Village Improvement Society to beautify Avonlea. The introductory “Story of the Play” states, “Miss Carlisle has magically blended these into a whole that will capture and hold your interest from curtain to curtain, that will bring you much wholesome laughter and a few sentimental tears...”

Anne of Avonlea by Jeanette Carlisle is available for purchase and licensing through Concord Theatricals, which acquired Samuel French, Inc. in 2018.

Created August 15, 2002. Re-posted online June 17, 2022. Last updated June 17, 2022.

Anne of Green Gables (1937)

Anne of Green Gables (1937) by Alice Chadwicke (pseud. Wilbur Braun)

In 1937, Wilbur Braun, under the pseudonym Alice Chadwicke, adapted L.M. Montgomery's novel Anne of Green Gables into a three-act play. This play was the first dramatization of Anne of Green Gables written for the stage. It was published by Samuel French, Inc.

Wilbur Braun (1894-1968) was an American playwright who wrote under over 50 pseudonyms. He was a prolific writer known for his dramatic and comedic stage adaptations, including Great Expectations, Pudd'nhead Wilson, Davy Crockett, Tish, and The Trail of the Lonesome Pine.

In the opening pages of Anne of Green Gables (1937), the "Story of the Play" states, "for years this fascinating book has headed the list of best sellers. It has been printed and reprinted, has been made twice as a movie, once as a silent picture and only recently as a talkie, but it has remained for the distinguished dramatist, Alice Chadwicke, to make the first and only dramatization of this magically beautiful story."

The dedication of the play reads:

TO
L.M. MONTGOMERY,

who created the most lovable heroine
the world of fiction has ever known,
this play is most earnestly dedicated.

ALICE CHADWICKE.

Anne of Green Gables by Alice Chadwicke is available for purchase and licensing through Concord Theatricals, which acquired Samuel French, Inc. in 2018.

Purchase and read the Anne of Green Gables (1937) play script:


Anne of Green Gables (1937) Play by Alice Chadwicke (pseud. Wilbur Braun)


Created August 15, 2002. Re-posted online April 7, 2021. Last updated April 7, 2021.

May 22, 2002

Anne of Windy Poplars (1940)

Photograph of Marcia Mae Jones and Anne Shirley as Jen Pringle and Anne Shirley in Anne of Windy Poplars (1940), RKO Pictures.

In 1940, RKO Pictures released Anne of Windy Poplars as a sequel to their 1934 film Anne of Green Gables. The film was based on L.M. Montgomery’s novel Anne of Windy Poplars. The actress Anne Shirley returned to star as Anne Shirley. The film also featured James Ellison as Tony Pringle, Henry Travers (famous for playing Clarence in It’s a Wonderful Life) as Matey, Patric Knowles as Gilbert Blythe, Marcia Mae Jones as Jen Pringle, and Joan Carroll as Betty Grayson.

The story in Anne of Windy Poplars begins when Anne takes a job as vice-principal of a school in Pringleton. She struggles to find a place to stay when all the Pringles refuse to board her. Luckily, Anne winds up living at a beautiful home called Windy Poplars with Kate and her brother Matey. Anne befriends Betty Grayson, a young orphan who lives next door with her aunt. At school, Anne faces troubles as the Pringle family plots to remove her from her position. Moreover, Anne’s pupil Jen Pringle tries to turn Anne’s students against her.

This black and white film is 86 minutes long. It was produced by Cliff Reid. Jack Hively directed the Anne of Windy Poplars, and Jerome Cady and Michael Kanin wrote the screenplay. In the United Kingdom, the movie was distributed under the title Anne of Windy Willows.

Image credit:
Photograph of Marcia Mae Jones and Anne Shirley as Jen Pringle and Anne Shirley in Anne of Windy Poplars (1940), RKO Pictures.

Purchase and watch Anne of Green Gables (1934):


Anne of Green Gables (1934) Film


Created May 22, 2002. Re-posted online May 25, 2022. Last updated May 25, 2022.

May 20, 2002

Anne of Green Gables (1934)

Anne of Green Gables (1934), photo of Anne Shirley and O. P. Heggie


In 1934, L.M. Montgomery’s novel Anne of Green Gables was adapted for a second time as a black and white film, this time as a talkie by RKO Pictures. The 79-minute-long film was directed by George Nichols Jr. The screenplay was written by Sam Mintz.

The film starred an actress by the name of Anne Shirley. The actress Anne Shirley's given name was Dawn Paris, and she had previously used the stage name Dawn O'Day as a child actress. After starring as Anne in this film, she changed her professional name to Anne Shirley, and she continued to use the name Anne Shirley throughout her acting career.

Anne of Green Gables (1934) co-starred Helen Westley and O.P. Heggie as Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, the siblings who adopt Anne. It also featured Sara Haden as Mrs. Rachel Barry and Gertrude Messinger as Anne's bosom friend Diana Barry. Tom Brown played Gilbert Blythe.

In 1940, Anne Shirley returned to play Anne in a sequel to this film titled Anne of Windy Poplars.

