- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Mrs. Taggart's Quirks
Waltzing out of the upstairs hallway dolled up in all matching red accessories up to her eye patch. Mrs. Taggart makes a grand entrance before her floundering flock of sons, their women & children. Though her husband, their father, is not living, Mrs. Taggart (Bette Davis) will celebrate their marriage anniversary annually with their sons et al. Why is the question. Why have her perpetually breeding daughter-in-law and horde of grandchildren she doesn't like in the least in her home? Why allow the son who shot out her eye years earilier, but whose brattish demeanor has changed so little he's in her bed having sex with his pregnant girlfriend? Why live with and protect from the law a son who's a transvestite with a penchant for stealing neighbor women's clothes? Perhaps to show that those apples didn't fall far from their maternal tree? Mrs. Taggart, as bizarre a figure as she is could possibly have raised un affected sons. So this anniversary reveals the many quirks of Mrs. Taggart & how they rubbed off on her family. It's a riot.
Best Farced on Family Values
I don't believe there's much question that this film is a blatant farce on the precepts of so called family values. Who's family, anyway? The Taggarts'? If so, help us all! Bette Davis is the matriarch with eccentricities that are reasonable considering who her adult children are. The event is the wedding anniversary of she and her deceased husband. That's bizarre. That all of her sons and their families are gathered for this 'sacred' event, is also bizarre. It's hilarious to watch Davis in a very tongue-in-cheek way. The reality is there are actually people like Mrs. Taggart which is kind of scary! Especially if you know any of them.
Sooo Much Fun
Bette Davis makes this film the fun that it is. She's Mrs. Taggart, a wealthy widow who's eccentric. As Bette Davis plays Mrs. Taggart, I am reminded of her tremendous acting skill. She's known for taking some of her characters to the extreme. Mrs. Taggart is who happens when a comedy is a farce. The absurb happens. Her sons are all exggaerations of one defective trait or another. Her costumes are way too matching all the way up to her eye patch! The pace of the film gets faster with action and dialogue punch lines that Davis delivers with prowess. The script was written for her. I hope you enjoy this anniversary as much as I do!
Only Bette Davis Could Pull This Off
For farce lovers and followers of Bette Davis' classics, "The Anniversary" is a one of a kind dramedy. Mrs. Taggart (Bette Davis) is a wealthy enough mother of four sons to hold a good deal of power over them. Each year, on her wedding anniversary, her sons are expected to participate in her celebration, even though her husband's been dead for a decade. The antics that go on throughout the day and evening of Mrs. Taggart's annual family affair are well described in the full synopsis. One important point is missing: this is a fierce farce about intra-family dynamics. It took tremendous acting ability to play the role of the bizarre grand dame of the looney family with a straight face. I'd love to see any outtakes or bloopers from this film, if they exist. Davis must have had a blast playing this part and she does it oh so well.
Even Better With Age
The great actor, Bette Davis, is 60yo when playing a character, Mrs. Taggart, who is probably around the same age. The senior Mrs. Taggart is a widow and it's the death anniversary of her husband. As the family's matriarch, she holds a family reunion at her home ever year on that date. If ever there was a dysfunctional family with a bunch of straight freaks of US culture, this one's it. Davis' performance is one of the best satirical ones on American family values that I've yet to see. Her acting techniques became sharper over time. She seems more relaxed in this role than ever and like she's really enjoying herself. If you like farce, this could be one you'll love.
A Family Farce
As a immoderate matriarch of the wealthy Taggart family, Bette Davis puts on a great air of farce. Still proving that she doesn't give a flip about how she appears, as long as her appearance suits her character, Mrs. Taggart wears outlandish clothes with a matching eye patch (a patch that became necessary after her youngest son accidentally blinded her left eye with projectile toy). The anniversary the highly dysfunctional family's gathered for is their patriarch's death. As a grandmother of one son's perpetually pregnant wife's brewd of brats, Mrs. Taggart's not fond of them. But, she is determined to be an egocentric hostess who goes through the motions of doing quite elaborate rituals to 'celebrate' her husband's death date. The satire on family in general is hilarious, if you get it.
Satire on family, in general
I don't view this film as a "dark comedy." It's a satire on the traditonal concept of what a family consists and how its members behave. The characters are too true to real life ones, instead of the "Cleaver" family idealist verson. The anniversary in question is Bette Davis' husband's death. She eccentric as can be and in a satirical style, hilarious. The rest of her family are all somehow dysfunctional, warped, nuts, or over-breeding. They make her seem sane, even though that's pretty questionable. Davis was made to play part like this. She's way good at comic timing and dead pan satire.
All Dolled Up and Nowhere to Go
Bette Davis' Mrs. Taggart entrance is classic. Dressed in red, accesssorized to the nines (including a matching eye patch), she first appears at the top of the setting home's staircase. Her quirky family awaits below with mixed feelings for her. Mrs. Taggart seems to be the most single-minded of matriarchs. Nothing her adult children or young grandchildren do take her out of focus upon the anniversary of her husband's death. That's what makes the film. The consistent obsession of Mrs. Taggart played by Bette Davis.
Dark Comedy or Satire?
Bette Davis gives the stand out performance as the matriarch of a family as looney as her. Besides being a funny movie, it's also either a satire on US family life being ideal or a dark comedy. This granny can't stand her rotten grandkids or constantly pregnant son's wife. She celebrates the anniversary of her husband's death with the whole nuclear family--all sons with a wife, a girlfriend or women's clothing! Like many of Davis' films they speak volumes beneath the surface. Just look to see what's lying beneath; Davis will be winking.
All Bette Davis fan's should add this to their collection. This is a dark comedy and Bette, like always, is fabulous.