American Masters: Season 19, Episode 7

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

TV Episode  -   -  Documentary | Biography | History
8.6
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 9,437 users  
Reviews: 64 user | 52 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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Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 5 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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27 September 2005 (USA)  »

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$2,000,000 (estimated)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

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

Quotes

Bob Dylan: You can't be wise and in love at the same time.
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Connections

Features The Patti Page Oldsmobile Show (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

Talking Columbia
and "Pastures of Plenty"
Written and Performed by Woody Guthrie
Ludlow Music, Inc.
Courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
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User Reviews

 
Just a song and dance man
27 September 2005 | by (Amsterdam, Netherlands) – See all my reviews

I felt thoroughly happy while watching No Direction Home on BBC 2 over the past two evenings - lots of video and audio footing I had never heard or seen before and precious insights into the workings of Dylan's poetic mind.

I have been following Dylan for over 40 years now and have always been a fan, except during his Christian period. I found it illuminating to learn that, when Joan Baez had just delivered to him a deep-going analysis of one of his songs, Dylan said he was curious to see what other reviewers would make of it. Himself he didn't know what the hell it all meant. He just wrote beautiful texts without worrying too much if all the combined lines would make coherent sense.

Dylan uses words like an impressionist painter uses paint. Those paintings can confer a sense of beauty without necessarily offering a clear idea of what is actually presented. Dylan's songs are collections of beautiful phrases and words. Don't ask him to explain the meaning of existence to us. Just enjoy his unique songs and magical voice. In his own words, he is "just a song and dance man". And a sublime one at that!

Profound thanks to Scorsese for making this picture. A 10 out of 10. (And thanks to Philconcannon for his excellent review.)


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