American Masters (1985– )
66 user 57 critic

No Direction Home: Bob Dylan 

1:45 | Trailer
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.


Martin Scorsese
Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 8 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »





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


He is one of the most influential, inspiration and ground-breaking musicians of our time. Now, Academy Award(TM) winning director Martin Scorsese (Goodfellas, 1990) brings us the extraordinary story of Bob Dylan's journey from his roots in Minnesota, to his early days in the coffee houses of Greenwich Village, to his tumultuous ascent to pop stardom in 1966. Written by (typography correction by Otto Mäkelä)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Official Sites:

PBS [United States]


UK | USA | Japan



Release Date:

27 September 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bob Dylan Anthology Project See more »

Filming Locations:

Hibbing, Minnesota, USA See more »


Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


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

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Martin Scorsese never met or discussed the film with Bob Dylan during filming. However he worked extensively with him during the filming of The Last Waltz (1978). See more »


When A&R man John Hammond is introduced, Billie Holiday, whom Hammond signed to Columbia Records, is heard singing the anti-lynching protest song "Strange Fruit." In truth, Hammond did not allow Holiday to record "Strange Fruit" for Columbia; she recorded the song for Milt Gabler's Commodore Records instead. See more »


Reporter: How many people who major in the same musical vineyard in which you toil, how many are protest singers? That is, people who use their music, and use the songs to protest the uh, social state in which we live today, the matter of war, the matter of crime, or whatever it might be.
Bob Dylan: Um... how many?
Reporter: Yes. How many?
Bob Dylan: Uh, I think there's about uh, 136.
[People around him giggle. The reporter doesn't laugh]
Reporter: You say ABOUT 136, or you mean exactly 136?
Bob Dylan: Uh, it's either 136 or 142.
See more »


Features The Big T.N.T. Show (1966) See more »


I'm a Man of Constant Sorrow
Written by Carter Stanley
Peer International Corp.
Performed by Mike Seeger
See more »

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User Reviews

The archive footage provides context and interest but the lack of insight and discussion is a drawback considering the running time
23 October 2005 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

The majority of people who watch a 200 minute documentary on Bob Dylan are more than likely going to be Dylan fans so I thought I would give it a try despite being rather on the fence in regards him. Some of his music lives up to his reputation whereas some other songs find me leaning towards those who (unfairly) just dismiss him as a nasal singer without any real talent or coherence. The film does little to change your mind because it pretty much tracks his career up till 1966 without providing a lot of insight or debate about his talent. Of course this is not a surprise and it is only right that the film charts more than debates, because this is not the place for the latter.

However for the casual viewer what is there to justify 200 minutes? Well, first of all I must admit that it is a bit of a job to get through some parts of it but generally what the film does is set Dylan in context. Those not raised during the period will usually struggle to understand the fuss about Bob Dylan because they (I) can't see him in the context of his surroundings and it is this that the film does well. By using lots of archive footage and memories from talking heads, the film presents the history well even if it could have done a better job of really explaining how important he was in the period, rather than just telling me that he was there.

In fact this lack of insight was a bit of a problem for me because, although there is much of interest, it is more of a record than a documentary. The footage will please fans and it is interesting but I must admit that I had hoped for me. Certainly the presence of Scorsese only comes through in the use of his voice once – with so much stock footage I could not understand what the role of the "director" was in this case. I don't wish to completely dismiss the film but just to highlight that fans will certainly take more from this than those with a casual interest. However even fans might struggle with the lack of substance here because, with so much footage to cram in, there is little time for investigation. One very good example of this is the famous cry of "Judas" – it was once the subject of a 60-minute radio documentary but here it is only played; understandable perhaps but it is unfortunately typical of the film. Dylan himself doesn't seem too bothered by the whole thing and his modern interviews at times resemble the footage of the interviews in the sixties where he looks bored and bemused by the inane questions.

Overall this is an interesting film but it is less a documentary and more a record of Dylan in his period. To this end it will please his fans but will probably provide little enlightenment for the casual viewer. Given that the film runs to 200 minutes, it should have done better to deliver plenty of archive footage but yet still have insight and real interest. It is a shame that, although it is very strong in the former, it is rather lacking in the latter.

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