Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning

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Anne of Green Gables:
A New Beginning
a poster for this film
Written byKevin Sullivan
Directed byKevin Sullivan
StarringHannah Endicott-Douglas
Barbara Hershey
Shirley MacLaine
Rachel Blanchard
Music byPeter Breiner
Country of originCanada
Original language(s)English
Producer(s)Kevin Sullivan
Trudy Grant
CinematographyYuri Yakubiw
Editor(s)Gordon McClellan
Running time144 minutes (approx.)
Production company(s)Sullivan Entertainment
Original networkCTV
Original releaseDecember 14, 2008
Preceded byAnne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story

Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning is a 2008 Canadian television miniseries, the fourth and final film in Sullivan Entertainment's Anne of Green Gables series.[1] It was released in 2008 on CTV. Before the broadcast, CTV had recently acquired the rights to the entire Anne catalogue including the 1985 miniseries.[2]

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.[2] 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 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" and an imagination to use her talents as a writer to inspire others.


The telefilm premiered on Sunday December 14, 2008 on CTV; it was broadcast in high definition.[3] In the United States, it has aired on various PBS stations since November 2010.[4][5][6][7] The film has a running time of 138 minutes. It was released on DVD on May 5, 2009 by Sullivan Entertainment.[1][8] The company also published a soundtrack, first available for download on January 8, 2009 and then on CD on June 16, 2009.[9][10][11]

Prior to the film's debut, Key Porter Books published a novelization of the film by Kevin Sullivan in October 2008.[12][13]


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 though Follows appears as Anne towards the beginning of the film in archive footage. 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. For the role of young Anne, Sullivan held a cross-Canada open casting call in July 2007, including submissions from YouTube, before Hannah Endicott-Douglas landed the part.[14]


In its debut on CTV, the film was watched by 1,042,000 viewers, a number that was seen as low compared to Sullivan's earlier Anne productions.[15]

The film was not well received by critics or fans. The Globe and Mail's Kate Taylor said the film, "never justifies its presumption in inventing a new creation story for a Canadian literary icon."[16] Bill Brioux felt that "maybe Anne just doesn't age all that well. Maybe she is supposed to stay in freckles and pigtails, locked in that perfect P.E.I. prism Montgomery authored and Sullivan so artfully adapted when they both were in their 20s."[17]

Kevin Sullivan Anne Series[edit]

  1. Anne of Green Gables - 1985
  2. Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel - 1987
  3. Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story - 2000
  4. Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning - 2008

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Kirkland, Bruce (May 8, 2009). "'Green Gables' star's dream comes true". Postmedia Network. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  2. ^ a b New 'Anne of Green Gables' coming to CTV May 11, 2008
  3. ^ "CTV Premieres ANNE OF GREEN GABLES: A NEW BEGINNING, December 14". CTV. Newswire. November 12, 2008. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  4. ^ "NOVEMBER 2010 Membership Magazine for the Friends of IdahoPTV Volume 16, Issue 11" (PDF). Idaho Public Television. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  5. ^ "Re: When will Anne 4 air in the US?". October 28, 2010. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  6. ^ "Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning". WXXI Public Broadcasting Council. September 2, 2012. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  7. ^ "Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning". WTVI. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  8. ^ "New on DVD: Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning; India Reborn; Look; Vampiro: Angel, Devil, Hero; Wendy and Lucy". The Georgia Straight. April 30, 2009. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  9. ^ "Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning". L.M. Montgomery Online. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  10. ^ "Peter Breiner - Anne of Green Gables: New Beginning - O.S.T. - Music". Amazon. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  11. ^ "Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning - Original Soundtrack by Peter Breiner on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  12. ^ "Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning by Kevin Sullivan - Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, List". Goodreads. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  13. ^ "Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning". L.M. Montgomery Online. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  14. ^ Stevens, Michael (June 28, 2007). "Casting Call: "Anne of Green Gables" Prequel". Retrieved March 16, 2016.
  15. ^ Brioux, Bill (December 15, 2008). "Survivor, Rudolph Sleigh Green Gables".
  16. ^ Kate Taylor (December 12, 2008). "The Anne mine keeps on giving, unfortunately". The Globe and Mail. CTVglobemedia. Archived from the original on February 17, 2009. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  17. ^ Brioux, Bill (December 14, 2008). "Anne of the Windy Storyline". Retrieved March 16, 2017.

External links[edit]