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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Anne of Green Gables 1934 Movie

Quite by accident...well, sort of...we recorded the 1934 movie version of Anne of Green Gables.  (The DVR was set to record all Anne of Green Gables apparently...I am NOT complaining!)  One evening I had control of the remote control and chose it for our viewing pleasure.  What I was not expecting was for my five year old to be interested in the black and white movie.  However, hearing that it was Anne, she was interested with zero prompting from me!  (I made the mistake of recording the animated Anne series, but I do not recommend it.  It does not follow the book.  She was also familiar due to a picture book we have that I will also write about for the LMM challenge.)

 With the 1934 movie only one and a half hours in length, I knew much would be omitted, and it was.  However, it was an enjoyable movie that displays the general essence of the Anne I know and love-for the most part.  I want to say that for the length of the movie, omissions are fully forgiven even if some classic Anne was left out of the movie.

Within a couple minutes of the movie's beginning, my husband (who I thought was too busy in the kitchen to be watching) asked, "Does she ever stop talking?"  You see, Anne and Matthew were on their way home from the train station.  And she did not stop talking!  I appreciated that much of the dialogue throughout the movie was taken directly from the book.

While it was enjoyable, we do have The BOOK and the Megan Follows movie version to compare.  And really, I think Megan Follows is an incredible Anne.  Perfect.  The newer movie follows the book without glaring differences.

In the 1934 movie Anne of Green Gables...

  • Anne didn't mention kindred spirits-that I noticed.  (Granted subtitles were needed for some of it due to The Little Cryer.)  At one point, I think the term "special friend" was used.  Bah!  
  • Anne also named Green Gables upon arrival.  Ick.  Cheesey.
  • Mrs. Barry and Mrs. Lynde were combined into Rachel Barry.  Really, I didn't see the point.
  • Anne doesn't have noticeable freckles.  (But most wouldn't care.)
  • Diana is a cute blonde. Forgivable.
  • Matthew gets very ill, but the movie ends when he is still sick, without us knowing if he would pass or not.  (I even prepared my daughter for his death!)
My biggest beef with the 1934 movie Anne is that Gilbert and Anne dated for three years.  IN SECRET.  I thought this was just awful.  The movie's other big flaw is how time passed.  It was all in a hair change for Anne, from braids to short hair that left this viewer (and her husband) questioning if time had passed of if it was just a haircut.  The producers didn't really do much else to show that time had passed though suddenly we understand that Gilbert called Anne "Carrots" a year before and in one of the next shots, it says they had been together for three years.

The actors of the movie were fine.  I didn't think Dawn O'Day (later changed her name to Anne Shirley) was fabulous, but then again I'm comparing to Megan Follows.  I really enjoyed the 1934 Marilla, played by Helen Westley.  I can't even say why, but this plump, plain woman seemed to be a good fit for Marilla.

Despite my many criticisms, I enjoyed the 1934 movie version of Anne of Green Gables.  I would even recommend it, but only if you can watch the Megan Follows version soon after!  Has anyone watched this??  Any thoughts?  Am I being too harsh or too gentle?
L. M. Montgomery Reading Challenge
I watched this as part of the 2012 L.M. Montgomery Reading (ahem) Challenge hosted by Reading to Know.

I need to give this review a bit of a disclaimer.  I watched this movie only one time, and while watching I was occasionally distracted by a baby and my other family members.  When I started it, I thought I would only be watching the first half-hour or so, but I was able to watch it in its entirety.  I hope all of my comments are accurate.


Jennifer said...

I will forever associate Anne of Green Gables with Megan Follows!

I still need to search for the "Avonlea" Disney show!

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

I haven't seen that one, but I'll be looking for it now :)

Carrie said...

I'm going to go out on a limb and say you were very gracious with this film. More so than *I* would be!

If I changed my name to Anne Shirley I would SO be laughed out of town. ;D (An intriguing concept, to be sure!)

I don't think I will watch it. I just couldn't. (I picked up the animated series at the library but didn't follow through with watching it. I picked it up at the same time as I did the movie New Beginnings which sickened me to no end, so I couldn't stomach the cartoon version at that time. I'm not opposed to checking it out in the future though. I think. Maybe.)

In the meantime, I really appreciated how much thought you gave to this version of the movie and for spelling out the ways in which it deviates from the story. (Anne and Gilbert dating secretly for three years about does me in just by reading this!!) I'm so glad you found the movie, watched it and reviewed it for us. In part so that I don't have to! =D ha! (You have sacrificed yourself on the alter...)

=D I like how you pick out unique things for this challenge.

Barbara H. said...

I did hear a long time ago about an actress who changed her name to Anne Shirley after playing Anne. I don't know what I think of that...

Thanks for reviewing this for us. It's astounding to me what filmmakers will leave and and put out. But it sounds overall true to the tone of Anne.

Bluerose said...

Well. I will pass on this one! :) I'm so glad you reviewed it!! I'd been looking around for it, and I'm extremely glad I didn't end up buying it. I think I'll just stick to possibly re-watching the newer version.

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

I agree with Carrie, sounds like you are being very generous in your review. But then ANY Anne movie would have a hard time when compared to the Megan Follows version. We'll be watching that version at some point this month.

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bekahcubed said...

Interesting. I think I'd like to watch this, if only for comparison. I'm not completely enamored with the Megan Follows version, although I do enjoy it (by which I mean the first two, not the travesty they call "The Continuing Story").

All in all, I'm much more of a book person than a movie one--so much so that it bugs me that Anne gets a white dress for her first puffed-sleeve dress instead of the brown voile Matthew actually gave her. :-)

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