The Anniversary (1968)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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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 the skeletons in their closets -- and in the case of her eldest son, the women's undies in his dresser drawers.
Classics , Comedy
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Anchor Bay Entertainment


Bette Davis
as Mrs. Taggart
Sheila Hancock
as Karen Taggart
Jack Hedley
as Terry Taggart
James Cossins
as Henry Taggart
Christian Roberts
as Tom Taggart
Elaine Taylor
as Shirley Blair
Timothy Bateson
as Mr. Bird
Arnold Diamond
as Headwaiter
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for The Anniversary

All Critics (4)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | March 25, 2009
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | February 8, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | May 8, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | June 17, 2012
Sight and Sound

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | August 23, 2010
Sight and Sound

No excerpt available.

October 15, 2005

Audience Reviews for The Anniversary

You've seen 'The Anniversary', right? This screamingly funny film from Hammer Films and Roy Ward Baker, based on a stage play, is full of campy costumes and set design but razor sharp dialogue and more than a few twists and turns.

Ian Wolfley
Ian Wolfley

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.

jay nixon
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.

Audrey Lush
Audrey Lush

Super Reviewer

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