Grey Gardens

( 19 )

Overview

Albert and David Maysles, pioneers in the cinéma vérité movement of documentary filmmaking, chose for their subjects of this film a mother and daughter with celebrity connections. Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edie (or, as they are called by the brothers, Big Edie and Little Edie) are aunt and cousin to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. In the early '70s, their 28-room mansion in Long Island's tony community of East Hampton was found to be a health hazard, and the two women, in their seventies and fifties, were ...
See more details below
Blu-ray (Pan & Scan)
$19.99
BN.com price
(Save 50%)$39.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Blu-ray)
  • All (4) from $27.21   
  • New (4) from $27.21   

Overview

Albert and David Maysles, pioneers in the cinéma vérité movement of documentary filmmaking, chose for their subjects of this film a mother and daughter with celebrity connections. Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edie (or, as they are called by the brothers, Big Edie and Little Edie) are aunt and cousin to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. In the early '70s, their 28-room mansion in Long Island's tony community of East Hampton was found to be a health hazard, and the two women, in their seventies and fifties, were threatened with eviction. Jacqueline Onassis paid for the house to be put in good order, and two years later, the Maysles paid the ladies a series of follow-up visits. This is not fly-on-the-wall filmmaking; the brother are sometimes shown on camera, and both women talk directly to them. Big Edie reminisces about her husband (from whom she has long been separated) and her youthful singing career, Little Edie ruminates over memories of her thwarted romances and confides that she has to get out of Grey Gardens (the name of their estate), although she has been living there since 1952, and the two women pick at each other for transgressions past and present. The women share their home with at least five cats and several raccoons, for whom Little Edie leaves out food in the attic. They are not recluses; they host a modest 79th birthday party for Big Edie, they employ a gardener, and they are often visited by Jerry, a young handyman/lost soul whom Little Edie calls "the Marble Faun," after the Nathaniel Hawthorne story. "It's very difficult to keep the line between the past and the present," Little Edie says near the beginning of the film, and it becomes clear that both women are much more comfortable reliving their respective youths (in some ways, Little Edie has never left hers), than facing their rather bleak old and middle age.
Read More Show Less

Special Features

New 2K digital film restoration, approved by director Albert Maysles, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack; Digital transfer of The Beales of Grey Gardens, approved by Maysles, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack; Audio commentary for Grey Gardens, featuring Maysles, codirectors Ellen Hovde and Muffie Meyer, and associate producer Susan Froemke; Introduction to The Beales of Grey Gardens by Maysles; Audio excerpts from a 1976 interview with Little Edie Beale; Interviews with fashion designers Todd Oldham and John Bartlett on the continuing influence of Grey Gardens; Behind-the-scenes photographs; Trailers; PLUS: an essay by critic Hilton Als
Read More Show Less

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?
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/10/2013
  • UPC: 715515112215
  • Original Release: 1976
  • Rating:

  • Source: Criterion
  • Region Code: A
  • Presentation: Pan & Scan
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:34:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 198

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
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 19 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews