Most of the literate world is aware at this point that songwriter musician Bob Dylan was recently awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature. For those who don’t follow the news regularly there was some concern in the days following the announcement that Mr. Dylan couldn’t be found because he hadn’t formally commented about receiving this honor. Finally he did respond publicly saying that receiving the award was “amazing, incredible. Whoever dreams about something like that?” It’s been reported that Mr. Dylan won’t be attending the awards ceremony, however, in Sweden on December 10 as he has another commitment at this time.
In the aftermath of Bob Dylan being the recipient of this award, I was reminded about seeing earlier this autumn two recent film titles that are lines lifted from Bob Dylan songs. It made me realize how much his music has permeated our cultural consciousness. These very recent films are entitled “Complete Unknown” (2016) and “Don’t Think Twice” (2016).
I began to wonder how many movies have borrowed their titles from Dylan songs through the years. Here is a list of some films (as well as a few TV series):
“Forever Young” (1992)
“Corrina, Corrina” (1994) (Dylan didn’t write this blues/country song – his cover of it is well known)
“Just Like a Woman” – Three movies with this title since the late 1960s: 1967, 1992 and 2012
“A Simple Twist of Fate” (1994)
“Like a Rolling Stone” (1994) – Japanese film
“If Not For You” (1995) – TV series that ran 8 episodes
“Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” (1997) – German film
“All Along the Watchtower” (1999) – TV series that ran 6 episodes
“Tangled Up in Blue” – Three different full length films have been made with this title. Their respective years of release were 2004, 2009 and 2011.
“Shelter from the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast” (2005)
“Gotta Serve Somebody: The Gospel Songs of Bob Dylan” (2006)
“Blowin’ in the Wind” (2007)
“One Too Many Mornings” (2010)
“My Back Pages” (2011) – Japanese film
I’m actually leaving out innumerable short films and individual television episodes (from a wide range of TV series) whose titles also borrow from Dylan’s repertoire.
In spring 2016 Rolling Stone magazine published this list of the 100 best Bob Dylan songs. Here is the online link: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists/100-greatest-bob-dylan-songs-20160524
And in providing some commentary in regard to these songs, writer/director Cameron Crowe states “Dylan’s stuff continues to inform every generation – it just lives and lives and lives…”