Today’s post is a doozy. There are a lot of images in this one and it’s just long in general. Let’s do this thing!
(Link to Twitter thread.)
The day after the slate smashing, Anne is churning butter outside by the tree bench where Diana is sitting and making I think a beaded necklace or bracelet. It’s a bit hard to see. Diana says she should have told Anne that Marilla didn’t like Gilbert and that it’s not his fault.
Brace yourself for this one because I don’t think you’re ready for it.
Apparently Gilbert’s father ran away with the girl who was to marry Matthew. THE GIRL. WHO WAS TO MARRY. MATTHEW.
No, for real, wtf?? Marilla already has backstory with Mr Blythe in the book. Why didn’t you just use that if you wanted to do this? Were you too threatened by the idea someone might not have a romantic history?
Diana says (that she heard her mother say) Matthew was “never the same after that”. She also says “Marilla didn’t get married either because she thought it was her duty to take care of Matthew”.
Right around here I started wondering if this was a Hayes Code thing. Now if you’re not sure what that is, the Hayes Codes, or the “Motion Picture Production Code” was a list of moral guidelines that most of Hollywood agreed to follow in their movies. Some of them included no interracial romance, no “lustful” kissing, and very specifically, no “white slavery”.
While one of them was also “Willful offense to any nation, race or creed”, obviously that was mostly only enforced again for white people. See, Song of the South’s existance tbh, among other movies. I know, Hollywood being racist is shocking.
The Hayes Code was used from 1930 to 1968. However, it really began being strictly enforced mid-1934 – the same year this movie came out. Specifically it came out November of 1934, and only took 6 weeks to film.
There’s one about “ridicule of the clergy” and I actually think Anne’s Sunday school scene might have had to be cut because of that. There’s also not a scene of Diana getting drunk in this movie and I don’t think it would have been allowed under the Hayes Code. I think Anne’s praying scene was probably about as much as they could push it, and might have been tiptoeing at the line, as there’s a bit of silliness. Many films at the time wouldn’t include religion at all for fear of being accused of mocking it.
Now here’s the big one I think might have affected the movie – there’s one about “no sexual perversion” which in 1930s talk includes queer people.
Have y’all ever heard the expression “confirmed bachelor”?
In the past, in Hollywood and also in real life, that was a phrase that was coded to mean gay. I wonder a great deal if, in fact, the makers of the movie were worried that Matthew would come across as gay and went in all hamfisted to try to avoid that.
Back to the recapping, Anne tries to ask both Marilla and Matthew about it, but neither gives her much to go off. And the movie compares itself to Romeo and Juliet a bit here and Luce was annoyed XD
I think Anne and Diana are playing MASH here? They cross off letters in two names and go “love, marriage, friendship, courtship, hate” so… basically MASH.
Marilla comes down all dressed up for her Aid meeting (called Ladies’ Aid for some reason – why did you need to change the name??? Aid Society was fine and non-gendered) with, of course, her brooch.
This goes by the book, except this is the first time the picnic is brought up and the picnic is now a hayride. Anne mentions puffed sleeves for the first time as Matthew looks at her like this:
Actually is this maybe a Hayes Code, too, that it’s a hayride with the school instead of a Sunday school picnic? One of those “avoid religion at all” things. (Also clearly “don’t make fun of religion” means Christinity with a strong Catholic leaning.)
Gilbert is sticking his lunch in the stream, which is actually a thing from the book, as Anne and Diana walk over this adorable little bridge. This is a good set piece.
Things get… weird, here. Diana asks if Marilla or Matthew will be taking Anne on the hayride. Anne says Marilla wouldn’t, but Matthew might if she asked. (Book!Matthew would hate it and do it for her, and not say a word to anyone there.)
Then Diana says if Anne hadn’t fought with Gilbert, he might have taken her. Anne asks, “What makes you think he wouldn’t now?” And she says, “All I have to do is wave my little finger at Gilbert Blythe and he’ll come a-begging.”
Gilbert makes this face.
I. No! This is not Anne! She was Not Impressed by Gilbert Blythe! She refused to say his name out loud for THREE YEARS!! She held a grudge! My God this is all kinds of wrong! What is this????
Also apparently it’s Christmas now as Matthew creeps in with a package, and this look on his face.
