The Rolling Stones: Gimme Shelter

The Rolling Stones: Gimme Shelter

Director: David Maysles, Albert Maysles, Charlotte Mitchell Zwerin
Cast: Melvin Belli


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This musical documentary concerns the Rolling Stones and their tragic free concert at Altamont Speedway near San Francisco in early December 1969. The event was all but destroyed by violence that marked the end of the peace and love euphoria of the 1960s. The night began smoothly, with the supercharged Flying Burrito Brothers opening up for the Rolling Stones and performing the truck-driving classic "Six Days on the Road" and Tina Turner giving a sensually charged performance. But on this particular evening, the Stones made the fateful (and disastrous) decision to hire the Oakland chapter of the Hell's Angels motorcycle gang as bodyguards and bouncers. It was a foolhardy, careless choice that turned the night into an unmitigated disaster; halfway through the Stones' act, the Angels killed one black spectator, and injured several others who were present (including Jefferson Airplane's lead singer Marty Balin). In the film, we watch Mick Jagger -- ere an ebullient, charismatic performer of bisexual charm -- reduced to standing on stage like a frightened child with his finger in his mouth in wake of the violence. Unsurprisingly, the Grateful Dead refused to perform after the violence erupted; the picture ends on a despairing note, with the Stones repeatedly watching a film of the murder. Celebrated documentarians Albert and David Maysles directed and Haskell Wexler shot the film, with heightened instinct and control; as a result, this film is considered one of the greatest rock documentaries ever made. Stones songs performed include "Brown Sugar," "Under My Thumb," and "Sympathy for the Devil."

Product Details

Release Date: 12/01/2009
UPC: 0715515051514
Original Release: 1970
Rating: NR
Source: Criterion
Sound: [Dolby Digital Stereo]
Time: 1:31:00
Sales rank: 13,707

Special Features

Audio Commentary featuring Directors Albert Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin and Collaborator Stanley Goldstein; ; Performances by the Rolling Stones at Madison Square Garden in 1969, including "Oh Carol" and "Prodigal Son," plus backstage outtakes and footage of the band mixing "Little Queenie"; ; Audio Excerpts from KSAN Radio's Altamont wrap-up, recorded December 7, 1969, with Introductions by then DJ Stefan Ponek; ; Altamont Stills Gallery, featuring the work of renowned photographers Bill Owens and Beth Sunflower; ; Original and Re-release Theatrical Trailers; ; Plus: A Booklet featuring essays by Film Critic Amy Taubin, Music Writer Stanley Booth, Mick Jagger's former Assistant Georgia Bergman, Music Writer Michael Lydon, and Film Critic Godfrey Cheshire

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Melvin Belli Actor
Jefferson Airplane Actor
Rolling Stones Actor
Ike Turner Actor
Tina Turner Actor
Sonny Barger Participant

Technical Credits
David Maysles Director
Albert Maysles Director
Charlotte Mitchell Zwerin Director
Mirra Bank Editor
Michael Becker Sound/Sound Designer
John Brumbaugh Sound/Sound Designer
Baird Bryant Cinematographer
Joanne Burke Editor
Howard Chesley Sound/Sound Designer
Joan Churchill Cinematographer
Paul Deason Sound/Sound Designer
Ron Dorfman Cinematographer
Robert Elfstrom Cinematographer
Larry Fallon Musical Arrangement
Robert Farren Editor
Adam Gifford Cinematographer
Kevin Keating Cinematographer
Stephen Lighthill Cinematographer
George Lucas Cinematographer
Kent McKinney Editor
Jim Moody Cinematographer
Walter Murch Sound/Sound Designer
Robert Primes Cinematographer
Art Rochester Sound/Sound Designer
Paul Ryan Cinematographer
Eric Saarinen Cinematographer
Susan Steinberg Editor
Nelson Stoll Sound/Sound Designer
David Thompson Sound/Sound Designer

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The Rolling Stones: Gimme Shelter 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Filmninja More than 1 year ago
Brilliant. Obviously your enjoyment of the film will depend on your taste in music. As a documentary it captures one of the most important cultural moments in American history, the end of the "Peace and Love" era.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Yes, The Rolling Stones were a far-out band in the late 60's and early 70's, but I just can't bring myself to say it was their fault that the flower generation died. So what I'm gonna say is, that had the concert had been better planned, it actually could have become the most beautiful gathering of 1969, besides, oh what's that other festival that was so great...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
If they couldn't break 'em one way they tried to break 'em another way.....