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Anne of Green Gables

When Matthew Cuthbert and his sister, Marilla Cuthbert decide to adopt a little boy from an orphan asylum to help out around the house, you can just imagine their surprise when they wind up with a red headed, freckly, skinny, 12 year old girl who has her head in the clouds and who talks a mile a minute. The girl's name is Anne Shirley and she's a very bright and bubbly youngster who will change the lives of everyone around her.

Matthew wants to keep her from the very beginning, but Marilla has her reservations. Instead of sending her back to the orphanage right away, she decides to keep her "on trial" to see how everything works out, and right away Anne's troublemaking side comes out. She tells off Marilla's best friend on her second day at Green Gables, she breaks a slate over Gilbert Blythe's head on her first day of school, and she dyes her hair black.....but it turns green instead. Somehow though, Marilla decides that she and Matthew will keep the little girl.

Anne soon meets Diana Berry who becomes her very best friend in the whole wide world, but soon their friendship is threatened. Anne invites her over for lunch and accidentally gets Diana drunk. She is forbidden by her parents to ever speak to Anne again. And as for Gilbert Blythe, he his constantly picking on Anne who tries to ignore him, although they both compete in school to see whose the smartest. They both end up being star pupils.

When Diana's parents are away, her little sister falls ill and it's Anne to the rescue. Anne saves the little girl's life and Diana's parents allow them to be bosom friends once more. She's also invited by Diana's parents to her very first ball and before she goes, Matthew surprises her with her one wish.....a dress with puffed sleeves! Off Anne and Diana go to the fancy Christmas ball and who's there but Gilbert Blythe. Although they ignore one another, Gilbert does steal her dance card (which shows his true affections for Anne).

Later on, when Anne is acting out a part from Tennyson's "The Lady of Shalot," she nearly drowns when the boat she is lying in springs a leak. She's able to grab on to a nearby bridge and is hanging there when none other then Gilbert Blythe rows on by. He pulls Anne into his boat and rescues her. When they reach shore, Gilbert asks if they could please put their childish ways behind and be friends, which Anne agrees to.

Anne goes off to Queen's College where she receives her teaching certificate. When Anne returns home, she and Matthew are out in the field, bringing in some cattle. Matthew has a heart attack and dies in Anne's arms. Before he passes on, he tells Anne that he never wanted a boy and to never change. "I love my girl," he says, "I'm so proud of her."

Anne finds out that Marilla is going to sell Green Gables when Anne leaves for school, because she won't be able to take care of it by herself. Not wanting that to happen, Anne decides to say at Green Gables and teach at the nearby school instead of going off to the University. This all happens because of Gilbert Blythe who gives up his teaching position at the school so that Anne can have it. The last scene in the film is Anne and Gilbert walking side by side after he has just told her that she may teach at Carmondy.


Anne of Avonlea

In this sequel to Anne of Green Gables, Anne rushes to the post off to pick up a package. It's a story that she sent in to a woman's magazine.....and it's being sent back to her. This is Anne's first rejection. Then she gets some more bad news from Gilbert Blythe who informs her that Diana has become engaged to Fred Wright, who Anne calls "Rolly Polly." She's a little jealous because she feels like her best friend is being taken away from her.

Later on, as Gilbert and Anne are taking a walk, he decides to give her some friendly criticism. He informs her that she should write about places she knows and that her characters should talk in everyday language. He also tells her that she should write about Avonlea and the people living there. Anne doesn't take his advice too kindly and when she starts crying, he tries to apologize. Then Anne hits him with her bag and runs off, but she admits to Marilla that he was right.

When Anne and Gilbert wind up at the same party later on, they end up taking another walk together. This time, instead of friendly advice, Gilbert offers Anne something else.....a marriage proposal. This is one of my favorite scenes in the movie, although I don't like how it ends. Anne rejects Gilbert by turning down his proposal and she tells him that he's way too good for her and like always, she runs off. But when Anne attends Diana's wedding, she and Gilbert wind up alone together once more which leads to another marriage proposal.....and another rejection. This time, Gilbert walks away, but not before telling Anne that one day she will fall in love with someone and that "I hope he breaks your heart. Maybe then you'll come to your senses."

Meanwhile, Anne's former teacher Miss Stacey has gotten Anne a teaching position at a ladies college. While she leaves for the college, Gilbert heads off to medical school. When she gets there, Anne meets Miss Brooke, the head mistress who is very strict, never smiles, and is very sarcastic and mean. Anne just doesn't know how she will put up with her. But the worse is yet to come. Anne meets her class which is full of stuck up, obnoxious rich girls who do everything to get under Anne's skin. Although there is one exception.....young Emmeline Harris who is shy, quiet, and shares Anne's love of books. They get along wonderfully, but then her father drags her out of school and also withdraws his financial contribution. Many other parents do the same because they dislike Miss Anne Shirley.

Although they all want her to resign or get fired, the school board puts her on probation and she and Miss Stacey decide to play along. They put on a play and Anne's students are to be the cast. All the proceeds will be donated to the school. That's one way to get on the school's good side.....and it works. Even Emmeline is able to get a part in it and Anne also talks her family into allowing her to tutor Emmeline at home. This is another family touched by Anne and who immediately fall in love with her. When the play goes on and is a huge success, Anne's students come around and really start to like her.....so do their parents. But Miss Brooke continues to treat her badly.

When Anne goes to Boston with Emmeline's family, she runs into Gilbert who's there for a medical convention. He confesses to Anne that he has become engaged to another woman and while Anne congratulates him, you can see her disappointment.

After classes end for the semester, Anne invites Miss Brooke to Avonlea with her for the summer, because she has no other place to go. Surprisingly, Miss Brooke accepts the invitation and travels with Anne to Avonlea. But while they're there, Miss Brooke ends up breaking down, confesses to Anne that she doesn't really hate her and we see that Miss Brooke is just a hurt old woman, in a lot of pain. But now Anne has come into her life.....and changed her for the better.

When Anne goes to visit Diana and her new baby, she finds out that Gilbert Blythe is now dying of scarlet fever and she plans to visit him. But before she does, she receives another package in the mail.....HER BOOK! It turns out that a publishing company accepted her manuscript the year before and she has just received the first copy of it. It's dedicated to Marilla and Matthew.....and Gilbert. Anne rushes to his side and shows him. He's very proud of her and confesses to Anne that the engagement is off.....and that he's still in love with Anne. He tells her, on what we think is his deathbed, that there will never be anyone for him but Anne.

In the next scene, Anne is picking Apples when who strolls on by but Gilbert Blyth who says "I decided I would let it beat me." They take another walk together and he tells her how much he loved her book (which is about Avonlea and those she knows) and then he gives her a third proposal. This time.....she accepts. The last line in the movie is Anne saying to him, "I don't want sunbursts or marble halls. I only want you." It's such a touching and romantic ending that I get Goosebumps everytime I see it! This is another wonderful movie based on another wonderful book.


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