Grey Gardens

DVD - 2001
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Grey Gardens
Portrait of the relationship between Edith Bouvier Beale and her grown daughter, Little Edie, once an aspiring actress in New York who left her career to care for her aging mother in their East Hampton home, and never left again. The aunt and cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis feed their cats and raccoons and rehash their pasts behind the walls of their decaying mansion, Grey Gardens.

Publisher: [Chicago, Ill.] : Home Vision Entertainment, [2001], c1976
ISBN: 0780024303
Branch Call Number: DVD 920.72 GREY
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (95 min.) :,sd., col. ;,4 3/4 in


From Library Staff

One of the top cult films on fall time, Grey Gardens is the story of Big and Little Edie Beale, the eccentric aunt and cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis who live in a filthy, decaying mansion in East Hampton. Heartbreaking, oddly beautiful and utterly fascinating.

From the critics

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Feb 03, 2015
  • new_orleansguy rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This is one of the best documentaries ***ever*** made. That these two women lived their lives in the way they wanted and despite setbacks and poverty, and remained saner than you or me, is a tribute to just how remarquable they are. They were not mentally ill, as a previous poster mentionned, having horribly misunderstood the way in which they lived their lives. They made choices and lived with them, not attempting to place blame on others for whatever befell them, as is the norm these days. That they chose to live the way they did and that they were sufficient for one another speaks of the power of the family unit as well. I for one salute these pioneer women, who chose a grand life, instead of what society at the times would strap them into forcibly... Forget idiotic gas bags like Gloria Steinhem and all those supposed "feminists"... Big Eddie and her daughter were the first to say "have your cake and eat it too and throw away the paper plates after"... Awesome, just awesome !!!

Jan 31, 2015
  • cannoli rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

What a disappointment! This movie is voyeuristic, exploitive, and aimless. At best, the two women are mentally ill; at worst, they are irresponsible and self-indulgent. Don't waste your time on this freak show. Oddly enough, it is pretty dull, too.

Nov 10, 2014
  • Tiffanyjohnson rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Really one of my favorite films of all time. It stays with you long after you watch it. They are both such strong characters. You will never forget them, and it is all the more touching because they are real - and closely related to Jackie O. The directors of this documentary also did Gimme Shelter.

Sep 22, 2014
  • VRMurphy rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

I don't understand the cult appeal of this film. It's well-done, but I'm not so sure that the women were competent at the time to understand that their personal lives were going to be held up to the microscope like this? I watched all of it, and most of the extra features as well, to try to understand why this is considered as important as it is. I found it just sad.

Mar 31, 2014
  • rainbow2222 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Loved this DVD, and I never get tired of the two Edies either. I just read "My Life at Grey Gardens" by Lois Wright, who lived with them during the 1970's. In her book, they even had MORE cats, because they never fixed them, and they kept having kittens. It's a fascinating story, particularly since Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was Big Edie's niece, and still involved their lives, (although not intimately).

Sep 26, 2013
  • gribbles rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I didn't know exactly what to make of the Edies when I saw Grey Gardens for the first time, I found them sort of repulsive but couldn't stop watching. They have grown on me, and I find them completely mesmerizing. I can watch this over and over and over, never gets old.

Sep 03, 2013
  • Monolith rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I have mixed feelings on whether to feel bad for these lonely reclusive women or not. At times, their spirits were high, reminiscing of happier days long gone by. But they were on an emotional rollercoaster, suddenly yelling, or crying out of the blue. Daughter appeared far more mentally unstable than mother. I can't believe they had no shame in having their squalid homestead filmed. Eight cats (some defecating); fleas; filth. Just oblivious. What did they think they were being filmed for? And *were* they really broke, or... maybe miserly? Where did they get the money to feed their raccoon roommates Wonder bread and cat chow? Or how 'bout property taxes on BEACHFRONT REAL ESTATE in the Hamptons?!? How come 'Little Edie' didn't have a job? She didn't have a care about bills whatsoever; sunbathing and a leisurely swim daily... I'm not qualified to judge anybody, so, aside from those comments, I'm glad they had each other, and their animals, (however dangerously unsanitary), to brighten their lives.

Jun 19, 2013
  • jmartin204 rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

This is an outstanding documentary on two extraordinarily eccentric & tenacious women whose love & dedication to each other is touching. Despite their financial downfall they exhibit a grace & courage that is inspiring & beautiful to watch. Superb job by the Maysles whose love & respect for these women is evident.

Apr 02, 2013
  • randpog rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I watched with fascination. They were in a world of their own. They often seemed content but we can see how difficult their lives must have been. I would like to know how they eventually ended up (prior to passing if that has happend for the daughter)

Feb 15, 2013
  • HellbillyHillhound rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

If you like this. There is a part 2. "The Beales of Grey Gardens" These 2 movies aren't for most. It's a train wreck, hard to watch, even harder to turn away. Big and Little Edie Beale are good people. They mean well. Their communication is often hard to watch and digest. That's what makes it so appealing. I recommend them both, but be forewarned. You might have to take breaks.

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Sep 03, 2013
  • Monolith rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Edith 'Little Edie' Bouvier Beale: "...It's very difficult to keep the line between the past and the present... Do you know what I mean...?"


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