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The Last Waltz

The Last Waltz (Martin Scorsese, 1978)

Scorsese's labor of love showcasing the Band's final concert on Thanksgiving 1976 at San Francisco's Winterland features many memorable songs and performers, as well as Marty interviewing Band members about their long, varied history. Most of the film is footage from the actual concert but there are additional numbers which are staged in the studio so as to control camera placement and get certain desired effects. The Band performs several of their best songs, including "Up on Cripple Creek", "The Weight" (with the Staples), "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" and "Ophelia".

The cast of guest performers is incredible. Muddy Waters struts through "Mannish Boy", Neil Young does "Helpless", Joni Mitchell sings "Coyote", Eric Clapton does "Further on up the Road", Emmylou Harris performs "Evangeline", Van Morrison sings "Caravan", Neil Diamond does "Dry Your Eyes". There are also songs with the Band's first "boss", Ronnie Hawkins, who does "Who Do You Love?", Paul Butterfield sings "Mystey Train", Dr. John joins in with "Such a Night", Bob Dylan gets two numbers, "Forever Young" and "Baby Let Me Follow You Down", and there are also appearances by Ringo and Ron Wood as well as poetry readings by Michael McClure and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. If these are the kind of performers and songs you think you'd enjoy, then you're probably correct.