Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning

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Anne of Green Gables:
A New Beginning
a poster for this film
Written by Kevin Sullivan
Directed by Kevin Sullivan
Starring Hannah Endicott-Douglas
Barbara Hershey
Shirley MacLaine
Rachel Blanchard
Country of origin Canada
Original language(s) English
Producer(s) Kevin Sullivan
Trudy Grant
Running time 144 minutes (approx.)
Original channel CTV
Original release December 14, 2008
Preceded by Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story

Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning is the fourth film in the Anne of Green Gables film series. It was released as a television film in 2008 on CTV. Before the broadcast, CTV had recently acquired the rights to the entire Anne catalogue including the 1985 miniseries.[1]

The film stars 14-year-old Hannah Endicott-Douglas as the child and Barbara Hershey as the adult Anne Shirley. Shirley MacLaine plays matriarch Amelia Thomas in the film. Kevin Sullivan wrote a completely new screenplay for the three-hour movie based on Montgomery's characters (serving as a prequel to his early 3 miniseries movies broadcast originally on CBC) and not directly from her books.[1] The story follows Anne's life before she arrives at Green Gables.


Anne, now a middle-aged woman, is troubled by recent events in her life. Her husband, Gilbert, has been killed overseas as a medical doctor during World War II. (This did not happen in the books.) Her two daughters are preoccupied with their own young families and her adopted son Dominic (a character not featured in the books but invented for The Continuing Story) has yet to return from the war. When a long-hidden secret is discovered under the floorboards at Green Gables, Anne retreats into her memories to relive her troubled early years prior to arriving as an orphan at Green Gables and being adopted by the Cuthberts.

The impact of this difficult period has a far-reaching effect on this older woman, once she discovers the truth about her real parents. She begins a delicate search for her birth father. It is a journey through a past fraught with danger, uncertainty, heartache and joy. In the parade of humanity Anne encounters she also faces the root of her desire to find true "kindred spirits", an inspired imagination and the impetus to use her talents as a writer to inspire others.

Scene from the Film Courtesy of Sullivan Entertainment Inc
Scene from the Film Courtesy of Sullivan Entertainment Inc


The telefilm premiered on Sunday December 14, 2008 on CTV; it was broadcast in high definition. The film has a running time of 138 minutes.


Production notes[edit]

All of the movie’s actual location photography was shot in various places around the Toronto, Ontario area, using existing houses, streetscapes and natural environments. Period mansions were used as the backdrop for the Thomas residences, and an historic Quaker Boys School converted into the Bolingbroke Poorhouse for the film.

When they could not film on location, the production crew and special effects team employed the technology of the green screen and CGI to digitally create the background, or specific details that location filming could not produce.

Of the major cast members from the original trilogy of films, only Patricia Hamilton reprises her original character in the fourth film, with Hershey taking over the role from Megan Follows. Archive footage is used to allow Colleen Dewhurst, who had appeared in the first two miniseries and Road to Avonlea, and who had died in 1991, to appear in a flashback cameo.

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