The Anniversary - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Anniversary Reviews

Page 1 of 3
½ July 25, 2016
Bette Davis is superb as the scornful, evil, calculating head of a dysfunctional family, and dominates proceedings, but the support cast are a great foil to her too.
February 16, 2016
Another bette Davis master class. She is the matriarch of a family with 3 sons and own their now crumbling building business. She gives them and their partners merry hell as they celebrate the anniversary of her husbands death
August 19, 2014
Bettie Davis plays a bitchy mom with an eye patch. Sadly, that's not enough to carry the movie.
½ July 20, 2014
Hammer deliver a perfectly pitched black comedy--Wickedly funny hidden gem...!!
April 29, 2014
From Hammer, adapted from Bill MacIlwraith's 1966 play by Jimmy Sangster, and directed by Roy Ward Baker, (A Night to Remember (1958), Quatermass and the Pit (1967) and The Vampire Lovers (1970)), this pitch black comedy has a touch of Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? about it's bones, but with more belly laughs, dark ones at that, but it has a brilliant ensemble cast and some offbeat situations. It begins when the children of Mrs. Taggart (Bette Davis) come round to her house for the annual anniversary, even though Mrs. Taggart's husband has been dead for 10 years. Her children are transvestite Henry (James Cossins), middle son Terry (Jack Hedley) and philandering younger son Tom (Christian Roberts). Terry has some with his shrewish wife Karen (Sheila Hancock), who wants her and Terry to move to Canada, while Tom has arrived with his pregnant girlfriend Shirley Blair (Elaine Taylor). Mrs. Taggart is a wicked, cold-hearted bitch who has nothing nice to say about anyone, and throughout the day and evening, her vile words manage to tear her family apart. It's a very well acted film, with Davis stealing the show as the wicked matriarch, and she's clearly having the time of her life in the role. It was a very different kind of film for Hammer to be tackling, but the result is one of their very best, and they should have tried out more like this, it could have kept them going a bit longer.
December 30, 2012
More than just a campfest, this odd little black comedy from the House of Hammer no less, is a wonderful vehicle for the cruel machinations of Bette Davis' character. She plays a fest of Freudian nightmares all rolled into one horrifying parody of the maternal instinct, and absolutely shines in this picture. The supporting players do a good job as her castrated sons, but the women they are attached to, most notably in the form of Shiela Hancock, rather outshine them.

This is like Entertaining Mr. Sloane meets Mommy Dearest, and rises above being a mere campy melodrama because it's just too dark not to. Even with just the one eye, Bette manages to emote up a storm as is her way. There are loads of laugh out loud moments, but don't think too much on the characters or you might cry. Hilarious and rotten in equal measure.
May 13, 2012
betty snapping with the best of them.
½ March 30, 2012
Bette Davis is a legend.
January 30, 2012
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.
November 10, 2011
This is a fantastic film, ms davies plays a total bitch who every year brings her family together [who all hate her] to commemorate the death of her husband and goes on to torture them emotionally ,knowing they want her money, she glows in this film, a real classic along the lines of baby jane,
November 6, 2011
Bette Davis heaps abuse, blackmail and extortion on her sons, daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law to be for 95 minutes. If that's your idea of a good time, hop on board. If it isn't... It should be.
April 6, 2011
Despite the low production values, if caustic one-liners are your thing, then you'll love this film. Bette Davis offers her usual tour-de-force performance as an over-bearing mother playing with the lives of her family for her own amusement.
June 23, 2009
Bette Davis' excellent performance! Brilliant and absurd film!
Super Reviewer
May 27, 2009
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.
½ February 16, 2009
Wonderfully dark and nasty with choice dialogue to spare. Bette Davis and Sheila Hancock come out the strongest and their exchanges are to die for. Very funny.
December 7, 2008
The film, The Nanny, might be a better film, but Bette Davis is WAY over the top in this film!
½ October 5, 2008
A delicious Bette Davis hamming up the screen in this crazy black comedy! The real reason is to see Ms. Davis (who takes up most of the scenes) she is quite a hoot!
½ September 27, 2008
Bette Davis rips seven shades of shit out of her family during an anniversary party with razor wit, an eye-patch and a cruel glare. What's not to like.
½ September 6, 2008
Unusual Hammer film is a cynical and bizarre black comedy with Bette Davis devouring the scenery as a twisted matriarch. The story gets off to a slow start, but gets far better in the second half - even if it never does quite reach its potential outrageousness. The script feels a bit stagey - maybe sticking too close to the theatrical source material - but director Roy Ward Baker keeps the character interactions from a group of top-notch actors crackling. Definitely worth seeking out.
½ August 17, 2008
Bette as the mother in this movie puts Mommie Dearest to shame! A great movie (set in the early 70s) about a woman who has complete control over her three sons!
Page 1 of 3