Top critical review
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a strong film with many bonus features
on June 20, 2004
This review is for the Criterion Collection DVD edition of the film.
Gimme Shelter is regarded by many as the most important rock film of all time. It follows the Rolling Stones on their infamous 1969 US tour. It covers the Madison Square Garden concert and the near-disastrous Altamont Speedway concert, along with actuality footage of the band in meetings with their lawyer, Melvin Belli (also known for defending Jack Ruby and for a guest appearance in a Star Trek episode) It remains one of the most popular rock films ever made and is as thought-provoking today as it was 35 years ago. An actual now-famous homicide was caught on tape and is featured in this film (as well as nudity), making it inappropriate for children.
The Criterion DVD includes many special features also.
There is a theatrical trailer and a re-release trailer for the film as well as the films, "Salesmen" and "Grey Gardens" also directed by the Maysles brothers.
There is film restoration deomonstration, several deleted scenes and outtakes, audio commentary by the directors and collaborator, Stanley Goldstein. There are also 80 minutes of excerpts from the 4 hour call-in radio show done after the Altamont concert and a photo gallery of the Altamont concert.
As an added bonus the accompanying booklet is many times larger than normal (this one is 44 pages) and contains several essays by many different people.
This DVD is a MUST for Rolling Stones fans as well as Criterion Collection DVD fans alike.