(It’s not really Christmas – the movie just decided this big event just happens on a random Tuesday or whatever with no build-up.)
Also it’s probably not coming across how HUGELY frizzy her hair is. I really don’t get it. Slap some butter on it or something.
We’re gonna come back to hair another time, though.
Marilla’s brooch has gone missing! Anne has her, “I never do the same wrong thing twice line”, which… besides hitting Gilbert, she hasn’t actually DONE anything wrong. Kinda loses the impact there.
Random but it amused me how loud this lightbulb was… though you know, that’s a thing worth mentioning. I don’t actually think they have electricity in Green Gables in the book.
Okay no joke, can we bring this window back for other adaptations? Anne always was at her window in the book, and like.
This is just the gayest thing ever and I love it.
Diana says Gilbert is going to take “Alice Wainwright” which… who???? I legit googled that name thinking I had forgotten a character but, no, that is not a character from any Anne book. What even is the point of that??? Why didn’t you use Josie Pye, who Gilbert ACTUALLY TOOK TO THE WHITE SANDS HOTEL CONCERT, or Ruby Gillis, who actually courted a little with him??? What is the point of making up a name???
Anne says, “I’d like to go, if for no other reason than to show I can make Gilbert Blythe eat right out of my hand.”
No! She just wanted freaking ice cream! This is like saying Cinderella wanted the prince when all she wanted was a dress and a night off. Maybe worse, since at this point in the book ANNE AND GILBERT HADN’T EVEN MET. He’d been away all that summer and the picnic was in the summer!
I actually can’t here.
You know what even annoys me more is that book!Anne basically did have Gilbert eating out of her hand at this point. Remember the part where she’s been snubbing him for years and he picks her spring flowers that she loves? How about the Christmas concert (which is WHEN SHE GETS THE DRESS THIS TIMELINE IS ANNOYING) when one of the roses falls out of her hair and he quietly picks it up and keeps it???
Yada yada, this spurs her to confess, she makes it up, no hayride, etc. Only real difference here is *Matthew* finds the brooch on Marilla’s shawl. They keep putting him in scences he wasn’t even there for in the book.
Marilla’s much harsher, too.
Luce pointed out that having Matthew find the brooch completely changes the scene. (Thanks, sweet pea.) Marilla could have pretended it was lost still, but she owned up to her mistake and apologized completely on her own. Here, with Matthew finding it in front of Anne, it puts her on the spot and she has no choice but to apologize.
We do however get a brooch close-up! It’s pretty.
Marilla is perfect in this scene, though. When she asks why Anne confessed to something she didn’t do, her voice is soft, but stern.
And look at her face.
This honestly is casting the best person for the role even if they don’t 100% fit the physical descriptions of the character. This actress is my favourite of the entire cast.
It’s hayride time! Ready to see Anne’s dream dress, the one with the perfect puffed sleeves and all the amazing detail that made her cry in happiness and even Marilla thought was pretty?
Wow. My mind is blown.
This is not the dress Montgomery was describing. We’re going to go into clothing more at a later date, but wow. I am underwhelmed. It’s honestly not even trying.
She says hello to Gilbert and he snubs her and it’s all very silly and I don’t like it.
But seriously this dress is kind of terrible. And where’d Matthew get it anyways??? In like a day and a half? Hello, plot hole.
She still looks kind of underdressed and drab compared to the other girls. The skirt is way less puffy and there’s like no details like ribons or anything. It’s still very plain.
Blah blah blah, a while later (it’s unspecified) Gilbert catches Anne walking to school and annoys me and her both. She calls him “a character” and he looks like this:
And then. He has the nerve. To say he think she reads too much.
And my head explodes in rage.
Gilbert Blythe likes that Anne Shirley reads a lot! He reads a lot too! It’s a thing they have in common, to the point that Ruby Gillis compares them when talking about him! He like that Anne is his academic equal and enjoys their (in his mind friendly) rivalry! When Anne finally, after three years, agrees to be his friend, his first thought is that he wants to study with her because she keeps him on his toes!
I am actually enraged.
He also grabs her when she tries to leave. In the book, Gilbert “laid a detaining hand on her arm” but that’s only to get her attention so he can apologize. Again. After doing so for 3 years. And also after saving her life. This Gilbert basically does it to hit on her.
