American Masters: Season 19, Episode 7

No Direction Home: Bob Dylan (27 Sep. 2005)

TV Episode  -   -  Documentary | Biography | History
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Reviews: 63 user | 53 critic

A chronicle of Bob Dylan's strange evolution between 1961 and 1966 from folk singer to protest singer to "voice of a generation" to rock star.


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Title: No Direction Home: Bob Dylan (27 Sep 2005)

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Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 5 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »





Episode cast overview, first billed only:
B.J. Rolfzen ...
Himself (voice)
Dick Kangas ...
Liam Clancy ...
Tony Glover ...
Paul Nelson ...
Himself (archive footage)
Dave Van Ronk ...
Himself (archive footage)
Maria Muldaur ...
John Cohen ...
Bruce Langhorne ...
Mark Spoelstra ...
Suze Rotolo ...
Izzy Young ...


Portrait of an artist as a young man. Roughly chronological, using archival footage intercut with recent interviews, a story takes shape of Bob Dylan's (b. 1941) coming of age from 1961 to 1966 as a singer, songwriter, performer, and star. He takes from others: singing styles, chord changes, and rare records. He keeps moving: on stage, around New York City and on tour, from Suze Rotolo to Joan Baez and on, from songs of topical witness to songs of raucous independence, from folk to rock. He drops the past. He refuses, usually with humor and charm, to be simplified, classified, categorized, or finalized: always becoming, we see a shapeshifter on a journey with no direction home. Written by <>

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Release Date:

27 September 2005 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:


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$2,000,000 (estimated)

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(DVD) | (2 part TV-miniseries) |

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Mitch Blank's credit as "hypnotist collector" is a reference to a line in the Bob Dylan song "She Belongs to Me". See more »


Footage of the San Francisco Bay Bridge is included among footage of New York City illustrating Bob Dylan's arrival there. See more »


Mickey Jones: People have said to me the word that, uh, he was a traitor to folk music, the *pure* music.
Bob Dylan: I'd just about had it, though, I'd had it with the whole scene. And, uh, whether I knew it or didn't know it, I was, uh, lookin' to quit for a while.
unknown: Well, what about the scene? What had you "had it with"? What about the scene were you sick of?
Bob Dylan: Uh, well, ya know, people like *you*, people like, uh, ya know, just, ya know, like bein' pressed and hammered and, uh, bein' expected to answer questions. It's ...
See more »


Features Dont Look Back (1967) See more »


The Little White Cloud That Cried
Written and Performed by Johnnie Ray
Carlyle Music Publishing
See more »

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User Reviews

Bob Dylan, human being
29 September 2005 | by (Saffron Walden, UK) – See all my reviews

In our age of universal celebrity, where we know everything that everyone famous thinks (or, more usually, does not think), it's refreshing to rediscover how interesting it can be to hear from someone whose achievements are great but who rarely speaks about them. Bob Dylan has given an extensive interview to Martin Scorcese for Scorcese's film about his emergence from the folk scene and his subsequent "betrayal" of that scene when he went electric: it's absorbing to watch, although, in the end, Bob doesn't actually say that much specific. However, the interview is complemented by a selection of other distinguished talking heads and most crucially, a rich selection of archive footage, going back to Dylan's very first days as a performer. What one notices is just how young he was: the depth and sophistication of even his earliest music can blind one, listening on record, to the age of the performer producing it. He also comes across as playful, self-confident and quite naturally baffled by some of idiocy going on around him: far from seeming incomprehensibly moody, Dylan actually appears as sane as anyone could be at the centre of such attention. It's the music, though, that is really the key to this film, with a rawness and edge, as well as a cleverness, that is still unsurpassed today (and this comment applies equally to the acoustic and the electric material). Since 1966 when the film ends, Dylan has continued to tour and write occasionally great songs; but the body of work that he produced in the early to mid 1960s stands clear for its amazing quantity and quality. If nothing else, 'No Direction Home' stands as clear testament to that achievement.

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