The best version of Anne of Green Gables, Lucy Maud Montgomery’s much-loved novel, is actually the Emmy award-winning US/Canadian TV miniseries from 1985 and its sequel, Anne of Avonlea, but if you can’t get your hands on those, this sweet 1934 movie that occasionally pops up on TV is the next best thing.
Anne Shirley (played by actress Dawn O’Day, who changed her name to Anne Shirley after making the film) is the red-headed, spirited orphan adopted by farmer Matthew Cuthbert (OP Heggie) and his sister Marilla (Helen Westley). They were actually expecting a boy, to help them on their farm, but they soon warm to the imaginative and talkative girl and she settles into life on the farm and at school, where she meets new best friend Diana and young Gilbert Blythe (Brown).
It’s lovely stuff that should appeal to girls who like old-fashioned stories such as the TV series Little House on the Prairie and the movie Little Women. Sweetly nostalgic fare (not one for cynics), and Anne Shirley is just right as the girl who charms and infuriates those around her in equal measure.
Is Anne Of Green Gables suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...