Anne of Avonlea (1987 film)
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|Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel|
|Created by||Lucy Maud Montgomery|
|Directed by||Kevin Sullivan|
|Produced by||Kevin Sullivan|
|Written by||Lucy Maud Montgomery (original novels)
Kevin Sullivan (adaptation)
|Music by||Hagood Hardy|
|Release date||May 19, 1987 on Disney and CBC|
|Running time||230 minutes (approx.)|
|Preceded by||Anne of Green Gables|
|Followed by||Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story|
Anne of Avonlea is a 1987 Canadian television film. It is a sequel to the 1985 Anne of Green Gables film. The film dramatizes material from several books in the eight-novel "Anne" series by Lucy Maud Montgomery; they are Anne of Avonlea (Book Two), Anne of the Island (Book Three) and Anne of Windy Poplars (Book Four). As well, the TV film introduces several characters and issues not present in the books.
The film was originally broadcast in Canada as Anne of Avonlea and in the United States as Anne of Avonlea: The Continuing Story of Anne of Green Gables. It was released on VHS as Anne of Avonlea. However it was later retitled Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel. The film was also shown theatrically in Israel, Japan and Europe as Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel.
The film resumes the story of Anne Shirley, who at 16 had chosen to study for her college degree by correspondence in order to remain at Green Gables to help an aging Marilla, who has eyesight problems, look after the house and farm. Anne now holds a Teacher's Licence after completing the two-year post-secondary course at Charlottetown's Queens Academy in only one year.
Anne begins to teach at Avonlea School and has dreams of becoming a writer, but her story “Averil’s Atonement” is rejected by a magazine. Leaving the post office one day, Anne runs into Gilbert Blythe, who tells her that her best friend Diana Barry is engaged to Fred Wright. Anne is initially bewildered by Diana’s decision, calling it impulsive. Meanwhile, in the last two years, Marilla’s eyesight has greatly improved. Having regained her independence, Marilla encourages Anne to resume her old ambition of attending college.
At the clambake celebrating Fred and Diana’s engagement, Anne and Gilbert wander off to a bridge, where Gilbert proposes. Anne rejects his offer, convinced that their marriage would be unhappy and unsuccessful. She runs off.
At Diana’s wedding, Anne sees Gilbert with a young woman named Christine Stuart. Gilbert tells Anne that he and Christine are just friends, then offers to wait for her if there is any hope of them getting together. Anne rejects him again, and Gilbert suspects that there is someone else, despite Anne's assertion there is no person she cares about more than him. Anne returns to Green Gables and decides to look into the job her former teacher Miss Muriel Stacey offered her. Eventually, Anne decides to take this job as an English teacher at Kingsport, Nova Scotia Ladies’ College in the hope that it will inspire her and give her something to write about.
Initially, Anne finds her new job to be difficult. A member of the local community — and member of the powerful Pringle family — had also tried for Anne’s post and was rejected, causing resentment. However, Anne gradually earns the respect of her students, their families and her colleagues, including the severe Katherine Brooke and the Pringle family. Her dream of being published is also finally achieved after she writes a series of short stories based on Avonlea inspired by a suggestion from Gilbert. While teaching at the Ladies' College, Anne grows close to one student, Emmeline Harris, and is welcomed by Emmeline's entire family, including her widowed father who also proposes marriage.
Anne declines his proposal and returns to Green Gables, where she learns that Gilbert is ill with scarlet fever. Anne finally realizes her true feelings for Gilbert, and goes to visit him. After Gilbert regains his health, he proposes once more, and Anne accepts him with a kiss, declaring, "I don't want diamond sunbursts, or marble halls. I just want you."
Awards and nominations
- 2 Cable Ace Awards: Best Costume, Best Supporting Actress (Colleen Dewhurst), 1987
- 6 Gemini Awards: Best Dramatic Miniseries, Best Photography, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Performance by Lead Actress (Megan Follows), Best Performance by a Supporting Actress (Colleen Dewhurst), 1988
- Silver Award – International Film and Television Festival, New York, 1987
- Best Family Series – TV Guide, 1987
- CFTA Award – Best New TV Production, 1987
- Chris Award – Columbus International Film Festival, 1987
- Honourable Mention – International San Francisco Film Festival, 1988
- Crystal Apple Award – National Education Film and Video Festival, 1988
- ACT Award – Achievement in Children's TV, 1988
- Golden Hugo Award – Chicago International Film Festival, 1987
- Gold Award – Houston International Film Festival, 1987
Sequels and spinoffs
Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story was released in 2000 and followed Anne Shirley as she embarked on a new journey, taking her from her home in Prince Edward Island to New York City, London and into war-ravaged Europe.
Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning was released in fall 2008 serves as a prequel to the previous films in the Anne movie trilogy. Set between two different time periods, Anne Shirley, now in her fifties looks back on her early childhood before arriving at Green Gables only to uncover answers to questions that have plagued her throughout her life.
Road to Avonlea is a television series which was first broadcast in Canada and the United States between 1990 and 1996. It was inspired by a series of short stories and two novellas by Lucy Maud Montgomery, author of Anne of Green Gables, which Sullivan had previously adapted as Anne of Green Gables in 1985 and Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel in 1987. Many of the actors in the Anne of Green Gables movies also appear in storylines crossing over into the long-running Emmy award-winning series.
Several actors from the first two Anne films can be seen in both Road to Avonlea and the Anne of Green Gables, including Rosemary Dunsmore, Patricia Hamilton, Colleen Dewhurst, Jonathan Crombie, Jackie Burroughs, Cedric Smith, Mag Ruffman, Marilyn Lightstone, James O'Regan and David Fox.
- Megan Follows – Anne Shirley
- Colleen Dewhurst- Marilla Cuthbert
- Patricia Hamilton- Rachel Lynde
- Wendy Hiller – Mrs. Harris
- Frank Converse – Morgan Harris
- Jonathan Crombie – Gilbert Blythe
- Schuyler Grant – Diana Barry
- Marilyn Lightstone – Miss Stacey
- Rosemary Dunsmore – Katherine Brooke
- Kate Lynch – Pauline Harris
- Genevieve Appleton – Emmeline Harris
- Susannah Hoffman – Jen Pringle
- Mag Ruffman – Alice Lawson
- Bruce McCulloch – Fred Wright
- Dave Foley – Lewis Allen
When Kevin Sullivan was commissioned by CBC, PBS and The Disney Channel to create a sequel he started by combining many different elements of Montgomery’s three later books: Anne of Avonlea (1909), Anne of the Island (1915), and Anne of Windy Poplars (1936) into a cohesive screen story. Sullivan invented his own plotline relying on several of Montgomery’s episodic storylines spread across the three sequels, He also looked at numerous other nineteenth century female authors for inspiration in fleshing out the screen story.
The film succeeded in re-popularizing Megan Follows and Colleen Dewhurst in their original roles. Sullivan also cast British veteran actress and Oscar winner, Wendy Hiller, in the role of the impossible Mrs. Harris, a character Sullivan specifically invented for the storyline, based on a composite of several matriarchs found in the series of novels.
In Canada, the film became the highest rated drama to air on network television in Canadian broadcasting history. This Sequel became known as Anne of Green Gables – The Sequel when shown around the world and as Anne of Avonlea – the Continuing Story of Anne of Green Gables when it premiered on The Disney Channel.
ACE Award Nomination
Home Box Office led with 112 nominations for the ACE Award, or Award for Cable Excellence. Showtime got 48, Arts & Entertainment 33, and the Disney Channel and Cable News Network 10 each. 30 categories of the 174 ACE Awards were presented on a live broadcast on HBO on January 24, 1988. The other categories were presented at a non-televised dinner in Las Vegas on Jan. 22, 1988. The ACE awards were established after cable programs and performers were excluded from the Emmy Awards. The National Academy of Cable Programming was established in March 1985 to promote excellence in cable television programming. 
- The Official Anne of Green Gables Movie Website – The official website of Sullivan series of Anne of Green Gables movies
- Sullivan Entertainment Website – The Official website of Sullivan Entertainment. Includes information on the Anne movies and its spinoffs
- Road to Avonlea Website – The official website for Road to Avonlea, the spinoff to the Green Gables series of movies
- Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel at the Internet Movie Database