Basic Story – Grown Anne returns to Avonlea, joins Gilbert in New York, meets a dashing American writer and seeks her husband, missing in action in Europe.
Anne of Green Gables: The Continuing Story comes several years after the first two productions in the collection; however, the story continues relatively right where it left off. Structurally, the film takes a different opening approach. It has the opening credits, but instead it does flashbacks to earlier films as Anne has been away from home for a very long time. In addition, the film now has time stamps to notify the audience of the era – which is new for the series as there was never worry about time. This production, perhaps the hardest hitting one, because it throws the viewers into the difficulties of life. Life isn’t easy and to be able to enjoy it means either sacrifice or fighting for what you want and believe is right. The story focuses on Anne and Gilbert in the first half, but as the war becomes the center of the plot, it returns to Anne’s desperation to find her husband.
As it opens during the Summer of 1915, it appears Anne’s story is taking a darker turn. From 1914-1918, World War I was happening and Canada – still being tied to the British government – Canada was thrown into the war. The war continues to be a haunting theme throughout the film about what is right for one’s family and one’s reputation. In addition, we learn that Marilla passed about 5 years ago and Green Gables was sold off and has been basically left to rot.
The film takes another trip this time to America, which it portrays New York as a sleazy money-grabbing city. Anne challenges gender norms by working as an editor and writer trying to get her work published in a company that has never published a woman. However, New York imposes those gender norms on Anne and Gilbert as much as it can with Anne being forced into the editor-secretary role and Gilbert, though a doctor-surgeon, told he isn’t to deal with child-birth because it’s a woman’s role. After the traumatizing trip, Anne and Gilbert return back to Avonlea where Gilbert has purchased Green Gables.
The war becomes the main focus of the story once back after the America adventure with two quotes that prove to be the center of the second half of the film, “We can’t always take the obvious road in life” and “What did you do in the Great War?” As the film continues, the importance to Anne that she has Gilbert continues to be the greatest struggle that she ends up finding a way to Europe to track Gilbert down. Along the way, she runs into old co-workers and ends up having to adopt their child because of the war. She eventually reunites with Gilbert and takes him home to live the rest of their lives raising their adoptive son and enjoying the fruits of their labor.