The Last Waltz

It started as a concert. It became a celebration. Join an unparalleled lineup of rock superstars asthey celebrate The Band’s historic 1976 farewell performance. Directed by Martin Scorsese (Raging Bull, Goodfellas), The Last Waltz is not only “the most beautiful rock film evermade” (New York Times) it’s “one of the most important cultural events of the last two decades” (Rolling Stone)!
Martin Scorsese’s 1978 capsule history of the Band is mixed with foo… More >>

The Last Waltz

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  1. This music collage is definitely misnamed. After Martin Scorsese produced this 1976 San Francisco filming of the concert, he added interviews with the young members of the Band who accompanied the varied ’70s “stars.” It was good to see the young men’s hair styles back then, as I had two teenage sons thirty years ago.

    The best I can say about this production is that it was weird. Something similar takes place in this backward town at an old church building converted to Laurel Theater (on Laurel Ave.). Nowadays, they call it bluegrass and traditional, but I have never liked country and it may be rock’n’roll, but not in the sense of Buddy Holley and that gang from the Fifties.

    The only waltz was at the opening credits, thereby giving the film its name. The music is as far from a waltz as classical is from hillbilly. The young performers talked of getting drunk on corn liquor, laid by ‘ladies of the night,’ and stoned. The whole music scene back then as lived out in front of the camera was smoking, drinking, pill popping and sex. You’d think it was Woodstock all over again; I’m glad I missed it.

    Neil Diamond has moved up the ladder since then and the only ‘real’ star in this whole show. He was absolutely marvelous in THE JAZZ SINGER and sang his own music throughout the beautiful JONATHAN LIVINGSTON SEAGULL. Scorsese started with sordidness, two hours of noise. Now I understand why his rather lengthy masterpiece, THE AVIATOR, dealt mostly with the sleazy part of Howard Hughes’ life. He should have left the demented man’s spirit in peace, wherever he went.
    Rating: 2 / 5

  2. This looks like an ancient relic relative to new concert DVD’s. This is a rental only. This is not one of those concerts I would watch a second time and skipped thru much of it.
    Rating: 2 / 5

  3. This is a dreary and depressing DVD. I have tried to watch it several times with an open mind and I still can’t understand why it has such a high rating. The performances are mostly too laid back. In my opinion, this is what was wrong with most music from that era.
    Rating: 2 / 5

  4. The only reason this movie gets the acclaim all the years later is because of Martin Scorsessee, I’m sorry. Hey, The Band was good, I like “The Weight” and “Cripple Creek”, they backed up Dylan, and they played for many years, but that alone doesn’t really add up to the kind of stature this film is often credited for. “Woodstock” (which Scorsessee also had a hand in) was a much better concert movie, maybe even the Talking Heads’ “Stop Making Sense”. This movie shows the band worn out, playing a joyless performance, as grand and star-filled as it may be. The Band, let’s face it, their breakup and the ensuing concert really wasn’t as big a deal as this movie makes it out to be. The Band looks tired of it all, there really deosn’t seem to be any spontenaity (even the end, when they play one more last song seems very planned). Scorsessee limits his photography to wide shots and medium shots, no looks at the audience. All in all this was a decent conert and a hearty farewell to a good band, but hardly the event it makes itself out ot be.
    Rating: 2 / 5

  5. I must say I’m not a huge fan of The Band, but I like “Before the Flood”. However, I was amazed at how poorly The Band played, and sang even worse, in this, their farewell concert. It is hard to believe they had played together for 17 years.

    Even the guests, such as Bob Dylan, seemed to use their worst voice. Only Eric Clapton was really any good, though Van Morrison was acceptable. Otherwise, fairly embarrassing musical performances. At the end, *everybody* is onstage singing “I Shall Be Released” – killing an otherwise nice song.

    Obviously Scorsese got all the good film people and photographers to work on the project, and it was well done. So well done that the presentation outshines the music.

    There are some nice extras, including multiple commentaries. Hard to recommend it unless you are truly a Band fan.
    Rating: 2 / 5

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