Iain Gray Freelance Writer

The Last Waltz - Review

Levon Helm’s snare drum cuts through the dense smoke of the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco, signalling both the start of something truly special as well as the final act of one of music’s most influential and revolutionary groups, The Band.

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The film’s first song, a thrilling cover of Marvin Gaye’s Baby Don’t You Do It, is daringly, yet fittingly, the last song they ever played live together, and clearly shows the group utterly stage-worn, but relishing their ultimate hurrah.

The likes of Eric Clapton, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and Bob Dylan join the party, and combined with Martin Scorsese’s obsessive direction, and the cinematographic talents of Michael Chapman, Vilmos Zsigmond and László Kovács, this remains an unequalled musical experience.

As the title card reads: “This film should be played loud!”


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