Now in her twenties, Anne (Megan Follows) returns to Avonlea for the first time since Marilla Cuthbert’s death. Gilbert (Jonathan Crombie) has been offered a position in a hospital in New York, and he persuades Anne to come with him. He arranges a position for her at a large publishing house.
However, big city life isn’t what they expected, especially when Anne’s manuscript is stolen by a dashing American writer, Jack Garrison (Cameron Daddo). After many unsuccessful months, Anne and Gilbert move back to Avonlea and into the middle of wartime society. Gilbert feels pressure to join the army as a medical officer, and is soon listed as missing in action. The indomitable Anne then sets off to the battlefields of Europe in search of Gilbert, and helps a young French woman and her son who are in the line of danger along the way.
Thus the stage is set for a final installment. The thrilling and affecting story follows the characters from New York, to Europe and the war effort, eventually returning them to the red earth of Prince Edward Island.
“Anne remains … ready to conquer all obstacles the way she conquered Matthew and Marilla’s hearts.” – Chicago Tribune
Explore the Films
- Anne of Green Gables
- Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel
- Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story
- Anne of Green Gables: A New Beginning
- Megan Follows as Anne Shirley
- Jonathan Crombie as Gilbert Blythe
- Patricia Hamilton as Rachel Lynde
- Schuyler Grant as Diana Barry
- Greg Spottiswood as Fred Wright
- Cameron Daddo as Jack Garrison
- Janet-Laine Green as Maud Montrose
- Shannon Lawson as Elsie James
- Director: Stefan Scaini
- Executive Producers: Kevin Sullivan & Trudy Grant
- Director of Photography: Bob Saad
- Music: Peter Breiner
- Writers: Kevin Sullivan & Laurie Pearson
- Costume Designer: Ruth Secord
- Production Designer: Arthur Harriott
- The Continuing Story, Kevin Sullivan’s third installment in the Anne series, finds Anne and Gilbert embarking on their new life together at the brink of World War One. The film’s departure from the L.M. Montgomery novels that inspired the first two Anne movies is a result of the chronology that Sullivan created to interpret Anne’s life on the screen. Sullivan set the first Anne film just after the turn of the century (a decade later than Montgomery originally set her novel) because the early Edwardian era offered more interesting production design possibilities than the Victorian era. Between making The Sequel, which was set in 1905-1907, and The Continuing Story, Sullivan also created 91 episodes of the television series Road to Avonlea. This series, which took viewers through the years 1907 to 1914, culminated in An Avonlea Christmas – set at the outbreak of World War One.
- When creating The Continuing Story, Sullivan decided to keep going in the chronological order he created for Anne. He had her story take place against the more mature background of the First World War. In Montgomery’s later novels, Anne and Gilbert are middle-aged parents and watch as their children go off to war. By depicting the struggles that Anne and Gilbert directly face in war-torn Europe, Sullivan wanted to make audiences aware of the reasons why they were so attached to the innocent world of Anne’s childhood in the first film. Anne’s story of survival is only more poignant when viewed against the sweeping changes in history that unfolded in this era.
- Megan and Schuyler’s close personal relationship off-screen was also reflected on-screen in several highly emotional moments.
- The shots on the road to Green Gables were shot at the same location at which Road to Avonlea was filmed.
- The scene when Anne gets out of the car to run to Green Gables was shot in the autumn and the art crew had to spray-paint the leaves with an organic spray to make them appear green.
- Megan does not run through the fields on the way to Green Gables; she had a near perfect physical double named Dawn!
- The Green Gables house was decimated one morning for filming, then was cleaned up and painted to shoot later scenes of the movie.
- Anne’s reaction to seeing Green Gables in shambles is quite genuine, for Megan herself had not seen the house since she worked on the last film twelve years earlier. Indeed, she had to be reminded that the house would look fine again by the end of the day.
- The scene at the beach, when we first see Gilbert, was shot on Lake Ontario. Since the sand there is not red, the art crew had to spray the cliffs with organic red spray paint and put crushed brick down on the ground. Megan Follows was offered a stunt double for her fall in the sand, but she said, “Oh, no, I can do a pratfall quite well on my own, thank you.” And, although they filmed a couple of takes, they stuck with the first one.
- Jonathan Crombie would often bring treats (candy, popcorn, etc.) for his fellow workers.
- The scene before Anne enters Winfield Publishing house was shot in Montreal. The hospital scenes were shot at the Whitby Sanatorium. The surgery room was an old observation room in which surgeries actually once took place. You can see the outside of the Whitby Sanatorium when Gilbert goes to help Dr. Stuart at the convalescence home. Incidentally, the Sanatorium was originally built for veterans coming home from World War I.
- The scene when Jack threatens to jump from the balcony was shot in Toronto just before Christmas, so Cameron Daddo sure must have been cold in his bare feet. (Note Megan’s breath.)
- Stills of the Robert Redford version of The Great Gatsby inspired the garden scene at Kit Garrison’s house.
- The scene on the street when Anne blows up at Jack was shot in two locations: the close-ups were filmed in Toronto and the wide shots were taken in Montreal – both about 6 weeks apart!
- Jonathan Crombie struggled a bit with the scene where Fred tells him he’s going off to join the war effort. Jonathan was not sure how to play the scene and the director told him to “just be his friend.”
- For the scene when Anne falls on the stairs in her wedding gown, the director offered her a pillow to land on, but she declined.
- Originally, Director Stefan Scaini planned (and shot) a wedding night scene, which you can see on the DVD extras.
- The winter scenes were shot in the summer. That means the snow is fake and the actors are hot. The scene in the trench was shot in late November, so it was cold. Thus, we see Anne trembling quite a bit. You’ll notice, however, that Jack and Colette aren’t shaking as much. That’s because there was a heater behind them to keep the baby warm. Since the movie was shot over three months, about four sets of twin babies were used to play Dominic.
- The part of the trench scene when Anne goes up to get the horse is based on a true story of people who tried to get a horse they saw and wound up in a mine field.
- The extra who played the man whose legs had been amputated (the scene is right before Anne boards the ship for London), is an actual Vietnam War veteran.
- For the street scene before Mr. Keegan pays Anne a visit, leaves and kitty litter were thrown on the ground to cover the yellow lines in the street, and boxes were piled on the sidewalk to hide the parking meters.
- Although Greg Spottiswood loves kids, every time a child was put in his arms, the baby started crying.
- The scene where Elsie talks about “the boys” was taken from a diary of a woman who was a travelling entertainer during the war. Much of the escape scene (with Anne and Elsie) was ad-libbed.
- The scene toward the end of the movie when Anne, Gilbert, Jack and his associate get ready to board the train home was the first scene shot.