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Anne of Green Gables (1934 film)

Anne of Green Gables is a 1934 film directed by George Nicholls, Jr., based upon the novel, Anne of Green Gables, by Lucy Maud Montgomery. The actress formerly billed as Dawn O'Day, who portrayed the title character of Anne Shirley, changed her stage name to Anne Shirley in which she was so billed in this film and subsequent roles. The film sequel; Anne of Windy Poplars.[2]

Anne of Green Gables
Anne of Green.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byGeorge Nicholls, Jr.
Produced byKenneth Macgowan
Written bySam Mintz
Based onAnne of Green Gables
1908 novel
by Lucy Maud Montgomery
StarringDawn O'Day
Helen Westley
Tom Brown
Sara Haden
Charley Grapewin
June Preston
Bonita Granville
Ben Hall
Ann Miller
Paul Stanton
Music byAlberto Colombo
Max Steiner
Roy Webb
CinematographyLucien Andriot
Edited byArthur P. Schmidt
Distributed byRKO Radio Pictures
Release date
November 23, 1934 (1934-11-23)
Running time
78 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$793,000[1]

The film became a surprise hit in 1934, easily succeeding in becoming one of four top-grossing films RKO made that year as noted in The R.K.O. Story published by Arlington House.


Anne Shirley is an orphan who has been adopted by farmer Matthew Cuthbert (O.P. Heggie) and his sister, Marilla (Helen Westley). Although the pair were expecting a young boy to help on their farm, Anne endears herself to them and to the local villagers. She befriends Diana Barry and most of the children at her school, all except for Gilbert Blythe after he calls her 'carrots' and she smashes her slate over his head. She and Diana have a bet that Anne can flirt with Gilbert and he will fall head over heels in love with her. Little do they know, Gilbert overheard them and has already fallen in love with her. Anne flirts with him, which becomes unsuccessful, and Diana wins the bet. Anne lies to Gilbert that she has a boyfriend to make him jealous, but she only ends up embarrassing herself.

Shortly after, Anne is playing the Lady of Shalott when she realizes her boat is sinking, and Gilbert sees her and saves her life. She then decides to forgive him and give him a reward for saving her. She will kiss him. Gilbert is surprised. Anne thinks he doesn't want to claim his reward, but he tells her he does and that he wants her to be his girl. For three years they have an affair, but Mrs. Barry spies on them and tells Marilla. Marilla does not want Anne to even talk to Gilbert, since his mother broke Matthew's heart. Anne and Gilbert are both devastated and Matthew is upset with Marilla, since it wasn't she who got her heart broken.

Anne goes to college. Diana, who is now married, visits Anne and tells her that Matthew is ill. She returns to Green Gables, finding out it's for sale to save Matthew, since he needs the best doctor in Halifax. She remembers Gilbert is studying with this doctor, so she goes to see Gilbert. He tries flirting with her, and she eventually gives in and finds out that Gilbert heard about Matthew and begged the doctor to save him for free, which he did. After Marilla finds out what he had done, she forgives the Blythes and lets Anne and Gilbert see each other again.



The film made a profit of $272,000.[1] The film is preserved with a copy at the Library of Congress.[3]


  1. ^ a b c Richard Jewel, 'RKO Film Grosses: 1931-1951', Historical Journal of Film Radio and Television, Vol 14 No 1, 1994 p55
  2. ^ The AFI Catalog of Feature Films 1893-1993:Anne of Green Gables
  3. ^ Catalog of Holdings The American Film Institute Collection and The United Artists Collection at The Library of Congress, (<-book title) p.7 c.1978 by The American Film Institute

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