The Grateful Dead Movie [VHS]
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Product Description

The only Grateful Dead video to have received a theatrical release (in the mid-'70s), this film is a real time capsule. See Keith and Donna Godcheaux as integral parts of the band! See the Wall of Sound! See the trippy animation! See Jerry with all-black hair! The photography and sound are crude and not on par with those in some of the more recent Dead videos, notably Ticket to New Year's or Downhill from Here, but its earnestness, and its focus on an era in the Band's history with little other video documentation, more than make up for the lack of polish. There's some above-average music, too, especially "Eyes of the World" and the ever-irresistible "U.S. Blues." --Anne Hurley

Customer Reviews:

  • MUST-HAVE for all Deadheads!!
    This DVD rocks...I can't stop watching it. From the incredible performances of the band to the interaction between the fans, it's really awesome. I can't even describe it in words. You just have to watch it. I swear, you feel like you're at the the show. This DVD set is great-BUY IT!!...more info
  • ~~Great Video~~
    I live in the same city as Donna Jean Godchaux and know her pretty well, so it's great seeing Donna at her best. Great song selection. If you're a dead~head this video is a must!!!...more info
  • snapshot in time
    I do not mean to offend fans who enjoy this film, it does reflect the Dead at the time of filming and for many that is all they know. The concerts filmed were just before a lenghty hiatus for the band, with good reason. A review based solely on the DVD should he higher than 3 stars, however I am unable to review the DVD without reviewing the band/music/performances. The DVD is definitely a fun viewing with nice extras on the second disc and I do not mean to discourage it's purchase. The Dead at this point in time however have little in common with the Grateful Dead of Fillmore/Pigpen times. As long as this is understood by viewers go for it. For the real McCoy just listen to Anthem, Live Dead, Bears Choice, or anything before Pigpen left us. By the way, the new RHINO HDCD releases of the Warner catalog are fantastic. So enjoy the DVD but it would be a shame if this became the definitive Grateful Dead legacy....more info
  • Unbelievable
    This dvd set is the most prized in my entire collection. The brilliant music and sound quality on this dvd has already been explained enough, I just want to make one comment.

    In the bonus songs is a track simply titled "the other one." The song though is part of my favorite music suites ever by the dead. On 10/17/74, during the second set... He's Gone > jam > weirdness > the other one > spanish jam > mind left body jam > the other one > stella blue. The whole thing together is mind boggling. Unfortunately the DVD song only has the tail end of weirdness > the other one > spanish jam > mlbj > too. While this segment is still sublime (especially the gorgeous MLBJ,) it would've been nice to see the whole sequence together.

    My point is, don't overlook the bonus tracks, which are magnificent, and also don't skimp on buying the so called "movie soundtrack," which has tons of amazing music not on the dvd, as well as the complete sequence described above. ...more info
  • David Lemieux Does It Again!
    David Lemieux is the Grateful Dead organization's current "keeper of The Vault", having taken over for the band's original archivist Dick Latvala, may he R.I.P.

    Remastering The Grateful Dead Movie is his second major video project, the first being "The Closing of Winterland", which is also highly recommended.

    Even though the Dead were at their creative peak in 1974 (my opinion, of course), the audio and video quality of the multitude of concert videos that have been released by and of this band arguably improves as we move forward in time, if for no other reason than technology. Simply stated, they were able to make a better recording in, say, 1990 than in 1974.

    All that changed when when David Lemieux decided to go back to some of earlier masterpieces and painstakingly remaster them.

    I own The Grateful Dead Movie on VHS and on LaserDisc. Yet they rarely get played due to lack of decent audio quality. There's simply so much more to enjoy from this band that's of so much better quality.

    The remastered Grateful Dead movie on DVD is a treat for the eyes, ears, and spirit! If I'm not up off the couch dancing as if I were at a show, I'm sitting there mesmerized with an ear to ear grin, sort of like the dude in the front row of the show!

    THE REAL TREAT, however, is the "second disc", which includes footage that never made it to the original movie. In my opinion, the second disc with its never-seen-before-footage is where you'll find the real nuggets of pure joy, pure Grateful Dead heaven, the band at their best! Wait, oh just you wait, until you experince The Other One > Spanish Jam > Mind Left Body Jam > The Other One! Yeeow!

