Grey Gardens is a 1975 documentary film by Albert and David Maysles, with Susan Froemke, Ellen Hovde, and Muffie Meyer. The film depicts the everyday lives of two reclusive socialites, a mother and daughter both named Edith Beale, who lived at Grey Gardens, a decrepit mansion at 3 West End Road in the wealthy Georgica Pond neighborhood of East Hampton, New York. The film was screened at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival, but was not entered into the main competition.
In 2010, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
"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. "Little Edie" died in 2002 at the age of 84.
According to a 2003 article in Town & Country, after their purchase, Bradlee and Quinn completely restored the house and grounds (the sale agreement forbade razing the house).
Jerry Torre, the handyman shown in the documentary, was sought by the filmmakers for years afterward, and was found by chance driving a New York City taxicab. He is now a sculptor at The Art Students League of New York and a documentary is being made about his life by Jason Hay and Steve Pelizza of Aggregate Pictures.
Lois Wright, one of the two birthday party guests in the film, has hosted a public television show in East Hampton since the 1980s. She wrote a book about her experiences at the house with the Beales.
In 2006, Albert Maysles made available previously unreleased footage for a special 2-disc edition for the Criterion Collection. It included a new feature titled The Beales of Grey Gardens, which also received a limited theatrical release.
Walter Newkirk, a longtime friend of Little Edie, interviewed her during his college days. A CD of the interview is titled Little Edie Live! A Visit To Grey Gardens. It was followed with a scrapbook memoir of their friendship entitled memoraBEALEia (2008).