"Grey Gardens," which casts Drew Barrymore as "Little Edie" and Jessica Lange as "Big Edie," will premiere at 8 PM ET on the HBO cable network.
Directed by Michael Sucsy from a story by Sucsy and a teleplay by Sucsy and Patricia Rozema, the new film, according to HBO, "recounts the early years of the mother-daughter duo [and chronicles] the making of the iconic documentary by the Maysles brothers."
"Grey Gardens" co-stars Malcolm Gets and Daniel Baldwin with Ken Howard and Jeanne Tripplehorn. Lucy Barzun Donnelly, Rachael Horovitz and Michael Sucsy are the executive producers; David Coatsworth produces.
"In contrast to the Maysles' documentary," read "Grey Gardens" press notes, "which spans six weeks in the life of the Beales in 1973, when they were 77 and 56, Sucsy's story covers 40 years. The action begins in the mid-1930s, when 'Little Edie' was a beautiful 18-year-old debutante with dreams of being an actress and a dancer, and her equally beautiful mother, 'Big Edie,' enjoyed a luxurious lifestyle in East Hampton, defying convention amidst the social royalty, as she sang in public and threw decadent parties – things not done in the Beales' social set. The story then follows 'Little Edie' in the '50s to New York City, where she tries to launch her acting career and carries on an affair with a married man – Julius 'Cap' Krug (Daniel Baldwin), former Secretary of the Interior – only to be forced to return to Grey Gardens by her disapproving father (Ken Howard). Next, the Beales are shown in the '60s as they deal with a death in the family – that of President John F. Kennedy. The last decade of the story focuses on the '70s – when the reclusive mother and daughter, living in squalor, are financially rescued by Jackie Kennedy Onassis (Jeanne Tripplehorn). Niece to 'Big Edie' and cousin to 'Little Edie,' Jackie pays to repair the decaying mansion, keeping them from being evicted by the health department. At this time the Maysles first capture the Beales on camera, at the invitation of Jackie's sister, Lee Radziwill. A year later, the Maysles (Arye Gross, Justin Louis) return to Grey Gardens for six weeks to film their historic documentary."
About her latest role actress Barrymore said in production notes, "When I read his script, I flipped out. I thought it was one of the best scripts I'd ever read in my life. Seeing the women's journey, seeing a love story not between a man and a woman, but between a mother and daughter, seemed so epic to me and yet so claustrophobically personal. They lived in a sort of fantasy world and turned a blind eye to the conditions in which they lived. Having each other was enough to survive the madness that went on in that house, was enough to let everything else fall by the wayside and not matter." Additional broadcasts on HBO are scheduled for April 18 at 12:35 AM, April 19 at 6 PM, April 21 at 10:45 AM and 7:15 PM, April 26 at 2 PM and midnight, April 30 at 12:30 and 8:30 PM, May 2 at 8 AM and 4:30 PM, May 7 at noon and 9 PM and April 13 at 5:30 PM and 4:40 AM. HBO2 will broadcast "Grey Gardens" April 23 at 9:15 AM and 8 PM.
For more information visit hbo.com/films/greygardens.