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Last Waltz

The Last Waltz

4.6 19
Director: Martin Scorsese

Cast: Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Neil Diamond


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Martin Scorsese's legendary concert film The Last Waltz is given the DVD treatment it richly deserves on this disc from MGM/UA. The widescreen anamorphic transfer preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. This film has never looked so good on home video. The real highlight is the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. Even those familiar with this film's


Martin Scorsese's legendary concert film The Last Waltz is given the DVD treatment it richly deserves on this disc from MGM/UA. The widescreen anamorphic transfer preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. This film has never looked so good on home video. The real highlight is the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. Even those familiar with this film's amazing music will be surprised by the strength and clarity of the remastered sound. A Dolby Digital Surround track is available as well. English, French, and Spanish subtitles are accessible. Supplemental materials include a commentary track recorded by director Scorsese and Robbie Robertson; a second commentary track featuring Levon Helm and other musicians who performed that night as well as rock historians and journalists who provide a history for the band and the songs they perform; a featurette that does a fabulous job of explaining how the film came together and how the shoot evolved from a simple 16 mm project into a full-blown 35 mm epic; and an essay written by Robertson. Finally, this movie, arguably the greatest concert film ever made, is available in a package that is the equal of its competition for that title, Gimme Shelter and Stop Making Sense.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Greg Fagan
Whether you subscribe to notion that The Last Waltz really was the last waltz -- a matches-flaming final encore for the American rock of the ‘60s -- or a farewell concert overfreighted by some fans with cultural import, there's no escaping its sheer brilliance as a film. Restored and sonically enhanced for its 25th anniversary and DVD debut, The Last Waltz is a searing musical party with soaring ambitions that rarely disappoints. At the time, director Martin Scorsese was in the middle of filming New York, New York, the much-anticipated follow-up to his one-two punch of Taxi Driver and Mean Streets. This groundbreaking concert film-cum-documentary afforded Scorsese -- who had served as an editor on Michael Wadleigh’s Woodstock -- another chance to apply his craft to nonfiction; and together with Band frontman Robbie Robertson he crafted a film of mythic proportions. The premise was simple: The Band -- roots rockers long before roots rock became a Grammy-graced movement (see Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? and its concert spinoff, Down from the Mountain) -- paid homage to significant influences and invited like-minded friends to join in. One by one, the group is joined by Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Joni Mitchell, Muddy Waters, Dr. John, Van Morrison, Neil Diamond, and Neil Young. A satisfying, earthy vibe simmers throughout the evening, and the re-recorded sound makes everything percolate -- it's like comparing Mr. Coffee to Starbucks. The Last Waltz Special Edition is a wonderland of special features, including previously unseen jam footage, audio commentary with Scorsese and Robertson, and a new featurette, "Revisiting The Last Waltz." It’s one of the year's best DVDs, and we're especially glad MGM pulled this one out of the time capsule and dusted it off.
All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Scorsese begins his movie with the last song the Band performed that day because he is establishing that the subject of The Last Waltz is not primarily the Band or its members, but the songs themselves. By giving the emotional payoff for the players right at the top of the film, Scorsese allows the audience to concentrate on the music that fills the rest of the film. Robbie Robertson, Levon Helm, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel, and Garth Hudson each have memorable moments in front of the camera during Scorsese's informal interviews, but what emerges is less a document of a band breaking up than a tribute to the glorious music these men are capable of playing. The key to the film can be found in a short moment about 45 minutes into the film -- a backstage performance by Manuel (harmonica), Danko (fiddle and vocal), and Robertson (guitar and vocal) of the standard "Old Time Religion." As Danko and Robertson's voices intertwine, the guitar keeps the rhythm, and the fiddle makes a glorious sound. Yes, the Band certainly investigated American roots music like "Old Time Religion," but in this context the song takes on a broader meaning -- the religion is music. In this intimate performance Scorsese's camera illustrates both the passion the performers have for their religion, as well as the emotion the director himself has for it. The rest of the film's performances are dedicated to the Band performing for others, but this moment gives the audience a glimpse of these talented men in the equivalent of prayer. Scorsese's restless camera is a good match for the music. The Band often traded lead vocal duties within songs. Note how the camera movement during "The Weight" is both kinetic and precise, finding Mavis Staples, Rick Danko, and Pops Staples just as they begin their respective verses. An impressive marriage of visuals and sound, The Last Waltz is a glorious document of our recent musical past.
Village Voice
[Gathers] so much talent into one theater that the stage buckles and the subject drops out of sight.
Washington Post - Richard Harrington
Still sounds powerful, vibrant, imaginative and adventurous.
Chicago Sun-Times - Roger Ebert
A revealing document of a time.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Mgm (Video & Dvd)
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Sales rank:

