The Last Waltz Reviews

  • Jun 28, 2019

    Excellent, nearly exemplary documentation of a musical event involving some of the top artists of the time; it helps that all musicians present themselves in best form on stage.

    Excellent, nearly exemplary documentation of a musical event involving some of the top artists of the time; it helps that all musicians present themselves in best form on stage.

  • Jun 26, 2019

    Classic documentary music songs of that time. There is so many classic songs for everyone to enjoy. Loved it.

    Classic documentary music songs of that time. There is so many classic songs for everyone to enjoy. Loved it.

  • May 15, 2019

    Blues rock isn't really my thing, so I haven't watched Scorsese's film about The Band's last concert in 1976 until now. It does come heralded by many others. So, in watching, I focused on Marty's directorial choices and the cinematography (by Michael Chapman but with assistance from László Kovács, Vilmos Zsigmond, and others). The roving cameras are located onstage with the band and a lot of the footage is shot in extreme close-up on the performers (you can see how Jonathan Demme's Stop Making Sense, 1984, owes a debt to this film). Scorsese himself was part of the editing team for Woodstock (1970) and his choices here enhance the concert experience (even if we don't see the audience â" we ARE the audience). Somehow he manages to keep things interesting as each successive guest musician turns up (Ronnie Hawkins, Dr John, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Muddy Waters, The Staples Singers, Eric Clapton, Emmylou Harris, Van Morrison, and of course, Bob Dylan, who often played with The Band). And it wasn't long before the passion and joy of the players started to win me over; guitarist Robbie Robertson genially holds things together onstage and everyone contributes to the family feeling. Interview clips with The Band (featuring Scorsese himself) take us back to a different era, as does the overall conceit of the "Last Waltz" itself, revealing that most of these guys grew up in the 1950s. As punk and disco and new wave broke on the horizon, this must have seemed like a farewell to an era (even if we subsequently discovered that old music and old genres can be renewed by younger bands and also streamed forever).

    Blues rock isn't really my thing, so I haven't watched Scorsese's film about The Band's last concert in 1976 until now. It does come heralded by many others. So, in watching, I focused on Marty's directorial choices and the cinematography (by Michael Chapman but with assistance from László Kovács, Vilmos Zsigmond, and others). The roving cameras are located onstage with the band and a lot of the footage is shot in extreme close-up on the performers (you can see how Jonathan Demme's Stop Making Sense, 1984, owes a debt to this film). Scorsese himself was part of the editing team for Woodstock (1970) and his choices here enhance the concert experience (even if we don't see the audience â" we ARE the audience). Somehow he manages to keep things interesting as each successive guest musician turns up (Ronnie Hawkins, Dr John, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Muddy Waters, The Staples Singers, Eric Clapton, Emmylou Harris, Van Morrison, and of course, Bob Dylan, who often played with The Band). And it wasn't long before the passion and joy of the players started to win me over; guitarist Robbie Robertson genially holds things together onstage and everyone contributes to the family feeling. Interview clips with The Band (featuring Scorsese himself) take us back to a different era, as does the overall conceit of the "Last Waltz" itself, revealing that most of these guys grew up in the 1950s. As punk and disco and new wave broke on the horizon, this must have seemed like a farewell to an era (even if we subsequently discovered that old music and old genres can be renewed by younger bands and also streamed forever).

  • Apr 08, 2019

    Saw it on the big screen in 2018. Absolutely riveting and made my well up The only band documentary I've ever felt so emotional for!

    Saw it on the big screen in 2018. Absolutely riveting and made my well up The only band documentary I've ever felt so emotional for!

  • Oct 05, 2018

    The Band put on a concert intended to close off their career as a touring band and invited a host of musical guests to join them ... Ronnie Hawkins, Dr, John, Muddy Waters, Paul Butterfield, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Neil Young, Joni MItchell, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr, Ron Wood and Bobby Charles all appeared. (Charles is not included in the film, and filmed performances from Emmylou Harris and the Staple Singers not from the concert itself are in the film.) Martin Scorsese was asked to film the event based on his use of music in "Mean Streets", and he intersperses footage of himself interviewing the members of the Band between the songs. It's a great concert and a great film of the concert. It has it's flaws ... Dylan's performance is lazy and uninterested, and many including Levon Helm complained that the film focuses too heavily on Robbie Robertson (not that surprising given that he and Scorsese co-edited the film and became very close friends during the process). Coming in the late 70's, it feels like the closing out of a whole era, like more than just the Band are coming to an end.

