7.2/10
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The Anniversary (1968)

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

Director:

Roy Ward Baker

Writers:

Jimmy Sangster (screenplay), Bill MacIlwraith (from the stage play by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bette Davis ... Mrs. Taggart
Sheila Hancock ... Karen Taggart
Jack Hedley ... Terry Taggart
James Cossins ... Henry Taggart
Christian Roberts ... Tom Taggart
Elaine Taylor ... Shirley Blair
Timothy Bateson ... Mr. Bird
Sally-Jane Spencer Sally-Jane Spencer ... Florist
Arnold Diamond ... Headwaiter
Albert Shepherd Albert Shepherd ... Construction Worker
Ralph Watson Ralph Watson ... Construction Worker
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

I Spy with my little eye Something beginning with SEX . . . and I mean to put a stop to it See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 February 1968 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

El aniversario See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,450,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor) (as Technicolor®)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Quotes

Karen Taggart: [Mrs Taggart wants Karen to sign an I.O.U] Will ink do or would you like it in blood?
Mrs. Taggart: Ink will be fine dear.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The last shot of Davis freezes and is surrounded by a heart made of flowers with the caption "Happy Anniversary!". See more »

Connections

Edited into Hollywood Burn (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Shaking Shadows
(uncredited)
Music by Sam Fonteyn
KPM Music Ltd
See more »

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User Reviews

 
What you see in Bette is what you get
4 September 2006 | by theowinthropSee all my reviews

It's my favorite Davis performance post-BABY JANE among her horror films. THE ANNIVERSARY, with Bette as the evil but grand Mrs. Taggert. From the moment the film begins she is constantly in control, even in those scenes where she is not physically appearing.

It is her wedding anniversary, and her three sons and the wife of one and the current girlfriend of another are in attendance. And in the course of the ninety minutes of the film, no matter what attempts to put Mrs. Taggart into her place or at least into a more reasonable frame of mind, she comes up trumps in making them feel like garbage. To be fair Mrs. Taggart has some grounds to be so vile - her missing eye is due to the antics of her sons. But even so, she takes bad behavior to a new level.

I have a sneaking suspicion, giving the devilish charm she brought to the role, Davis enjoyed this film. She was (despite her denials) a very difficult woman to get along with, and probably enjoyed how her character totally dominates this film. But it's done with such panache. Look at how she notes her youngest son's girlfriend (a cute looking blonde) has a secret physical defect that she uses her hair to hide. And she does so accidentally reveal it to the entire family.

Nobody escapes her witchery. In the course of the film she is getting some tiresome phone calls from one of her tenants about the work she did in constructing his house. She is as sweet as molasses in calming him down, but once she has hung up she tells her oldest son that they use a third rate repairman to fix the tenant's problem. Indeed, the last sequence in the film, when Bette passes a fountain that is of a male figure who shoots out water in a "unique" manner shows Mrs. Taggert's view of how the world should be treated.


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