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Grey Gardens (The Criterion Collection)

Special Edition, The Criterion Collection

DVD

4.1 out of 5 stars 641 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Grey Gardens is an American entry into the cinéma verité documentary style film. This one however, is a fascinating look into the lives of the rich and useless. The subjects are related to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis which makes them even more fascinating. Really. The directors of this film are considered pioneers of the documentary film. This one revolves around Mother, daughter and their decaying mansion. The daughter cannot let go of the past, they snipe at each other, reliving the past, and the heartfelt, raw emotions involved in a daughter giving up her hopes and dreams of an acting career to take care of her ailing and aging mother. Poor thing, she only has money and a mansion to soothe the wounds of her unfulfilled dreams. This documentary is worth seeing because it is exceptionally well done. After all, don't we all want to watch the whining, wealthy, elite on screen so we can take a peek into their everyday lives?

Amazon.com

Grey Gardens is the name of a neglected, sprawling estate gone to seed. The crumbling mansion was home to Edith Bouvier Beale, often referred to as "Big Edie," and her daughter, "Little Edie." The East Hampton, Long Island, home became the center of quite a scandal when it was revealed in 1973 that the reclusive aunt and cousin to Jackie O. were living in a state of poverty and filth. That's the background to this 1976 film portrait by cinéma vérité pioneers Albert and David Maysles, but it's only incidental to the fascinating story they discover inside the estate walls.

The two Edies have lived in almost complete seclusion since the mid-1950s, ever since Big Edie's husband abandoned her and Little Edie (then a young socialite on the verge of a dancing career, or so she claims) was called home to care for her depressed mother. Twenty years later they continue to live in their memories while camped out in a single bedroom of the 28-room mansion overrun with cats (who use the floor as their litter box). Rehashing mistakes and missed chances with an accusing banter that becomes more stinging and angry as the documentary progresses, they exist in a sad codependency brings new meaning to the term dysfunctional. Disturbing and discomforting, it comes off like a freak show at times, but for all their arguments and recriminations, the Maysles reveal two women abandoned by their families who are left to cling to each other, for better or worse. --Sean Axmaker


Special Features

  • Audio commentary by directors Albert Maysles, Ellen Hovde, and Muffie Meyer, and associate producer Susan Froemke
  • Excerpts from a recorded interview with Little Edie Beale by Kathryn G. Graham for Interview magazine (1976)
  • Video interviews with fasion designers Todd Oldham and John Bartlett on the continuing influence of Grey Gardens
  • Hundreds of behind-the-scenes photographs

Product details

  • Actors: Brooks Hyers, Edith Beale, Norman Peale
  • Directors: Albert Maysles
  • Producers: Albert Maysles, David Maysles
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 1, 2010
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (641 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005KHJX
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,670 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
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  • Learn more about "Grey Gardens (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

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