    The Band put on a concert intended to close off their career as a touring band and invited a host of musical guests to join them ... Ronnie Hawkins, Dr, John, Muddy Waters, Paul Butterfield, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Neil Young, Joni MItchell, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr, Ron Wood and Bobby Charles all appeared. (Charles is not included in the film, and filmed performances from Emmylou Harris and the Staple Singers not from the concert itself are in the film.) Martin Scorsese was asked to film the event based on his use of music in "Mean Streets", and he intersperses footage of himself interviewing the members of the Band between the songs. It's a great concert and a great film of the concert. It has it's flaws ... Dylan's performance is lazy and uninterested, and many including Levon Helm complained that the film focuses too heavily on Robbie Robertson (not that surprising given that he and Scorsese co-edited the film and became very close friends during the process). Coming in the late 70's, it feels like the closing out of a whole era, like more than just the Band are coming to an end.

  • Aug 14, 2018

    If you're a fan of bubble gum, teeny bopper music this might still mean something to you. If you are a fan of artistry, character and unbelievable talent--then this is the greatest rock doc of all time and one of best documentaries of any type I've seen in fifty years of loving documentary film making.

    If you're a fan of bubble gum, teeny bopper music this might still mean something to you. If you are a fan of artistry, character and unbelievable talent--then this is the greatest rock doc of all time and one of best documentaries of any type I've seen in fifty years of loving documentary film making.

  • Jun 02, 2018

    One of the greats - I've seen it at least a dozen times and it never gets old!

    One of the greats - I've seen it at least a dozen times and it never gets old!

  • Jul 06, 2017

    83 [Martin Scorsese] [D]

    83 [Martin Scorsese] [D]

  • Jun 10, 2017

    Talk about going out in style! The Band plays their last concert "The Last Waltz" in San Francisco and puts on a show for the ages. The standout in this documentary is Robbie Robbertson and like he says it began as a concert and turned into a celebration. Scorsese captures beautifully the end of some of the greatest American made music ever. This has to be the greatest rock movie of all time. Legends like Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Neil Diamond, Ringo Star, Eric Clapton, Joni Mitchell, Muddy Waters, and Ronnie Wood all appear and jam out with The Band. This is truly a legendary event.

    Talk about going out in style! The Band plays their last concert "The Last Waltz" in San Francisco and puts on a show for the ages. The standout in this documentary is Robbie Robbertson and like he says it began as a concert and turned into a celebration. Scorsese captures beautifully the end of some of the greatest American made music ever. This has to be the greatest rock movie of all time. Legends like Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Neil Diamond, Ringo Star, Eric Clapton, Joni Mitchell, Muddy Waters, and Ronnie Wood all appear and jam out with The Band. This is truly a legendary event.

  • May 09, 2017

    The greatest Rock doc ever made. In particular when Dylan comes out with The Band, you can sense what additional greatness might have been had they continued on together. Concert movies just do not get any better than this. Everybody steals the show, but none more so than The Band itself. I give The Last Waltz a perfect score as a concert, and documentary. Martin Scorsese, The Band, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton, Neil young, the list goes on and on...heck...even Ringo Starr and Ronnie Wood (Beatles and Stones) play on stage together. How can you possibly go wrong?

    The greatest Rock doc ever made. In particular when Dylan comes out with The Band, you can sense what additional greatness might have been had they continued on together. Concert movies just do not get any better than this. Everybody steals the show, but none more so than The Band itself. I give The Last Waltz a perfect score as a concert, and documentary. Martin Scorsese, The Band, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton, Neil young, the list goes on and on...heck...even Ringo Starr and Ronnie Wood (Beatles and Stones) play on stage together. How can you possibly go wrong?