The Last Waltz Movie Review

The Band were one of the best rock groups of the '60s and '70s, creating a unique brand of music that incorporated elements of folk, blues, and soul -- ironically, at the time when those elements were being squeezed out of rock by groups such as Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd.

Unfortunately, the Band's music didn't have much influence on the way future music would develop. But The Last Waltz, a concert film of the Band's 1976 farewell performance, remains an essential artwork. The film is a reminder that while they lasted, the Band (guitarist Robbie Robertson, drummer Levon Helm, keyboardists Garth Hudson and Richard Manuel, and bassist Rick Danko) was as good as any group in rock history.

The Band got famous by backing up Bob Dylan during the mid-'60s, and Dylan plays a set in The Last Waltz. Other geniuses of '70s rock also perform in the film, including Eric Clapton, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, and Neil Young, along with a one-song cameo from blues legend Muddy Waters (doing "Mannish Boy"), one of his last recorded performances.

Martin Scorsese mostly keeps the camera on the music, except for interludes of interviews with the Band members, mostly Robertson. The anecdotes and Robertson's myth-making commentary are entertaining and respectful. The result is one of the best concert films in rock music history.

When the music's over, extinguish the bong.


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ritamay's picture

ritamay

This is the best concert I have ever watched! Every single artiste was on top form and the songs they chose were amazing. Bob was beautiful and his appearance at the end was an absolute joy.

3 months 3 weeks ago
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The Last Waltz Rating

" Extraordinary "

Rating: PG, 1978

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