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Masked and Anonymous

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Frequently Bought Together

Masked and Anonymous + I'm Not There (Two-Disc Collector's Edition) + Bob Dylan - No Direction Home
Price for all three: $24.14

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Product Details

  • Actors: Bob Dylan, John Goodman, Jessica Lange, Jeff Bridges, Penélope Cruz
  • Directors: Larry Charles
  • Writers: Bob Dylan, Larry Charles
  • Producers: Anatoly Fradis, David Gaines, David M. Thompson, Guy East, Jeff Rosen
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Columbia Tristar
  • DVD Release Date: February 17, 2004
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00000F2L9
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,507 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Masked and Anonymous" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Deleted scenes
  • The Making of Masked and Anonymous

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Music legend and Academy Award winner Bob Dylan (Best Song, Wonder Boys, 2000) -- accompanied by Academy Award winner Jessica Lange (Best Actress in a Leading Role, Blue Sky, 1994), Penelope Cruz (Vanilla Sky), Jeff Bridges (Seabiscuit), John Goodman (O Brother, Where Art Thou?) and Luke Wilson (Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle) -- takes center stage in the craziest, funniest comedy of the year! Dylan is Jack Fate, a former traveling troubadour who is sprung from jail by his scheming manager toheadline a sketchy and misguided benefit concert. With unforgettable cameo appearances by Angela Bassett, Bruce Dern, Ed Harris, Giovanni Ribisi, Mickey Rourke, and Christian Slater and featuring a sizzling soundtrack with four new Dylan recordings plus performances of Dylan classics from Los Lobos, Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia and more!


Masked and Anonymous is a mesmerizing experiment in surreal drama with lyrical content, a cinematic approximation of an epic Bob Dylan song on the order of "Desolation Row." Not coincidentally, Dylan is a co-writer and star of this 2003 film, playing an enigmatic folk-rocker named Jack Fate, a political prisoner in an unnamed, civil war-torn country. Set free to headline a benefit concert organized by an unscrupulous promoter (John Goodman) and television executive (Jessica Lange), Jack embarks on a fateful journey through a battle-scarred land. Taken literally, Masked and Anonymous proves bewildering, even exasperating, but as a feverish act of unrestrained political satire the film has a lot to offer, including some of the best recent performances by Goodman, Lange, Jeff Bridges (as a cynical journalist), Val Kilmer (a babbling prophet), Luke Wilson (a musician), and Giovanni Ribisi (a haunted soldier). Dylan himself proves a stiff cipher, but fun to watch. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

Great cast....Bob Dylan, Jessica Lange, Jeff Bridges and John Goodman.
Susan C. Zelenal
Hollywood cannot have a musical performance in a film without impatiently interrupting it by cutting to main characters and their seemingly crucial incessant dialogue.
Michael Osborn
The movie is sometimes hard to understand and that is why there has been so much negative views on it, but really the film plays out like a piece of literature.
Kaya Savas

