Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese

Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese (or Conjuring the Rolling Thunder Re-vue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese, in accordance with the principle title graphic[1]) is a 2019 American pseudo-documentary movie, composed of each fictional and non-fictional materials, masking Bob Dylan’s 1975 Rolling Thunder Revue live performance tour.[2] Directed by Martin Scorsese, it’s the director’s second movie on Bob Dylan, following 2005’s No Course House. The majority of Rolling Thunder Revue is compiled of outtakes from Dylan’s 1978 movie Renaldo and Clara, which was filmed along with the tour.

The documentary options modern interviews with distinguished figures of the tour reminiscent of Dylan, Joan Baez, Sam Shepard, Ronee Blakley, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Roger McGuinn, Ronnie Hawkins, Larry Sloman, Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, in addition to archival interviews with Scarlet Rivera and Allen Ginsberg. It additionally options fictional interviews of actors portraying characters who weren’t truly concerned within the tour, together with Martin Von Haselberg portraying the fictional filmmaker Stefan Van Dorp, Sharon Stone enjoying a fictionalized model of herself, and Michael Murphy reprising his position as Jack Tanner from the 1988 miniseries Tanner ’88. Rolling Thunder Revue doesn’t differentiate between the fictional and factual accounts, and even Dylan himself refers back to the fictional characters in his interviews, leaving the viewers to guess which elements of the movie are genuine and that are fabricated.[3]


The movie opens with a modern-day Dylan admitting he doesn’t bear in mind something in regards to the Rolling Thunder Revue, saying it occurred so way back “I wasn’t even born!” He finds it unimaginable to get to the “core” of what it was all about as a result of “it is about nothing.”

Because the bicentennial of the nation quick approaches, and with the spirit of America significantly bleak after the nation’s unceremonious exit from Vietnam and the Watergate scandal, Bob Dylan decides to assemble collectively a bunch of his pals from the Greenwich Village espresso homes and go on an adventurous tour throughout New England and elements of Canada. Dubbed the “Rolling Thunder Revue”, the tour is documented by European filmmaker Stefan Van Dorp who seeks to reveal the hedonistic perspective of the folks surrounding Dylan and juxtapose it in opposition to the nihilistic temper of middle-class America.

Alongside the way in which, Larry ‘Ratso’ Sloman, a reporter despatched by Rolling Stone to write down in regards to the tour, tries to ingratiate himself into Dylan’s inside circle. A younger Sharon Stone is put in command of costumes after being taken to a present by her mom and turns into satisfied the track “Simply Like a Girl” was written for her. Dylan begins to put on Whiteface make-up onstage after violinist Scarlet Rivera takes him to see a Kiss live performance. Allen Ginsberg tries to refashion himself as a singer/songwriter because the beat poet motion begins falling out of fashionable relevance. Joan Baez makes an attempt to rekindle her romance with Dylan by singing with him onstage and dressing up in his stage outfit; Dylan visits a Tuscarora Reservation in New York and performs a rendition of “The Ballad of Ira Hayes”; Joni Mitchell joins the tour halfway through and is impressed to write down the track “Coyote” in regards to the expertise.

In the course of the tour, we additionally glimpse Dylan’s humanitarian facet when he takes time to pay an unscheduled go to to file firm executives to insure speedy launch of his new track “Hurricane”, the musician’s contribution to efforts to exonerate Ruben “Hurricane” Carter, a celebrated boxer wrongfully convicted of homicide.
Documentary footage of the assembly is adopted by a scene wherein actor Michael Murphy, in his signature position as U.S. consultant Jack Tanner (within the Robert Altman movie “Tanner 88”), delivers a tall story that credit the fictional Tanner with persuading President Jimmie Carter to intervene on the boxer’s behalf. Regardless of this fictional interlude, as “Rolling Thunder Re-vue” reveals, the marketing campaign by Dylan and others would ultimately result in
the retrial and launch of Rubin Carter.

