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Ulee's Gold (1997)

Peter Fonda , Patricia Richardson , Victor Nunez  |  R |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)

Price: $44.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Peter Fonda, Patricia Richardson, Christine Dunford, Tom Wood, Jessica Biel
  • Directors: Victor Nunez
  • Writers: Victor Nunez
  • Producers: Edward Saxon, John Sloss, Peter Saraf, Sam Gowan, Stewart Lippe
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, Letterboxed, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: August 24, 1999
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0792842189
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #171,873 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Ulee's Gold" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Collectible making-of booklet

Editorial Reviews

Sometimes a man's true strength lies in his power to grow from the forces that sting the heart and cut deep into the soul. Peter Fonda (Easy Rider), in 'the performance of his career (Newsweek), received a Best Actor Golden Globe and an Academy Award(r) nomination* for his portrayal of a man who escapes one war only to find himself at battle with an even greater enemyhis wounded spirit. Featuring an uncommonly fine cast (Rolling Stone), Ulee's Gold comes wonderfully close to magic (Los Angeles Times)! Third-generation Florida beekeeper UleeJackson (Fonda) may have gotten out of Vietnam alive, but he left a part of himself behind. Now he methodically tends his bees, carefully provides for those who need him and vigilantly keeps his emotions at bay. But when both his family and his livelihood are threatened by a long-buried secret, Ulee must break through his emotional walls, find the strength to change and begin life anew. *1997: Actor

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
This film is a real treat. Normally I have no use for "action" films at all. And despite the slow, steady pacing of this flick, that is exactly what it is--a re-defining of "action" films. You doubt it? Just watch how many times Ulee finds himself in dangerous situations demanding action--kidnappings, hostage situations, removing his overdosing daughter-in-law from the drug den she has called home for far too long, staring down the barrels of guns weilded by two lunatic sociopaths who don't have two brain cells to rub together. These are situations in which somebody has to do something! In other films that would have meant blood and gore in a host of possible situations--shootings, explosions, car crashes, or at the very least a bone-crunching karate kick or two. Not Ulee's style, so it doesn't happen, but in the end you realize that as plodding and unpretentious as he is, Ulee is a man of action. And furthermore, he gets excellent results.
If you insist that blood, gore and violence are necessary components of an action film, you may not care for this one. However, if you are adventurous and want to see a whole new spin on the theme--not to mention a chance to see Peter Fonda proving that he is just as appealing as he ever was--by all means, see this film. It's a real treat for anyone, especially those of us who have aged along with Fonda and might at this stage of our lives wondering if we have really accomplished anything worthwhile. A wonderful film! Fonda at his best and a story that works well, as well as working out right. You can't reasonably ask for more.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Near perfect film. March 28, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Most of the reviews here on cast and the script do an incredible and convinging job portraying people in transformation. Peter Fonda goes from stubbornly independent to accepting help from those around him. His teenage grandaughter goes from insolent/resentful to helpful when she witnesses her wayward mother experiencing drug withdrawal (she understands her grandfather's strength and resilience from this). The mom goes from rabid, caged animal to a contrite and caring person when her withdrawal completes. Much of this is handled with little dialogue! It's in their faces. In a touching scene, the youngest grandaughter comes to her mom's rescue during mom's panic epidsode - she shows her mom a drawing based on an allegory whe witnessed that day where a beehive is tipped over from a bear attack. The bees are frightened, but the people around the bees as well as the bees themselves will be okay as long as everybody remains calm and sets aside their fears. Much of the dialogue in that scene happens off-camera, but you can just smell the tension easing during that scene. Not only was it well done, but it captures one of the essential themes to that movie.
The movie may move a little for some but I did not mind. It gave me a sense of Ulee's life. I don't particularly like slow films myself (Sling Blande was way too slow for me), but this film handled the pacing just right.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Bees' Knees or a Classic Film August 28, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
Watching "Ulee's Gold" again 6 years after it was released reminded me of how great a movie this is. Victor Nunez is an independent filmmaker who usually sets his films in Florida and sits on the board of the Sundance Film Festival. His excellent eye for talent is demonstrated by the introduction of Ashley Judd in 1993's "Ruby in Paradise." Being an independent feature explains why so much of this cast is actors from television. Not to diminish the sterling performance of Peter Fonda, this is an ensemble work that Nunez has directed. Each member of the cast is essential to its success; and it does succeed.
As Ulee Jackson, Peter Fonda gives an amazingly understated but strong performance. You can see the storm of emotions that fly within the character as evidenced by the one scene where he lets his feelings fly as he tells off his daughter-in-law Helen with anger and venom. That edge or spark underlies all of the other well-controlled scenes so that even though Ulee may be quiet, he is always focused, always tense.
The supporting cast is also excellent. TV's "Home Improvement" Patricia Richardson is excellent as the neighbor nurse who tries to help without intruding and winds up attracted to Ulee. That interesting relationship allows the mind to conjure up Ulee 2: The Sequel to see how things develop after this crisis point.
Jessica Biel, the bad girl who posed nude for a magazine and got booted from TV's "7th Heaven" delivers another blockbuster performance as the young adult/late adolescent who wants to be a kid but who fights with her responsibilities to her family and loves them even as she sasses them.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Peter Fonda is excellent November 11, 2006
By Bomojaz
Format:DVD
Peter Fonda is superb as the bitter, we-don't-need-anybody's-help family head who raises bees in Florida for a living, and must suddenly deal with a daughter-in-law (played by Christine Dunford) strung out on drugs and a son (Tom Wood) who's in prison on robbery charges. A couple of ex-con buddies of Wood learn that he hid away a lot of the money from the robbery they committed, and they make it plain to Fonda that they want it. Fonda's got to figure out how to deal with these two ex-cons while trying to detox Dunford at home - and still get the honey collected from his beekeeping operation.