Special Features

New 5.1 digital audio track; 2 audio commentaries with the director and musicians; Rare, unseen footage; Behind-the-scenes featurette; Collectible 8-page booklet written by Robbie Robertson

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Bob Dylan Himself
Joni Mitchell Herself
Neil Diamond Himself
Emmylou Harris Herself
Van Morrison Himself
Eric Clapton Himself
Ringo Starr Himself
Neil Young Himself
Ronnie Wood Himself
Muddy Waters Himself
Staple Singers Themselves
Dr. John Himself
Ronnie Hawkins Himself
Paul Butterfield Himself
Band Themselves
Robbie Robertson Actor
Rick Danko Actor
Levon Helm Actor
Garth Hudson Actor
Richard Manuel Actor
Roebuck "Pops" Staples Himself

Technical Credits
Martin Scorsese Director
Bobby Byrne Cinematographer
Michael Chapman Cinematographer
Jerry Grandey Asst. Director
Laszlo Kovacs Cinematographer
Boris Leven Production Designer
Frank Marshall Producer
Steve Maslow Sound/Sound Designer
Anthony Mondello Set Decoration/Design
David Myers Cinematographer
Hiro Narita Cinematographer
Steven Prince Associate Producer
James Quinn Asst. Director
Robbie Robertson Producer
Jonathan Taplin Executive Producer
John Toll Camera Operator
Michael W. Watkins Cinematographer
Vilmos Zsigmond Cinematographer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Cutthroat/Don't Do It
2. Theme From The Last Waltz/Main Title
3. A Celebration
4. Up on Cripple Creek
5. The Skylight Lounge/The Shape I'm In
6. Who Do You Love, Ronnie Hawkins
7. Canadian Overcoats/It Makes No Difference
8. Introduction to The Canterbury Tales, Michael McClure
9. Such a Night, Dr. John
10. Helpless, Neil Young
11. Stagefright
12. A Name for the Band
13. The Weight, The Band & The Staples
14. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
15. An Adult Portion
16. Dry Your Eyes, Neil Diamond
17. Women on the Road
18. Coyote, Joni Mitchell
19. Sonny Boy Williamson
20. Mystery Train, Paul Butterfield
21. Rock 'n' Roll Melting Pot
22. Mannish Boy, Muddy Waters
23. Further on up the Road, Eric Clapton
24. Tour of Shangri-La/Sip the Wine, Rick Danko
25. Evangeline, The Band & Emmylou Harris
26. Genetic Method, Garth Hudson/The Music Teacher
27. Ophelia
28. Traveling Tent Shows
29. Caravan, Van Morrison
30. Loud Prayer, Lawrence Ferlinghetti
31. Forever Young, Bob Dylan
32. Baby Let Me Follow You Down, Bob Dylan
33. I Shall Be Released, Everybody & Ringo Starr & Ronnie Wood
34. Theme From The Last Waltz/End Credits


