Gimme Shelter Review

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Documentary footage of The Rolling Stones 1969 US tour, containing scenes from the infamous Altamont concert where the hiring of the Hell's Angels as security led to the stabbing of a member of the crowd.


If Woodstock chronicles the counterculture’s sunlit summer in Eden, this is the nightmarish fall from grace. It follows the Rolling Stones’ 1969 US tour, leading to a horribly suspenseful, you-are-there chronicle of a free concert at Altamont that became the official Worst Scene Ever when the Hells Angels, unwisely hired as security, clashed with the crowd.

The show began with bikers knocking out Marty Balin of Jefferson Airplane, and climaxed with the stabbing of a concert-goer who’d just pulled a gun. Filmmakers David and Albert Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin catch tell-tale details (a floundering naked woman freaking out, an Angel with bloody hands) then play them back to a visibly stunned Mick Jagger, who can’t cope with the escalating chaos.
DVD EXTRAS Contemporary radio footage plus a slightly flat commentary from the surviving directors.

Legendary documentary that is a must-see, if only for the scenes where the film-makers show the footage of crowd violence to the band.