Directed by: David & Albert Maysles/ Charlotte Zwerin
Running Time: 90 min Color Date: 1970
|Documentary film chronicling the last weeks of The Rolling Stones' 1969 US tour, which culminated in the disastrous Altamont|
Speedway free concert. The film was screened at the 1971 Cannes Film Festival, but was not entered into the main competition
A commissioned movie, the preceeds from which are to help the Stones pay the costs of the free concert, Gimme Shelter stands today as a landmark documentary of a band and a generation on the edge of a decade(ence). What starts as an electrifying record of the Rolling Stones’ performances on their fiery 1969 American tour turns into a deeper, darker film of the events that culminate in the Altamont concert.
From the beginning, we see scenes of the Stones screening a rough cut of the film on an editing table, experiencing the chaos they created, and lets us know what´s to come in the devastating final. When the band finally makes it to Altamont, from the first shot you can sense the menace. The Hells Angels and the audience get increasingly wasted, and the Angels’ crowd control turns rough quickly, by the time the Stones come on, the crowd and the people who were supposed to keep order are openly fighting. According to reporters, no one tried to stop the Angels from beating the crazed girls and boys who climbed onstage or didn’t follow instructions; they were hit with leaded pool cues and with fists while the show went on... a mesmerizing but creepy film also.
A definitive new high-definition digital transfer of the uncensored thirtieth-anniversary version of Gimme Shelter was released by Criterion Collection in the early´2000s, including performances by the Rolling Stones at Madison Square Garden in 1969, including “Oh Carol” (2 different versions on video and on DVD) “Little Queenie" and “Prodigal Son" plus backstage outtakes and footage of the band mixing their album, audio excerpts from KSAN Radio’s Altamont wrap-up, an outstanding booklet and more. In November 2009, the "Get Yer Ya-Ya´s Out!" album was reissued with unreleased songs by opening acts B.B King and Ike & Tina Turner and The Rolling Stones. It includes a 56-page booklet and a DVD with bonus tracks:
Intro (Madison Square Garden); "Prodigal Son" (November 27, 1969: MSG); "You Gotta Move" (November 27, 1969: MSG); "Under My Thumb" (November 28, 1969: MSG - first show); "I'm Free" (November 28, 1969: MSG - first show); "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" (November 27, 1969: MSG)