The Last Waltz

Director Martin Scorsese
United States / 113 min. / 1978 / English

The other great music documentary (next to Don’t Look Back). Scorsese lays the foundations for what will become the genre, filming the concert by The Band on November 25th, 1976. Interviews, intimates takes, and a panoramic concert.  A handbook of the trade.



The other great music documentary (together with Don’t Look Back). So many people have spoken before about its greatness and “seminal” character that it feels kinda of weird to repeat that here. Yet it’s undeniable that Martin Scorsese lays the foundations here for what would become a genre (the music documentary) and he did so by filming the concert by The Band on November 25th, 1976. Imagine that you good people were setting the rules for what a music documentary should contain. What would you include? No need to even think about it, Scorsese already left it inscribed in the 1978 style guide: it must include extensive and panoramic fragments of the concert as such, intimate interviews with the band (where they candidly reveal their worries, fears and aspirations, along with reminiscence of the past; which is harder than it seems), and peripheral situations that underline what it is to be in a famous, long-lived rock group. A trade manual, in short. If you add the greatness of the group and the incessant flow of appearances by famous friends (Bob Dylan, Dr. John, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison...) you’ll have exactly what you envisaged: the rock film par excellence. 




Film web

Showing format


in festivals


Mardik Martin

Jan Roblee, Yeu-Bun Yee

Michael Chapman

Robbie Robertson

Film company
FM Productions, Last Waltz Inc.

Film distributor

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