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The Concert for Bangladesh (1972)

The first benefit rock concert when major musicians performed to raise humanitarian relief funds for the refugees of Bangladesh of 1971 war.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Jim Keltner ...
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Pete Ham ...
Himself (as Badfinger)
Tom Evans ...
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Mike Gibbins ...
Himself (as Badfinger)
Joey Molland ...
Himself (as Badfinger)
Jesse Ed Davis ...
Himself
Jim Horn ...
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Storyline

Ex-Beatle George Harrison organized this spectacular concert on August 1, 1971 at New York's Madison Square Garden to help and aid the people from Bangladesh with all the money raised destined to that cause. Along with Harrison the concert features Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, Leon Rusell, Klaus Voormann and an Indian music section by Ravi Shankar and a set by the legendary Bob Dylan. Written by Chemi Gonzáles <chemi01@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Greatest Concert of the Decade! Now you can see it and hear it...as if you were there !

Genres:

Documentary | Music

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

31 May 1972 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Concerto para Bangladesh  »

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Technical Specs

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

More of the proceeds from the concert were frozen by the Internal Revenue Service than were given to UNICEF, pending a tax investigation. It took nearly ten years to release the remainder to UNICEF, by which time the crisis in Bangladesh had long passed. See more »

Goofs

In between 'Blowin' in the Wind' and 'Just Like a Woman', Bob Dylan attaches his capo to the second fret of his guitar. George Harrison then leans over to speak to Leon Russell, but immediately in the next shot, Dylan's guitar is capoed on the fourth fret and George is back in his regular position. (This is most likely due to the deletion of another Dylan song, 'Mr. Tambourine Man', which was played with a capo on the 2nd fret and is included on the film's soundtrack album.) See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rewind This! (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Concert for Bangladesh (1972) ***1/2
4 November 2005 | by See all my reviews

This is the film version of the historical show that took place in New York's Madison Square Garden on August 1st, 1971. People may take charity shows like this for granted these days, but back then it was a very special event. It was famed Indian musician Ravi Shankar who thought up the idea of helping the starving underprivileged people of East Pakistan, and he approached former Beatle George Harrison with his concern. George organized a concert to help the cause, in addition to writing and recording a song called "Bangla Desh," which he used to close out the night's performance. Among the musicians who gave their efforts were: ex-Beatle Ringo Starr (on one drum kit with Jim Keltner playing another), Eric Clapton (guitar), Billy Preston (keyboards), Leon Russell (bass and keyboards), Badfinger, and the legendary Bob Dylan.

The program starts off with Indian music, with Ravi Shankar and other musicians, and it is an acquired taste. Ravi asks the audience for patience during their act before the crowd gets to hear their "favorite stars" later in the show. It's a long twenty or so minutes, but eventually George and Friends take over the stage. Harrison performs songs off his recent ALL THINGS MUST PASS album, like "Wah-Wah," "My Sweet Lord," "Beware of Darkness," and "Awaiting On You All". During the course of the evening, he continues with Beatles favorites like "Something", "Here Comes the Sun," and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". Ringo gets to do a vocal of his recent hit, "It Don't Come Easy", but manages to screw up the words pretty badly which is a shame, as it's always been a favorite of mine.

It's purely a matter of personal taste as to what one will take from the performances, but for me Leon Rusell and Billy Preston provide some low moments of the concert. But the highlight of the event, even to a Beatles fanatic like me - which is really saying something here - comes from "a friend of us all, Mr. Bob Dylan". I am a moderate fan of Dylan's, and have always felt he was in excellent form on this particular venue, singing wonderful versions of "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall," "It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry," "Blowin' In The Wind" and "Just Like A Woman" (the latter tune with Harrison and Russell in vocal support).

While the show is not perfect, it's quite good. It may seem more quaint alongside today's LIVE AID's and FARM AID's, and even in comparison to the superb 2001 CONCERT FOR GEORGE tribute for the late Mr. Harrison -- but this baby was an innovator. ***1/2 out of ****


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