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The Ballad of Ramblin' Jack (2000)

PG-13  |   |  Documentary, Biography, Music  |  26 January 2000 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 276 users   Metascore: 72/100
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With the help of her mother, family, friends, and fellow musicians, Aiyana Elliott reaches for her father, legendary cowboy troubadour, Ramblin' Jack Elliott. She explores who he is and how... See full summary »


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Credited cast:
Himself (as Ramblin' Jack Elliott)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Gil Gross ...
Harold Leventhal ...
Alan Lomax ...
Victor Maymudes ...
Odetta ...
June Shelley ...
Dave Van Ronk ...


With the help of her mother, family, friends, and fellow musicians, Aiyana Elliott reaches for her father, legendary cowboy troubadour, Ramblin' Jack Elliott. She explores who he is and how he got there, working back and forth between archival and contemporary footage. Born in 1932 in Brooklyn, busking through the South and West in the early 50s, a year with Woody Guthrie, six years flatpicking in Europe, a triumphant return to Greenwich Village in the early 60s, mentoring Bob Dylan, then life on the road, from gig to gig, singing and telling stories. A Grammy and the National Medal of Arts await Jack near the end of a long trail. What will Aiyana find for herself? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A daughter travels down the road of the father's legend See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief language and some drug content | See all certifications »


Official Sites:



Release Date:

26 January 2000 (USA)  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$6,776 (USA) (18 August 2000)


$221,893 (USA) (1 June 2001)

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Referenced in Eulogy (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

A revealing and well told story of an unrevealing man
3 September 2000 | by (LI, New York) – See all my reviews

The BORJ is a revealing and well told of story of the great Jack Elliott. Jack, a folk/country legend, is a hard one to figure out. The documentary takes you on a tour throughout his life, from his childhood up until the very present. His daughter (who directed this feature) has Jack, family and friends tell his story.

The film allows you to judge for yourself what kind of man he really was. A musician, a cowboy, hard traveller and a father. The documentary will help you understand and appreciate his place in music. As a companion to Woody Guthrie to his influence on Bob Dylan.

What's nice is nothing is pushed in your face. The viewer is left to reason out for themselves why he distances himself from his family and friends. Although, it's never clear what makes him click as a person or a father you can't help but want to know why.

It's a well done film that will have you asking questions and leave you wondering about Jack. I came out of the theater a bit sad but appreciative that there are people in the world like Ramblin' Jack Elliott.

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