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The Beales of Grey Gardens (The Criterion Collection)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Edith 'Little Edie' Bouvier Beale, Edith Bouvier Beale, Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Jerry Torre
  • Directors: Albert Maysles, David Maysles
  • Producers: Kim Hendrickson, Tanja Meding
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: December 5, 2006
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000IY02W4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,688 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Beales of Grey Gardens (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • New digital transfer, approved by director Albert Maysles
  • New video introduction by Albert Maysles
  • Booklet with a new essay by cultural critic Michael Musto

Editorial Reviews

The 1975 cinema vérité classic Grey Gardens, which captured in remarkable close-up the lives of the eccentric recluses and cousins to Jackie Onassis, Big and Little Edie Beale, in their decrepit East Hampton mansion, has spawned everything from a midnight-movie cult following to a Broadway musical remake an upcoming Hollywood adaptation. Now, Albert and David Maysles have revisited their landmark documentary with a sequel of sorts, culled from hours of never-before-seen footage recently found in the filmmakers’ vaults.

Customer Reviews

Never tire of watching this, so entertaining!
melanie johnson
It is very helpful to view "Greygardens" first because it provides the background for the more in-depth presentation of their relationship and history.
Bernie Zmitrovich
He's "cashing in;" but the quality of what we get is excellent.
Matthew G. Sherwin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

250 of 254 people found the following review helpful By Damon Devine on December 20, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Either no one's got their copy yet---or eveyone's too afraid to write a review--so I will! This is an EXCELLENT follow-up to Grey Gardens! There is no reason at all to think "nothing can match the first one" because THIS CAN! There are hundreds of great new "lines" in this, and all kinds of "revolutionary costumes" we have never seen before. You may wonder what differs in this film, as opposed to the first 'Grey Gardens.' In truth, they are extremely similar--and in that Grey Gardens was wonderful, then that's a good thing! But seriously--the Beales are captured here making many more astute observations than in the first film. "Little" Edie talks at length about the differences between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party--and she received a standing ovation for this, when I saw the film in New York last August! She also addresses the absurd notion that she was once labled "schizophrenic." She says that "NO one with convictions is ever schizophrenic---I just have a terrible temper---it's Southern."

There is lots of singing and a lot of joy in this film. There are different shots of the house, as well, and LOTS of Jerry "The Marble Fawn." The reason for this, is that Al maysles and his crew felt it was interesting to show Jerry's and Little Edie's rivalry and how the mother got quite a kick out of that. In truth, Mrs. Beale had quite a history of pitting her "friends" against Edie, for the sole sake of sitting back and watching the fireworks fly! There are SCREAMINGLY funny passive/aggressive "observations" on Edie's part about Jerry all through this film. "See...the cats smelled Jerry. If he'd stay away for a month or two--I'm SURE we'd get at least two back."

I feel I must address reviewer "D Kascchaks" fixation with the Beale's dirty house.
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203 of 223 people found the following review helpful By D. Kaschak on November 26, 2006
Format: DVD
If you can believe it, the Maysales' films capture a rather sanitized view of Grey Gardens. I witnessed first hand the Beales from an intimate relationship as a young boy from age 8-13, when I lived across the street from them. Grey Gardens was between my family's house and the beach, and it was on my bike that I met Miss Beale by calling to the spooky lady with cats crawling on her back from the street. After getting to know her from the street, then porch, spending hours with her, I finally met Mrs. Beale a year later when she descended from her bedroom, which was a rare occasion. But Mrs. Beale favored me even more than Miss, because I could sing and she loved to teach me "I can't give you anything but love baby" and sing to her niece Lee Radziwell over the phone from her bedroom. Just know that the house is CLEAN compared to when I knew it. This was pre-condemnation by the board of health, and raid because of the squaler that I knew. There was an empty cat can mountain in the dining room, an inch thick coat of cat fesces on the stairs, and so much more repulsive conditions, it would seem better to live in a tent in the yard. These films show a romantic side to the Beale's life, which has developed quite a cult following as a result. For me, it's a time capsule that is not quite right, since I knew the Beales prior to, and more intimately when they didn't play to the cameras.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer K. Rice on June 11, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Everyone else has already said how wonderful the "new" footage, how beautiful the scenery, how in-depth the exploration...I agree with them all. I adore this film and am so grateful it has been made available (I would have taken it as raw footage). I just wanted to mention that the subtitles are way off in many, many places. I'm from Long Island, a native speaker of the LI accent, and I've seen Grey Gardens probably around 500 times. I know what they're saying and it is not what is printed in the subtitles much of the time. Perhaps whoever did the subtitles is not a LI native. It's not really a complaint, but if you really want to know what they're saying you just have to listen closely and let your ear guide you, because if you take your info from the subtitles, it sometimes alters the actual meaning of what they're saying. I hope this helps someone--it's my good deed for the day.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Bill S on January 11, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Another wonderful DVD about our favourite cult ladies. The picture quality is superb. Criterion is expensive but once you see the highest standards of transfer, you realize it is money well spent.

The content is as usual most interesting. Just wait until you see the 'fashionista' parade of outfits. Most important of course is another opportunity to view the lives of these eccentric fascinating women Just staggering. It leaves you wanting more, more ........ Hope the Broadway musical will be filmed for distribution on DVD.
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Ron on January 18, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A Great look and extra insight into the wonderful characters that Big and Little Edie Beale were. They are presented in a much less exaggerated way from the original documentary "Grey Gardens". A very down to earth look into these two very eccentric and remarkable women. You've got to love them. This would be a great addition to your Beale Library.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Bioman on June 8, 2007
Format: DVD
Though I had watched "Grey Gardens" at least 2000 times since 1975, last fall, I went to the Castro Theater in San Francisco to see the new print of it with an audience for the first time since the Bouvier-Beales were introduced to me in '75.

That night, an appearance by Jerry Torre was incentive for me to see "Grey Gardens" on the big screen. I had just purchased the Broadway cast album and the song "Jerry loves the way I do my corn" was repeating in my brain as I waited in the long line to get into the theater.

Over 30 years of viewing, the Maysles film had made the Beales virtual friends of mine. Once upon a time, when I said that "Grey Gardens" was my favorite film, nobody had heard of it.

I did not know that a second feature would follow the interview with the "Marble Fawn".

As Ms. Beale pranced through the yard singing "You Ought to be in Pictures," my heart felt as though I was visiting an old friend.

As true today as it was in 1975, you'll either be fascinated or repelled by "The Beales of Grey Gardens." I now have two favorite films.

One thing is certain: you'll never forget them.

Al, if you're reading this - thank you!
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