The Last Waltz

Rated NR

If only because it shows off the talents of the greatest singing drummer in rock ’n’ roll history—that’d be musician-turned-actor Levon Helm—Martin Scorsese’s 1978 concert film The Last Waltz would be priceless. But the recently re-released classic also happens to be a wonderful slice of rock cinema, documenting the star-studded farewell concert by The Band, the group in which Helm was just one of five immensely talented members. Not only did The Band’s combination of country, rock, blues, R&B and gospel set the stage for the roots-rock and Americana trends of today’s music scene, the players were gregarious and charming people, as shown in Scorsese’s intimate backstage interviews. Including thrilling guest appearances by Muddy Waters, Neil Young, Eric Clapton, the Staples Singers, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison and Emmylou Harris, the live performances are simply amazing.

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