Thanksgiving will soon be upon us and PBS has decided to get into the spirit of things by purchasing the television rights to a recent film adaptation of Anne of Green Gables, which they will air on the holiday. And a former President (well, he played one on television) with a controversial lineage is involved.
The 1908 novel, written by Lucy Maud Montgomery, is one of those plucky coming-of-age orphans doing what plucky coming-of-age orphans do type of stories. It involves an orphan named Anne Shirley being sent to live on Prince Edward Island to help an elderly brother and sister, Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, take care of their farm, and the various misadventures she has there. And when we say “misadventures,” we mean accidentally getting your girlfriend drunk at a dinner party or dyeing your hair green, because young people are really the same in every generation.
There have been quite a few Canadian film retellings of the story over the years, with this most recent one being produced by Breakthrough Entertainment courtesy of director John Kent Harrison. It’s also based on an original script by Susan Coyne. Most of the actors are local Canadians, with Ella Ballentine in the lead, though there is one Hollywood exception.
Galician American actor Ramón Antonio Gerardo Estévez, better known as Martin Sheen of The West Wing fame, and better know still as Charlie Sheen’s big papa, is cast as Matthew Cuthbert. What he was doing up in Canada is beyond me, but I guess the Hollywood Elite weren’t kidding about leaving the country.
The film is set to premiere on November 24 in case you actually care.