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Ulee's Gold
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Reviews & Ratings for
Ulee's Gold More at IMDbPro »

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Index 55 reviews in total 

23 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

A Very Special Film

10/10
Author: Maga from The Greater Southwest
23 March 2004

I just love this film. I like the Faulkner-like story set in the South. I like the subdued, yet brilliant performance by Peter Fonda. I like the detailed shots of the art of beekeeping. The music...I just love this movie. The story centers around Ulee, a stoic beekeeper and honey maker. Ulee's son is doing time in prison for his part in a robbery. His son's wife is a junkie who walked out on her three daughters, leaving Ulee to raise them. Although Ulee is not an emotional man, you sense he loves his grandkids and son, he just has trouble showing it. Well, the mom comes back, his son's partners in crime come back and Ulee realizes that his simple life is in great peril. This is a wonderful family film and I think a performance by Fonda that is very personal. I highly recommend it.

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16 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Fond of Fonda

Author: paul sloan from Scotland
11 December 2000

This movie is great in a number of ways. For a start, it shows Peter Fonda is a truly accomplished screen actor and not merely Henry's son, Jane's brother or Bridget's dad. It is a pity that he has had so few good roles to play over the years and his acting career has been largely disappointing. However,he totally brings the character of Ulee to life . Ulee is a decent man trying to do the right thing and when you see this film you are behind him all the way, willing him to overcome all the obstacles he encounters.This film, while a mostly straightforward simple tale,lifts the spirits and is a direct result of how positive the script is. Peter Fonda should make more films like this or he soon might find himself looking for the few good 'grandfather' roles out there in the movie world.

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15 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

2 greedy men make life uncomfortable for a beekeeper

8/10
Author: helpless_dancer from Broken Bow, Oklahoma
4 April 1999

Excellent tale about a man who gets involved with 2 men intent on getting their hands on a stash of stolen loot from an armored car robbery. Unique story with an actor I haven't seen since he hit middle age. Peter Fonda still has the same soulful eyes he had when I first saw him in "Wild Angels" back in the mid-60's. His acting has improved considerably over the years; I thought his old underground films were somewhat amateurish back then. This was a fine movie which reminded me a little of his western "The Hired Hand" from some 20 years ago. Well worth watching.

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13 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

powerful story of family reclamation

8/10
Author: Robert D. Ruplenas
10 May 1999

Surely one of the best human dramas of the last few years, Peter Fonda is great as Ulee Jackson, a deeply wounded but incredibly strong man who by sheer strength of will reaches out to drag back together a shattered family. His performance is a masterpiece of understatement; we can almost physically sense the roiling depths of anger and resentment that lie below his cold, almost imperturbable exterior. The crime subplot never takes precedence over the gripping family drama that is the movie's core. It is wonderful to see the various characters gradually becoming re-integrated into a functioning family; i.e. the daughter's appearing late at night in the work area to help Ulee, whose restrictions up to then she has mightily resented, with his backbreaking work.

Few have commented on the double entendre of the movie's title. Ulee's "Gold" is, on its surface, the honey he works to produce. It is clear, at the film's conclusion, that the "Gold" is, in actuality, the family he has brought together again. (I suppose we could have a triple entendre in that it might also refer to the long-lost money that is at the crime subplot's core).

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14 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Peter Hits a Homer

9/10
Author: gbheron from Washington, DC
22 September 1999

Peter Fonda plays Ulee, a middle-aged beekeeper raising his incarcerated son's two daughters in rural northern Florida. Suddenly two of his son's partners in crime show up, dump the son's wife (who had abandoned the family years before) on their doorstep, and begin menacing around looking for lost loot. Ulee tries to do the right thing, but while "keeping it in the family".

Most directors and screenwriters today would go for tautness and intensity. Not here, though it is not lacking in drama. This is a study in family dynamics as three generations (and neighbors) try to pull it together and address the crises that confronts them.

Rent this movie. It is subtle, well-crafted, and the best work Peter Fonda has done in decades.

