In defense of that Anne movie we all hate

I may be wrong about this, but it seems to me that there's a bit of a stigma regarding the Anne of Green Gables movies roundabout the blogosphere.  And it's certainly one to which I contribute myself.  It's about the shunned Anne movie, the third one, Anne of Green Gables:  The Continuing Story.

To be clear, this is my least-favorite of the Anne trifecta.  I'm pretty sure it's most people's least-favorite, and there's good reason for that.  As we all know, it stays about as close to the storyline of Montgomery's books as I do to meat.  So I freely confess that up until a couple weeks ago, I disliked AoGGTCS as heartily as anybody.  

But, then I re-watched it.  And guys, let me tell you, we do not appreciate this movie enough.  I mean, it definitely has its weaknesses (ahem, understatement there), but it also has many strengths.  I'm going to try to elaborate on some of them, because after watching it again, I've realized that it's a pretty gripping, well-made film.

So, here we go.  Bullet-point defenses of the (admittedly-worst-of-the-trilogy-but-not-nearly-as-bad-as-we-make-it-out-to-be) third Anne movie. Beware of spoilers, which will be liberally peppered throughout!

~ The cast

While Marilla and Matthew are both *sniffle* deceased in this one, several of the original actors played their characters faithfully throughout the entire trilogy (I love it when that happens).  Megan Follows, Jonathan Crombie, and Schuylar Grant all reprise their roles, and bring fresh insight and new depth into Anne, Gil, and Diana respectively, while still maintaining their classic charm. (Look at me, sounding like a back-cover blurb over here.)  Even Josie and Moody make appearances!  I don't know the actors' names for those two (sowwy), but it makes me happy to see them, and that they're married.  Josie is actually quite wonderful--still difficult Josie, but, as I said, there's new depth to her, and we get to see another side of her.  Heck, doesn't the actress who played Mrs. Lynde pop in momentarily?

~ The character of Jack Garrison

Actually, Jack creeps me out.  But he's a very complex character, and exploring that complexity brings up interesting results (plus makes for great philosophical discussions). 

~ The plot

I know, I know.  From the books' perspectives, this plot has literally nothing to do with anything.  (The closest similarity I can think of is that Anne and Gil's children do go off to fight in a World War, but that's it.)  

HOWEVUH.  If you watch this movie looking not at its fidelity to the source but at the story it tells…it's stinking amazing.  (Again, this is still my least-favorite.  Just so we're clear.)  It's nearly gut-wrenching, actually. Its depiction of the stark, ugly reality of war is gripping, uncomfortably realistic, and by turns tragic and hopeful.  The complexity of the plot is also a plus--we've got a stolen manuscript, a web of political intrigue, the care of an infant literally dropped onto Anne, a husband gone missing in a war zone, and "it's all quite entertaining."

~ The emotion

Honestly, it makes me tear up several times, and that very rarely happens.  The weightiness of it really impacts you--the realism with which it treats front lines, wars, and the incredible hardships of those left behind.  Powerful, I tell you, powerful :P

~ The tie-ins to the original movies

THE FLASHBACKS!  Oh my word, the flashbacks.  As I've mentioned before, I'm kind of a sucker for flashbacks, and this movie is no exception.  Seriously, they're awesome.  And the scene at the train station.  Just. so. much. yes.  Guys, she goes to get Dominic like Matthew went to get her, and it's so stinking sweet!  THEY EVEN DO THE PEEKABOO THING.  

It really is a pretty good, albeit frustrating-at-times movie :)


  1. I honestly liked this movie, even after reading the book. I'm glad that I'm not alone on that aspect :)
    And, m' dear, every movie-based-off-of-a-book will be frustrating, some more than others (CURSE YOU, WHOEVER THE HECK MADE THE PERCY JACKSON MOVIES!)

    I loved the post, and that last pic.... just, wow. The feels.

    ~Bekah The Bookworm

  2. OKAY. I've never seen this, but I do think it looks like a good movie IF you don't think about the books. Buuuut. That's the thing - I ALWAYS think about the books - and it was RILLA AND WALTER that had their WW1 story - they weren't not born yet! (et cetera et cetera.)