The tour involves a cease in Montreal. Van Dorp states the one motive he agreed to be interviewed for this documentary was to stake his declare over the footage from the tour which makes up the majority of the movie. Ginsberg encourages the viewer to observe the instance of the performers they’ve witnessed and go on their very own journeys of self-discovery. Bob Dylan continues to tour after the Rolling Thunder Revue, enjoying over 3,000 reveals over the course of 40 years.


The interviewees within the movie are given character names ultimately credit. A few of the folks interviewed have been a part of the Rolling Thunder Revue, some weren’t, and a few are solely fictional.

  • Bob Dylan as himself
  • Allen Ginsberg as The Oracle of Delphi
  • Patti Smith as The Punk Poet
  • Martin Von Haselberg as The Filmmaker. Haselberg performs a personality within the film named Stefan Van Dorp, a European filmmaker who claims to have directed the unique footage of the tour for a film he was making in regards to the spirit of America within the ’70s. In actuality, the tour footage was directed by Dylan himself for the 1978 movie Renaldo and Clara.
  • Scarlet Rivera as The Queen of Swords
  • Joan Baez as The Balladeer
  • Roger McGuinn as The Minstrel
  • Larry “Ratso” Sloman as The Rolling Stone Reporter
  • Jim Gianopulos as The Promoter. The story depicts Gianopulos because the promoter of the Rolling Thunder Revue tour, when in actuality he was attending legislation faculty in the course of the time frame this movie is about in.
  • Ramblin’ Jack Elliott as The Sailor
  • Sam Shepard as The Author
  • David Mansfield as The Harmless
  • Sharon Stone as The Magnificence Queen. Stone claims to have joined up with the tour on the age of 19, serving to with the stage costumes, having a short flirtation with Dylan, and proclaiming that someday she could be a well-known film star. In actuality, Stone was 17 when the Rolling Thunder Revue went on tour and he or she by no means crossed paths with Dylan or any of his associates. The images of them collectively are digital fabrications.
  • Ronnie Hawkins as The Shitkicker
  • Anne Waldman as The Phrase Employee
  • Ronee Blakley as The Ingénue
  • Joni Mitchell as The Artist
  • Chief Rolling Thunder as The Drugs Man. Regardless of the tour being named after him, not a part of the Rolling Thunder Revue. Seems solely in unrelated interview footage.
  • Chief Mad Bear as The Chief
  • Peter La Farge as The Cowboy Indian. Not a part of the Rolling Thunder Revue. Seems solely in unrelated archive footage.
  • Michael Murphy as The Politician. Murphy reprises his position as Rep. Jack Tanner from the miniseries Tanner ’88
  • Rubin “Hurricane” Carter as The Boxer


The venture got here from Dylan’s supervisor, Jeff Rosen, who approached Scorsese with a few of the tour’s footage shortly after the completion of No Course House.[4] The director immediately agreed to do it however was busy with different movies on the time. The majority of the work was completed whereas he was ending Silence.[5] As soon as once more, Rosen took cost of the interviews and gave them to Scorsese.[3]


The movie was launched by Netflix on June 12, 2019.[6] Columbia Information additionally launched a box-set album entitled Bob Dylan – The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Dwell Recordings to correspond with the discharge.[7]

House media

Rolling Thunder Assessment: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese acquired director-approved particular version DVD and Blu-ray releases by The Criterion Assortment on January 19, 2021.[8][9]

Crucial response

Manohla Dargis of The New York Instances says Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese is “directly a celebration and a rescue mission (it attracts closely on restored movie footage), in addition to one other chapter in Scorsese’s decades-long chronicling of Dylan.”[10] It was additionally picked as one of many “Finest Movies of 2019 (up to now)”, by The New York Instances.[10]

The movie acquired an combination rating of 88 on vital web site Metacritic, indicating “common acclaim”.[11] The movie has a 93{ae90547d17d4d74b17007ee836a04674fd006933c139011dc78eb03c100070a7} freshness ranking at Rotten Tomatoes as of February 2022.[12]

See additionally

  • The Bootleg Collection Vol. 5: Bob Dylan Dwell 1975, The Rolling Thunder Revue (2002)

  • Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese at IMDb
  • Rolling Thunder Revue: American Multitudes an essay by Dana Spiotta on the Criterion Assortment

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