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The Anniversary (1968)

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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,279 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 19 critic

Three sons who work in the family construction business help their overbearing mother celebrate her anniversary to her late husband.



(screenplay), (stage play)
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Title: The Anniversary (1968)

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Complete credited cast:
Mrs. Taggart
Karen Taggart
Jack Hedley ...
Terry Taggart
James Cossins ...
Henry Taggart
Tom Taggart
Elaine Taylor ...
Shirley Blair
Timothy Bateson ...
Mr. Bird
Sally-Jane Spencer ...
Arnold Diamond ...
Albert Shepherd ...
Construction Worker
Ralph Watson ...
Construction Worker


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


The Legendary Actress as the Most MERCILESS Mother of Them All! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

7 February 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Anniversary  »

Box Office


$1,450,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Original director, Alvin Rakoff was replaced by Roy Ward Baker when Bette Davis demanded the change. See more »


[Henry has transvestite and kleptomaniac tendencies]
Shirley Blair: I know it's none of my business, but shouldn't you see a psychiatrist?
Henry Taggart: If I didn't do... what I do... there's no telling what I might do.
See more »


Featured in The World of Hammer: Wicked Women (1994) See more »


Für Elise
Music by Ludwig van Beethoven
See more »

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User Reviews

Do you laugh or cry?
22 October 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

My mother thought this film was hilarious, while my father thought it was a gruesome depiction of how awful people can be. I think it's both. I laughed so hard, but I felt bad about it later.

This movie is warped. The characters are warped. It's a weird trip that makes me think Tennessee Williams meets "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf." We have a set number of people, in the same place, and they just rage at each other for the entire duration of the film. (Speaking of "Virginia Woolf"--Elizabeth Taylor could play Mrs. Taggart in a remake...a diamond studded eyepatch. It would be fabulous.)

It's fortunate that this meeting of the monsters was filmed, as you'll never see so many relentlessly horrible people in one place ever again. Front, center, left, right, and diagonal is the massive one-eyed Mrs. Taggart, who lost her eye in an accident involving one of her children. She's a card, you can tell right off. She has different eye patches to match her outfits--I think that's probably a sign of mental illness. She celebrates her anniversary every year so her delightful children can continue to be stuck in her clutches. When the youngest (who gives Mum the "Pissing Boy") tries to alter tradition, Mrs. Taggart crashes into action. She knows everything about everybody, and it's darned hard to outsmart her. Not that she's all that smart, but she's wicked and quite cunning. She has her blackmail schemes planned to the nth degree.

Additionally, there are several moments designed to disturb. They sort of interrupt the story, but who cares? Leaving your glass eye in strategic places is fun! Mrs. Taggart thinks it is, but she'd probably eat babies if given the chance. And while we're at it, let's not forget the girlfriend with the ears! She's a barrel of laughs.

Best moment--Mrs. Taggart makes her big entrance, as a record plays her song, only to trip on the steps. That describes the movie perfectly. It's like falling down stairs. Funny to some people, but not so entertaining to the people involved.

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