Grey Gardens


Grey Gardens (1975)


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Movie Info

The unbelievable but true story of Mrs. Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edie, the aunt and first cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Mother and daughter live in a world of their own behind the towering privets that surround their decaying 28-room East Hampton mansion known as "Grey Gardens," a place so far gone that the local authorities once threatened to evict them for violating building and sanitation codes. Mrs. Beale, a.k.a. "Big Edie," was born an aristocrat, sister of "Black Jack" Bouvier, Jackie O's father. "Little Edie" was an aspiring actress of striking beauty who put her New York life on hold to care for her mother--and never left her side again. Together they descended into a strange life of dependence and eccentricity that none had ever shared until the Maysles Brothers arrived with their camera and tape recorder in hand.

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Critic Reviews for Grey Gardens

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (9)

Edith and Edie are like a toxic vaudeville team, joined not just by blood but affinity. They're three parts folie a deux to two parts shtick.

Aug 6, 2015 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Classic ...

Apr 30, 2015 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

The beauty of this film is the dignity it imparts to the Beales, trapped in their pasts. They failed to launch, yet paradoxically, they continue to fly so high.

Mar 4, 2015 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

Richly detailed and boundlessly evocative, even at its most claustrophobic.

Mar 3, 2015 | Full Review…

Rarely have high spirits and theatrical energy seemed like such a tragic waste; an era and its myths seem to be dying on-screen in real time.

Mar 2, 2015 | Full Review…

Grey Gardens became a cult film in the '70s, when mavericks and outsiders were the heroes and heroines and the Beales were valued for their alternative world and their priceless eccentricity.

Jan 4, 2007 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Grey Gardens


This precursor of modern reality television is cinéma vérité at its best, not just observing or "invading" its subjects' privacy but actually baring naked the insane relationship between these two hilariously eccentric women living together in a decrepit mansion falling apart.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Fascinating. Good cautionary story against living with your mother in your old age!

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer


Edith Beale and her daughter "little Edie," relatives of Jackie Kennedy, live in a decaying mansion in the Hamptons littered with garbage; now in her 50s, the delusional little Edie takes care of her shrewish mother while dreaming of getting married and becoming a professional dancer. Who knew "No Exit" was a documentary?

Greg S
Greg S

Super Reviewer


One of the best portrayals of a relationship committed to film that I've ever seen. A strong testament to both the liberating power and the imprisoning isolation of divorcing oneself from present reality. Staunch characters indeed.

Bob Stinson
Bob Stinson

Super Reviewer

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