The Last Waltz (1978)

PG  |   |  Documentary, Music  |  26 April 1978 (USA)
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A film account and presentation of the final concert of The Band.



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2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
The Band ...
Rick Danko ...
Himself - Bass & Violin & Vocal (as The Band)
Himself - The Band: Lead Guitar & Vocal
Richard Manuel ...
Himself - Piano / Keyboards / Drums / Vocal (as The Band)
Himself - Drums / Mandolin / Vocal (as The Band)
Garth Hudson ...
Himself - Organ / Accordion / Saxophone / Synthesizers (as The Band)
Himself - Performer
Himself - Performer
Himself - Performer
Herself - Performer
Himself - Performer
Herself - Performer
Himself - Performer
Paul Butterfield ...
Himself - Performer
Himself - Performer


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


Documentary | Music


PG | See all certifications »


Official Sites:




Release Date:

26 April 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El último vals  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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


$321,952 (USA) (24 May 2002)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Martin Scorsese said that when The Last Waltz was being filmed, Jack Nicholson visited the set because he was friends with some of the singers. Scorsese also said that Nicholson complimented him about Taxi Driver. See more »


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


Neil Young: [walking on stage] Hey, Rob, thanks for letting me do this.
Robbie Robertson: Shit! Are you kidding?
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in Scorsese on Scorsese (2004) See more »


Dry Your Eyes
Written by Neil Diamond and Robbie Robertson
Performed by Neil Diamond with The Band
See more »

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User Reviews

A Classic
6 November 2002 | by (Toronto) – See 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.

26 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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