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Although the copyright entry states that the film was based on the "novels" of L. M. Montgomery, only Anne of Green Gables is mentioned in the onscreen credits. According to Daily Variety news items, George Nicholls, Jr. replaced Alfred Santell as director on the project. Santell reportedly left the production after RKO executives refused to allow him to shoot on location in Santa Cruz, insisting that he use process background shots instead. The film was scheduled to open on October 26, 1934, but its premiere was postponed until the end of November, at which time it was touted as a "Thanksgiving" holiday release. As a publicity gimmick, actress Dawn O'Day, who made her starring debut in this film, changed her professional name to match that of the title character. Shirley retained the name permanently and played the "Anne Shirley" part again in RKO's 1940 sequel Anne of Windy Poplars (see below listing). In 1919 Realart Pictures made the first film version of Montgomery's novel, which was directed by William Desmond Taylor and starred Mary Miles Minter (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20; F1.0116). In 1985 and 1986, Kevin Sullivan directed and Megan Fellows and Colleen Dewhurst starred in two popular public television mini-series adapted from the "Anne of Green Gables" novels.