A young girl reveals how a little positive thinking can make a big difference. Every dark cloud has a silver lining?and young Pollyanna knows how to find it. Newcomer Georgina Terry makes a stirring debut as Pollyanna in ... more »this heartwarming tale of a little girl whose effortless charm captures the hearts of family, friends, and strangers alike. After the death of her father, Pollyanna moves in with her downcast, embittered aunt (Amanda Burton, Silent Witness). Soon, Pollyanna charms everyone in the beautiful English village she now calls home?except her cold-hearted aunt who refuses to see the brighter side of life. Aunt Polly, despite her vast wealth, impressive estate, and numerous servants, treats young Pollyanna more like an stranger than a relative, but when tragedy strikes, Pollyanna?s sunny outlook persuades her aunt to confront past ghosts and embrace the promise of happiness. Based on the classic novel by Eleanor H. Porter, Pollyanna is a treat sure to be treasured by the entire family.« less
"Georgina Terry plays Pollyanna with a sweet faced, ever-happy style that suits the plot. It's pretty faithful to the original plot of the missionary's daughter, orphaned and coming to live with a strict aunt. As Pollyanna plays her "Glad Game" and teaches it to the problem characters, the villagers' lives are transformed. Everyone from the reclusive misanthrope to the chronically ill to the town doctor find new ways of looking at life from interacting with the little girl. The very name Pollyanna is now synonymous for unreasoning optimism due to this book. I loved this story when I read it as a child and am glad they treated it well in this remake. The costumes and setting fit very well (although the original book was not English) and have the usual high quality of a Masterpiece Theater production. I had to knock off a star because sometimes the actors spoke too fast or breathlessly so some of the dialogue is lost."
"Glad" I purchased this
Meerkat | 12/04/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I recently watched the Masterpiece Theater version of Pollyanna. I have seen the Disney/Haley Mills version which is cute, but will give you a toothache. I wasn't sure what to expect because the story itself is very sweet, so it's not like it's going to vary from that too much. The Masterpiece Theater version is very good! The little girl who plays Pollyanna is exceptional. The costuming is wonderful, and the script is great (there are several laugh out loud moments). This version of Pollyanna is a fun production that you can enjoy without making you want to lapse into a coma from the sugary sweetness of it all."
L. Watkinson | Dereham, Norfolk United Kingdom | 10/10/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This English Adaption is a brilliant contrast to Pollyanna starring Hayley Mills. It has a good British cast with Amanda Burton as Aunt Polly who is obsessed with health, Georgina Terry plays Pollyanna who finds something good in everyone. Georgina plays her well. At the end it is good that we see Pollyanna after her treatment to her back which unfortunately we do not see WIth POllyanna starring Hayley Mills.
Each film has its own uniqueness and contrast between GReat Britain and America ."
A Remake Better Than The Originals
Only-A-Child | 01/05/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This 2003 Masterpiece Theatre version of "Pollyanna" is the ultimate feel-good movie and because it is a bit less sappy than the 1960 Disney version you can enjoy repeated viewings anytime you need some cheering up. The new version is also more faithful to Eleanor Porter's original 1913 story and more focused on characterization than on elaborate set design and visual dynamics (there is no town fair and the comic relief has a more mature quality). And the setting is moved to Edwardian England with liberal use of wide angle lenses to capture the lush countryside.
The real improvement, however, is in the casting of the title character. Georgina Terry, with her red hair and freckles, projects such effortless charm that even the most cynical should be won over. Hayley Mills' performance was more forced and she was really too old for the role. Terry's Pollyanna is much more convincing, both in her continuing attachment to her father and in her struggles to play his glad game in the face of so much adversity. "I suppose it's as easy to be happy about things as to not be". This struggle was at the core of Porter's story and the 2003 version makes a real effort to construct a multi-dimensional Pollyanna who would have met with Porter's and her readers' approval.
Otherwise, the physical casting of the two movies are amazingly similar. Amanda Burton and Pam Ferris in particular conjure up vivid memories of their predecessors Jane Wyman and Agnes Moorehead. Burton portrays Aunt Polly more sympathetically, much more in line with Porter's original characterization. Instead of a ruthless and conniving queen bee, she is more hurt than mean. The tip off comes early as she amusingly allows herself to be persuaded by Tim (Tom Ellis) to purchase a motor car. Tim provides most of the film's comic relief as his prowess with automobiles is contrasted with his shy and awkward romantic overtures toward Nancy (both motor car and romance are creations of the adaptation and not part of the Porter's original story). And Aunt Polly's obsession with flies is nicely played for laughs.
There is a trade-off between the versions relative to the characters. Moorehead's Mrs. Snow was more memorable and entertaining; Ferris is not given enough material. Conversely, Kenneth Cranham (Mr. Pendleton) has more to work with than did Adolphe Menjou (Mr. Pendergast) and is not handicapped by having to share scenes with Kevin Corcoran. As in the book, the less irritating Jimmy Bean (Ben Thornton) of the 2003 version has a smaller role and there is more emphasis on Pollyanna's individual relationship with Mr. Pendleton (who was once in love with Pollyanna's mother).
The only real weakness of the Masterpiece Theatre version was the need to adapt the story to a compressed 90-minute running time. This was to some extent a mixed blessing because while there are transitional gaps, the time constraints forced them to get creative ant this led to some nice sequences. A montage of a bewildered Aunt Polly receiving a parade of townspeople extolling Pollyanna's virtues is especially good, and it nicely sets her up for a mild scolding by Nancy about not allowing Pollyanna to speak openly about her father. They also responded positively to the running time issue by jumping right into the story at the beginning (just running the titles over the scene) and by wrapping things up with an understated ending that let the audience just interpret what they were seeing.
The "Pollyanna" story has a timeless appeal for children who get off on her ability to influence adults but this film version is also a wonderful family film. This convincing story of how an 11-year-old girl's indomitable spirit positively impacts everyone around her offers enough nuances to keep adults entertained and may even elicit a few tears from otherwise cynical observers.
Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child."
Remake far surpasses the original
skater | 02/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This film is a must-see and a wonderful treat for the whole family. My kids asked me to check it out from the library and after we watched it together as a whole family, I bought a copy from Amazon to add to our collection of family films. It's rare that a remake would outshine the original, but this one is in a class by itself and leaves the 1960 version in the dust. The casting and writing were superb; this film remains true to the book, which I appreciate. (I cannot tell you how annoying it is when filmmakers second-guess the classics and compromise the story in order to make it more "appealing.")
Amanda Burton did right by author Eleanor H. Porter in her interpretation of Aunt Polly. It would be so easy for an actress to make this a mere two-dimensional character, but Burton thoroughly masters this role. Georgina Terry is a wonderful Pollyanna. She is a relatively new to the film industry and she does have a few bad acting habits onscreen here and there that I noticed, but she was such a lovable Pollyanna that the shortcomings really don't matter.
As a mom I can wholly recommend this film to add to your family's home library. If you want your children to enjoy a film that embraces Christianity, upholds the sanctity of marriage, and tickles your eyes with sweet glimpses of English country living, then this DVD would probably be the best 18 bucks you've spent in a long time."