The Anniversary

The Anniversary

Roy Ward Baker (1968)

X Certificate


Our Score
Britain's Hammer studios took a break from monsters and ghoulies of the past to produce contemporary chillers for a brief period. Here, Hollywood grande dame Bette Davis provides the scares, and some laughs, as an eyepatch-wearing virago ruling an ill-assorted family in England's suburbia. The rest of the cast is no match for Davis, but Sheila Hancock, Jack Hedley and, particularly, James Cossins, hold their own. This slice of Grand Guignol was based on a play and, despite Brighton Rock cinematographer Harry Waxman's excellent colour photography, the atmosphere is resolutely theatrical. Still, Davis is always watchable, even if one has the decided impression that she regarded this film as slumming, despite the fact that she had quite a say in the production.


A domineering and vitriolic widow tries to keep her family together by holding an annual meeting to mourn the death of the husband she actually despised. Black comedy, starring Bette Davis, James Cossins, Jack Hedley and Sheila Hancock.

Cast & Crew

Mrs Taggart Bette Davis
Karen Taggart Sheila Hancock
Terry Taggart Jack Hedley
Henry Taggart James Cossins
Tom Taggart Christian Roberts
Shirley Blair Elaine Taylor
Mr Bird Timothy Bateson
Headwaiter Arnold Diamond
Director Roy Ward Baker
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Hammer Film Prods LtdAvailable on: video and DVD