Gimme Shelter

Director Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Charlotte Zwerin
United States / 92 min. / 1970 / English

The end of an era incarnates in the Rolling Stones’ tour of America, in 1969. Their tragic concert in Altamont administers the fatal blow to the innocence of the Sixties and inaugurates the spirit of a new decade. Utterly awesome images. 


Altamont is the pits. Altamont is the end of the Sixties, typified in the pool cues with which the Hell’s Angels assaulted the peaceniks of the festival. This innocence, this hippy dream of peace and love, ended at Altamont, stabbed in the heart by greasy Hell’s Angels and blasted from a distance by Vietnam. Although Gimme Shelter is a fabulous panoramic view of the Stones’ 1969 US tour, and although spectacular moments come to pass (Keith Richards hearing “Wild Horses for the first time, the hilarious press conferences, the concerts), Altamont is the zenith and personal black spot of this famous documentary by Albert Maysles. Altamont, where a more disconnected than ever Mick Jagger tells the people to "get groovy" while the criminal security heavies stab a black guy in the front row. Altamont, where Hell’s Angels interrupt Jefferson Airplane and take over the stage to threaten the group. Altamont, all the bad karma stored up over a decade turned into a rock festival, and a brave, intrepid, observational documentary, that leaves a bad taste in the mouth but is nonetheless essential viewing.  


Film web

Showing format


in festivals

The Rolling Stones

Charlotte Zwerin

Albert Maysles, David Maysles

Ronald Schneider

Film company
Maysles Films

Film distributor
Maysles Films

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