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The Ballad of Lucy Whipple (2001)

The adventures of a family who head west to the California gold fields in the 1850s.


Jeremy Kagan


Karen Cushman (novel), Christopher Lofton (teleplay)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Glenn Close ... Arvella Whipple
Jena Malone ... California Morning 'Lucy' Whipple
Bruce McGill ... Jonas Scatter
Meat Loaf ... Amos 'Rattlesnake Jake' Frogge (as Meat Loaf Aday)
Chloe Webb ... Sophie
Olivia Burnette ... Annie Flagg
Dennis Christopher ... Joshua 'Carrots' Beale
Judy Gold ... Buck McPhee
Michael Welch ... Butte Whipple
Andy Garrison Andy Garrison ... Jimmy Whiskers
Wilford Brimley ... Deputy Sheriff Ambrose Scraggs
Robert Pastorelli ... Clyde Claymore
Dalin Christiansen Dalin Christiansen ... Linus Flagg
Neblis Francois Neblis Francois ... Bernard
Charles Grueber Charles Grueber ... Papa (as Charles Cruber)


When her widowed mother decides to move the family from New England to California during the Gold Rush, teenager California Morning Whipple is furious. She misses her New England home, even though her mother and younger siblings are happy in their new home and life. Not wanting anything to do with California, she renames herself Lucy. But over time "Lucy" begins to think of California as her home. Written by Rebecca <Rebecca191@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


While the world headed West for gold, one family came for adventure.


TV-PG | See all certifications »


Official Sites:






Release Date:

18 February 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

California Gold See more »

Filming Locations:

Park City, Utah, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Early in the film, Arvella calls California by her "Lucy" name, before she actually decided to adopt that name. See more »

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User Reviews

The Ballad of Lucy Whipple
7 August 2014 | by erniecrxSee all my reviews

My queen Jena Malone always delivers in her acting and will never falter in her performances. She'll keep up with the big names in this movie. You can see immediately when the camera's on her, her facial expression that speaks in volumes. Jena is besides all that a multitasking girl and that's why i admire her so much like her free-styling music band named The Shoe. Jena Malone is also an artistic photographer and poet on a high level and writes beautiful lyrics for her music. Her poems she writes are beautiful and thorough. Like i said about The Shoe, Jena is the front-singer of the band and Lem Jay Ignacio the keyboard player. Their shows are authentic, original and unconventional. All in all Jena Malone is a very special girl and there's no one like her.

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