Former child actress Dawn O'Day changed her professional name for Anne of Green Gables, assuming the moniker of her character in the film, Anne Shirley. This first of three RKO films based on the novels of L. M. Montgomery finds young, orphaned, hoydenish Anne arriving at a Canadian household. Though it's an uphill climb, Anne eventually melts the hearts of her truculent foster parents O.P. Heggie and Helen Westley. Despite the unwarranted scrutiny of local gossip Sara Haden, Anne finds true love with stalwart Tom Brown. Anne of Green Gables proved successful enough to warrant a sequel, produced six years later and also starring Anne Shirley: 1940's Anne of Windy Poplars.