Happy Anniversary (1959) – reviewed by George

I think this is the most dated film I have ever seen. Certainly more than any silent movie. I’ve not saying that there are no humorous moments in this comedy. But boy, is it dated!
First, the credits roll interspersed with greeting cards sporting a batch of jokes from the Stone Age. I dare you to laugh.
Happy Anniversary! – Another year shot to hell!
You have what it takes for a happy marriage. – Guts!
A toast to my wife and sweetheart! – May they never meet!
You’ve got something no other woman has! – Me!
You never know real happiness until you’re married – And then it’s too late!

The other dated thing about this movie is the plot. It all revolves around the fact that the parents (David Niven and Mitzi Gaynor) don’t want a TV set in the house. And the kids (Patty Duke and Kevin Coughlin) do. And most unfortunately for being already so out-of-date, the film was shot in glorious black-and-white.
The couple’s best friend is played by Carl Reiner, and Monique Van Vooren plays his current girl-friend, with Elizabeth Wilson as the family maid. The cast and director (David Miller) seem to have given their all, but it just doesn’t hold up, and I can’t imagine that it ever did.
Maybe on stage? The screen play is by Joseph Fields and Jerome Chodorov, based on their play “Anniversary Waltz”.
One genuine laugh: Niven says: “What about our vacation?”
Gaynor replies: “But who would take care of Ock and Debbie?”
Niven: :”The police!”
And yes, the son’s name is Ockie.

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