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The Anniversary


Comedy / Drama / Thriller

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Bette Davis Photo
Bette Davis as Mrs. Taggart
Christian Roberts Photo
Christian Roberts as Tom Taggart
Elaine Taylor Photo
Elaine Taylor as Shirley Blair
Sheila Hancock Photo
Sheila Hancock as Karen Taggart
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
870.97 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 34 min
P/S 10 / 43
1.58 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 34 min
P/S 16 / 57

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by bensonmum28 / 10

"My dear, would you mind sitting somewhere else? Body odor offends me."

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.

Reviewed by The_Void9 / 10

Hammer deliver a perfectly pitched black comedy!

Hammer studios are, of course, most famous for their horror productions; but the studio also gave us a number of films from other genres, and The Anniversary is a huge non-horror highlight! This camp and perfectly pitched black comedy is directed by one of the studio's heavyweight directors, Roy Ward Baker and is probably most famous for the fact that it stars the great Bette Davis in the sort of role that made her famous. However, the positive elements don't end there as The Anniversary benefits from a strong script and a varied array of characters that ensure the action is always entertaining and filled with tension. The film is an obvious inspiration for modern hits such as the Danish 'Festen', and works due its claustrophobic setting and well drawn characters. The central plot is brilliantly simple, and follows a family gathering for the anniversary of an overbearing mother and her late husband. She demands the presence of her three sons; a shy cross-dresser, a henpecked father of five and a careless youth who brings a different fiancé to meet his mother every year - and proceeds to rip them to pieces.

Bette Davis is undoubtedly the lead star of this production, and she completely controls every scene she's in; thus giving a huge compliment to the support cast, who all give realistic and interesting performances. Sheila Hancock, Jack Hedley, James Cossins, Christian Roberts and Elaine Taylor provide perfect support for Davis, and the combined cast give credibility to a script that could have ended up giving way to a comical film. The film is based on a stage play by Bill MacIlwraith, and perhaps the best thing about his writing is the way he manages to bring out traits from the vindictive matriarch in all three of her sons. As you'd expect, it's Bette Davis who gets the best lines and seeing the great actress have fun delivering them is brilliantly entertaining and ensures that the black comedy elements always shine through. The central setting - the parental home - makes up the backbone of the story and is an ingenious place for the story to take place, as we're always aware that the support characters are very much in Davis' domain and the fact that most of the action takes place under one roof means that claustrophobia is a big part of the story. This film may be avoided by some Hammer fans who are only interested in the horror - but it really shouldn't be. I don't hesitate to name this as one of the very best films Hammer ever made and it comes highly recommended to all!

Reviewed by nycritic7 / 10

Happy Anniversary, Mrs. Taggart.

Bette Davis has a field day as the manipulative, central character in this macabre domestic black comedy from Hammer. Here she plays Mrs Taggart, a monster mother who every year celebrates her husband's death by throwing a dinner party which all of her sons must attend. There is a vague similarity to The Lion in Winter in which another dysfunctional family convenes and plot against one another (and against their devious mother, played majestically by Katharine Hepburn),but this one has a few aces up its sleeve, one involving a glass eye that makes a shocking appearance midway.

The entire concept is a tad far-fetched. One would ask, can't these grown men with wives stand up to this woman and just not go? It's not like she is holding them hostage with a gun to their heads. But guilt-trips go a long way, and when you add that to a family with unhealthy ties it all makes sense. It's this underlying tone of darker waters that take The Anniversary a step up from a conventional Gothic potboiler and one can see a seminal link to future films such as August: Osage County. Of the movies Bette Davis made towards the twilight of her career, this one is a minor standout.

For pop culture enthusiasts, The Anniversary served as a template for the Mexican telenovela Cuna de Lobos, itself a complete reworking of this film.

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