Top 3 use of Bob Dylan songs in movies


Bob Dylan is a pop culture icon.His songs (as either writer/composer or performer) are used in close to 400 movies and TV shows. Bob Dylan has been very liberal with his licensing (not like the Beatles or Tom Waits). The rules are, no cover songs, no performances, but scenes where the music of Bob Dylan is used in a way that enhances the action and/or mood. These are my three favorites.

Tell us about what you favorite Dylan cues in movies are (in the comments).

The best western ever made (some days I think it is the best film, period.) This is classic!

1) Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid – Knockin on Heaven’s Door (starts about 1.50 in,but it is so good you should see it all):

The Man in me is used twice in the title sequence and when the Dude gets knocked out and his rug is taken, I chose the knock out scene.

man inme
2) The Big Lebowski – The Man in Me:

Very literal but a great sequence and use of an iconic song.

3) The Watchmen – The Times They are a changing:

– Hallgeir


7 thoughts on “Top 3 use of Bob Dylan songs in movies”

  1. high fidelity – “most of the time” rob the list maker, the Dylan moment when the rain is pouring down over him in a Chicago street.

  2. Knocking on heavens door in Pat Garret/Billy the Kid is probably the best ever use of Bobs songs in a film! Followed by Things Have Changed in Wonderboys and since it is a real feature film I’ll say every song he sings on “The Last Waltz” just lit that whole film into a higher atmosphere like the Calvary riding in to save the day. Also on TVs Family Guy where Hurricane is used in an episode where Stewie gets into high school dressed like Kurt Cobain. Actually any film using Hurricsne is amazing just because that song is so powerful.

  3. I am no film buff but I think I am right in saying there are 3 different versions/ cuts of PG&BtK. At least.

    I am not sure however to what extent Dylan’s music is changed i.e. used differently in the 3 cuts.

    Can anyone comment?

    1. In the theatrical version there was an instrumental track used, then it was re-cut by Turner Network (The Turner Preview edition) with the vocals included (my favorite version) and then there’s the 2005 Special Edition without the vocals.

      The Turner Preview edition The 2005 cut is the one to see, best over all

      – Hallgeir

      PS: Thanks for you comment

      PPS: I just watched the movie again, and it is the 2005 edition I prefer. The Turner edition just has humming to Knocking on heavens door on the soundtrack, sorry for the error…

      PPPS: The 2005 edition combines the best of both the theatrical and the preview version, and it is not cut “in the scene” and I belive it is closest to Sam Pecinpah’s vision

  4. My personal favorite is in Dazed and Confused when they play Hurricane during a slow-motion sequence of Wooderson and everybody walking into the Emporium. It only really plays he chorus before more dialogue kicks in but it’s such a classic scene and creates an amazing mood.
    FYI love how there’s close capitioning in the clip and they get Bob’s lyrics wrong. Had no idea those 3 bodies were found in the Spanish Sea. Don’t remember that being in Jersey.

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