Today: Masked and Anonymous was released 10 years ago


“When I made the Bob Dylan movie, I wanted to make a Bob Dylan movie that was like a Bob Dylan song. One with a lot of layers, that had a lot of poetry, that had a lot of surrealism and was ambiguous and hard to figure out, like a puzzle.”

– Larry Charles

Masked and Anonymous is a 2003 comedy-drama film directed by Larry Charles, who is better known for his writing on successful TV sitcoms, Seinfeld and Mad About You and for executive producing episodes of The Tick and Dilbert. The film was written by Larry Charles and Bob Dylan, the latter under the pseudonym “Sergei Petrov”. It stars iconic rock legend Bob Dylan alongside a star-heavy cast, including John Goodman, Jeff Bridges, Penélope Cruz, Val Kilmer, Mickey Rourke, Jessica Lange,Luke Wilson, Angela Bassett, Bruce Dern, Cheech Marin, Ed Harris, Chris Penn, Steven Bauer, Giovanni Ribisi, and Michael Paul Chan.

The film received mixed reviews from critics.


It is such an underrated movie! …and with some fantastical musical numbers of course.

Bob Dylan – Drifters Escape:

Bob Dylan – Cold Irons Bound:

Bob Dylan – I Remember You:

Bob Dylan – Standing in the doorway (audio):

Bob Dylan – Diamond Joe:


Seek it out, check it out, it’s a good experience!

– Hallgeir

12 thoughts on “Today: Masked and Anonymous was released 10 years ago”

  1. I liked the movie, seeing Bob react to the different characters is really special, reminds me allot of “Pat Garret”. John Goodmen (to me) spoils the film. He over acts in everything I see him in ( not by choice). I believe “The Big Lebowski” would have been fantastic if Goodmen’s character would have been cast better. Watch the scene in MAA where Goodmen hugs Bob and I feel that sums up the whole problem with this movie. The shots of Bob and the band are priceless, the other actors are cool, the plot was pretty easy to follow; man put upon to give of himself because nobody else will help due to the lack of compensation and/or popular recognition. The revelation of the father’s past and how Jack fights to find out about him to find himself as well.
    It was good just miscast. Please stop putting Dan Conner in meaningful projects, he doesn’t hold up well.

    1. I don’t agree at all on John Goodman, especially not about The Big Lebowski (that movie IS fantastic!).

      But, very nice of you to give us your feedback, interesting read.

      – Hallgeir

  2. Love this movie….doesn’t need a clear plot line, it can stand alone like a beautiful painting. You see it, take it in on your own terms, it doesn’t matter what anyone else is thinking they see or hear. Sort of like Dylan’s songs.

  3. I agree with Dirk. I love this movie. It has many high spots, from the little girl singing “Times A-Changing” to Bob, to Bob on the bus (early on, at the end), and the strange, goofy dialogue, the costumes, John Goodman, the animal wrangler, Jessica Lange, the ravaged urban landscapes, and etc. And yes, the excellent band segments, especially Diamond Joe and Standing in the Doorway. It’s uneven, the plot line is weak, but in many ways it’s such a treat.

    1. Thanks for your comments.

      I also find it refreshing to have a movie experience that is not like any other movie experience.

      I like that the film is great on a superficial level, and more demanding on various layers.

      – Hallgeir

  4. I liked the movie a lot, for many reasons. The movie is in my view anti-utopian. The country is a dictatorship, Jack Fate (great name) gets out of prison, because they expect him being able to raise money in a benefit concert. In the country is no freedom of speech and opportunism rules too. The scene with Jack Fate and a young frightened soldier (played by Luke Wilson) is terrific, as are many other dialogues are.
    In less polished an commercial times, say the end sixties and early seventies of the 20th century, the success would have been great, I think …

    The live ‘Cold Irons Bound’ from this movie was, with a very good quality of sound, on a bonus dvd with ‘Modern Times’. With also the fine clip from ‘Things Have Changed’ , a live version of ‘Love Sick’, missing a part by censoring a streaker, you still see Dylan and his band smile, and a clip from ‘Blood in My Eyes’. Maybe I like this dvd more than ‘Modern Times’

    1. Thanks for interesting feedback, I need to see if I can get that DVD (the bonus) that was sold with Modern Times.

      – Hallgeir

  5. The reviews weren’t mixed, they were generally abysmal. Roger Ebert was visibly angered by the movie’s lack of a clear plot line. But I love this movie, and the scenes of Dylan and his band are the best footage of later Dylan I know of. The songs included in the film are essentially filmed live with the camera in close so that the band ain’t goin’ nowhere. Also like the way Dylan first appears in the film, emerging from a dark cell down deep in the ground, squinting at the light of day.

    1. I agree with you about the footage of Dylan and the band playing, I wonder what Bob Dylan has in his vault? How many songs were played and recorded?

      This should be released as a stand-alone concert.

      Thanks for your comments!

      – Hallgeir

Comments are closed.