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

1. Helen McCarthy. Hayao Miyazaki: Master of Japanese Animation. Berkeley: Stone Bridge Press. 1999. 223.
2. Team Ghiblink. Nausicaa.Net (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.