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The Last Waltz (1978)

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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 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. Now it's a Legend. [theatrical re-release] See more »

Genres:

Documentary | Music

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, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$321,952, 27 May 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Shot on Thanksgiving 1976 at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco, Ca. 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: We wanted it to be more than just a concert. We wanted it to be a celebration.
Martin Scorsese - Interviewer: A celebration of a beginning or an end?
Robbie Robertson - Guitar: Beginning of the beginning of the end of the beginning.
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 »

Alternate Versions

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

Connections

Spoofed in Moondog Airwaves (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Loud Prayer
(poem)
Written and performed by Lawrence Ferlinghetti
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Take a load off, Annie.
2 January 2005 | by movibuf1962See all my reviews

Either I'm getting older or the world's getting younger, but when a rock concert documentary film airs on TCM, there should be some sort of pause for a reality check. In a salute to WALTZ'S director Martin Scorsese, the film aired on TCM over the New Year's weekend. I hadn't seen it or thought about it in 25 years. And all I can say is that it hasn't lost any of its power. (And this from someone who's never been to a live rock concert.) The stars of the film- the all-purpose backup and touring band called 'The Band-' give a simple but enlightening insight to the mechanics of their 16 years on the road and how their Thanksgiving Day final concert in San Francisco turned into a revival-like celebration. Even though I grew up on jazz music more so than rock, I can fully appreciate The Band's intense, immense music background- influenced by everything from blues to country to folk music. As for the concert itself you have the likes of Neil Young, Ron Wood, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Muddy Waters, and Dr. John (who gives a standout, honky-tonk performance of "Such A Night,") kickin' it on stage before it's all over. And if these live performances weren't enough, there are additional performances done on a sound stage with artists that weren't part of the live show woven into the 117-minute film: a fabulous folk/gospel jam session of the song "The Weight" teamed with the Staples Singers (lead by Mavis Staples, who sounds very Gladys Knight-like) and about thirty minutes later shifting gears into the lovely folk ballad "Evangeline," replete with fiddle, mandolin, and acoustic guitar from Emmylou Harris. Also cool is Muddy Waters bluesing on "Ain't that a Man," and the finale with all the artists of "I Shall Be Released." You just might be.


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