The Last Waltz (1978) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • 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.

  • Concert film of The Band's last concert, with a "few friends" and a full brass band showing up to help them out. Concert footage is interspersed with a few studio sessions (Emmylou Harris, The Staples) and candid interviews of Band members by a series of hopelessly-inarticulate reporters. Muddy Waters plays a full-grown, natural-born lover's man, Neil Young plays a helpless (and legless) dope fiend, Robbie Robertson plays a cocky upstart who challenges Eric Clapton for guitar bragging rights (no spoilers here - you'll have to watch to see who won).

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


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