    I own every piece of commercially available Grateful Dead video, and some that are not commercially available and this magical "Second Disc" is the finest bit Grateful Dead video available. Period....more info
  • An Insight into Ingenuity
    Let's see, kickin set list with fan favorites and some beautiful extended jams? check. Wall of sound? check. Interviews with the band and some colorful dead heads? check. Behind the scenes footage? check. The most moving rendition of Morning Dew ever captured on tape? check.

    The bottom line: You will not be dissapointed, this one has it all!...more info
  • very cool - Fans must have it!
    my man, Norman, turned me on to the Dead. we have this movie and it is sooooo cool! if you are a fan, you must have it!

    Jerry produced this and made it, hired cameramen etc. and did it. shows back stage stuff, set up, the concerts, the hippies and fans in the crowd. experience a Dead concert - watch this movie - 'cause you sure can't go see the Dead in concert like this anymore. (Jerry is gone, sniff)

    a real cool experience - for sure. Dead-heads - buy it. curious? buy it. ...more info
  • Dead to the World!
    Unlike many other music fans my age (just hit 50 two days ago--Yikes!), I've only seen the Dead in concert once. And that was during their WORKING MAN'S DEAD/AMERICAN BEAUTY phase, which means it was not nearly as trippy and cosmic as I had hoped. At the time, I remember grousing, "If I had wanted Crosby, Stills and Nash," I'd have gone to see Crosby, Stills and Nash!... Give me "Dark Star" for crying out loud!"

    Oh, the impatience of youth. Somehow I never quite got around to seeing them again. I still enjoyed their music, but as the concerts became bigger and bigger and more and more crowded, I lost all interest in attending one. I am mildly agoraphobic and besides, who wants to wait in line all day to get a bracelet which will ultimately allow you to purchase a ticket--if you're lucky.

    Well, this is as close as I'm gonna get to the 70's style concert experience. And it's pretty darn good. It's nice to see Jerry still alive and without even a touch of grey. Eerie to hear Bill Graham talk about having a plane to catch. The Deadheads we observe are still kind of innocent and goofy--and kind of likeable in their own spacy way. Not a scene I'd want to be reliving in 2002 certainly, but it does evoke a kind of nostalgia for what was really a more innocent age.

    And the music is grand. The Dead's languid sound was earthy and experimental at the same time. They always maintained that they were a jug band at heart, and there's truth in that assertion-- if you mean a jug band from outer space. Anyway, this video has a lot of wonderful moments, as well as a few where those of us of a certain age will be scratching our heads and saying, "Well, we were pretty SILLY back then, I guess!" Worth repeated viewings, in any event, even if you'll never ever wear tie-dye again....more info

  • There is Nothing Like A Grateful Dead Concert!
    This video is a documentation of the Grateful Dead's "Retirement" conerts at Bill Graham's Winterland in San Fransisco, CA. in October, 1974. The band had made the decision to take an indefinate amount of time off from the road, and give themselves a much deserved (and needed) break.

    This film is an excellent view of the band at the end of one of their many peaks over the years. It features much fine music, as well as many insightful views of the scene that had come to surround them. Jerry Garcia himself edited over 150 hours of film to come up with this 2hr, 20 minute bit of history.

    This is a high-quality endeavor from start to finish. Whether you've been 'on the bus' since the beginning, or never got the chance to go to see the band in person, this film is a must see for fans of all ages....more info

  • Just so amazingly good!!! Get it - you'll be glad you did.
    I cannot express in words how awesome this dvd set is. They did an excellent job with it in every way. The sound will blow you away, especially if you have a 5.1 system (you don't need it, there is a regular stereo sound option too) but the surround sound is insane.

    The extras are all top notch - stuff you actually want to watch. I have to say that this is probably the best music DVD purchase I have ever made - the content, the packaging the little booklet - it's all of the highest quality. Very highly recommended!
    ...more info
  • 5 stars for the second DVD...
    This is one movie that has aged, and not that well. It was great when it came out (I remember seeing it just after the premiere at the Ziegfield in NYC), but looking at it some 30 years later, it just doesn't stand up to the test of time.

    The October 74 run was great, and Deadheads thought it was the last. The film was meant to immortalize the band, and did so. However, Jerry's editing, which puts too much focus on the scene to the detriment of the music, turns the movie into a documentary, rather than a concert film.

