Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB. USA, 1978. FM Productions, Last Waltz Inc.. Screenplay by Mardik Martin. Cinematography by Michael Chapman. Produced by Robbie Robertson. Production Design by Boris Leven. Film Editing by Jan Roblee, Yeu-Bun Yee.
This fantastic, beautiful concert film captures the final performance given by The Band, who decided to end their days on the road (after sixteen years touring!) by giving one final show for their fans. The actual concert lasted all night into the wee small hours, but here director Martin Scorsese has whittled it down to the best moments, including guest performances by Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Neil Diamond, Muddy Waters, Ronnie Hawkins and Bob Dylan, among others. In between there are also interview segments with the members themselves, but Scorsese wisely keeps those brief in favour of letting the beautiful sounds of the music pump through the glorious soundtrack in great supply. Hits such as “I Shall Be Released”, “The Weight”, “Coyote”, “Forever Young” and more sound fantastic in this movie that you’ll pray will never end.