Golden Dreams: The Ballad of Lucy Whipple


Golden Dreams: The Ballad of Lucy Whipple

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Average Rating: 3.6/5

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Movie Info

Set in 1850s California (but actually filmed in Utah), this made-for-TV movie features Jena Malone as title character Lucy Whipple. The emphasis, however, is on Lucy's "mule-stubborn" mother Arvella Whipple (Glenn Close), who defies 19th century sexual stereotyping to try her luck as a gold prospector. Stuck in the ill-named California mining village of Lucky Diggins, Lucy is convinced that her maw is a bit "tetched" in the head. It takes a chance encounter in the nearby woods to show Lucy that perhaps Arvella is not as foolish as she seems, and that California is not the muddy hellhole that it appears to be at first glance. Adapted from a novel by Karen Cushman, Golden Dreams: The Ballad of Lucy Whipple was first broadcast by CBS on February 18, 2001.

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Glenn Close
as Arvella Whipple
Jena Malone
as Lucy Whipple
Bruce McGill
as Mr. Scatter
Robert Pastorelli
as Clyde Claymore
Chloe Webb
as Sophie
Judy Gold
as Buck McPhee
Andy Garrison
as Jimmy Whiskers
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Critic Reviews for Golden Dreams: The Ballad of Lucy Whipple

All Critics (3) | Top Critics (2)

The going gets better later on, but despite the work of the lead ladies, the effort as a whole remains firmly in the realm of the mediocre.

Oct 19, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Malone, who starred previously in Anjelica Huston's cable-TV version of Bastard Out of Carolina, is the genuine thing.

Feb 5, 2018 | Full Review…

Gold-rush-era heroine deals with issues like abuse, suicide.

Nov 1, 2012 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Golden Dreams: The Ballad of Lucy Whipple


For what is basically a Hallmark movie on the prairie this has a surprisingly high grade cast who all make more of the material than the script would normally provide.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

Golden Dreams: The Ballad of Lucy Whipple Quotes

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