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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. [original theatrical] 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

Robbie Robertson was impressed by Martin Scorsese's ability to recite the words to the song "Daniel and the Sacred Harp" verbatim. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Muddy Waters: [singing] Well! Well-well-well, The line I shoots, At while never missing, When I make love to a girl, She can't resist...
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

Featured in Robbie Robertson: Going Home (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Old Time Religion
Traditional
Performed by The Band
See more »

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User Reviews

Out of the Shadow of Woodstock
2 November 2003 | by LeoneVsScorseseSee 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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