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The Last Waltz (1978)

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1:33 | Trailer
A film account and presentation of the final concert of The Band.

Director:

Martin Scorsese

Writer:

Mardik Martin (treatment)
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
The Band ... Themselves
Rick Danko Rick Danko ... Himself - Bass / Violin / Vocal
Levon Helm ... Himself - Drums / Mandolin / Vocal
Garth Hudson Garth Hudson ... Himself - Organ / Accordion / Saxophone / Synthesizers
Richard Manuel Richard Manuel ... Himself - Piano / Keyboards / Drums / Vocal
Robbie Robertson ... Himself - Guitar / Vocal
Eric Clapton ... Himself - Performer
Neil Diamond ... Himself - Performer
Bob Dylan ... Himself - Performer
Joni Mitchell ... Herself - Performer
Neil Young ... Himself - Performer
Emmylou Harris ... Herself - Performer
Ringo Starr ... Himself - Performer
Paul Butterfield ... Himself - Performer
Dr. John ... Himself - Performer
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Storyline

Thanksgiving, 1976, San Francisco's Winterland: the Band performs its last concert after 16 years on the road. Some numbers they do alone, some songs include guest artists from Ronnie Hawkins (their first boss, when they were the Hawks) to Bob Dylan (their last, when as his backup and as a solo group, they came into their own). Scorsese's camera explores the interactions onstage in the making of music. Offstage, he interviews the Band's five members, focusing on the nature of life on the road. The friendships, the harmonies, the hijinks, and the wear and tear add up to a last waltz. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It Started as a Concert. It Became a Celebration. [original theatrical] See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Middle English

Release Date:

26 April 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Super Jam See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,151, 7 April 2002

Gross USA:

$322,313

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$340,687
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robbie Robertson's Stratocaster was bronzed for the concert. See more »

Goofs

During Garth Hudson's solo in the song "Stagefright", the entire song cuts forward approximately 25 seconds. See more »

Quotes

Robbie Robertson - Guitar: It's not like it used to be.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the beginning of the film it just says: "THIS FILM SHOULD BE PLAYED LOUD!" See more »

Alternate Versions

The DVD features an outtake of the jam session onstage towards the end of the concert. See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Martin Scorsese Movies (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Caravan
Written by Van Morrison
Performed by Van Morrison with The Band
See more »

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User Reviews

A Classic
6 November 2002 | by wdeadderSee all my reviews

Forget "Woodstock". Forget "Gimme Shelter". "Let It Be'? Forget that too. This is, truly, THE greatest rock and roll film ever made. Why? Well, try for a moment to forget that the actual performance itself features the great artists it does (including The Band) and focus on the film itself.

This film is shot in 35mm format which gives the picture pristine look (as opposed to all other previous rock films, which were shot on 16mm). But it's not just a spralling work, this is also well executed as well. By that, I mean the production value is outstanding. The lighting is unlike any rock concert I've seen (and I've seen many). The camera work is top-notch (apparently it was done by the best in Hollywood at the time). It's also easy to see that a great deal of planning went into the production. Other concert films (Woodstock, Monterey Pop) suffer from a "last minute scramble" look that simply isn't there with "Waltz".

Add to that the shear magnitude of what The Band had undertaken. Imagine learning, arranging and performing so many songs in so many styles by so many artists in one night with only one take of each allowed. When that is taken into consideration, you have to have a degree of respect for them. Of course, I'm bias. I'm Canadian, as were 4/5ths of The Band.

My only critique would be a technical one. It seems Rick Danko redubbed all of his bass playing. Whether this is attributed to a technical problem or unhappiness with his performance is unclear. However, what is clear is that what you hear the bass doing in the audio and what you see on the screen are completely different.


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