Image credit:
Photograph of photo of Anne Shirley and O. P. Heggie as Anne Shirley and Matthew Cuthbert in Anne of Green Gables (1934), RKO Pictures.

Purchase and watch Anne of Green Gables:


Anne of Green Gables (1934) Film


Created May 20, 2002. Re-posted online April 17, 2021. Last updated April 17, 2021.

March 03, 2002

Anne of Green Gables (1919)

Anne of Green Gables (1919) film, photo of Mary Miles Minter as Anne Shirley


In 1919, L.M. Montgomery’s novel Anne of Green Gables was made into a silent, black and white film. Mary Miles Minter starred as Anne Shirley. The cast also included Paul Kelly as Gilbert Blythe, Marcia Harris as Marilla Cuthbert, and Frederick Burton as Matthew Cuthbert.

The story was adapted for the screen by Frances Marion, a highly acclaimed female screenwriter, who was the first writer to win two Academy Awards. The film was directed by William Desmond Taylor and produced by Realart Pictures, Corporation (Paramount Pictures). Filming took place in Dedham, Massachusetts, USA in August through October 1919. The film was released later that fall in November 1919. Minter received critical acclaim for her performance as Anne Shirley, and the production received favorable reviews.

Today, there are no known surviving copies of the film, and it is considered "lost."



Created March 3, 2002. Re-posted online April 1, 2021. Last updated April 1, 2021.

March 01, 2002

Anne of Green Gables (1979) aka Akage No An

Drawing of Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables (1979) aka Akage No An, an anime series produced by Nippon Animation


Anne of Green Gables aka Akage no An (translated to English as "Red-Haired Anne") is a beautifully animated television series that was based on L.M. Montgomery's novel Anne of Green Gables. The plotline closely follows that of the novel and begins when Anne meets Matthew at the train station in Prince Edward Island. The anime series was produced by Nippon Animation in Japan in 1979 as part of the World Masterpiece Theater series (1). The series is 50 episodes long, and it first aired on Fuji Television from January 7, 1979 to December 30, 1979.

Anne of Green Gables was written and directed by the acclaimed screenwriter and director Isao Takahata, who is known for directing Grave of the Fireflies (1988), Only Yesterday (1991), and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013). In 1985, Takahata founded the treasured Studio Ghibli together with Hayao Miyazaki and Toshio Suzuki. Studio Ghibli is admired for its artistry, creativity, and beauty in storytelling. Hayao Miyazaki created the settings and layouts for episodes 1 to 15 of the Anne of Green Gables anime. Miyazaki is the beloved anime director of NausicaƤ of the Valley of Wind (1984), My Neighbor Totoro (1988), Princess Mononoke (1997), Kiki's Delivery Service (1989), and Spirited Away (2001). In 1990, Takahata edited the first six episodes of Anne of Green Gables into a film for theatrical release (1).

Yoshifumi Kondo was the character designer for the vibrant Anne Shirley. Anne’s voice was portrayed by the Japanese actress Eiko Yamada. She provided the voices of several other characters in the World Masterpiece Theater series, including Jo in Tales of Little Women and Little Women II: Jo's Boys. The opening and closing theme songs (“Kikoeru kashira” and “Samenai yume”) were composed by Akira Miyoshi and sung by Ritsuko Ohwada.

Anne of Green Gables aired in several countries throughout the world. It was broadcast in Canada in the mid-1990s under the title Anne...La maison aux pignons verts by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and dubbed in French (1, 2). In addition, the anime aired as Anna dai capelli rossi in Italy, Ana de las Tejas Verdes in Spain, Ana dos Cabelos Ruivos in Portugal, and Anne mit den roten Haaren in Germany. The series was also dubbed in English and broadcast by the South African Broadcasting Corporation and by Japan Entertainment Television in Taiwan.

In 2009, an anime prequel to Anne of Green Gables (1979) premiered called Konnichiwa Anne: Before Green Gables (translated to English as “Hello Anne: Before Green Gables”).


Image credit:
Drawing of Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables (1979) aka Akage No An. © Nippon Animation

References:
1. Helen McCarthy. Hayao Miyazaki: Master of Japanese Animation. Berkeley: Stone Bridge Press. 1999. 223.
2. Team Ghiblink. Nausicaa.Net http://www.nausicaa.net/miyazaki/wmt/index.html (2001).

Purchase and watch Anne of Green Gables (1979) aka Akage No An (Note: Most official Akage no An Blu-Ray/DVD sets are available for Region 2 (Japan), and they are not officially available in all region formats yet):

Anne of Green Gables (1979) Akage No An Blu-Ray Memorial Box (8BDS) [Japan BD] Anne of Green Gables (2010) (Akage no An) (Blu-Ray & DVD Combo) 100 minutes [NON-USA FORMAT, Blu-Ray, Reg.B Import - Australia]


Created March 1, 2002. Re-posted online March 4, 2023. Last updated January 20, 2024.