    But, disc 2 is the real saver. With about 90 minutes of great tunes - and only music - including The Other One, Dark Star, China/Rider, and a great Sugaree, this may be one of the best filmed records of the Dead. Get it for disc 2....more info
  • There's nothing like a Grateful Dead concert...
    ...especially if you actually get to see and hear the band (not just the concert attendees). Allow me to elaborate:

    Ok, I know that this review will probably get a lot of negative feedback.. but this is how I feel. I think that the Dead were GREAT during the nights they were filmed in concert. They all were amazing. It is great to see the dead live during their prime.. '74's STEAL YOUR FACE tour. The concert was great. 5 stars definitely for the concert itself.

    However, I am very disturbed about the people who made this film. Yeah, it's ok to see behind the scenes and get audience shots sometimes, but the audience is shown more than the band! I bought this video expecting to see and hear the Grateful Dead.. not a bunch of spaced out hippies. The audience is shown WAAAAY too much. Also-- there are very few songs here in their entirety. It seems that when a song starts gettting good.. when the boys really start jammin', they cut to an interview with some spaced out Deadhead (no offense to spaced out Deadheads...) talking about how great the concert experience is.. OF COURSE SEEING THE DEAD LIVE IS FANTASTIC.. THAT'S WHY I BOUGHT THE VIDEO! I wasn't around the first time to see the dead live, so I was hoping that I would get a no-nonsense concert flick. The concert, or what we hear of it, is fantastic. If you want a no-bull$h!? concert, check out STOP MAKING SENSE... these filmmakers should take some notes from Johnathan Demme on how to shoot a concert. For God's sake, all I wanted was to see the dead.. not the Deadheads.

    If you love the Dead, I still recommend buying this.. I don't really regret it, per s, but I was very let down by the cinematic technique used in the filming of this....more info

  • Plug in the stereo and turn up the volume!
    Having seen this movie numerous times during its original run, I am happy to say it loses little when brought to the small screen. Be sure to have your VCR hooked in your stereo and crank up the volume. Numerous times I put in the tape and never bother turning on the TV. I even made a copy of the soundtrack so I could listen to it in my car while cruising from one show to the next.

    While other members of the Dead continue to perform in one configuration or another, as one fan in the film says, "There Is Nothing Like A Grateful Dead Concert!" This is a great video to bring even a little of the experience back. A document that ranks with "The Last Waltz" as entertainment and as history.

    To deadheads everywhere, Have A Grateful Day!...more info

  • The Dead as they were in 1974
    This video features a good selection of live songs taken from the GD's Winterland 1974 end-of-year shows. The songs are left intact, for the most part, except for some interviews during certain songs. Most of the show is shot from the side of the stage, or from a 10th row center seat.

    The video also features a few scenes of Deadheads before, during, and after the show. Jerry Garcia, as director, did an excellent job of capturing the philosophies and grooves of the Deadheads of that era.

    A great song list and great concert footage!...more info

  • One of the very best concert films
    Rather than simply focus on the musicians playing on stage (though a lot of this is done), the film meanders through pre-concert setup with Bill Graham and the roadies interacting, it shows fans arriving and hanging out pre-concert. There are scenes of setting up the wall of sound system, the sound checks and discriptions of Phil's bass. The audience is heavily included, even to the point of a fan debate over the propriety of filming the show. Considering that this concert series also gave rise to the horrible "Steal Your Face" album, the music is inspired. It's hard to credit that it's the same tour. Definitely a change from the typical concert film, and a real treat for any Deadhead, or anyone interested in the Dead phenominon....more info
  • Still great after all these years
    I first saw this film when it was released back in the mid 1970's. I was in much the same state as many of the attendees of the real thing and enjoyed the piece tremendously - the rendition of "Morning Dew" in this film remains my favorite piece of Dead music and Garcia genius.
    Thirty years is a long time in a person's life - much changes. It was, therefore with a smile that I happened upon this DVD and took it home. I wondered whether it would be the same. Happily, it was still wonderful; interestingly enough just as wonderful straight as it was..... The music (Yes, I know there are many acoustically better albums) has all the power/joy/pathos today as it did then, however much we and the world have changed.
    "Morning Dew" still makes me smile and sing for hours after.
    You died too young, Jerry....more info
  • The Grateful Dead Movie
    It was the greatest movie of all time! It showed a real life concert and behind the sceens. "The Best Rock N' Roll Film To Date" -N.Y. Daily News, and I totally agree 100%!...more info
  • Culturally rich
    This is one of the most important video documentaries w live footage from the Oct Winterland '74 shows. Happy, yet serious shows were we see the typical heads rolling in to the arena commentating on what they think the band may play; and at the same time seeing an important part of what I see as a 70 s in America were things like the GD were important to ventilate some of the political and social issues that were graceing the country and the world.

