A 1975 documentary film in HD, directed by brothers Albert (November 26, 1926 – March 5, 2015) and David Maysles (January 10, 1931 – January 3, 1987).
This documentary depicts an odd couple, mother and daughter Bouvier, in their everyday life in the dilapidated Gray Gardens villa in the upper-class area of East Hampton on Long Island. Mother Edith “Big Edie” Ewing Bouvier (October 5, 1895 – February 5, 1977) was the aunt of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. Daughter Edith “Little Edie” Bouvier Beale (November 7, 1917 – January 14, 2002) was Jacqueline’s cousin.
In this documentary, the mother is almost eighty years old and the daughter is fifty-six. They have lived together in the old family villa since 1952 when Little Edie moved home after several hectic years in New York. Both are very eccentric and have a background as less successful semi-professional singers. They seem to live in isolation in a romantic dream world where they leave the villa with its 28 rooms to decay. As they let cats and raccoons invade the house, feces and household garbage accumulate in every corner, the stair railings break, windows crack, the roof begins to leak, and the garden grows again.
In front of the camera, Little Edie dances, sings and talks, and Big Edie, who mostly lies in bed, talks about family relationships, fashion, class society, and aging. Mother and daughter sing old songs together, they chop mouths, chat and even talk to the viewers (ie with the film team). The two women never excuse their way of being – they are who they are.