Grey Gardens

( 19 )

Overview

Filmmaker brothers David Maysles and Al Maysles bring their unique vision to Grey Gardens. Criterion has done a fine job on this 1.33:1 full-frame transfer, which sports decent colors and a minimal amount of dirt and grain. While this could have been a sharper transfer, overall, this is very nice-looking for its age well over 25 years old. The audio is presented in Dolby Digital 1.0 and supports the film well. While this mix is very flat and uninteresting, it works fine within the confines of the film. Also ...
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DVD (Mono)
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Overview

Filmmaker brothers David Maysles and Al Maysles bring their unique vision to Grey Gardens. Criterion has done a fine job on this 1.33:1 full-frame transfer, which sports decent colors and a minimal amount of dirt and grain. While this could have been a sharper transfer, overall, this is very nice-looking for its age well over 25 years old. The audio is presented in Dolby Digital 1.0 and supports the film well. While this mix is very flat and uninteresting, it works fine within the confines of the film. Also included on this disc are English subtitles. Criterion has done a nice job at throwing on a few extra features starting with a commentary by Al Maysles, Ellen Hovde, Muffie Meyer, and Susan Froemke. This is a very insightful commentary with all of the participants reciting stories and facts about the production of the film. Also included on this disc is a strange 1969 interview with "Little" Edie Beale, fascinating interviews with Todd Oldham and John Bartlett, theatrical trailers for the film, and some short filmographies on the crew.
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Special Features

New digital transfer, with an RSDL dual-layer edition for optimal image quality; audio commentary by directors Albert Maysles, Ellen Hovde, and Muffie Meyer, and associate producer Susan Froemke; excerpts from a 1976 audio interview with Little Edie Beale by Kathryn G. Graham for Interview magazine; video interviews with fashion designers Todd Oldham and John Bartlett on the continuing influence of Grey Gardens; hundreds of behind-the-scenes photographs; trailers; filmographies
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Tom Wiener
Although Salesman their breakthrough film and Gimme Shelter their most accessible film are better known in the canon of Maysles brothers' movies, arguably their most moving film is this portrait of two aging women stuck in time and locked in a mother-daughter relationship for the ages. Edith Beale and Edie Beale are related to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, which presumably brought them to the attention of the Maysles when the women were almost evicted from their rundown mansion on Long Island. But the Kennedy connection is really only incidental; this could be any mother and daughter whose past lives of wealth and privilege are all they have to go on in their respective old and middle age. The third character here is their house, slowly succumbing to age and neglect, but, especially for Big Edie, the supreme symbol of her once glorious past. The film is both heartbreaking and unexpectedly funny. Little Edie as the filmmakers call her loves confiding to the camera, and her sense of fashion which runs to interesting head wraps and inverted skirts and her way with words make her an endlessly entertaining subject, even as you sense the desperation beneath her dancing and singing routines and her whispered monologues. The film's most common image -- of Little Edie confiding to the Maysles that she has to get out of Grey Gardens while her mother calls her from another room to come and help her -- goes beyond even the specificity of wealth gone to ruin. What middle-aged offspring of an aging and needy parent hasn't experienced the same tug of emotions?
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/14/2001
  • UPC: 037429159125
  • Original Release: 1976
  • Rating:

  • Source: Criterion
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Presentation: Mono
  • Sound: monaural
  • Time: 1:34:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 7,208

