HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Searching
Human Desire
Climax
Stiff Upper Lips
American Animals
Outlaws
Venom
World on a Wire
Velvet Buzzsaw
Picnic
Dick Dickman, PI
Hunter Killer
30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock, The
Race for the Yankee Zephyr
Boys in the Band, The
Brainscan
T-Men
Blame
Upgrade
Evening with Beverly Luff Linn, An
Fear No Evil
One Cut of the Dead
Rosa Luxemburg
Disobedience
On the Job
Monsters and Men
Survival Run
Crucible of the Vampire
I Am Not a Witch
Reign of the Supermen
   
 
Newest Articles
All's Welles That Ends Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 1 on DVD
Shut It! The Sweeney Double Bill: Two Blu-rays from Network
Network Sitcom Movie Double Bill: Till Death Us Do Part and Man About the House on Blu-ray
No, THIS Must Be the Place: True Stories on Blu-ray
Alf Garnett's Life After Death: Till Death... and The Thoughts of Chairman Alf on DVD
Balance of Power: Harold Pinter at the BBC on DVD
Strange Days 2: The Second Science Fiction Weirdness Wave
Strange Days: When Science Fiction Went Weird
Ha Ha Haaargh: Interview With Camp Death III in 2D! Director Matt Frame
Phone Freak: When a Stranger Calls on Blu-ray
A Name to Conjure With: David Nixon's Magic Box on DVD
Which 1950s Sci-Fi was Scariest? Invaders from Mars vs The Blob
The Empire Strikes Back: Khartoum vs Carry On Up the Khyber
Stan and Ollie's Final Folly: Atoll K on Blu-ray
The Big Grapple: Escape from New York and Its Influence
   
 
  Anniversary, The Family TiesBuy this film here.
Year: 1968
Director: Roy Ward Baker
Stars: Bette Davis, Jack Hedley, Christian Roberts, James Cossins, Sheila Hancock, Elaine Taylor, Timothy Bateson
Genre: Comedy, Weirdo
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Every year, the Taggart family gets together to celebrate the anniversary of their matriarch's wedding to her late husband. And every year, Mrs Taggart (Bette Davis) acts obnoxiously and reaffirms the steely grip she has over her sons. This time, youngest son Tom (Christian Roberts) has brought his fiancee (Elaine Taylor) to meet Mother, but the celebration starts to turn ever more bitter and twisted as the night draws on...

This cruel, acid comedy was scripted by producer Jimmy Sangster from the play by Bill MacIlwraith, and added to Bette Davis' line of acting grotesques that she specialised in as she and her career grew older. Her Mother is a formidable figure, with a dazzling grin, and wearing an eyepatch that serves to accentuate her huge remaining eye that fixes the other characters in a withering glare.

Her sons have managed various stages of rebellion: the youngest, Tom, is getting married to escape her, the middle one, Terry, has been married for some years and is planning to emigrate to Canada, and the oldest, Henry, finds his outlet in a strange hobby: collecting clothes ("I've got a lot of Marks and Spencers"). Yet they all work for the family business, a cowboy building firm headed by Mrs Taggart, and they all are cowed into following her wishes.

Davis is perfect for her role, delivering the waspish put downs and outright insults with aplomb. There is no love in this family, they are held together by the mother's devious manipulation and terrible wrath; in fact love is seen as a disadvantage when hate is so much more effective. She will stop at nothing to ensure her brood are at her beck and call, even pretending that Canada-bound Terry's children have been killed in a car crash to make her daughter-in-law see what it feels like to "lose a son".

Although the film makers do their best to ensure that the action isn't confined to one set, The Anniversary is still too talky to look like anything other than a filmed play. And the set design should have been more Gothic to underline those destructive family relationships. By the end of the film, with a new and shocking revelation every few minutes, the bile and bitterness will have worn you out, yet the excellent Davis makes this worth seeing. Does anyone else think that her makeup in this makes her look like Joan Crawford? Or is that stretching things a bit?
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 7946 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Roy Ward Baker  (1916 - 2010)

Reliable British director who worked his way up from teaboy to assistant to Alfred Hitchcock to overseeing his own hit projects from the 1940s to the 1970s. Making his debut with The October Man, he continued with Morning Departure, Don't Bother To Knock, Inferno, The One That Got Away and what is considered by many to be the best Titanic film, A Night To Remember.

After the failure of The Singer Not the Song in the sixties he turned to television, including episodes of The Avengers, The Saint and Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), then to Hammer, where he directed many of the later favourites associated with the studio: Quatermass and the Pit, The Anniversary, The Vampire Lovers, Dr Jekyll and Sister Hyde and The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires. He also made Asylum, Vault of Horror and The Monster Club for Hammer's rivals, then returned for the remainder of his career to TV with episodes of Minder and Fairly Secret Army, among others.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
George White
Enoch Sneed
Stately Wayne Manor
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
   

 

Last Updated: