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Rolling Stones: Gimme Shelter

The Rolling Stones: Gimme Shelter

3.3 9
Director: David Maysles, Albert Maysles, Charlotte Mitchell Zwerin

Cast: Melvin Belli


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The Rolling Stones concert at Altamont will forever be remembered as one of the most frightening moments in rock & roll history. Gimme Shelter documented that night with chilling cinéma vérité accuracy. Criterion has delivered the film to DVD in a package that exceeds the expectation of


The Rolling Stones concert at Altamont will forever be remembered as one of the most frightening moments in rock & roll history. Gimme Shelter documented that night with chilling cinéma vérité accuracy. Criterion has delivered the film to DVD in a package that exceeds the expectation of any fan. The disc offers a standard full-frame transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.33:1. English soundtracks are rendered in Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1, and Dolby Digital Stereo. English subtitles are accessible. The exhaustive, generous supplemental materials include a commentary track by directors Albert Maysles, Charlotte Zwerin, and their associate Stanley Goldstein. Their enlightening and entertaining comments are relevant from both a filmmaking and a gossipy backstage standpoint. Also available on this disc are never-before-seen concert footage from the band, backstage footage, a still photograph gallery, and trailers for both the original film and the 30th anniversary re-release. A 44-page booklet containing a series of well-written essays accompanies the package. In the nicest historical touch on the disc, Criterion has included a large portion of the broadcast done by KSAN a day after the concert occurred. This is simply a spectacular disc that is a must-own for rock & roll enthusiasts.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Eddy Crouse
The rock movie's very own Zapruder film, Gimme Shelter stands today as a landmark portrait of a band and a generation that changed the stakes between the two camps forever. What starts as an electrifying document of the Rolling Stones' performances on their fiery 1969 American tour switches to an inquiry into the satanic Altamont concert where Hell's Angels -- hired by the group itself -- effectively stomped out the last shreds of '60s Utopia. Obviously, the Stones had no idea what was to happen at Altamont when they hired directors David Maysles, Albert Maysles, and Charlotte Zwerin. They simply didn't like how they looked a year earlier when Jean-Luc Godard showed them creating, and seemingly never finishing, "Sympathy for the Devil," in his lethargic, hypnotic same-titled film. The Maysleses and Zwerin fulfill their obligation to catch the fervor and brilliance of live Stones shows -- particularly in songs like "Honky Tonk Women" and "Street Fighting Man." They also, in the process, happen to catch a fan being stabbed in a crowd, footage that they then run past singer Mick Jagger. This snippet makes Gimme Shelter cut deeper than any rock documentary: Jagger's bitter expression as he shakes his head at his own arrogance and naivete is a remarkable moment. Bouncing between the band's debauched tour lifestyle (including a shaggy, funny session mixing "Wild Horses") and the fateful, ultraviolent California show, Gimme Shelter lets it all hang out. This 30th Anniversary DVD edition boasts a new, loud DTS version of the soundtrack, deleted scenes and radio excerpts from the live KSAN broadcast of the four-hour show, as well as a booklet of essays on both the tour and the cultural climate of the 1960s. This is a documentary and a document that is truly worthy of such elaborate treatment.
All Movie Guide
A dark counterpoint to the lovefest of the film Woodstock, this documentary about the Rolling Stones' 1969 American concert tour centers on the hallucinatory nightmare of the Altamont Music Festival. The free rock concert attracted 300,000 fans. The Stones hired members of the Hell's Angels motorcycle gang to conduct security, but the gang ended up implicated in a fan riot which left one person dead. Cinematographer Haskell Wexler's tremendous camera work captures the connections between the Stones' hypnotic and provocative music and the drug-addled frenzy of the crowd. Directors David Maysles and Al Maysles take a hands-off approach, and the result is a disturbing look at the hellish side of the 1960s rock & roll counterculture. Gimme Shelter is one of the most gripping concert films ever made, and one of the very few to examine the dangerous interplay between performers and live audiences.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Region Code:
[Full Frame]
[Dolby Digital, stereo]
Sales rank:

Special Features

High-definition transfer of the uncensored 30th anniversary version, remastered and restored from the original; Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 Surround Sound mixes; Never-before-seen Rolling Stones 1969 performance at Madison Square Garden, including "Little Queenie," "Oh Carol," and "Prodigal Son," plus backstage outtakes; Audio commentary by directors Albert Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin, and collaborator Stanley Goldstein; Excerpts from KSAN radio's Altamont wrap-up, recorded December 7, 1969, with new introductions by DJ Stefan Ponek; Alamont stills gallery, featuring the work of photographers Bill Owens and Beth Sunflower; "The Rolling Stones, Altamont, and Gimme Shelter": A 44-page booklet with essays by Jagger's former assistant Georgia Bergman, music writers Michael Lydon and Stanley Booth, ex-Oakland Hell's Angels chapter head Sonny Barger, and film critics Amy Taubin and Godfrey Cheshire; Original and re-release theatrical trailers, plus trailers for Maysles Films' classics Grey Gardens and Salesman; Filmographies for Maysles Films and Charlotte Zwerin; Restoration demonstration