    However, after this post, I really want to put all book-thoughts aside and enjoy this, as a kind of 'imaginative sequel' thing. Because it does look entruiging. :-)

    Great post, btw. :-P

    ~ Naomi

  3. I'm so happy to see someone defending this movie! I never understood the levels of hate against it, but then I never read any of the books except the first one. I thought it was a very heart-wrenching, endearing plot, for all of the reasons that you mentioned. And I love the ending! Like you, it's my least favorite of the trilogy, but it's also a reunion of beloved characters plays by the same actors and that's saying something.

  4. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I . . . am taking a while to think of a response to this post :-)

    You see, I've never watched the Anne movies anyway, because (like I know we've talked about :-) ) Anne Shirley and I just don't "click" very well. SO I obviously can't talk from first-hand experience about if it's a good film or not.

    It does look like a beautifully-made movie, and that's super important. I love the cute shots of Anne and the little baby boy :-)

    HOWEVAH. I am still rather upset about this film--or, more accurately, I'm upset at the filmmakers who created it. Because, to me, this movie represents a wasted opportunity. They COULD have made the third movie about "Rilla of Ingleside," telling the story of Anne and Gilbert and Rilla and Ken and Walter and EVERYBODY ELSE. But they didn't . . . instead, they made a different story that had nothing whatsoever to do with the actual book(s).


    Okay. I'll calm down. I'm just mad because "Rilla of Ingleside" is a story that NEEDS to be brought to the screen and the filmmakers completely wasted a good chance to do that. And then Jonathan died and now it can never be the same--even if they do decide to film "Rilla" someday.

    So yeah. Basically, that's how I feel about it :-)

  5. HERE, HERE!! It is my least favorite out of all of them, too. But it's not terrible and I think it ended it nicely. Granted, I have never read any of the books. *gasps* I know, I know, I probably will...someday. ;) Isn't that ending the cutest?! So sweet. Ahh...and the last photo. *tears* Lovely post, Olivia! :)

  6. I really like this movie as a stand alone.. :D btw.. the guy that played Jack is in my state (with a musical) and and and I saw him at the state library and i may or may not have flipped out

  7. You posted this too late! ;) I considered buying it a few weeks ago at a library book sale but decided not to, because, although I haven't seen it, it is the "hated" one.

    Actually, what you said about this is similar to the way I feel about the last two movies of The Hobbit trilogy. They're painfully inaccurate, but also beautiful just as their own story without conjunction to Tolkien's original plot. (Let's just not get into the whole Kili/Tuariel thing.) :D

    When I finish reading all the books, I think I'll watch this on your recommendation, but approach it from a non-purist perspective. :D

  8. Okay, I think you may have convinced me to give this movie a second chance. ;)

    It really is neat that so many of the actors came back to play their original characters. Haha. The funniest one was Fred, though. He wasn't the same actor and was actually pretty much a total opposite. Tall and blonde haired, instead of short and dark haired. :P

    Oooh! I think the thing I disliked the most about this movie was Jack Garrison. I can't really remember what he was like now, but it seemed to me that there was a sort of romance between him and Anne, and that just annoyed me to no end.

    Aww. That scene at the train station sounds adorable. I'd forgotten about that. Oh, and I like it that Josie and Moody got married, too. It's neat to see two familiar characters get together. :)

    Very cool post, Olivia.

  9. Ohhh, yay, thank you for doing this post!!

    Although I do wish they had made a faithful book-to-movie adaption while the actors were still alive (SNIFF) I do admit to enjoying this movie a LOT.

    I try to think of it as a completely different story when a I watch it. It's not really Anne Shirley of the books, but it's still a great story and plot. I think we'd all love it if it just wasn't supposed to be an Anne "sequel." :P


  10. I always liked this one! In many ways it shows how life cannot always stay sweet and innocent. This story really revealed how the characters had grown up and the harsh realities of WWI, but it also still kept intact Anne's formidable spirit and Gilbert's unending generosity toward others. As long as the characters remain the same only as adults, then the story doesn't bother me at all.

  11. Hahaha, yeah. ;-P

    I'm basically in agreement with everything you said here! I like this movie, but when I think about the first two and try to put them together, it just makes me sad because I love the first ones SO much and I don't really like how things end up in this one. (Plus Anne seems to have lost her spark, not to mention she sounds like a veteran smoker.) But as a war movie, this is amazing. The feels are definitely here! (AND THE MUSIC. OH MY.) So whenever I watch it I just try to forget it's part of the Anne series and enjoy it as a random period drama. ;-P

    Ohhhhh, Jack....Heh. I have a rather stupid crush on Jack. I really hate him, I just sort of like him too. It's very inconvenient.

