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Grey Gardens: A Photographic Tour

The real "Little Edie" Beale in front of her East Hampton home.
The real "Little Edie" Beale in front of her East Hampton home.

I just finished watching the new HBO feature film Grey Gardens, based on the acclaimed 1975 documentary by the Maysles brothers. Both tell the story of Edith Bouvier Beale and her daughter "Little Edie," Manhatten socialites and kin to Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. The mother and daughter end up living in squalor in an East Hampton mansion overrun by cats and raccoons. Honestly, the transformation of their estate is shocking. The new HBO movie stars Jessica Lange as Edith and Drew Barrymore (displaying surprising acting chops) as Little Edie. The visuals of the documentary are more haunting than the HBO film, though it's well shot. Take a look at the images below from both the doc and the feature film. The stand-alone images are so interesting because each of them captures the spirit of glamour, even those depicting their fall from high-society, surrounded by a house and environs in total decay.

"Little Edie" and her mother Edith Beale.
"Little Edie" and her mother Edith Beale.
Edith Bouvier Beale in her East Hampton mansion.  The painting is a portrait of her.
Edith Bouvier Beale in her East Hampton mansion. The painting is a portrait of her.
Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange in the HBO production of Grey Gardens.
HBO Films
Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange in the HBO production of Grey Gardens.
Drew Barrymore as Little Edie, pre-kooky, in HBO's Grey Gardens. (HBO Films)
HBO Films
Drew Barrymore as Little Edie, pre-kooky, in HBO's Grey Gardens. (HBO Films)
Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore in HBO's Grey Gardens.
HBO Films
Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore in HBO's Grey Gardens.

Oh, and playwright Doug Wright (I Am My Own Wife) turned Grey Gardens into a 2007 Broadway musical, which won multiple Tony Awards. An image from that production is below.

Christine Ebersole as Little Edie Beale in the musical Grey Gardens.
Joan Marcus
Christine Ebersole as Little Edie Beale in the musical Grey Gardens.