The film has been titled as Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel for re-airings and DVD releases, but was titled Anne of Avonlea during its original airing in Canada. It was aired in the United States as Anne of Avonlea: The Continuing Story of Anne of Green Gables.
Resuming the story of Anne Shirley, who chose to study for her college degree by correspondence in order to remain at Green Gables and help an aging Marilla look after the house and farm, Anne now holds a Teacher's License and teaches at Avonlea school. However, she aspires to be a writer, though is met with early disappointment when her story, an overly romantic story called "Averil's Atonement," is rejected by a magazine. Her friend and former rival, Gilbert Blythe, also informs Anne that her best friend, Diana Barry, has accepted a proposal of marriage from Fred Wright. Anne is bewildered by Diana's decision, believing it to be impulsive, though she comes to accept it as Diana is happy with her choice.
Despite being seventeen years old, Anne still finds herself in various mishaps, including impulsively selling her Jersey cow that repeatedly escapes and damages the neighbour's fields to the Blythes. Soon afterward, Anne is shocked to discover her story has been published as the winner of the Rollings Reliable Baking Powder Co. advertisement contest and becomes a local celebrity. A delighted Diana reveals that she submitted the story to the contest, with a few minor revisions to include the baking powder in the story. Ashamed with how her story was published, she confides in Gilbert, who offers a critical perspective of the use of flowery language and lack of dimension to her characters. When he suggests that Anne would be more successful writing about a setting and about people she is more familiar with, Anne becomes upset with Gilbert and goes home. As Marilla tries to reassure her things are not as bad as they seem, Anne admits she acted foolishly when Gilbert had only offered ways to improve her writing and feels that their relationship has changed. Marilla points out that Gilbert's behavior reflects the fact that he loves Anne, much to her disbelief. However, Anne's bad day continues when she realizes she accidentally sold the cow belonging to the Lynde family rather than her own. When she and Marilla approach Rachel Lynde pay her for the sale of the Lyndes' cow, Rachel's husband Thomas has a fatal heart attack. Rachel moves in with Marilla at Green Gables; with Rachel to support her and her eyesight having improved over the past two years, Marilla encourages Anne to resume her old ambition of attending college.
At a clambake celebrating Diana and Fred's engagement, Gilbert proposes to Anne, who turns him down believing that they would be unhappy together. When they see each other again at Diana and Fred's wedding, Anne sees Gilbert with a young woman named Christine Stuart. Gilbert tells Anne that he and Christine are just friends, then offers to wait for her if there is any hope of them getting together. Anne rejects him again, and Gilbert suspects that there is someone else, despite Anne's assertion there is no person she cares about more than him. Gilbert leaves to attend medical school in Halifax with his and Anne's relationship apparently broken. Recalling a job offer from her former teacher Muriel Stacy, Anne decides to take accept a position as an English professor in Nova Scotia at Kingsport Ladies’ College in the hope that it will inspire her and give her something to write about.
Initially, Anne finds her new job to be difficult. A member of the local community — and member of the powerful Pringle family — had also tried for Anne’s post and was rejected, causing resentment. However, Anne gradually earns the respect of her students, their families and her colleagues, including the severe and critical Katherine Brooke and the Pringle family. Anne organizes a play to raise money for the college, which is greatly appreciated. Her dream of being published is also finally achieved after she writes a series of short stories based on Avonlea inspired by a suggestion from Gilbert, whom she manages to reconcile with after a chance encounter and learning that he is now engaged to Christine. While teaching at the Ladies' College, Anne grows close to one student, Emmeline Harris, at whose house she is boarding, along with the stern, controlling grandmother Harris and her repressed daughter Pauline, who is a virtual prisoner in the house. Anne is able to convince Mrs. Harris, a hypochondriac, to leave the house and go to a community picnic, and to let Pauline attend a friend's wedding overnight in another town, where she strikes up a romance. Emmeline's widowed father Morgan Harris, a well-to-do traveling businessman, becomes impressed with Anne's spirited nature and determination, particularly with how Anne is able to persuade his formidable mother into leaving her house. He eventually proposes marriage to Anne, after Anne and Emmeline had visited his spacious house in Boston. While Morgan Harris appears to be the dark melancholy suitor that Anne had once dreamed of, she realizes that he is not the man she wants to be with and turns down his proposal.
Anne chooses to return to Green Gables for the summer with Katherine Brooke after successfully persuading her to spend a badly-needed summer vacation at Avonlea, where she opens up her feelings to Anne. In Avonlea, she learns that Gilbert is ill nearby with scarlet fever, having returned home from Halifax Medical School. Anne finally realizes her true feelings for Gilbert, and goes to visit him; he reveals that he broke off his engagement to Christine because he still loves Anne. After Gilbert regains his health, he proposes once more, though he warns her that he still needs to finish medical school and they will not have all the things she has always dreamed of. Anne accepts him with a kiss, declaring, "I don't want diamond sunbursts, or marble halls. I just want you."
Behind the scenesEdit
- Mag Ruffman, who portrayed Alice Lawson in Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel, also appeared in Road to Avonlea as Olivia King, one of the main characters.
- David Fox played John Blythe in Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel. In Road to Avonlea, he portrayed Clive Pettibone, the husband of Muriel Stacy.
- Rosemary Dunsmore, who played Katherine Brooke in Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel, also appeared in Road to Avonlea in the role of Abigail MacEwan.
- Kate Lynch played Pauline Harris in Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel. In Road to Avonlea, she portrayed Theodora Dixen.
- James O'Regan, who played Mr. Pye in Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel, also portrayed Abner Jeffiries in Road to Avonlea.
- Robert Collins portrayed George Barry in Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel. In Road to Avonlea he appeared in the role of Blair Stanley.
- Jennifer Inch, who portrayed Ruby Gillis in Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel, also played Maid at Stanley Estate and Sara's mother in Road to Avonlea.
- Araby Lockhart portrayed Gossip at Ball in Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel. In 1958 film Anne of Green Gables she appeared in the role of Mrs. Bell.
- Charmion King, who portrayed Josephine Barry in Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel, also played Mrs. Allan in the 1952 TV series Anne of Green Gables.
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