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The Last Waltz 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An excellent trip back in time to classic rock 'n roll. The farewell concert by ''The Band'' in 1976 is a house-shaking, roof-raising rock 'n roll revival. Before the glitz and glitter of slick made-for-MTV pre-packaged pop, this concert is pure, raw, unadultered rock, the way it was meant to be! Many rock legends jammed with The Band in this movie/concert - Dylan, Clapton, Young, Diamond, in their youth, if not their prime. If you grew up or listened to music in this era, this movie is a trip down memory lane. If you were wheened on MTV and VH-1, then take a glimpse into the roots and history of rock 'n roll. You will be moved by the music!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Rented this film tribute to the Band from Netflix and was so impressed we are buying the video here at Barnes and Noble. If you like a variety of rock n roll then you must get this. Extremly entertaining, you won't be disappointed. Too many great artist pay tribute to the Band and the Band itself is just super.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Own and love it. Was never really aware of the group. Hopefully more of the present generation will become aware. Great classic rock.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Just recently I viewed the last waltz. After viewing this tenthralling documentary, the dulcet tones resonate through my sole to this very day. If you have any appreciation for music, this film is an integral part of yuor musical library. Filled with cameo appearences of the greatest contemporary musicians, the nastalgic musical arrangments nearly bring tears to my eyes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The last waltz is about a group of guys who's main LOVE is their MUSIC. THEY make you laugh and cry and remember a time when LIFE was much simpler. I cant wait to get THE other 3 albums about this great group. They play agreat mix of classic rock,soul,jazz,soft country& make the mix GREAT
Guest More than 1 year ago
Those wanting to see THE LAST WALTZ can't go wrong watching the DVD. There are two commentary tracks. One features Martin Scorcese and Robbie Robertson (not together, but one or the other, throughout) and the other features various participants. The effect of the second one is almost that of a Ken Burns narrative, with different voices in succession. Some of the great rock critics comment as well. Altogether, this is a well-restored movie, with great sound. The stories told in the commentaries are fascinating.
Brian_G More than 1 year ago
The Band wrote some of the great songs of that time, and the rest of the cast of performers..... Magnificent. At the beginning of the film they tell you it should be played LOUD. So true. Enjoy the Show!
Guest More than 1 year ago
''The Last Waltz'' is not so much a retrospective as it is a musical link between the roots of American blues and the future of rock and roll. Alone, The Band was an awesome combination of talent and guts-the guts to mold the music as they heard it into a new form. When you combine the dazzling array of performers, all of whom have links with The Band, the result is music and history. It's easy to forget that such great music is a true craft honed on the road. (Imagine Brittany Spears and/or any boy band/''American Idol'' being ''on the road'' for 8 years before their first album, and 8 years thereafter. You can't and neither can I!) It is truly a joy to listen to Robbie Roberson's reason for joining the band (actually Ronnie Hawkins' and not repeatable here) as well as the others'--all showing a love of making music. It comes across loud and clear in the movie. If you have any notion that ''the good old days'' weren't what they were cracked up to be, watch the Movie and disabuse yourself. 100 years from now, The Last Waltz will be shown at what's left of the Smithsonian-the movie is (ironically) an American treasure.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After getting cable channels and a Moxi recording box, I saw this and kept it on my box to watch almost every night. Van Morrison and Joni Mitchell, the greatest! I had to change out my box and now have to buy the DVD, but the price is minor compared to the content! Robbie Robertson a genius! Van Morrison, best male vocals ever! Joni Mitchell, what can you say, she has been the best for more than 4 decades! Evangaline, the sweetest cajun song ever. Something for every boomer.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The world's greatest director, Martin Scorsese, takes on the Band and some of the best musical artists ever, how could it be bad? That's right, it can't! This is perfection for rock movies and some of the most enjoyable performances ever. A wonderful film that all music lovers should see.
JohnQ More than 1 year ago
There are only a few filmed concerts that can be rightly called great. This is one of those films. If you love Rock N Roll you ought to own this one.
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