“Grey Gardens” Is Still A Must See


It was while watching NBC’s The New Normal, perhaps one of the most affirming shows on television this season, that I heard about Grey Gardens.  (It I had ever heard about this topic before it had fallen from my radar.)

The 1975 documentary (TAKE NOTICE—I am writing about the original film, not the remake) revolves around an old mother and her middle-aged  daughter, (both named Edith Beale) the aunt and cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, living their eccentric lives in a filthy, decaying 28-room mansion.  The decrepit mansion is located in East Hampton, New York.

In 2010 the film was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

The home was in such sloppy condition that the locals had insisted on health inspectors making visits.  Soon thereafter Jacqueline Onassis and her sister provided the necessary funds to stabilize and repair the dilapidated house so that it would meet village codes.

Last night James and I watched the documentary.

I was not sure if I should be horrified, shocked, or amused.  With our desire to have things neat and in place at all times we shared a rather nervous laughter at some of the scenes.

This morning I did a short search and found how the story ended–once the years had passed.

Big Edie” died in 1977 and “Little Edie” sold the house in 1979 to former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee and his wife Sally Quinn for $220,000, who promised to restore the dilapidated structure. “Little Edie” died in Florida in 2002 at the age of 84.

If you need something different to entertain you might I suggest this truly remarkable video.

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