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Melvin Belli Actor
Jefferson Airplane Actor
Rolling Stones Actor
Ike Turner Actor
Tina Turner Actor
Sonny Barger Participant

Technical Credits
David Maysles Director
Albert Maysles Director
Charlotte Mitchell Zwerin Director
Mirra Bank Editor
Michael Becker Sound/Sound Designer
John Brumbaugh Sound/Sound Designer
Baird Bryant Cinematographer
Joanne Burke Editor
Howard Chesley Sound/Sound Designer
Joan Churchill Cinematographer
Paul Deason Sound/Sound Designer
Ron Dorfman Cinematographer
Robert Elfstrom Cinematographer
Larry Fallon Musical Arrangement
Robert Farren Editor
Adam Gifford Cinematographer
Kevin Keating Cinematographer
Stephen Lighthill Cinematographer
George Lucas Cinematographer
Kent McKinney Editor
Jim Moody Cinematographer
Walter Murch Sound/Sound Designer
Robert Primes Cinematographer
Art Rochester Sound/Sound Designer
Paul Ryan Cinematographer
Eric Saarinen Cinematographer
Susan Steinberg Editor
Nelson Stoll Sound/Sound Designer
David Thompson Sound/Sound Designer

Scene Index

Side #1
0. Chapters
1. Opening credits [1:09]
2. "Welcome to the breakfast show" [4:20]
3. "Well done, Sonny" [4:33]
4. "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" [5:39]
5. "Creating a microcosmic society" [3:32]
6. "You Gotta Move" [1:31]
7. "Wild Horses" [2:49]
8. "Brown Sugar" [1:55]
9. "Love in Vain" [4:29]
10. "It's like the lemmings of the sea" [3:35]
11. "I've Been Loving You Too Long" [3:27]
12. "Honky Tonk Woman" [4:13]
13. The show goes on [2:07]
14. "Street Fighting Man" [:02]
15. "They hit Mick" [3:41]
16. "Let it happen" [1:25]
17. The bummers begin [3:00]
18. "The greatest party of 1969" [4:54]
19. "The Other Side of This Life" [4:36]
20. "It doesn't seem right" [6:02]
21. "Sympathy for the Devil" [1:34]
22. "Everybody's got to cool out" [1:36]
23. "Why are we fighting?" [7:00]
24. "Under My Thumb" [2:26]
25. "He's gotta gun" [3:28]
26. "Gimme Shelter" [4:53]
27. End Credits [2:02]
0. Index
1. "more Than A Concert Film" [1:09]
2. The Stones Want A Film [4:20]
3. Capturing Their Reactions [4:33]
4. "special Qualities" [5:39]
5. Getting Releases [3:32]
6. Sartorial Influences [1:31]
7. "al Just Takes It!" [2:49]
8. "could It Be Good Enough?" [1:55]
9. "a Device To Get You Closer" [4:29]
10. "a Lawyer Is Needed" [3:35]
11. "remarkable Lady!" [3:27]
12. Synching Film In 1969 [4:13]
13. "the King Of The Torts" [2:07]
14. Al's Camera [:02]
15. "the Visual Turning Point" [3:41]
16. Technical Difficulties [1:25]
17. Editing Concerns [3:00]
18. "something To Live Through" [4:54]
19. Unofficial Honor Guard [4:36]
20. The Dead Elect Not To Go On [6:02]
21. "life Actors" [1:34]
22. The Critics Respond [1:36]
23. Distribution Problems [7:00]
24. "the Angel Way" [2:26]
25. "part Of The Film...inevitably" [3:28]
26. Mick's Biggest Criticism [4:53]
27. "the True Story The Woodstock Wasn't" [2:02]
0. Index
0. Local Color
0. "the Hell With You, Brother"
0. Kitty Genovese Stories
0. The Allure Of Celebrity
0. John Burkes, Rolling Stone Magazine
0. "what About The Media?"
0. Pete, San Francisco Hell's Angels
0. Sam Cutler, Road Manager
0. Sonny Barger, Oakland Hell's Angels
0. Photographer Jim Marshall
0. Emmett Grogan
0. Wrap-up
0. Bonus: The Rainbow Room


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The Rolling Stones: Gimme Shelter 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Filmninja More than 1 year ago
Brilliant. Obviously your enjoyment of the film will depend on your taste in music. As a documentary it captures one of the most important cultural moments in American history, the end of the "Peace and Love" era.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Yes, The Rolling Stones were a far-out band in the late 60's and early 70's, but I just can't bring myself to say it was their fault that the flower generation died. So what I'm gonna say is, that had the concert had been better planned, it actually could have become the most beautiful gathering of 1969, besides, oh what's that other festival that was so great...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
If they couldn't break 'em one way they tried to break 'em another way.....