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11 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Peter Fonda Finally Lets His Talent Shine

Author: tfrizzell from United States
10 October 2000

"Ulee's Gold" is a simple little film that is reminiscent of Old Hollywood. Peter Fonda (Oscar-nominated) stars as a bee-keeper in Florida who has lived a somewhat uneventful life. He's raising his two young grand-daughters because their father is in prison and their mother is nowhere to be found. When Fonda learns from his imprisoned son that his daughter-in-law needs his help, he rescues her from a life which has nearly been ruined by drug-use. Fonda brings her back to live with him, but also learns from his son that two thugs may create trouble because of a score they (the son and thugs) pulled off years earlier. Now the thugs want the money and Fonda must show emotional strength at his family's darkest hour. The film is above-average in every aspect, but it is Fonda that makes the film as good as it is. Everyone else is adequate, but this is his show. The screenplay and direction are just good enough to keep the film above water. Overall a good film. 4 stars out of 5.

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10 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Good stuff. Slow, but that's OK.

7/10
Author: smatysia (feldene@comcast.net) from Houston
17 February 2001

A pretty good little movie. The pace is a little slow, and often not much seems to be happening. This is not a bad thing here. Hollywood is usually so formulaic that they must not be discouraged when they try something a little different. Everything worked well here, the acting, the photography, the direction. Yes, Peter Fonda turned in a fine performance. I wonder if as much would have been made of this if Fonda hadn't spent most of his career playing in total stinkers, though. The small-time crooks, Fonda must deal with (including his son) are such losers they seem directly imported from an Elmore Leonard novel. Special mention for the child actress Vanessa Zima (Penny Jackson). She performed wonderfully in her role, full of soulful and meaningful looks. Either she is a very good child actress, or the casting director did a great job finding a girl who looks the part.

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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Good movie with a great and simple plot about the problems of life involving a war veteran who returns to beekeeping in a small Florida town while taking care of family.

8/10
Author: Brian-272 from Oakwood, Virginia USA
20 August 2001

Now I see why this is such a good movie, the plot is simple and people can relate to these same problems that many families experience. I was very thankful to find this video on sale it's worth every gold penny! Ulee's Gold has Peter Fonda as a Florida beekeeper who returns to take care of family while his son is in prison. Problems are many dealing with the mother of his two granddaughters the mother is battling a drug problem, plus dealing with dangerous thugs who are former friends of his son. These problems all turn to gold in the end as you will find during this film that the Fonda character discovers his soul with the strength and courage that helps everyone begin life anew. Great performance from Peter Fonda a golden globe winner. This was the movie debut of Jessica Biel, believe me she is a future babe.

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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

A Nod to Homer...

8/10
Author: umainer from Kennebunk
25 August 1999

It's not until the second half of "Ulee's Gold" that we hear Peter Fonda's character's full name, Ulysses. Once spoken you can't help feeling the rush of recognition of Homer's influences in this well-acted drama. There is Ulee's dead wife, Penelope--whom was Odysseus' wife in "The Odyssey". There is Ulee's daughter-in-law Helen--whom was responsible for starting the Trojan War in "The Illiad". Ulee is a veteran of the Vietnam War in much the way that Odysseus was of the Trojan War. He tells his grand daugher Penny he survived because of his "trickery" in much the same way Odysseus did with the Trojan Horse. His endurance of the many things which befall him after being sent to retrieve his Helen remind one of the way Odysseus was treated when he returned to his home as a beggar. Nods to Homer aside, this film was slow at times but worth the rental when taken in its entirety. Peter Fonda and Patricia Richardson both give outstanding performances with Fonda well deserving of the Golden Globe for his portrayal of Ulee. Rent it on your next visit to the video store--it won't disappoint.

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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Beautiful

Author: emily (emily85647@aol.com) from New Jersey
29 May 1999

Although many people say this film is slow and has no action, that is not true in many areas. It IS mostly a drama on the life of a middle-aged beekeeper and his family's problems. But there are also many scary situations, and although there are no actual fights, the scenes between Ulee and his son's cohorts are realistically tense. Peter Fonda is a brilliant actor and Patricia Richardson shows us her talents as well.

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