6.8/10
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7 user 9 critic

Renaldo and Clara (1978)

R | | Drama | 25 January 1978 (USA)
Bob Dylan on tour with the Rolling Thunder Revue in 1975; concert footage, documentary interviews and bizarre improvised character scenes.

Director:

Bob Dylan
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2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bob Dylan ... Renaldo
Sara Dylan Sara Dylan ... Clara
Joan Baez ... Woman in White
Ronnie Hawkins ... Bob Dylan
Jack Elliott ... Longheno de Castro
Harry Dean Stanton ... Lafkezio
Bob Neuwirth ... The Masked Tortilla
Allen Ginsberg ... The Father
Mel Howard Mel Howard ... Ungatz
David Mansfield ... The Son
Jack Baran Jack Baran ... The Truck Driver
Helena Kallianiotes ... Herself
Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter ... Himself
Anne Waldman ... Sister of Mercy
T Bone Burnett ... The Inner Voice (as T-Bone Burnett)
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Storyline

This epic is a mass amalgamation of three separate film-types that is, contrary to popular opinion, coherent and a unified whole. Bob Dylan is shown in concert, often masked, during the Rolling Thunder Revue. The film also features documentary footage, including Ruben "Hurricane" Carter's struggle against the forces that have imprisoned him. The third element is fictional "role-playing" footage with Bob Dylan in the guise of guitar-strumming Renaldo and his wife Sara as his companion Clara. Ronnie Hawkins takes on the role of Bob Dylan in these sequences. The film includes footage of a visit to the grave of Jack Kerouac, an Allen Ginsberg poetry reading and various friends and acquaintances, namely David Blue (playing pinball by a swimming pool), discussing experiences on the road. Written by thustlebird

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 January 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Renaldo and Clara See more »

Filming Locations:

Alabama, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lombard Street Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(original) | (re-cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The clips of "Tangled Up In Blue" and "Isis" can be found on the 2002 Bonus DVD that came with 'The Bootleg Series Vol. 5: Bob Dylan Live 1975, The Rolling Thunder Revue.' See more »

Quotes

The Truck Driver: Why are you so much in a hurry? Is the law after you?
Renaldo: I am the law!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits end with a title card reading "A Film by BOB DYLAN" directed after he is credited as writer and director. The closing credits are divided in three sections, separated by wide time gaps, played over a different artist, soul singer Hal Frazier, performing "In The Morning", a song written by Barry Gibb. See more »

Alternate Versions

Originally released at 292 minutes (yes, that's almost five hours!). After dismal box office returns, Dylan shortened the film to 122 minutes removing almost all of the narrative storyline and leaving mostly concert footage. See more »

Connections

References Magical Mystery Tour (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

The Water is Wide
Traditional
Performed by Bob Dylan
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A sometimes irritating and sometimes profound meditation
15 April 2000 | by jaiboSee all my reviews

At over four hours and consisting of a lot of improvised and apparently self-referential scenes, this could and indeed has irritated many viewers. But if one stays with it and takes it as it comes (Dylan himself has recommended that one watches it doped), the film is an extraordinary meditation on the nature of self, performance, show biz and life. At its heart, the film seems to me to be saying that everything is show business (love, politics, poetry) or perhaps that show business (represented by a cheesy club act) is as valid a life choice as any of the more profound things portrayed. For all his supposedly radical support for Rubin Carter, the film suggests that the boxer is just as much a performer as anyone else. The film contains some moving sequences, not least the wonderful one in which Alan Ginsberg performs Kaddish before a group of oldsters. And not least, the concert footage of Dylan is magnificent - Isis being a stand-out. Which brings me back to the movie's theme: here is a performer whose name is not really Bob Dylan playing a performer who is called Renaldo performing a song about marriage but not marriage to his wife Sara (who plays Clara in the film) but marriage to the ancient Egyptian Goddess Isis - which implies that the singer really is Osiris, God of the underworld. But it's just this kid Robert Zimmerman! What is the real truth? This is the sort of heady trip the film offers. Put up with the irritating self-indulgence of much of this,and the enormous length, and there are great rewards. Re-issue it, Bob!


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