Vietnam vet Ulysses (Ulee) Jackson (Fonda) lives in the swampy backwoods of the Florida panhandle, patiently farming Tupelo honey. On the one hand, since his wife Penelope died, Ulee has been content to withdraw into gruff self-dependence. On the other, blood will out, and the combination of Ulee's remoteness and the younger generation's hotheaded reaction have rent the Jackson family. While Ulee tends his two granddaughters, his son Jimmy (Wood) sits out a sentence for a robbery. Jimmy's wife Helen (Dunford), who has disappeared, surfaces in Orlando with a heroin habit and in the custody of her husband's two ex-partners in crime. She lets slip that Jimmy had secretly hidden bank money on Ulee's land, and the hoods are calling it in. Part vehicle for Fonda's seasoned presence, part depiction of the honey harvest, this low-key drama is played slow and sage.