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The Rolling Stones: Gimme Shelter (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (1970)

Mick Jagger , Keith Richards , Albert Maysles , David Maysles  |  NR |  Blu-ray
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (193 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Mick Taylor, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman
  • Directors: Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Charlotte Zwerin
  • Producers: Porter Bibb, Ronald Schneider
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: December 1, 2009
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (193 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002P8O29K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,763 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Rolling Stones: Gimme Shelter (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Special Features

New high-definition digital transfer
Exclusive Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 surround sound mixes
Audio commentary with Albert Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin and Stanley Goldstein
Performances by Rolling Stones at Madison Square Garden 1969
Performances of "Little Queenie," "Oh Carol," and "Prodigal Son"
Backstage outtakes at Madison Square Garden
Excerpts from KSAN (1969) with intro by DJ Stefan Ponek
Altamont stills gallery (featuring Bill Owens and Beth Sunflower)
Original re-release theatrical trailer
Plus: A booklet with essays by Jagger's assistant Georgia Bergman and more

Editorial Reviews

Called "the greatest rock film ever made", this landmark documentary follows the Rolling Stones on their notorious 1969 U.S. tour. When three hundred thousand members of the Love Generation collided with a few dozen Hells Angels at San Francisco’s Altamont Speedway, Direct Cinema pioneers David and Albert Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin were there to immortalize on film the bloody slash that transformed a decade’s dreams into disillusionment.

Stills from Downhill Racer (Click for larger image)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
194 of 205 people found the following review helpful
Many people identify this as the greatest rock documentary ever made. I'm not sure it quite deserves that label (my vote would go for the older T.A.M.I. film, which has not yet been made available on DVD), but it is certainly the most interesting and frightening. Clearly it started off as a documentary of the Stones 1969 tour of the United States (which I believe was their first U.S. tour following the death of Brian Jones and his being replaced by Mick Taylor), but everything changed once Altamount happened. The death of Meredith Hunter at the hands of a member of the Hell's Angels, who had been employed to maintain security at the free concert the Stones gave in San Francisco, takes over the film, changing it from a documentary about the Stones on tour to a murder that took place at a Stones concert.

Until about half way through the documentary, the film is still primarily a documentary about the Stones. But once the cameras get to Altamount, the crew (which included as a cameraman young filmmaker George Lucas, though none of Lucas's film was included in the film due to a camera jam) catches the increasingly nasty atmosphere at the concert, with fans ascending the stage, fighting with the Hell's Angels, fighting with each other. The Grateful Dead, scheduled to play, declined to do so when they heard that Marty Balin of the Jefferson Airplane had been beaten up onstage by the Angel's (we see a brief shot of Jerry Garcia reacting incredulously to the news of the violence). By the end of the film, the viewer is left with a completely sickened feeling of the stupidity of everything he or she has just seen.
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85 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who's Fighting and What For? December 29, 2000
"Gimme Shelter" is a lot of things. It's one of the greatest rock and roll films ever made. It's one of the greatest documentaries ever made. It's one of the best glimpses of a moment in time ever recorded, and it's a lasting crystallization of the point in time when the ideals and dreams of the 60's died and the hedonism and self-preservation of the 70's kicked in.
The Maysles Brothers and Charlotte Zwerin are famous for making documentaries about bible salesmen, old women in decaying mansions, and artists creating art. "Gimme Shelter" is doubly a shock because these somber and almost grim documentarians have been able to put across a rock and roll film that gives you a feeling of the power of music and the freshness of the spirit that the Stones brought to the table. In these moments, captured in 1969, you can see the point where the Stones make the step from rock stars to phenomena, and you see where the wall between artist and audience spawns from.
"Gimme Shelter" follows the Stones from touring and recording to their free concert at Altamont Speedway. The film breaks with documentary tradition and gives us a skewed timeline, interspersing concert footage and recording sessions with newscasts about the aftermath of Altamont, the Stones in the screening room watching footage of Altamont, and scenes of negotiating the final details before Altamont goes down. The Altamont concert itself is a marvel to behold, to witness what was captured by the gang of camera operators wandering through the crowd (including George Lucas). From drug dealers to painted hippies, Hells Angels to fathers and sons, from whimsy to terror.
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81 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just the best Rock and Roll documentary ever made... September 18, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
This movie has been almost universally acclaimed as the best Rock and Roll documentary ever, but that is damning with faint praise. This is a great movie, period.
It documents the Rolling Stones during their landmark '69 tour, and in particular, the documentary maker's dream (and everyone else's nightmare) Altamont concert. At the time, the Stones truly were "the greatest Rock and Roll band in the world", perhaps the greatest of all time. Jagger's performance and charisma are at their peak, no trace of the almost self-parody he would later embrace. Keith Richards' playing is rough, raunchy and powerful, while the unheralded Mick Taylor's exquisite blues guitar leads contrast by their beauty.
The performances alone (including Tina Turner doing "I've Been Loving You Too Long") would be enough to make this a must have film, but Altamont is what makes it a truly great film. When we get to the Altamont concert, it gradually becomes more and more terrifying, reminiscent of the slow build of "The Shining". At first, Jagger thinks he can control the situation with peace and love rhetoric, "Brothers and sisters. If we are all one then let's show it!" At the end, the once confident rock star is reduced to a scared little boy pleading, "I pray that it's alright. I pray that it's alright," right before a man is stabbed to death a few feet away from him.
Highlights (besides the Stones and Tina Turner performances): Jagger watching a tape of himself (obviously stoned) giving glib and charming answers to reporters, then turning away from the tape, and almost blushing, saying, "Rubbish.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
How can it be anything other than awesome?
Published 1 month ago by S. Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Still a local piece of history worth watching over & over. Altamont Woodstock
Published 1 month ago by Shari Barbella
5.0 out of 5 stars ... was right about all the things she said were bad for us
This movie is a sobering reminder that mom was right about all the things she said were bad for us. Altamont was the end of "The Summer of Love" and the idea that love and... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Bob
5.0 out of 5 stars if you love the STONES as much as me
What can i say,if you love the STONES as much as me,this is a must own.Some new added extra footage from MSG as well as ALTOMONT.
Published 3 months ago by Keith E. Hunsucker
Published 3 months ago by M. S. Hojna
5.0 out of 5 stars KATELAND
I may have watched this 15 times, i am addicted too it. Never a dull moment in this DVD. A concert you will never forget. Full of Great Music, Crazy People, Hells Angels.... Read more
Published 4 months ago by KATELAND
5.0 out of 5 stars My comments on Gimme Shelter
I like rock festivals of the 60's and 70's. I worked at one when was 17. I saw this movie at a theater when it first came out.
Published 5 months ago by Robert E.Beck
4.0 out of 5 stars The End of an Era !
This event was supposed to be the west coast's answer to Woodstock, unfortunately three of the major performers that would have been there had died and because The Manson Family... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Timothy R Foley Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most harrowing documentaries ever made
At least in the rock genre. What was likely planned to be a fluffy concert film turned into a nightmare and an event that many people considered to be the end of the '60s. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mark C. Brown
4.0 out of 5 stars End of the innocence ....
We found out at Altamount that we can't get along as we did at Woodstock. I would have liked to see more of the actual concert but that was probably difficult with the mayhem... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Joe Stradcutter
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Topic From this Discussion
Janis Joplin at Altamont
Janis did not perform at Altamont. If you haven't found it yet, the version you seek is from the Monterey Pop Festival and is on her 18 Essential Songs disc and probably others.
Dec 11, 2009 by boboquisp |  See all 3 posts
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