The Rolling Stones: Gimme Shelter [Criterion Collection] [DVD] [1970]

The Rolling Stones concert at Altamont will forever be remembered as one of the most frightening moments in rock & roll history. Gimme Shelter documented that night with chilling cinéma vérité accuracy. Criterion has delivered the film to DVD in a package that exceeds the expectation of any fan. The disc offers a standard full-frame transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.33:1. English soundtracks are rendered in Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1, and Dolby Digital Stereo. English subtitles are accessible. The exhaustive, generous supplemental materials include a commentary track by directors Albert Maysles, Charlotte Zwerin, and their associate Stanley Goldstein. Their enlightening and entertaining comments are relevant from both a filmmaking and a gossipy backstage standpoint. Also available on this disc are never-before-seen concert footage from the band, backstage footage, a still photograph gallery, and trailers for both the original film and the 30th anniversary re-release. A 44-page booklet containing a series of well-written essays accompanies the package. In the nicest historical touch on the disc, Criterion has included a large portion of the broadcast done by KSAN a day after the concert occurred. This is simply a spectacular disc that is a must-own for rock & roll enthusiasts.
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Special Features

  • High-definition transfer of the uncensored 30th anniversary version, remastered and restored from the original
  • Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 Surround Sound mixes
  • Never-before-seen Rolling Stones 1969 performance at Madison Square Garden, including "Little Queenie," "Oh Carol," and "Prodigal Son," plus backstage outtakes
  • Audio commentary by directors Albert Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin, and collaborator Stanley Goldstein
  • Excerpts from KSAN radio's Altamont wrap-up, recorded December 7, 1969, with new introductions by DJ Stefan Ponek
  • Alamont stills gallery, featuring the work of photographers Bill Owens and Beth Sunflower
  • "The Rolling Stones, Altamont, and Gimme Shelter": A 44-page booklet with essays by Jagger's former assistant Georgia Bergman, music writers Michael Lydon and Stanley Booth, ex-Oakland Hell's Angels chapter head Sonny Barger, and film critics Amy Taubin and Godfrey Cheshire
  • Original and re-release theatrical trailers, plus trailers for Maysles Films' classics Grey Gardens and Salesman
  • Filmographies for Maysles Films and Charlotte Zwerin
  • Restoration demonstration


The Rolling Stones: Gimme Shelter
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." ~ Dan Pavlides, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Image coming soon
    Melvin Belli
  • Tina Turner
    Tina Turner
  • Sonny Barger
    Sonny Barger
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