The Anniversary (1968)

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Movie Info

Bette Davis plays a wealthy one-eyed widow (complete with designer eye patch) who gathers her sons together once a year to celebrate the death of the husband she detested. Mama Davis couldn't be more castrating if her last name was Bobbitt: Her grown sons (it's been 10 years since daddy died) are essentially weaklings who seem to secretly covet the emotional stranglehold she has over them. When she can't exert her authority of her sons by normal means, Davis blackmails them with her knowledge of … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Classics, Comedy
Directed By:
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 4, 2006
Runtime:
Anchor Bay Entertainment

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Cast


as Mrs. Taggart

as Karen Taggart

as Terry Taggart

as Henry Taggart

as Shirley Blair

as Tom Taggart

as Headwaiter
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for The Anniversary

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (3)

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Variety
Top Critic

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

The movie's not much, but Bette has a field day with the material.

August 24, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

The rhythm comes from the sharp, snappy dialogue. And Davis snaps with the best of them

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
rec.arts.movies.reviews

October 15, 2005
Zap2it.com

Audience Reviews for The Anniversary

Bette's in full on camp bitch mode here and having a hell of a good time, if you're in that mood too you'll have a fine time.

jjnxn
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

A very good friend is gnashing her teeth over my having reviewed 999 movies and not yet making it to 1000.This is for you Lisa!

The Anniversary is one of Bette Davis' most campy,viscious roles. The dialogue is razor sharp,clipped and maniacally melodramatic like only Davis could have done. As the matriarch of an affluent family,Bette maintains a death like grip over her three highly emasculated sons,controlling and manipulating them through,blackmail,guilt,deception and dialogue that symbolically castrates them over,and over again.

The occassion is a her yearly mandatory "party" wherein she and her broken children "celebrate" her marriage to her late husband.

Bette has center stage as she forces her three adult sons and two of their ssignificant others,to go through a highly ritualized series of events,in honor of her late husband. Within tthis "festive" event,her character delights in emotionally torturing all,with tthe coldness and cruelty of a maternal Mengele.

She allows for occassional momentary relief for her victims and then, like a cobra,lashes out and destroys any sense of peace and security during the "party"-loving every minute, watching them squirm and assume the fetal position. One might say that Norman Bates mother,was probably a kinder gentler version of this character.

Film noire fans MUST see this film,as well as those who mourn the lost art of dialogue in the movies.

alush1
Audrey Lush

Super Reviewer

The Anniversary Quotes

– Submitted by Ford-Hamilton H (3 years ago)

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