In 1973, filmmakers Albert and David Maysles entered the strange world of "Big Edie" and "Little Edie" Bouvier Beale, two charming eccentrics who were relatives of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. Spending six weeks with the reclusive mother and daughter who chose to live in squalor and almost total isolation in a decaying, 28-room mansion in East Hampton, the Maysles captured their day-to-day life in its raw, uncensored, captivatingly honest moments for a documentary entitled Grey Gardens. Little did anyone know that the 100-minute documentary would catapult the two women from virtual obscurity to cult status as their legacy grew in depth and stature over the years.
Thirty-five years later, using the documentary as a framework, director-writer Michael Sucsy's original story for Grey Gardens offers a wry, behind-the-scenes look at the Beales and their unique mother-daughter bond.
Told over the span of four decades, the film focuses on their glamorous and well-heeled lives long before the making of the documentary and on the circumstances behind their riches-to-rags story.
Drew Barrymore stars as "Little Edie" and Jessica Lange stars as "Big Edie" in Grey Gardens. Directed by Michael Sucsy from a story by Sucsy and teleplay by Sucsy and Patricia Rozema, this HBO Films production recounts the early years of the mother-daughter duo, as well as chronicling the making of the iconic documentary by the Maysles brothers. Malcolm Gets and Daniel Baldwin co-star, with Ken Howard and Jeanne Tripplehorn. Lucy Barzun Donnelly, Rachael Horovitz and Michael Sucsy are executive producers; David Coatsworth produces.