In a 1975 America that is exhausted politically, economically, and socially, a busload of musicians—assembled by Bob Dylan—hits the road in search of new creative horizons. The resulting “Rolling Thunder Revue” tour revealed a Dylan rarely seen: playful, mask-wearing, intense, expansive, rejuvenated. Masterfully capturing both an icon and a nation in transition, director Martin Scorsese tells the tale in Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story.

Using footage that was abandoned for decades, now gorgeously restored, Scorsese takes viewers into the heart of a freewheeling, electrifying musical gamble. Inspired by Dylan’s own restless spirit, the director performs some breathtaking sleight of hand, summoning nostalgic fantasists, boxers, magicians, starlets, and testifiers of all stripes, and exploding the boundaries of what makes a conventional documentary.

This essential piece of mythic storytelling features Joan Baez, Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, Allen Ginsberg, Sam Shepard, and—in the first on-camera interview in a decade—Bob Dylan. Rolling Thunder Revue vibrates with the promise of America, a then-200-year-old experiment in a state of flux. The film goes beyond some of the most extraordinary music of Dylan’s career—it’s a road map into the wild country of artistic self-reinvention.

• See photos from Bob Dylan’s “Rolling Thunder Revue” tour in 1975.

• Read a review from IndieWire.

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Martin Scorsese
Running Time
142 minutes
Digital, Color