8.2/10
13,491
115 user 75 critic

The Last Waltz (1978)

A film account and presentation of the final concert of The Band.

Director:

Writer:

(treatment)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Themselves
Rick Danko ...
Himself - Bass / Violin / Vocal
...
Himself - Drums / Mandolin / Vocal
Garth Hudson ...
Himself - Organ / Accordion / Saxophone / Synthesizers
Richard Manuel ...
Himself - Piano / Keyboards / Drums / Vocal
...
Himself - Guitar / Vocal
...
Himself - Performer
...
Himself - Performer
...
Himself - Performer
...
Herself - Performer
...
Himself - Performer
...
Herself - Performer
...
Himself - Performer
Paul Butterfield ...
Himself - Performer
...
Himself - Performer
Edit

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 »

Genres:

Documentary | Music

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

26 April 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Super Jam  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$16,151 (USA) (5 April 2002)

Gross:

$321,952 (USA) (24 May 2002)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Band's recording studio Shangri-la was above Zuma Beach in Malibu, CA. It was a popular hang out spot for Ringo Starr, Klaus Voormann, Keith Moon, John Lennon and Neil Diamond. Many of wives of the Band's members were against building their recording studio in Malibu, especially Kevin's wife. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Richard Manuel - Piano: [describing how The Band got its name] Well, we were The Hawks.
Robbie Robertson - Guitar: And everything was fine, we were sailing along, and all of a sudden, one day The Hawks meant something else altogether.
Richard Manuel - Piano: And it was right in the middle of that whole psychedelia. Chocolate Subway, Marshmallow Overcoat. Those kind of names, you know?
Robbie Robertson - Guitar: When we were working with Bob Dylan and we moved to Woodstock, everybody referred to us as the band. He called us the band, our friends called us the band, our neighbors called us the ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the United Artists opening logo the sound of the filmmakers getting ready to shoot the first sequence of the film (Rick Danko playing pool, which it leads right into) can be heard. See more »

Connections

Referenced in XIX Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Mystery Train
Written by Junior Parker and Sam Phillips
Performed by Paul Butterfield with The Band
See more »

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User Reviews

Out of the Shadow of Woodstock
2 November 2003 | by (Melbourne) – See all my reviews

Martin Scorsese's documentary has been labelled a time capsule of an era, and whilst this type of reference usually sounds overstated, there is no doubting the accomplishment of this film as an event. Many use the documentary 'Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace and Music' as the ultimate example of a music-doco, but whilst the music in The Last Waltz is actually on par with the great performances of Woodstock (bar Jimi Hendrix[there's no substitute]), the thing which elevates The Last Waltz is the photography.

This was the first music doco to be shot on 35mm and watching the concert, you'd think that each performance was carefully choregraphed over a few weeks of shooting rather than over one night. Special thanks must be given to Cinematogrpaher Michael Chapman for his efforts on this film. The look of the film is what elevates it's overall appeal, because the music was always going to be epic, especially with the cavalcade of great names performing. This is just great filmmaking from contemporary cinema's most accomplished filmmaker. And how about that haunting theme that both starts and ends the film. Just great.


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