Anne of Windy Poplars (film)
|Anne of Windy Poplars|
|Directed by||Jack Hively|
|Produced by||Cliff Reid|
|Based on||Anne of Windy Poplars 1936 novel by L.M. Montgomery|
|Music by||Roy Webb|
|June 28, 1940|
Anne Shirley takes up a teaching position in a town where she finds herself unaccountably in conflict with the founding family and its sour matriarch.
The movie opens with Gilbert and Anne on a train as she travels to Pringleton. They mention that she has taken the job as vice principle and in a year she will come back and marry Gilbert.
When she arrives at Pringleton, she meets Mrs. Stephen Pringle who tells her she can't board with her as expected. Leaving Anne to fend for herself at the train station, Anne takes a carriage to Windy Poplars, which reminds her of Green Gables. Her hosts at Windy Poplars tell Anne that Hester Pringle, who owns the house across the way, is a bitter old woman- and is also the one who is blackballing her in town.
Jabez, a workman at the school, gives her a heads up that Hester is adamant that she will make Anne give up her job. The principle, Mr. Gibson overloads Anne with work in addition to teaching and berates her when Jen Pringle's father complain about her. Anne and Jabez begin to listen to conversations through the air vents and find that Jen plans to be nasty to Anne, knowing her father will weld his power over Anne.
Anne goes to her classroom and finds a characture of her on the board. She complements Jen on her "drawing" and when asked how she know she did it, answers "I'm psychic." and allows her to decorate the boards for Halloween. She expounds by saying she knows from this day on she won't have to punish her and bids everyone to have happy thoughts.
Anne has a conversation with Betty, a little orphan girl, longing for her parents to come home and take her from her aunt Ernestine Pringle. She makes the comment that she can't wait until tomorrow so hopefull her parents come but her aunt tells her tomorrow never arrives. This saddens Anne and she writes home, missing Gilbert. She talks with Catherine Pringle who says Anne hates everyone Pringle. Back at Windy Poplars, Matey gives Anne a diary that gives her ammunition to start a conversation with Hester pringle. Anne and Hester talk about them. Hester is her haughty self and Anne says she pities the family insomuch that their ancestor was a nasty piece of work and they are all bitter. Hester is astounded when Anne leaves the diaries with her, remarking they were the one thing that would have let her win.
Anne rushes out and meets Tony Pringle, who is drunk, near the cemetery. He confides he is miserable and knows she is too. He said that Catherine must hate her because the dramatic society was taken from her upon Anne's arrival. They part ways, with him calling her Annie and asking her why she doesn't give up and realizing she isn't a quitter.
Anne approaches Catherine about a play she wrote based on Cinderella and promised her full control. Catherine declines at first and then says she would think about it. Anne primes Jen to play the lead. Preparations ensue.
Gilbert shows up with presents and Anne is happy. Anne goes to get Betty to take her to the play and she finds the girl sick and her family unwilling to help her. Anne puts her to bed and promises to visit the next day.
Tony Pringle shows up looking for Anne. Catherine tells him to leave. Tony says there won't be a play and says that Jen is sick. Anne shows up and they try to sheild her from the truth. Catherine goes to Hester's home. The doctor is treating Hester and Catherine sneaks upstairs with the blessing of the doctor and sneaks Jen out of the house. The show goes on with Jabez reading lines through the air vents. The play is a great success.
Anne rushes over to see Betty during the show with Gilbert. Betty is very sick so Anne acts out the play for her though crying most of the time.
Meanwhile, Hester climbs the stairs and finds Catherine in Jen's place. She locks Catherine in the room. As Hester leaves, she has an attack and falls down the stairs.
Gilbert and Anne discuss Betty, who seems to have improved. They meet Tony on the road and they tell her that Catherine never made it back. In the distance, they see Hester's home, Maplehurst, burning. Tony said Jen told him Catherine was locked in her room. They hurry to the house.
The folks at Windy Poplars see Maplehurt burning and hurry over. Catherine is pulled from the building. Jen is safe. Everyone watches in silence as the building burns with Hester's body inside.
In the spring, a picnic brings the town together. Anne's wedding is one day away. Anne and Gilbert talk with Betty. Gilbert asks her what yesterday was and what today is. She answers, "Tomorrow." and he tells her that her parents have come which makes them all happy.
- Anne Shirley as Anne Shirley
- Alma Kruger as Mrs. Stephen Pringle
- Ethel Griffies as Hester Pringle
- Katharine Alexander as Ernestine Pringle
- Louise Campbell as Caroline Pringle
- James Ellison as Tony Pringle
- Patric Knowles as Gilbert Blythe
- Henry Travers as Matey
- Minnie Dupree as Kate
- Slim Summerville as Jabez Monkman
- Elizabeth Patterson as Rebecca
- Marcia Mae Jones as Jen Pringle
- Joan Carroll as Betty Grayson
- Clara Blandick as Mrs. Morton Pringle
- Wright Kramer as Morton Pringle
- Gilbert Emery as Stephen Pringle
- Jackie Moran as Boy
- George Meader as Mr. Gibson
- Nora Cecil as Miss Blecker
- Ruth Dietrich as Miss Burke
- Granville Bates as Dr. Walton (uncredited)
- Lew Kelly as Mr. Slocum (uncredited)
The film recorded a loss of $176,000.
- Richard Jewell & Vernon Harbin, The RKO Story. New Rochelle, New York: Arlington House, 1982. p149
- Anne of Windy Poplars at IMDB
- Anne of Windy Poplars at TCMDB
- Anne of Windy Poplars film review at New York Times
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