Director-Roy Ward Baker
Scott’s Review #52
Reviewed June 21, 2014
The Anniversary is a British film based on a play of the same name. The story centers on the Taggert family reunion celebrating the anniversary of the matriarch (Bette Davis) and the deceased patriarch.
The film is set like a play and most of the action takes place inside the Taggert family mansion. The film is all Davis and she gives a deliciously over-the-top performance as a vicious mother intent on controlling her 3 son’s lives and terrorizing their wives or significant others with cutting remarks and insults.
Davis must have had fun with this role as her storied career was clearly on the downturn and this role allowed her to let loose. One must wonder if Davis chewed up the actors in the cast as much as the characters- rumor has it she was quite intimidating to her fellow actors and a terror to work with which adds to the macabre enjoyment. Her physical appearance of an eye patch, wig, cigarette, and bright red lipstick all works in her favor. Her maniacal laugh is incredibly campy and wonderful to watch.
Bette Davis is one of the greats and this late-career romp is fun to watch.