Film/TV Adaptations of Montgomery's Works

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Film/TV Adaptations of Montgomery's Works

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feb 21, 2008, 10:52 am

I was wondering how many of you are fans of the Kevin Sullivan Avonlea movies? They were originally made for TV and star Megan Follows. I really love the first two, Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea, but when Sullivan & Co. made The Continuing Story I nearly died. The first two (especially the second) took some liberties with condensing the characters and plotlines, but they kept the atmosphere intact and didn't change the characters' personalities. But the third movie was a total fabrication from start to finish. Anne and Gilbert are time-warped into World War I (somehow Anne turned into Rilla, I think)... Gilbert is MIA and Anne goes off in search of him... there is a twisted romance of sorts between Anne and her publisher... I was absolutely aghast. I could not believe that Sullivan would produce such an atrocity after the much-beloved first two Anne movies.

My husband and I just finished watching Tales from Avonlea, the miniseries very loosely based on The Story Girl, Chronicles of Avonlea and Further Chronicles of Avonlea books. They were enjoyable but I didn't think they were as good as the Anne movies.

So what are your thoughts on the adaptations? Are there any other than the Sullivan ones I've mentioned? I would LOVE to see a good adaptation of the Emily books....

Redigerat: feb 21, 2008, 11:04 am

I absolutely agree with everything you wrote about Kevin Sullivan's Anne movies. The first two movies were decently done, I enjoyed them, and could understand the reasoning for changes of plot, and condensing; I also felt that they kept the spirit of the books. But what on earth were they thinking when they produced The Continuing Story!? It was horrible. If they wanted to make a movie involving WW1, they should have really used Rilla's story. How they could call it the continuing story when it had nothing to do with Anne is beyond me. But hey, at least the actors looked old enough for the 20+ year advance in time.

I have been hoping for years that someone would 'do' the Emily books. They are my favorite of Montgomery's works. Though I no longer think I want the Sullivan Studio's to do it after making such a hash job with the last Anne movie.

feb 21, 2008, 12:50 pm

The Emily books were made into a TV series here in Canada for a couple of years. It was called Emily of New Moon. I haven't really seen them, just a few episodes here and there. Check here for more info:

feb 21, 2008, 4:35 pm

wisewoman, I agree with you and you will find that most people that read the books, HATED the 3rd movie as well. I belong to an Anne forum (actually, a couple of them) and you'll see that those that liked the 3rd movie, weren't readers of the books. I thought it was incredibly wrong to have Anne tempted to be unfaithful to Gilbert. Kevin Sullivan and Megan Follows had a big falling out over the 3rd movie, if I remember correctly.

I've watched part of the RTA series and I do enjoy them. They're wholesome in the way of Little House in the Prairie so they're fun to watch.

If you're interested: - we have a lot of fun there.

Oh, and I thought that Frank Converse was the absolute WORST actor ever!

*my 2 cents* :)

feb 23, 2008, 6:08 pm

Yes, the third movie also really frustrated me. I can enjoy it, though, if I just completely separate it from the books and look at it as stand alone piece.

There is also scuttlebutt that Kevin Sullivan is releasing a fourth Anne movie, apparently a prequel; however, I don't know any details beyond that. I seem to recall reading something that Megan Follows will not be a part of it.

feb 23, 2008, 10:02 pm

Here's the link to the new movie - which I think is totally ridiculous.

Kevin Sullivan needs to have his head examined. *rollseyes*

feb 26, 2008, 4:51 pm

Ooh, I've got all the Anne movies on video, taped from PBS. I wasn't too wild about the 3rd movie. Another movie? Interesting.

mar 24, 2008, 3:32 pm

I agree that film #3 was not in the same league as the first 2, and was somewhat far-fetched (although fairly enjoyable in a mind-numbing sort of way).
The TV film mentioned by jannief looks like a very 'romantic' version of Anne's early life - but then this would certainly be in keeping with Anne's character! However, I've just read Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson and thought it an excellent prequel to the series (if you ignore the occasional discrepancy), and wonder if this book would have been a better model for the new film of Anne's life pre-Avonlea.

apr 1, 2008, 4:43 pm

Finally catching up here...