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Edie Beale
Edith Bouvier Beale
Technical Credits
Ellen Hovde Director, Editor
Albert Maysles Director, Cinematographer
David Maysles Director, Cinematographer
Muffie Meyer Director, Editor
Lee Dichter Sound/Sound Designer
Susan Froemke Associate Producer, Editor
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Chapters
1. "The cat got out!" [:10]
2. "The Best costume for today" [:05]
3. Mother and Daughter [2:48]
4. The Libra Man [3:05]
5. Photo Album [3:18]
6. "Tea For Two" [2:16]
7. "Try Really Try" [4:21]
8. A Staunch Character [6:03]
9. Young Edie [6:03]
10. The Marching Song [1:41]
11. "The Night And The Music" [5:35]
12. The Marble Faun [6:46]
13. Raccoons [5:21]
14. A Strict Hand [4:27]
15. "I'll Take A Dog Any Day" [3:15]
16. True Talents [2:35]
17. Birthday Party [3:13]
18. Mother's Little Girl [4:09]
19. Performance [6:20]
20. "Don't Throw Bouquets at Me" [1:53]
21. Jerry's Moving In [1:48]
22. The Pink Room [3:43]
23. "It's My Mother's House" [2:17]
24. End Credits [8:04]
25. Color Bars [4:10]
0. Index
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play The Movie
   Commentary
      A Mother And A Daughter
      Introducing Edie
      Trying To Find The Story
      Why Didn't Edie Marry
      Remembering The Past
      A Good Stylist
      The Editor's Role
      Staunch Character
      From There To Here
      Dancer Fantasy
      Having An Audience
      The Project's Beginning
      "Full Of Beans"
      Big Edie's Throne Room
      Top Dog
      Reno Sweeney's
      Birthday Party
      Little Edie's Self-Awareness
      Competing For Attention
      Outsiders
      The Maysles Team
      Climax
      "She's Trapped"
      "It's All In The Film"
      Color Bars
   Little Edie
      Boarding School To Movie Star
      Disruptions
      Omissions
      To Marble faun
      Fixing Up The House
      The Maysles Grey Garden And New York City
      The Raids
      Unusual Subjects
      Regrets
      An Old-Fashioned Girl
      Damaged
   Interviews
      Todd Oldham
      John Bartlett
   Scrapbook
      Family Album
      Behind The Scenes
      Cats
   Trailers
      Original Theatrical Trailer
      TV Spot
   Filmographies
      Maysles Films
      Middlemarch Films
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 19 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    fragile & quirky documentary

    Having heard about this "cult" documentary for several years, I really wasnt sure what to expect once I saw it. Its still rather shocking to see Jackie Kennedy's Aunt and cousin living in near squalor. These women seem rather oblivious to their fetid living conditions, concentrating on their petty day-to-day rivalries. Although they would be loathe to admit it, rarely have a mother & daughter seemed more symbiotic. Each entertained dreams of show buisness glory, but the times, and their vaunted stations in life conspired to keep them from achieving their goals. At the end of the film, my first reaction was one of sadness. Big Edie and Little Edie lived out their days in obscurity and squalor. But then I realized in the end, they did attain notoriety. Not only is the film a living hommage to their indominable spirits, but it has since been turned into a Tony award winning musical and will soon be a movie featuring Drew Barrymore. So in a way, they have achieved a sort of immortality

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    ABSOLUTELY TERRIFIC

    THIS IS A WONDERFUL GLIMPSE INTO SO MANY DIFFERENT WORLDS. I HAVE BEEN TRULY TOUCHED BY THE FILM. WE watched in chronilogical order thru to the HBO movie. OUTSTANDING...it is so true as Little E said
    "things just seem to pile up after Labor Day......."

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    One You Have to See to Believe

    Forget the HBO film. Here are the Beales, Big and Little Edie in all their decrepit glory. Even though this was filmed after Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Lee Radziwill helped clean up the property to save it from condemnation, one can already see the signs of willful neglect and not-so-hidden madness creeping back in. Big and Little Edie shared a codependent relationship that, at times, seems to drive one or the other over some unseen edge. The famous "fight" scene is so emotionally honest and harrowing one might be tempted to skip ahead to another chapter on the DVD. To do this would be to do a disservice to the Beales, as one can tell that they really did love each other, through all the wear and tear on their lives and their house. The Maysles Brothers do another slam-bang job in creating a documentary that allows the subjects to present themselves, rather than focusing on one or two aspects of the Beales. I recommend this very highly, with this caveat: Be sure to watch this in its intended 1.33/1 aspect ratio. Stretching this out to fit a widescreen TV doesn't diminish the film's impact, but it doesn't do proper service to two filmmakers who worked hard to catch what they were able to. Afterwards, lift a flute of champagne to Big and Little Edie Bouvier Beale, fallen socialites and paragons of character.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Try to tip toe through these tulips.

    Full of thought provocking information. Leaves you with a very strange feeling. Like you wish you could have done something, but couldn't to help someone.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 15, 2011

    So extremely interesting. You can't take your eyes off of it!

    I loved this documentary. So very intriguing. You just don't want it to end. The tone and calmness in the voices. The simple, easy lifestyle of these woman. Everything is something. I just loved it.
    Living in squalor, they couldn't care less. They were living in another place and time in their minds and it was just so fun for me to watch.
    I guess the most interesting part is that they were related to Jackie Kennedy. That was really the draw for me, the relation to Jackie Kennedy.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted September 5, 2009

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    Posted August 29, 2009

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    Posted June 17, 2009

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    Posted November 23, 2009

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    Posted June 30, 2010

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    Posted July 14, 2009

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    Posted July 14, 2009

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    Posted November 14, 2009

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