“One of these days you’ll be glad to have me for a beau,” he says.
“I have a beau,” Anne says. She claims her beau is too grown-up for hayrides and that’s why he wasn’t there.
…would anyone happen to have something stronger to slip in my tea?
When we finally get to school, a former student of Phillips’, Herbert Root, has one the Junior Student’s Prize in an essay contest.
Anne pretends to drop this:
Again this is basically MASH, eh? Or a version of it. Gilbert picks it up and gets jealous.
Anne continues this ruse through lunch and until our immediate cut to the next week.
Guess who’s visiting their classroom today? HERBERT ROOT HIMSELF.
He talks about his essay and it’s boring. It was about the Lady of Challot and unrequited love and blah blah blah he’s boring. The others kind of push her to go talk to him and obviously he has no clue who she is.
This scene is just awkward and weird.
Editing Laina: Okay, while Herbert Root is a kind of hilarious name, you know what would have been an awesome name to use here? Moody Spurgeon MacPherson.
Anne runs away and finds Matthew tying up a boat. I guess he was fishing or something, and the movie needs him in every scene instead of allowing any other character to be developed. Now instead of the class having studied Tennyson under Miss Stacy, and the girls deciding to re-enact it for fun, it’s just Anne doing it because she’s embarassed and kind of overdramatic.
Oh God please don’t touch the child, you creep.
Strangely, Anne comes off as more overdramatic because this scene is way less theatric than it is in the book. Anne just floats off. There’s no black shawl, no gold (yellow) crepe piano scarf, no flower, even. She just says a few lines of the poem alone and goes. The boat starts leaking for no reason. It doesn’t even bump over anything. Anne just flops her hand down and there’s water in the bottom.
We greenscreen towards a… thing? Tree trunk? I’m not sure what this is.
Honestly I’m not knocking the greenscreen effects. For the time, they were good and they’re still fine for what they are.
Though for some reason, I don’t think this is Shirley.
She also apparently lost the oar they showed her using before which probably would have helped her reach this land that’s five feet away.
OH MY GOD LUCE REMEMBERED THE SCENE DIFFERENTLY THAN ME AND I WENT BACK AND CHECKED. ANNE DELIBERATELY THROWS THE PADDLE INTO THE WATER BEFORE LAYING DOWN.
WHAT WAS HER PLAN HERE???? Okay yeah, they don’t use the oar in the book, but that was something they’d DONE BEFORE and only an unexpected accident changed it. Not to mention she just lost Matthew’s oar! ON PURPOSE.
Luckily ole Gilbert happens to be walking by making the only face he knows how to make, the blank stare of confusion.
A large tree branch comes out of nowhere so Anne can grab it. I guess a bridge cost too much.
She hangs there for a minute and – seriously, you’re two feet from the ground. Look, I’m trying not to overdo the screencaps, but the movie is making that difficult.
Gilbert offers much helpful advice like “Don’t be afraid” and “Don’t let go” and then helps pull her up in… actually a realistic way.
I hate complimenting this movie.
He grabs her arms one at a time to pull them around his neck, and then uses the tree limb to help support her as he uses his whole torso to help pull her up, not just pulling her with his arms. Yeah, there’s probably a person whose hands she’s standing on out of sight, but I’m not gonna lie, that was well done.
This may be the last point you get, movie. Take it gracefully.
Ugh. Anne says he hurt her feelings by making fun of her hair and Gilbert says it’s because he couldn’t “take my eyes off it” and it was nice to look at. “When I tried to tell you about it, I guess I didn’t say it right.”
ARE YOU KIDDING ME, MOVIE?
Does this look like the face of a compliment?????
Anne falls for this and frogives him. She says, “You are entitled to a reward – and I shall kiss you.”
This is so off book. I can’t.
Gilbert says he wants Anne to be “his girl”.
We suddenly skip ahead to fall? I guess???? Anne’s wearing a shawl and the trees don’t have leaves. They’re still having the same conversation, though, and Gilbert says he always liked Anne and that’s why he teased her.
Good message, movie.
Oh, apparently it’s been over a year since the hayride, according to Gilbert. Um. Okay. They rehash that whole thing and honestly I need a break. We’ll finish the movie next week.