The Last Waltz

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It’s been named the best concert film of all time, but

The Band

’s star-studded 1976 swansong hasn’t entirely escaped the ravages of time. With Scorsese directing – and legendary cinematographers

Laszlo Kovacs

and

Vilmos Zsigmond

behind the cameras – it’s arguably the most beautiful of rock movies, while the musical highlights – ‘The Weight’ with the Staples Singers,

Van Morrison

’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

Neil Young

’s lovely ‘Helpless’,

Joni Mitchell

warbling like a demented hippy fire alarm. Still, for fans of Proper Music, ‘The Last Waltz’ remains the gold standard.

Release details

Rated: U
Release date: Friday December 2 2011
Duration: 117 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: The Band
Bob Dylan
Joni Mitchell
Neil Diamond
Emmylou Harris
Neil Young
Van Morrison
Muddy Waters
Dr John
Ronnie Hawkins
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