Release dateNovember 23, 1934 (1934-11-23) Based onAnne of Green Gables
by Lucy Maud Montgomery WriterSam Mintz (screen play), Lucy Maud Montgomery (from the book "Anne of Green Gables") Film seriesAnne of Green Gables film series Music directorMax Steiner, Roy Webb, Alberto Colombo CastAnne Shirley (Anne Shirley), Tom Brown (Gilbert Blythe), O.P. Heggie (Matthew), Helen Westley (Marilla), Sara Haden (Mrs. Barry), Murray Kinnell (Mr. Phillips) Similar moviesSurvivor, Spirited Away, Slumdog Millionaire, Babe: Pig in the City, Salt, Castle in the Sky
TaglineA PICTURE MADE FOR THE MILLIONS WHO LOVED "LITTLE WOMEN"
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Anne of Green Gables is a 1934 film directed by George Nicholls, Jr., based upon the novel, Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. The actress Dawn O'Day who portrayed the title character of Anne Shirley changed her stage name to Anne Shirley after making this film. There was also a sequel; Anne of Windy Poplars.
This modest film became a surprise hit in 1934, easily succeeding in becoming one of four top-grossing films RKO made that year (as noted in The R.K.O. Story published by Arlington House).
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Anne Shirley (Dawn O'Day) is an orphan who has been adopted by farmer Matthew Cuthbert (O.P. Heggie) and his sister, Marilla (Helen Westley). Although the pair were expecting a young boy to help on their farm, Anne endears herself to them and to the local villagers. She befriends Diana Barry and most of the children at her school, all except for Gilbert Blythe after he calls her 'carrots' and she smashes her slate over his head. She and Diana have a bet that Anne can flirt with Gilbert and he will fall head over heels in love with her. Little do they know, Gilbert overheard them and has already fallen in love with her. Anne flirts with him, which becomes unsuccessful, and Diana wins the bet. Anne lies to Gilbert that she has a boyfriend to make him jealous, but she only ends up embarrassing herself.
Shortly after, Anne is playing the Lady of Shalott when she realizes her boat is sinking, and Gilbert sees her and saves her life. She then decides to forgive him and give him a reward for saving her. She will kiss him. Gilbert is surprised. Anne thinks he doesn't want to claim his reward, but he tells her he does and that he wants her to be his girl. For three years they have an affair, but Mrs. Barry spies on them and tells Marilla. Marilla does not want Anne to even talk to Gilbert, since his mother broke Matthew's heart. Anne and Gilbert are both devastated and Matthew is upset with Marilla, since it wasn't she who got her heart broken.
Anne goes to college. Diana, who is now married, visits Anne and tells her that Matthew is ill. She returns to Green Gables, finding out it's for sale to save Matthew, since he needs the best doctor in Halifax. She remembers Gilbert is studying with this doctor, so she goes to see Gilbert. He tries flirting with her, and she eventually gives in and finds out that Gilbert heard about Matthew and begged the doctor to save him for free, which he did. After Marilla finds out what he had done, she forgives the Blythes and lets Anne and Gilbert see each other again.
Dawn O'Day as Anne Shirley (billed in this and subsequent films as "Anne Shirley")