It could have been titled Let It Bleed. Partially a concert film from the Rolling Stones’ free show at California’s Altamont Speedway in 1969, Gimme Shelter is also a documentary of the violence that would forever be associated with the event. With the notorious Hells Angels motorcycle gang handling security, four people were killed at Altamont; one man, Meredith Hunter, was stabbed to death by a Hells Angels member as the cameras rolled. The three directors — brothers David and Albert Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin — shot the film over 10 days during the band’s tour. While the music inevitably rocks (it is the Rolling Stones, after all), the film’s inherent tragedy is summed up in a post-concert scene of Mick Jagger, seeing Hunter’s murder unfold on an editing machine, rewind the footage to watch it in slow motion. The 1960s had certainly come to an end.
TIME’s take: “What the filmmakers have unarguably done in these scenes is give brilliant shape and form to a nightmare.”