dvd2Grey Gardens / The Beales of Grey Gardens
Criterion Collection (USA Blu-ray Edition)

This deluxe Blu-ray features 1080p digital transfer, uncompressed monaural soundtrack, and extras including: Audio commentary for “Grey Gardens,” featuring Maysles and codirectors Ellen Hovde and Muffie Meyer, along with associate producer Susan Froemke; Introduction to “The Beales of Grey Gardens” by Maysles (Blu-ray exclusive); Audio excerpts from a 1976 interview with Little Edie Beale, conducted by Kathryn G. Graham; Interviews with fashion designers Todd Oldham and John Bartlett on the continuing influence of “Grey Gardens;” Behind-the-scenes photographs; Trailers; and a booklet featuring an essay by critic Hilton Als.

dvd1Grey Gardens
Criterion Collection (USA Edition)

The documentary that started it all! The original film is included here in all its digitally remastered glory. Special features include subtitles (so you can memorize every line to perfection); audio commentary from Maysles, Hovde, Meyer, and Froemke; excerpts from a 1976 interview with Little Edie recorded for Interview magazine; video interviews with fashion designers Todd Oldham and John Bartlett; behind-the-scenes photographs; trailers; and filmographies.

FUN FACT: After the end credits, there is a chapter of just color bars (Chapter 25). Fast forward through the color bars, and eventually they will start to dissolve into a black and white photograph of Little Edie. Rewind slightly and you will hear the beginning of a phone conversation between Little Edie and Albert Maysles. The interview runs about five minutes long and you will see older stills of Edie while you listen. The interview refers to the 2000 presidential election and Edie talks about Al Gore losing. Since the disc was released in 2001, and Little Edie died early in 2002, the interview must have taken place that year.

Grey Gardens

Eureka! Masters of Cinema (UK Version)

Even if you own the USA edition, you must have this one, too. A great marketing move, this one features extras not available on the Criterion version including a 2006 interview with Al Maysles; an interview with Jerry Torre in his New York City cab; and footage of Al and Jerry visiting Grey Gardens in 2005. This region-free disc will play on American players without problem.

FUN FACT: The DVD includes a superb 40-page booklet containing rare photos and original newspaper clippings, Edie’s rebuttal letter to Walter Goodman’s review in the New York Times, and an expanded essay on the film by Jonathan Vogels. This booklet is worth the price of the DVD alone!

Grey Gardens

Distinction Series (Australian Version)

This is the most basic version of “Grey Gardens” that I have seen. The cover artwork is grainy, and a DVD booklet is not included.

It does feature two nice bonus features: a biography of Albert Maysles, and the 2006 documentary “Ghosts of Grey Gardens.”

Note that this version will not play on DVD players manufactured in the USA.

dvd3The Beales of Grey Gardens (2006)
Criterion Collection

This companion piece to the original documentary was culled from hours of never-before-seen footage recently found in the Maysles’ vaults. Of course, not as good as the original (and certainly not meant to be), this sequel helps fill in the blanks and supplements where Grey Gardens left off. There are many rare, and never-before-seen photos of the Beales in the introduction. The booklet features an essay by Michael Musto.

FUN FACT: The DVD features a montage of Little Edie’s fashionable costumes!

Ghosts of Grey Gardens (2005)

A documentary short by Liliana Greenfield-Sanders

A documentary on a documentary, this film is one fan’s three-year quest to glean additional information about the Beales, and includes interviews with Albert Maysles, Ben Bradlee, Todd Oldham, Sally Quinn, and Beauregard Houston-Montgomery. The film includes a present-day tour of the Grey Gardens estate. A nice documentary, though only 30 minutes long.

FUN FACT: The film was an official selection of the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival.


Grey Gardens: From East Hampton to Broadway
Promo Documentary by Albert Maysles

For this new Maysles documentary (which runs 50 minutes), Albert went behind the scenes of Grey Gardens: The Musical. The cast and creators are interviewed about how the show was put together and how Ebersole “channeled” both Beales in her performance. Also part of the story is the making of the original Grey Gardens documentary and the impact it has had over three decades. I highly enjoyed it!

FUN FACT: This promotional DVD was sent to Tony Awards voters with a press packet that included the musical program and a copy of the script. The packet was seen as a little over-the-top to some voters, and may have adversely affected the musical’s chances for a Best Musical Tony.


Cat Ladies

Cat Ladies is a one hour verité doc­u­mentary that unravels the real story behind the oft-ridiculed ‘cat lady’ – a cultural ste­reo­type and figure of ridicule for women of a certain age with too many furry com­pan­ions. Through the intimate portrait of four unique ‘cat ladies’ we create a sens­itive and emo­tion­ally honest portrait of women whose lives and self-worth have become intract­ably linked to cats.


Grey Gardens (2009)

The Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy Award-winning telefilm directed by Michael Sucsy and starring Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange.


Wild Blue Yonder

This provocative first person documentary chronicles Celia Maysles’ quest to get to know her father, famed verite documentarian David Maysles, who died when she was seven. She comes up against an unexpected roadblock when the other half of the Maysles Brothers, her Uncle Albert, refuses her access to the Maysles Films archive. It takes us deep inside a conflicted family where filmmaking remains the ultimate means to uncovering the truth.



Filmmaker Ruth Leitman follows a daughter’s struggle with a mentally ill mother and an abusive, alcoholic father. Framed by accusations of incest, Alma is an unflinching examination of family secrets, love and abuse tangled up in love.


In a Nutshell: A Portrait of Elizabeth Tashjian

We will never know what would have happened to Little Edie if she had stayed at Grey Gardens instead of selling it. But the plight of Elizabeth Tashjian is a likely scenario. At ninety-two years old, Tashjian found herself immersed in a strange new chapter of her prolific life. After a series of tragic events surrounding her health and finances, she was penniless and confined to a nursing home against her will. The contents of her mansion were permanently removed and her beloved home sold to the highest bidder. Declared insane by her state-appointed conservators, Tashjian fought to preserve her identity and regain her life.