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.
Grey Gardens:; New digital transfer; Audio commentary by directors Albert Maysles, Ellen Hovde, and Muffie Meyer and associate producer Susan Froemke; Excerpts from a 1976 recorded 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, and filmographies; Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing; Plus: An essay by critic Hilton Als; ; The Beale of Grey Gardens:; New digital transfer, approved by director Albert Maysles; New video introduction by Albert Maysles; Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing; Plus: A new essay by Village Voice columnist Michael Musto
Disc #1 -- Grey Gardens 1. "The Cat Got Out!" [2:47] 2. "The Best Costume for Today" [3:05] 3. Mother and Daughter [3:18] 4. The Libra Man [2:16] 5. Photo Album [4:21] 6. "Tea for Two" [6:03] 7. "Try, Really Try" [6:03] 8. A Staunch Character [1:41] 9. Young Edie [5:35] 10. The Marching Song [6:46] 11. "The Night and the Music" [5:21] 12. The Marble Faun [4:27] 13. Raccoons [3:15] 14. A Strict Hand [2:35] 15. "I'll Take a Dog Any Day" [3:13] 16. True Talents [4:09] 17. Birthday Party [6:20] 18. Mother's Little Girl [1:53] 19. Performance [1:48] 20. "Don't Throw Bouquets at Me" [3:44] 21. Jerry's Moving In [2:17] 22. The Pink Room [8:04] 23. "It's My Mother's House" [4:10] 24. End Credits [1:35] 25. Color Bars [5:07] 1. Boarding School to Movie Star [2:28] 2. Disruptions [1:34] 3. Omissions [1:58] 4. The Marble Faun [2:01] 5. Fixing up the House [4:06] 6. The Maysles, Grey Gardens, and New York City [3:40] 7. The Raids [3:28] 8. Unusual Suspects [4:48] 9. Regrets [1:40] 10. An Old-Fashioned Girl [6:23] 11. Damaged [8:35] Disc #2 -- The Beales of Grey Gardens 1. "You Ought to Be in Pictures" [3:52] 2. No One Can Play Edith Beale [2:39] 3. Little Edie's Past [5:13] 4. Big Edie Takes a Picture [1:11] 5. "Lorraine, Lorraine, Lorree" [1:29] 6. Horoscopes [4:23] 7. Jerry Torre [9:03] 8. "V.M.I. March" (The First Listen) [1:53] 9. Cats [5:29] 10. Lois Wright [10:37] 11. The Fire [4:23] 12. "Spring Will Be a Little Late" [1:01] 13. "Around the World in 80 Days" [1:22] 14. Big Edie's Poetry Recital [2:15] 15. Flirtation ("Hot or Sweet") [5:47] 16. Religion [5:01] 17. Politics and War [3:55] 18. The Beach [8:48] 19. "If I Loved You" [1:07] 20. The Fashion Show [3:57] 21. The Last Reel [5:33] 22. Another Winter [2:03] 23. Color Bars [:00]
Disc #1 -- Grey Gardens Play the Movie Chapters Commentary Commentary On Commentary Off Little Edie Play Interviews Todd Oldham John Bartlett Scrapbook Family Album Behind the Scenes Cats Trailers Original Theatrical Trailer TV Spot Filmographies Maysles Films Middlemarch Films Disc #2 -- The Beales of Grey Gardens Play the Movie Albert Maysles Introduction Chapters
Grey Gardens 4 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
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
More than 1 year ago
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.
More than 1 year ago
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......."
More than 1 year ago
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.
More than 1 year ago
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.
Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange headline this fact-based drama centered on the two eccentric relatives
of Jackie Kennedy-Onassis who served as the subject of David and Albert Maysles' similarly-titled 1975 documentary. Directed, produced, and co-written (along with Patricia Rozema) by ...
For their classic, 1976 documentary Grey Gardens, Albert and David Maysles shot hours-upon-hours of footage
exploring the lives of their subjects Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edie (who were affectionately referred to by their brothers as Big Edie and ...
One of the strangest and subtlest films ever made, the Maysles Brothers' 1975 documentary Grey
Gardens today boasts as devoted a following as One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest or Harold and Maude. Shot at Grey Gardens, the dilapidated East ...
A dozen songs and artwork from the acclaimed Broadway musical recounting the real lives of
reclusive socialites the Beales. Includes: Around the World * The Cake I Had * Choose to Be Happy * Daddy's Girl * Drift Away * ...
Grey Gardens (1975) is one of most important documentary films of the past thirty years,
gaining the status of a cult classic. Matthew Tinkcom argues that the film reshaped documentary cinema by moving the non-fiction camera to the heart of ...
(Vocal Selections). A dozen songs & artwork from the acclaimed Broadway musical recounting the real
lives of reclusive socialites the Beales. Includes: Around the World • The Cake I Had • Choose to Be Happy • Daddy's Girl • Drift ...