Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Book to Film: Anne of Green Gables

One of the categories for the Back to the Classics Challenge this year is A Classic that's been adapted into a Movie or TV series, coupled with writing a review of the adaptation. Earlier this year I read Anne of Green Gables for the first time, and counted it towards this category because I knew there was a much loved film adaptation (the 1985 Canadian television version). This past weekend I finally managed to watch the film - my parents-in-law had it on video!! (fortunately they even still have a working VCR).

The adaptation was everything I hoped it would be. The casting was surprisingly spot on - Anne looked exactly as I'd imagined, as did many of the other characters. In fact I don't think there would be a single casting choice I'd disagree with by the end of the film.

The film pulled out the most memorable parts of the book - my favourite was Anne accidentally intoxicating her best friend Diana, and subsequently redeeming herself by saving Diana's younger sister from croup. Event's felt a little disjointed at times, due to fast forwarding through some of the everyday 'filler' which made Anne's growth coherent in the books. But some clever work with hairstyles and costuming still made her aging (from 12 to 16) believable.

Like many others, I enjoyed how the film showed off the landscape, with some truly stunning images showing off the changing of the seasons.

I think this was one of those real cases where seeing the film has increased my enjoyment of the book. I've never been a reader who formulates clear contextual pictures when reading. I picture characters to some extent, but little more. A well made film that sticks close to the book can really give me a nice picture to hold on to! Needless to say, the first thing I wanted to do upon finishing the film was to go and curl up with the third book in the series, which I'm yet to get to after finishing the first two. Soon. . . .


  1. Sometimes (rarely in my opinion), there is a film adaptation of a book that gets it right. This is one of them.

  2. I watched the movie years ago, but only read the book for the first time last year and loved it. Anne Shirley is such a wonderful character. Do you plan to read other books in the series?