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Gimme Shelter (1970)

A harrowing documentary of the Stones' 1969 tour, with much of the focus on the tragic concert at Altamont.

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Cast

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

A documentary on the Rolling Stones' 1969 US tour and the tragic events that concluded it. We see footage of their concerts and of them making the Sticky Fingers album in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. However, the main focus of the film is on one concert - Altamont Speedway, outside San Francisco, 6 December 1969. A free concert, it is the Stones' idea and it was meant to be the Woodstock of the West (Woodstock having occurred four months earlier). Other bands performing included Jefferson Airplane, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Ike and Tina Turner, Crosby Stills Nash and Young and Santana. However, it is far from being the peace and love of Woodstock. Part of the problem is that the Stones hired the Hells Angels as security. The other problem was that a large portion of the crowd were high on drugs. Friction ensues. During the Stones' set, Meredith Hunter, high on methamphetamine and armed with a gun, makes a lunge for the stage and is stabbed to death by the Hells Angels. The peace and ... Written by grantss

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Rolling Stones gave a concert in Altamont, Calif. The Hell's Angels policed it. Four people died. This is the Actual Film Story. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 December 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los Rolling Stones (Gimme Shelter)  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

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

Production Co:

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Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael Lang, who was one of the promoters responsible for Woodstock, was also one of the promoters for Altamont. He is seen being interviewed about the building of the stage, as well as onstage during the concert. See more »

Quotes

Hell's Angel: They told me, if I could sit on the stage so nobody climbed over me, I could drink beer till the show was over.
See more »

Connections

Featured in A Decade Under the Influence (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Jumpin' Jack Flash
Written by Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
Performed by The Rolling Stones
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
It used to be a lot more than Only Rock'n'Roll
21 April 2008 | by (Netherlands) – See all my reviews

When you see this movie you really understand how sanitised, safe and corporate the music scene is today.

The Stones were possibly the biggest band in the world at the time, so by today's standards it seems unbelievable they'd put on a free concert where the venue was changed at the last minute, the set was still being constructed as the 300,000 very fried looking hippies turned up, and there was no security for their satanic majesties except for the San Francisco Hell's Angels who were paid in beer and brought along pool cues with lead weights at the end for added security - as well as the standard knives and baseball bats. And they weren't afraid to use them, even on the bands, especially Jefferson Airplane's Marty Balin.

Throw in some of the original Satanic rock band's finest sinister creations and you get the real deal, not some pantomime metal/goth horror facsimile. At the time many people really did believe that they could change the world and looked to bands like the Stones as leaders of the counterculture, and you really get the impression things like this mattered a hell of a lot more, but after Altamont, well...

Nevertheless, the version of Under My Thumb that Jagger delivers as he's watching the terrible action unfold in front of him is, for whatever reason, devastatingly understated and desperate, compared to all the OTT cavorting earlier in the set. But it's the genuine craziness of the 'fans' that makes this film seem like it was shot on another planet. Gimme Shelter is the most rock'n'roll film ever made, for all the right and wrong reasons.


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