7.0/10
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The Anniversary (1968)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Thriller | 18 February 1968 (UK)
Three sons who work in the family construction business help their overbearing mother celebrate her anniversary to her late husband.

Director:

Roy Ward Baker

Writers:

Jimmy Sangster (screenplay), Bill MacIlwraith (from the stage play by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bette Davis ... Mrs. Taggart
Sheila Hancock ... Karen Taggart
Jack Hedley ... Terry Taggart
James Cossins ... Henry Taggart
Christian Roberts ... Tom Taggart
Elaine Taylor ... Shirley Blair
Timothy Bateson ... Mr. Bird
Sally-Jane Spencer Sally-Jane Spencer ... Florist
Arnold Diamond ... Headwaiter
Albert Shepherd ... Construction Worker
Ralph Watson Ralph Watson ... Construction Worker
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Storyline

On the celebration of the anniversary of Mrs. Taggart, her three dominated sons come to her house for the party. Terry, Henry and Tom Taggart work in construction, in a business that belonged to their father and is presently managed by their manipulative mother. Tom brings his pregnant fiancée Shirley Blair to tell his mother that they will marry each other; Terry brings his wife Karen Taggart and they secretly intend to emigrate to Canada; and Henry is gay and loves to wear women's underwear. During the night, the mean Mrs. Taggart uses the most despicable means and tricks to get rid off Shirley and Terry and keep her sons close to her. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

There is no name for their kind of EVIL! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 February 1968 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

El aniversario See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,450,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor) (as Technicolor®)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shooting began on May 3 1967. After work on May 8 Davis made her complaint about Rakoff using television techniques to mark out the actors' moves and demanded his replacement. She then refused to turn up for work for the next two days causing resentment among the cast who liked Rakoff. Davis thus cost the production six days of unusable footage and two days where production was at a standstill. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Taggart: [to her middle son] I promise you, I'll have your skin for rags, and wipe the faces of your children with them!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The last shot of Davis freezes and is surrounded by a heart made of flowers with the caption "Happy Anniversary!". See more »

Connections

Version of Blameless Love (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Für Elise
(uncredited)
Music by Ludwig van Beethoven
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User Reviews

 
"My dear, would you mind sitting somewhere else? Body odor offends me."
26 May 2006 | by bensonmum2See all my reviews

Quite simply, Bette Davis dominates every scene and every aspect of The Anniversary. If you don't like Bette Davis, you'd be wise to skip this one altogether. Davis plays Mrs. Taggart, the overbearing mother to three sons. She controls every aspect of their lives. They cannot make a move without her approval. And if she doesn't approve, she's not above ruining one of her sons if it suits her selfish purposes. The Anniversary covers the events surrounding the annual celebration of Mrs. Taggart's wedding anniversary to the late Mr. Taggart. It's Mrs. Taggart's day and she lets everyone know it. She uses this event to cement her control over her sons by threatening financial ruin, jail, and/or public humiliation and by degrading them and their significant others.

Bette Davis is in fine form in The Anniversary. She's evil, vindictive, manipulative, and a ton of fun. She chews scenery like nobody's business. The rest of the cast is good, but they are no match for Ms. Davis. Some of the comments she makes to her youngest son's new fiancé are unbelievable. One of the best is when she quite casually tells the girl, "My dear, would you mind sitting somewhere else? Body odor offends me." Another priceless example is Mrs. Taggart's reaction to the frightened fiancé when she discovers Mrs. Taggart's glass eye in her bed. I don't know of many actresses who could pull-off being so rude and just plain evil and still have the viewer rooting for them.

Hammer Studios made this incredibly black comedy during the 60s when a lot of aging female stars were taking roles in horror movies. The Anniversary may not be a horror film, but it's certainly not the norm you would expect for someone like Bette Davis. I don't know how The Anniversary did financially upon release, but it's the kind of movie I would have liked to have seen Hammer making more of in the late 60, early 70s. Who knows? It might have saved the company.


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