Fonda plays Ulee Jackson like a man with the DNA of a turtle: all his on-screen actions are slow and deliberate - even his incessant handling of his glasses seems to eat up much screen time. His character is supposed to be the ultimate stoic, and he plays it to the hilt. But the story is an interesting one, and the climax in the swamp is pretty exciting. The director (Victor Nunez) also insists on showing as much of the beekeeping tasks as he can get away with (some of it is so detailed it could be used in a beekeepers documentary); you will either not mind this very much or be driven crazy by it. I didn't mind it very much. Fonda is actually pretty fascinating to watch; his performance is right out of the old method school of acting (he IS Ulee and not just playing a role). The movie works and is satisfying to watch.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
this is one of my favorite movies I watch it often
Published 13 days ago by joshe's grandpa
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Classic.
Published 16 days ago by Terry L. Mautz
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving and well acted drama with a real message ...
A moving and well acted drama with a real message. The sort of piece you need to watch more than once/
Published 1 month ago by John A. Leraas
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Superb
Published 1 month ago by Bruno
5.0 out of 5 stars absolute spell binding!!
Have always been a Peter Fonda fan....this movie is a perfect example of why....have about worn it out...and will get another when I do...
Published 6 months ago by vickie m. davis
4.0 out of 5 stars good movie
great story, good one for kids acting is a little weak but all in all a good story has a great moral message
Published 8 months ago by Michael
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
Good service. Good price. Good movie. Movie set in an area we love, The Dead Lakes, always love watching Fonda
Published 8 months ago by Peggy B. Cartwright
4.0 out of 5 stars Good movie
Enjoyed the movie and even ordered some of the honey to compare the taste to our East Texas honey (smile).
Published 8 months ago by CJ
1.0 out of 5 stars Monochromatic boredom
Except for the drug addict, there was little emotion shown in this overlong, plodding tale of robotic actors. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Galen Halimar
5.0 out of 5 stars Unusual Movie for Peter Fonda
Good family movie that also casts a very young Jessica Biel. Good story about a grandfather who is a beekeeper and who lost his wife to illness is raising his grandchildren. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Timothy Duncan
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