Gimme Shelter

Watch Gimme Shelter

"The music that thrilled the world… and the killing that stunned it!"
  • GP
  • 1970
  • 1 hr 31 min
  • 7.8  (12,794)
  • 85

Gimme Shelter is a 1970 documentary film that captures the climactic moments of the Rolling Stones' 1969 American tour, which ended tragically with the infamous Altamont Speedway Free Festival. Directed by filmmakers Albert and David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin, the film provides an intimate and gritty look at the behind-the-scenes happenings of a rock and roll tour, culminating in a brutal act of violence that would forever change the course of music history.

The film begins with footage of the Stones rehearsing "Wild Horses" in London, followed by scenes of fans lining up outside the Madison Square Garden in anticipation of the band's arrival. As the tour progresses, we see snippets of concerts and backstage conversations, including Mick Jagger negotiating with promoters, joking around with bandmates, and sharing a moment with his girlfriend Marianne Faithfull. Keith Richards, Mick Taylor, and other members of the band are also featured, providing insights into their music and personal lives.

Along the way, the film captures the social and political turmoil of the era, with scenes of anti-war protests, race riots, and drug use. The Stones' manager, Marshall Chess, speaks candidly about the challenges of touring during this volatile period and the need for the band to stay focused and safe.

As the tour comes to a close, the film documents the planning and execution of the Altamont Speedway Free Festival, which was intended to be a "Woodstock West" but quickly became a nightmare. With hundreds of thousands of fans descending on a remote California racetrack, chaos erupts as the Hells Angels motorcycle gang is recruited to provide security. As the Stones take the stage to perform "Under My Thumb," a 21-year-old black man named Meredith Hunter is beaten and stabbed to death by a group of Angels.

The footage of the murder is visceral and horrifying, capturing the pandemonium and confusion of the moment as the Stones and other artists on the bill try to calm the crowd and bring an end to the violence. The tragedy marks the end of the 1960s counterculture era and the beginning of a new era of skepticism and cynicism in the music industry.

Overall, Gimme Shelter is a powerful and unforgettable film that captures the essence of a historic moment in music and society. The filmmakers' ability to capture raw footage of the Stones and their world, combined with their unflinching focus on the Altamont tragedy, creates a compelling and immersive experience for the viewer. The film remains a timeless classic, a testament to the power of cinema to capture the human experience in all its beauty and brutality.

Gimme Shelter is a 1970 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 31 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.8 and a MetaScore of 85.

Gimme Shelter
Where to Watch Gimme Shelter
Gimme Shelter is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Max, Amazon, Google Play and YouTube VOD. Some platforms allow you to rent Gimme Shelter for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 31 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.8  (12,794)
  • Metascore