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Film: Grey Gardens
Staunch Characters.

Little Edie: Mother, you don't have enough clothes on.
Big Edie: Well, I'm going to get naked in just a minute, so you better watch out.
Little Edie: That's what I'm afraid of.
Big Edie: Yeah, for what, now why? I haven't got any warts on me.
Little Edie: But the movie, the movie!
Big Edie: I haven't got any warts on me!
Little Edie: That isn't the point, mother darling.

Grey Gardens is a 1975 Documentary focusing on two eccentric East Hampton recluses, near-bedridden Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale ("Big Edie"), and her daughter Edith Bouvier Beale, (known as "Little Edie") as they live their lives in their decaying mansion. The duo were the respective aunt and first cousin of former U.S. First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and rubbed elbows with America's elite before their fall from grace, losing their fortune and ending up with only themselves and the house to hold onto. Once a stately society home, Grey Gardens is now crumbling, full of garbage, deprived of running water and infested with cats, raccoons and countless fleas, having been left totally neglected by the residents for well over 30 years.

Both Big and Little Edie were delighted to be the subject of Albert and David Maysles' film, which is made up of the two telling anecdotes about their unusual lives, performing for the camera, giving their opinions on various topics and going about their daily routines- be it putting together an outfit from random bits and pieces found around the house, or tipping a bag of stale Wonderbread out on the floor for the raccoons. The resulting film is strangely haunting, camp, funny and sad all at once.

As a result of its cult status, an HBO film of the Beale's lives was made, starring Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange. A Broadway musical of the same name also opened in 2006, winning a Tony award.


Grey Gardens contains examples of:

Farewell My LovelyFilms of the 1970sThe Giant Spider Invasion
The Great EscapeCreator/The Criterion CollectionHalloween (1978)

alternative title(s): Grey Gardens
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