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L.M. Montgomery’s novels, in particular Anne of Green Gables, have been adapted for the screen numerous times since 1919. Her most popular character, Anne Shirley, has appeared on screen in numerous productions, from a 1919 silent film that is believed to be lost to the recent television series Anne with an “E” (2017–2019), and her later novels formed the basis for two highly popular long-form television series.

These productions cover a variety of media, genres, and styles of visual narrative: the 1919 silent film version of Anne of Green Gables was soon remade as a 1934 “talkie” that starred an actress who changed her stage name to Anne Shirley for the occasion; a sequel, Anne of Windy Poplars, followed in 1940. Fifteen years later, Anne of Green Gables was adapted several times for television: a BBC Television miniseries that aired in 1952, two live musical performances (in 1956 and in 1958) that acted as precursors to an ever-popular stage musical, and a French-language non-musical version, Anne de Green Gables, that aired on Société Radio-Canada in 1957.

Fifteen years after that, Anne of Green Gables was adapted into a 1972 BBC miniseries that, although it is believed to be lost, was followed by a 1975 sequel, Anne of Avonlea, that has been released on DVD. Terence Macartney-Filgate’s CBC documentary Lucy Maud Montgomery: The Road to Green Gables (1975) included some dramatic reenactments of Montgomery’s own life and of an early chapter in Anne of Green Gables. A Japanese animated series, Akage no An, appeared in 1979 and has been dubbed into several languages. Finally, in 1984, the short film I Know a Secret aired on CBC’s anthology series Sons and Daughters.

Coinciding with the release of the first volume of The Selected Journals of L.M. Montgomery in late 1985, Sullivan Entertainment’s television miniseries Anne of Green Gables became a critically acclaimed and popular hit all around the world. Its success prompted a 1987 sequel, the television movie Lantern Hill (1990), and the long-running spin-off series Road to Avonlea (1990–1996).

When Road to Avonlea ended, Sullivan Entertainment announced their intention to move on to new projects, but the initial success of the Salter Street Films/CINAR Productions television series Emily of New Moon (1998–1999; 2002–2003) appeared to coincide with their subsequent reconsideration: Happy Christmas, Miss King (1998), a follow-up to Road to Avonlea (and later rereleased as An Avonlea Christmas), was followed by Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story (2000) as well as Anne of Green Gables: The Animated Series (2000-2001) and its prequel, Anne: Journey to Green Gables (2005). Sullivan Entertainment later revisited its Anne of Green Gables franchise with Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning (2008), a television movie that alternated between the fifty-something Anne writing a play in 1945 and the child Anne prior to her arrival at Green Gables.

More recently, Toronto’s Breakthrough Entertainment teamed up with the heirs of L.M. Montgomery to produce L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, a television movie that aired on YTV in Canada in February 2016 and that was followed by two sequels, L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables: The Good Stars (2017) and L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables: Fire and Dew (2017). The long-form television series Anne with an “E” (2017–2019), unrelated to Breakthrough Entertainment’s three movies, aired on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation between March 2017 and November 2019 and has been available to stream worldwide on Netflix.

Although different in tone and approach, these adaptations tend to recentre the story on Anne’s romantic relationship with Gilbert Blythe. In her novels, Montgomery chooses to focus on the emotional and artistic development of her female characters and to satirize conventions of romance; as a result, many of her tacked-on romantic dénouements appear underdeveloped and contrived. In adapting these complex texts to the screen, the various writers, producers, and directors tend to eliminate this satire by emphasizing romance in ways Montgomery’s work avoids, and do so at the expensive of her subversive messages. For audiences who have not necessarily read Montgomery, these adaptations reinscribe Montgomery as a writer of conventional romance, minimizing her work as a social satirist.

Throughout this section of the website, an asterisk (*) indicates that I have either viewed the film or television series or that I have personally examined the merchandise in question. Because most videocassettes and DVDs do not include a release date, I offer a date in brackets [1996] only if I am sure of it; otherwise, I use the abbreviation “n.d.” (for “no date”).

Contents

Screen Adaptations, 1919–1940

Anne of Green Gables (1919 feature film)
Anne of Green Gables (1934 feature film)
Anne of Windy Poplars (1940 feature film)

Screen Adaptations, 1952–1958

Anne of Green Gables (1952 television miniseries)
Anne of Green Gables (1956 television special)
Anne de Green Gables (1957 television special)
Anne of Green Gables (1958 television special)

Screen Adaptations, 1972–1996

Anne of Green Gables (1972 television miniseries)
Anne of Avonlea (1975 television miniseries)
Lucy Maud Montgomery: The Road to Green Gables (1975 documentary)
Akage no An (1979 animated television series)
I Know a Secret (1984 television episode)
Anne of Green Gables (1985 television miniseries)
Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel (1987 television miniseries)
Lantern Hill (1990 television movie)
Road to Avonlea [Avonlea] (1990–1996 television series)
Life and Times: The Many Mauds (1996 documentary)

Screen Adaptations, 1998–2008

Emily of New Moon (1998–1999, 2002–2003 television series)
Happy Christmas, Miss King [An Avonlea Christmas] (1998 television movie)
Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story (2000 television miniseries)
Anne of Green Gables: The Animated Series (2000–2001 animated television series)
Anne: Journey to Green Gables (2005 animated film)
Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning (2008 television movie)

Screen Adaptations, 2016–2019

L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables (2016 television movie)
L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables: The Good Stars (2017 television movie)
L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables: Fire and Dew (2017 television movie)
Anne with an “E” (2017–2019 television series)

Cast and Crew

Actors by surname: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z
Writers
Directors

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Published on 10 August 2007; last updated on 26 February 2024. Please contact the site owner with additions, corrections, questions, and suggestions.