#3: It looks like they made a lot of changes to the Emily stories for the TV series. I don't like tampering like that — don't think I'll be checking those out. But thanks for the info :)

#4: I'll have to check out that messageboard. It looks fun :) And yes, Kevin Sullivan does need his head examined. I will never understand how he could produce something so wonderful as the first two Anne movies and the Road to Avonlea series (with a few exceptions) and then go on to mutilate the original source material so terribly as he did in the third Anne movie. And now this! *sigh*

My husband and I recently fell in love with the Road to Avonlea series. It ran for seven seasons in Canada, and I can see why! With a few exceptions (like the terrible episode with Cecily in the sanatorium), this series has been absolutely brilliant. We are finishing up the last three episodes tonight, and I'm kind of sad the series will be over for us. I have never really gotten into TV shows, but I understand now a bit why people get addicted to them. You feel like you're part of the characters' lives, crazy as that is.

apr 2, 2008, 4:16 pm

My husband and I have watched through season 3 of RTA and then I put it on hold. I couldn't justify spending the money at the time in order to continue. But, I have the next 3 seasons on my Netflix queue so will catch up eventually.

Yes, do check out that messageboard. We're pretty much all former/current members of the Anne forum on Sullivan's site. When his site was experiencing technical difficulties and was down for quite awhile, two other forums were started up and this is one of them.

apr 3, 2008, 3:15 pm

Road to Avonlea is well worth the investment. With one or two exceptions, every episode has been great. You should put the seventh season on your queue as well. They're really addicting!

I signed up at AvonleaTreasures. It looks like I have to be approved before I can start posting. Just what I needed, another online hobby... :-)

apr 3, 2008, 3:46 pm

Cool. :) I haven't been there much lately as I've been too busy. But I'm sure I'll see you around.

I'll look to see if season 7 is available yet on Netflix.

mar 29, 2009, 2:02 am

Wow no one has posted on this forum for a year. But I'm going to anyway.

I also hated Anne 3. If you watch the original trailer for the movie Anne actually kisses Jack. I was horrified. But Kevin came to his senses and did not put that into the movie. Can we say: fan revolt! Did anyone catch at the beginning how the time pass between Anne of Avonlea and The Continuing Story was ONLY 6 years? Give me a break. I tried watching it a few more times over the years but I just can't do it. Anne would NEVER move on from Gilbert so quickly if he had died. Ugh! Fans of the books, would have been perfectly happy with anything taken from the book. Now i understand they wanted the movie to match the Road to Avonlea movie, also about the war, but come on, Rilla anyone? I loved Rilla of Ingleside. I would have been thrilled to see her story.

The tv series, Road to Avonlea, is amazing. I love love love this series. I started watching this series when I was 6. I am 25 and I STILL watch it. I had originally bought the VHS tapes, and then bought the dvd's. Unfortunately some have become scratched and lost when I moved. I hope they get cheaper soon because i intend to re buy them.

I don't know about this prequel. I haven't seen it yet or even checked to see if it's been released. I will watch it out of loyalty to the series and because i adore Patricia Hamilton who reprises her role as Rachel Lynde. They have a new adult Anne. The adult Anne is probably around Megan Follows age and unfortunately not played by her. So it starts off with adult Anne finding a secret letter in the floor boards of GREEN GABLES? Um, okay how did that get there? I guess i'll find out when I watch it.

Well, i just wrote a lot for forgotten thread, so more people write please. :)

apr 30, 2009, 10:25 pm

Has any one seen the Emily of New Moon series? I found it on Amazon and all the reviews were bad. It said that she saw ghosts. Frankly that offends me a little. As someone with an active imagination and as a writer. I don't see ghosts.

mar 20, 2010, 12:47 pm

#1 - There is another 'Anne of Green Gables' film (and apparently later followed by an 'Anne of Windy Poplars'), made in 1934 :
although I suspect in those days, they took quite a few liberties with story-lines. The lead actress changed her name to Anne Shirley when she did the film.

I really loved the first two 'Anne' mini-series with Megan Follows, because they were true to the books. I'm sorry to hear that the other films are such a departure.