  12. Personally, Jack seriously creeps me out :P

  13. I agree with everything you said here. I haven't watched this movie in years because I was a little young when I watched it the first time and didn't like all the war stuffs. I watched it a second time and liked it much better, but still not as much. Now I'll have to watch it a third time and try to enjoy it with more of an open mind. I've never actually finished reading the AoGG series, so I shouldn't be too prejudiced by the books. Overall, I just remember thinking that for tying in well it was so different and so much weightier than the other two. But I could probably appreciate that more now. :) Thanks for pointing out the saving graces :)

  14. Olivia?


    We are instant chums.

    Okay, so obviously we're already chums, but THIS!!! YESSS!!! :D People bash it a lot, and yeah, I can understand why they would, but *I* personally think it's an emotional, deep, incredible movie, and I love it. Not as much as the other Anne movies, no, but I still love it. To be honest, I don't even know WHY I defend it so... it's just, that it's still Anne and Diana and Gilbert to me, but they're just put in such harder circumstances, and the challenges they face, and all the feelings they go through, and experiences, and how it all ends up together... it's just.... gahhh.... exhausting with all that intensity and hope. I may not give a very sound, logical reason as to why I still love this movie, but there it is; I love it. And I shall defend it to the day I die. ;P

    ~Miss Meg

    1. You have my bow! (cough LOTR reference) but yes Meg I totally agree

  15. I've actually never seen the third movie, though I am well aware of its infamy. Still, a lot of fun reading your post about it. I can totally see why the movie would be disappointing (since they changed so much) and yet there does seem a lot in the film to make it a compelling story in itself. :D

  16. *tentatively logs into blogger account*

    *pulls up latest post to do this comment*


    Hey, everyone *waves* Clearly, I have been absolutely appallingly remiss in responding to all of your (beautiful and amazing and happy-inducing) comments. Dreadfully sorry about that; the thing is, I've had the flu for the past week and a half or so, and it's taking a little while to get caught up on everything.

    Suffice it to say, it may be a while until I've caught up commenting on all of y'all's lovely posts (*snort* as if I wasn't behind already), and until I've responded to your comments here, but can I just say, I LOVE YOU GUYS. You guys are the bestest :) Your comments make me SO incredibly happy, and it's still hard to believe that people like what I write enough to take the time and comment! It's a real blessing, and I so appreciate you all <3 <3 <3 Sorry again! Have a fabulous day and week and spring ;)

    1. Awwww, Olivia!! I'm so sorry!! Feel better soon and don't worry at all about commenting or replying to comments...just focus on getting better. :) <3 WE LOVE YOU, TOO! :D

    2. Oh, I'm sorry to hear you've been sick. :( I hope you feel better soon. And I second what Natalie said, don't worry about commenting and all that, just get well! We love you, too, you dear sweet girl!! :D

    3. Oh, you poor thing. :( Just joining the bandwagon and saying that it's totally fine about commenting and all that, and just get better soon! <3
      I wish I could send you some blancmange... seeing as I claim to be Meg March. ;) (You know, the part when she sends some to Laurie, when he's sick?) What you really need is a little post office box, just like the March family and Laurie, and all of us bloggers could slip in a little letter or item for you. That would be grand. :D
      ~Miss Meg
      P.S. And of course I love you too!!!

    4. Thanks so much!!! You girls are the sweetest <3

  17. Hi, Olivia! I tagged you over at my blog. This tag has gone around a lot, so you've probably done it before (actually I think you might have tagged me for it last year! Haha!). So anyway, if you have time and feel like doing it, I'd love to read your answers, but no pressure. :D

    Here's the link:

  18. I haven't seen #3, but I like #2 more than I like #1. I feel like it's so cool to see how she matures.
    All the costumes in this look great.

  19. Bravo! Oh, you said it so well. Yes, this is exactly why I like the third movie. It explores and exposes parts of Anne, Gilbert, and the rest that we would have never seen before. some things are just sill, others don't make sense (How would Dominic remember her from just that short time when her was a baby?) But over all, I love it.

    God bless!

    1. Sorry for the typos! :/ *silly *he

    2. Thanks, Sarah! Yeah, it's nice to get to talk with people who like this one, too :) Haha, I know -- about Dominic, though, everything is just precious and adorable and I don't even care if it's unrealistic xD (Maybe he didn't really recognize her, he just saw her as a friend?? I don't know xD)


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