    Awesome verions of 'Eyes', Stella Blue and Mornig Dew. Not to mention the all too typical Trucking. A gem....more info

  • Great movie - need HD!
    Born too late and having missed out on one of my favorite bands this movie provides the closest thing to a Grateful Dead show out there. Even if you're not a fan I think there is a lot of value in watching this DVD. It also might turn someone on ...

    This needs the HD treatment. The DVD sparks with excellent sound and video quality I couldn't imagine what it would be like in HD. Closer to the real thing? Perhaps!...more info
  • Grateful for the Dead
    I recently purchased this film with high expectations... Well, my expectations were fulfilled. The film itself was very well made in some aspects... I loved every bit of it.. And from my standpoint.. A 15 year old, freshman in h.s. and an avid partier it makes me happy.....more info
  • It is a electric coolaide psychedelic video trip,man!
    In my opion,a very good movie indeed! Watch it sober or watch it,well you know.Either way it is a great movie. A most have for all who love the "DEAD"!...more info
    The Grateful Dead movie came out in 1977 but consists of footage shot during an October 1974 series of concerts at the Winterland, the last to use the "wall of Sound" system, and the shows preceeded a break from touring but by the time it came out, they had already resumed performing. It is as much about the fans, the sound crew, the "wall of sound" PA, and promoter Bill Graham as about the band. When I saw it back when it came out and a couple times at local high school auditoriums over the next few years, I was always left with the feeling that it was a little short on uninterupted concert footage. The film tries to cover so much ground the music performances suffer. The other place I felt it was lacking was the sound mix. This new DVD release basically fixes my two main gripes about the original release. It has a second bonus disc of extra song performances, and it has been remixed- it now sounds alot better (but for those who want the original mix, you can play it that way too for the movie portion). There is also some extra interview footage. The transfer of the film has been well done. The dead always had good people working for them, whether it was Betty Cantor, Dan Healy, Steve Parish or Ron Wickersham- and now Jeffrey Norman and David Lemeieux, the keepers of the vault. They have done some excellent work with this release and "The Closing of Winterland" DVD....both come from a period many consider to be their best. Now we can have our own virtual Dead concert. If you like this DVD, I'd also recommend the 5 CD "Movie soundtrack" set which is one of the best audio releases....more info
  • This is the finest Grateful Dead video available
    This movie captures all the energy and excitement of a real Grateful Dead concert. Having seen several concerts in person, I have to say that this is the best way to recapture your memories. The behind the scenes footage really gives you an inside look at how the Grateful Dead's music touched each and every person who had the great opportunity to see them perform. Although Rat Dog, The Other Ones, Phil & Dylan, etc. are still touring, the simple fact remains - "There is nothing in the world like a Grateful Dead concert" If you never had the opportunity to see them perform, I guarantee that this video will give you a deeper appreciation for the music then ever before. Turn on the blacklights and lava lamps, put on your bellbottoms, crank up the volume, and enjoy the show!...more info
  • Dead Head's movie
    We watched this and thought it was great to see all the dead head's from back in the day jamming out. Really cool....more info
  • Film vs. Video
    This is one of the best Concert Film's ever made. The shows were actually filmed October 16-20, 1974, right before they took a year off to make Blues For Allah & work on solo projects. Compared to the more recent "Videos" that have that video high tech look & seem almost too perfect, this Film has a much warmer intimate feel to it. The fan interviews are a trip & the Dead security dude that was at all their shows bring back lots of grateful memories....more info
  • stoked and smoked
  • only for Deadheads
    If you ARE a Deadhead, you MUST get this movie. If you are NOT a Deadhead, skip it....more info
  • A Must Have, A Trip to the Past
    I had more fun watching this video. Jerry is in top form, I adore Donna, Bobby looks like he's 16, but wasn't he? It was just a blast from the past! If you never had the extreme privilage to see a Dead show this movie is almost like being there! I recommend it highly!...more info
  • It's a ten on the 1-5 scale.
    I am amazed at how many younger fans I know who have not seen this classic.

    There is NOTHING LIKE the Grateful Dead Movie.

    Watch the movie tripping, then get out your 1968-69, and 1973-74 tapes....more info