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Michael L. Cantara on February 17, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Two things will really add to the appreciation of thid film. 1. An extremely open mind and 2. a working knowledge of Bob Dyaln; his history, his philosophy, his music. This is not a high budget film. Think more surrealist art house film. It does have many stars that most people will recognize, but that isn't the focus, nor point of the movie. This is the highly metaphorical tale of a musician and how he can't control his place in a chaotic society, but can remain true to his own self amid the chaos.
The very loosely woven plot becomes secondary to the individual events which make up the film, each scene revealing a nugget of Dylan's perspevtive. Dylan often delivers comments that make the entire scene seem irrelevant. In this way this is, at times, a very funny film. Dylan seems relaxed, especially compared to the other films he has made. The feeling is much more "Don't Look Back", much less "Hearts of Fire". He does retain his wooden movement and he delivers his short lines as commentary more often than conversation.
The soundtrack is exceptional. The performances are a real treat. All Dylan songs, but unique versions which fit seemlessly into the texture of the movie. The little girl singing "The Times They are A-Changin" will at least choke you up a bit, and possibly help us to remeber exactly how much that song meant 41 years ago, and how much it still means today.
I certainly recommend this to Dylan fans, especially those who respect or admire his perspective on the world. Anyone who enjoys non formulatic surreal films may also find much enjoyment in this movie. There is too much to pick everything up in your first screening when looking for interesting comments or details. I would recommend trying to watch and a get a feel for the film initially. Don't drive yourself crazy trying to make sense of every detail. In that way it is like most of Dylan's music, to be experienced repeatedly.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 20, 2004
Format: DVD
Many critics panned this movie simply because they have never really listened to Bob Dylan's words. This was a biography if i've ever seen one. "You can't change the world by singing" was one of John Goodman's lines in the film. "His whole life can be put on trial" was one of Jessica Lange's lines. This is Dylan's commentaries on the media, what they've done to him, and what he would like to do to them. It is also a commentary on the way our country is heading and the world as a whole. The movie had such memorable lines as "we are giving people new identities, and rewriting history books, and we will create a nation of lawbreakers and cash in on the guilt". This movie was took a genius to write, and if you don't get it, read the lyrics to 'My back pages' or Not Dark Yet', and you'll get an idea of what Dylan thinks of his career and the things he has regretably stood for.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 12, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It's definitely not for everyone, but "Masked and Anonymous" is one of the most original films I've ever seen, and terrific on a number of levels. Admittedly, Bob Dylan is no actor, but his acting "method" (such as it is) is perfect for this role, that of a legendary, mysterious musical artist with a mysterious past, who has been released from prison (why he's there, we do not know) to perform a "benefit" concert. Dylan is a wraith, a cypher, the proverbial walking, talking mystery wrapped in a riddle wrapped in an enigma.
The picture is an eerie, uncanny look at an America turned into a banana republic, a dictatorship embroiled in civil unrest and civil war, seemingly with no "good guys." (No doubt, this is the America we have to look forward to if we allow the Bush regime to hang on to power much longer, but that's another story for another time.)
The movie is chock full of memorable dialog and images, and outstanding performances by John Goodman, Jessica Lange and a host of others (Val Kilmer has an amazing, out of character cameo appearance). Bonus points for Dylan fans include little inside jokes and references (Dylan's character's name is Jack Fate, and the Jack Fate tribute band he hooks up with is called "Simple Twist of Fate," a song from his classic "Blood on the Tracks" album).
Then there's the music - I hope that this band tours with Dylan someday (they may well already have, I haven't seen him in concert in a number of years). Great, unexpected performances ("Dixie," which doesn't seem like it would be appropriate at all, is very haunting).
I repeat - this movie is not for everyone. For one thing, if you haven't seen or heard Dylan in years, you may be in for a shock. (Though, given that he's now over 60 years old, he doesn't look or sound too bad really.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Seth Miller on December 2, 2004
Format: DVD
I am of the opinion that the images and words that come from film should be, in essence, like a song - wholly unique in cadence, tone, and rhythm. Or at least I am after watching Masked and Anonymous. From Shakespeare to Tennessee Williams to Wes Anderson, artists writing for visual adaptation must all posses their own sense of "song writing." Bob Dylan is a masterful musician who speaks with such soul, depth, and rhythm that he has become a legend. Surrounded with mystery, the man has an almost religious following (don't believe me? Just take a look at all the big name actors that lined up just to work with him in this one). Masked and Anonymous captures the soul of Dylan with its cryptic poeticism, and distinct political messages. Add to the mix the real Dylan and six original songs debuted in the film, and you have created a cinematic world like none you have seen before.

Most critics bashed the movie, calling it brainless and empty - a sort of masturbation act for Dylan and the actors who blindly signed up to work in a "Dylan Movie." I don't care. Masked and Anonymous had me from its opening frames. The movie created a surreal and unique world that I desperately wanted to explore (in addition to being the only "the nation is run by gangsters" type gritty movie that didn't annoy me to death).

Movies that implore me to keep my eyes peeled so as to more fully understand the world I am inhabiting for a couple of hours, that cause me to breathe the air that it is breathing, those are the films that contain the magic of a cinema that is alive. This movie understands that magic through and through (the two other films this year that really created this alternate reality for me as a viewer were Finding Nemo and Down With Love). Masked and Anonymous offers one of those truly unique experiences - a telephone line into the heart of a poet - while still remaining as cryptic and mysterious as ever. But hey, that's what great song writing is all about, right?
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