Sika’s 100 Greatest Movies of All Time! 50. The Last Waltz (1978)
50. The Last Waltz [DVD] (1978)
Plot: When Robbie Robertson and the rest of the band members of The Band decide to call it quits after sixteen years on the road, they not only decide to make the last concert special by inviting a few of their friends up on stage to join in for a final celebration; they also contact Director Martin Scorsese to document their Last Waltz.
It Started as a Concert. It Became a Celebration. (tagline)
Starring: Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel, Levon Helm, Garth Hudson
Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Written by: Mardik Martin (treatment)
Cinematography: Michael Chapman (director of photography)
Production Design by: Boris Leven
Length: 117 min
Review: If I could go back in time and see one concert this would be the one. The Band playing one last concert with guests like Paul Butterfield, Eric Clapton, Neil Diamond, Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris,Ronnie Hawkins, Dr. John, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Ringo Starr, Muddy Waters, Ronnie Wood, Bobby Charles and Neil Young; delivering all great music and showing off some fabulous beards.
And as a special treat, Neil Young has a booger up his nose for this special occasion…
Edit: I just read the reason for the “booger”...
Nerdiest Movie Trivia: The cocaine drop hanging from Neil Young’s nostril was airbrushed out by Martin Scorsese.
THAT is one of the reasons why I love the Internet, you can find out stuff like that! I guess “it” was left out of the theatrical release, but left in for the DVD? I thought it would be funny to mention that I noticed that he had a booger up his nose, but now that it’s not a booger… well, it’s still pretty funny.
The concert alone isn’t what makes this documentary great. Like an unfunny Spinal Tap the concert intertwines with interviews with The Band telling some great stories; like how this movie marks the end of sixteen years on the road, from playing behind Ronny “The Hawk” Hawkins, through the time playing with Bob Dylan before emerging into being a self-contained entity.
Richard Manuel: Well, we were The Hawks. And it was right in the middle of that whole psychedelia. Chocolate Subway, Marshmallow Overcoat. Those kind of names, you know? We started out with The Crackers. We tried to call ourselves The Honkies. Everybody kind of backed off from that. It was too straight. So we decided just to call ourselves The Band.
I might be partial since I think The Band is one of the greatest bands ever, but this movie is the greatest concert film ever. It has the characters, the songs, and the cinematography is amazing; it’s shot in 35mm and it’s hard to imagine it’s shot live.
And Levon Helm is my favorite band member. So there. Review over. Booger off!!
PREVIOUS ON THE LIST: 51. Lost In Translation (2003)
- RIP Levon Helm (Lunki and Sika)
- Robbie Robertson: The Band Man Plays On (indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com)
- Turn up your raddio (retrieverman.wordpress.com)