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The Crimson Playgoer

Reviewer Finds Anne Shirley's Wistful Smile Redeeming Feature of "Anne of Green Gables"

By O. F. I.

When Hollywood abandons the accepted form in introducing characters, and leaves to the spectator the task of unravolling identities, critics should not be lenient nor can they be held responsible. Especially is this true when the production is adapted from your sister's childhood favorite, "Anne of Green Gables." Is Anne Shirley, Anne Shirley, or is she Shirley Temple, or Temple Bailey, or ditto? Is Merilla, Merilla, or is she Murilla, or Marilla, Marella, Merella, ditto? Is Gilbert Blythe, Gilbert Blythe, or Blithe, or Bliyth or ditto?

Male critics cannot be expected to be familiar with the story of "Anne of Green Gables." The movie proves that a person's education has not been seriously injured by this omission. It is the story of a highly imaginative orphan girl, who eventually grows up.

But the acting of Anne Shirley as Anne Shirley (spelt with an "e") is a redeeming feature of a usual childhood film. The acting of all the characters with the exception of Tom Brown as Gilbert Blythe (porhaps it is Blithe, Blith, or Blyth) leaves only a little to be desired. O. P. Heggie as the sympathetic man of the family, creates a genuinely whimsical expression rivalled only by Will Rogers. Holen Westley as the Puritanical and sometimes tyrannical stepmother, Merilla (Murilla?, Merella?, Murella?) can compare favorably with the most tyrannical of the tyrannical. Only Tom Brown is left to jar a gently amusing and quietly entertaining movie. Tom Brown is as Tom Brown has always been--terribly serious, terribly earnest, gaping, apparently stupified by what goes on, and all in all, completely irritating as an actor. He is as well-adapted to the part of a medical student as Harpo Marx is to the part of Hamlet.

The partings and the wastefulness of Anne Shirley may bring tears to the eyes of the less hard-boiled; the solicitude of Matthew may bring a sniffle from the lady on your left; but don't worry, it all turns out for the best and the ending is happy.

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