Monday, July 15, 2013

Grey Gardens

1975 American Feature

Cast: Edith "Big Edie" Ewing Bouvier Beale and Edith "Little Edie" Bouvier Beale
Directors: Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Ellen Hovde and Muffie Meyer

Grey Gardens, a decaying mansion in the East Hamptons, is home to two reclusive, eccentric socialites: a mother and daughter, both named Edith Beale, who were the aunt and cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.


  • Internet Movie Database: 7.6/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes - Critics: 89% / Audience: 84 %
  • OMG rating: 9 /10

  • DVD/Blu-ray: Available
  • Book: Available


  • After Big Edie died at age 81 in 1977, Little Edie sold Grey Gardens in 1979 to former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee, completely restored it. Little Edie died in 2002 at the age of 84.
  • Jerry Torre, the gay handyman who loved Big Edie's corn, was sought by the filmmakers for years afterward, and was found by chance driving a New York City taxicab. He is now a sculptor, and a documentary is being made about his life. 
  • Grey Gardens was released on DVD and Blu-ray as part of The Criterion Collection in 2001. 
  • Rufus Wainwright's song "Grey Gardens" appears on his 2001 album Poses.
  • Ranked #33 on Entertainment Weekly's 2003 list of "The Top 50 Cult Movies".
  • In 2006, previously unreleased footage was used for the "sequel", titled The Beales of Grey Gardens, which received a limited theatrical release.
  • Grey Gardens was adapted into a stage musical, with book by Doug Wright, music by Scott Frankel and lyrics by Michael Korie. Directed by Michael Greif and starring Christine Ebersole and Mary Louise Wilson as the Beales, the show premiered Off-Broadway in 2006. The musical reopened on Broadway later that year and was nominated for ten Tony Awards, including Best Musical. It won three Tonys, including wins for both Ebersole and Wilson. It was the first Broadway musical to be adapted from a documentary. 
  • Grey Gardens also inspired two other stage productions, the plays David Robson's A Few Small Repairs in 2007 and David Lally's Little Edie & The Marble Faun in 2008. 
  • Grey Gardens was "remade" in 2009 as a television movie for HBO. Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore starred as the two Edies; the cast also included Jeanne Tripplehorn as Jacqueline Kennedy, Ken Howard as Phelan Beale and Daniel Baldwin as Julius Krug. Directed and co-written (with Patricia Rozema) by Michael Sucsy, this Grey Gardens was nominated for 17 Primetime Emmy Awards, winning six, including Outstanding Made for Television Movie, Lead Actress (Lange) and Supporting Actor (Howard).
  • In 2010, Grey Gardens was inducted into the National Film Registry.
  • Several television shows have paid homage to Grey Gardens, including The Big Gay Sketch Show, Documentary Now!, The New Normal, One Life to Live and RuPaul's Drag Race.

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