Gimme Shelter (1970)

R  |   |  Documentary, Music, Thriller  |  6 December 1970 (USA)
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A harrowing documentary of the Stones' 1969 tour, with much of the focus on the tragic concert at Altamont.

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Credited cast:
Himself (as Keith Richard)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Marty Balin ...
Himself (as Jefferson Airplane)
Sonny Barger ...
Dick Carter ...
Jack Casady ...
Himself (as Jefferson Airplane)
Mike Clarke ...
Himself (as The Flying Burrito Brothers)
Sam Cutler ...
Spencer Dryden ...
Himself (as Jefferson Airplane)
Chris Hillman ...
Himself (as The Flying Burrito Brothers)


In December of 1969, four months after Woodstock, the Rolling Stones and Jefferson Airplane gave a free concert in Northern California, east of Oakland at Altamont Speedway. About 300,000 people came, and the organizers put Hell's Angels in charge of security around the stage. Armed with pool cues and knifes, Angels spent the concert beating up spectators, killing at least one. The film intercuts performances, violence, Grace Slick and Mick Jagger's attempts to cool things down, close-ups of young listeners (dancing, drugged, or suffering Angel shock), and a look at the Stones later as they watch concert footage and reflect on what happened. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The music that thrilled the world ... and the killing that stunned it!


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Release Date:

6 December 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los Rolling Stones (Gimme Shelter)  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$18,576 (USA) (11 August 2000)


$252,570 (USA) (17 November 2000)

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Besides "Brown Sugar", two other songs that were unreleased at the time are heard during the scenes filmed at Muscle Shoals. They were "Wild Horses" and "You Got to Move". Those songs, along with "Brown Sugar" would be released on the classic "Sticky Fingers" album that came out two years later in 1971. See more »


Grace Slick: You don't hassle with anybody in particular. You gotta keep your bodies off each other unless you intend love. People get weird, and you need people like the Angels to keep people in line. But the Angels also - you know, you don't bust people in the head for nothing. So both sides are fucking up temporarily; let's not keep FUCKING UP!
See more »


Referenced in Casino (1995) See more »


The Other Side of This Life
Written by Fred Neil
Performed by Jefferson Airplane
See more »

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User Reviews

Out of control
8 March 1999 | by (Nantes, France) – See all my reviews

Certainly not a filmed concert, this important documentary describes, in a very sensitive and powerful way, the incredible human bestiary that rushed towards the 1969 free Rolling Stones show located on Altamont speedway, California. Complete disorganization, brutal security staff, drug abuse will turn this rock party to an awful black celebration that will lead to more than a human sacrifice : the destruction of a new kind of innocence. Often shocking and disturbing, sometimes dreadful, "Gimme shelter" brings to us not only the pictures of a riot. It makes us think about the difficulty for men to live as social animals when they're unable to repress their predator instincts. Let's finally mention the great musical first part of the film, and the quality of the direction.

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