It’s been named the best concert film of all time, but
’s star-studded 1976 swansong hasn’t entirely escaped the ravages of time. With Scorsese directing – and legendary cinematographers
behind the cameras – it’s arguably the most beautiful of rock movies, while the musical highlights – ‘The Weight’ with the Staples Singers,
’s firebolt ‘Caravan’, every Levon Helm vocal – still astound. But the transition from soulful ’70s grit to coke-friendly ’80s sheen is all too audible, and too many songs are marred by saxes, unnecessary guitar solos or, in the case of
’s lovely ‘Helpless’,
warbling like a demented hippy fire alarm. Still, for fans of Proper Music, ‘The Last Waltz’ remains the gold standard.