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On Golden Pond (1981)

PG  |   |  Drama  |  12 February 1982 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 20,416 users  
Reviews: 104 user | 37 critic

The loons are back again on Golden Pond and so are Norman Thayer, a retired professor, and Ethel who have had a summer cottage there since early in their marriage. This summer their ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (based on his play)
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Won 3 Oscars. Another 11 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
William Lanteau ...
Christopher Rydell ...
Sumner Todd (as Chris Rydell)


The loons are back again on Golden Pond and so are Norman Thayer, a retired professor, and Ethel who have had a summer cottage there since early in their marriage. This summer their daughter Chelsea -- whom they haven't seen for years -- feels she must be there for Norman's birthday. She and her fiance are on their way to Europe the next day but will be back in a couple of weeks to pick up the fiance's son. When she returns Chelsea is married and her stepson has the relationship with her father that she always wanted. Will father and daughter be able to communicate at last? Written by Dale O'Connor <daleoc@interaccess.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


when life is at its finest...when love is at its fullest... See more »




PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

12 February 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Am goldenen See  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$119,285,432 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Apparently, stars Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn had not only never worked together, but had never even met prior to working on this picture, despite having mutual friends and acquaintances. See more »


When the boat crashes into the rock a panel can be seen sliding over to reveal the hole in the boat. See more »


Norman: There's someone at the door!
Ethel: It's me, you old poop!
See more »


Happy Birthday to You
(1893) (uncredited)
Written by Mildred J. Hill and Patty S. Hill
Sung by all for Norman's birthday
See more »

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User Reviews

Henry Fonda saves his best for last
20 July 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Oh,the numerous memorable characters Henry Fonda brought to the screen over the years.His most memorable came in his final film,On Golden Pond. This film brought to light two important realizations for me.Family togetherness is one of the most important things we have in life,and we had better resolve our differences as a family and get along because we can't go back and correct the things we come to regret.Secondly,I came to realize that elderly couples are more than the stereotype we sometimes force upon them.They don't cease to be affectionate and sexual merely because they have gotten older.Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn made a delightful couple here and make you wish they had worked together more often through the years,but unfortunately,this was their first and only film together.Also,the pairing of Fonda with real life daughter Jane was indeed a delight to see.Their own troubled relationship made them naturals for their parts as a father and daughter coming together after years of tension.You could sense that at times, Henry and Jane were not acting at all when it came to their scenes with one another,making these scenes more realistic and effective.Henry Fonda received a well deserved Oscar for this film.I watched the night he received it,and recall his reaction from his home(he was too ill to attend the ceremony),and the tears streaming down his face.I couldn't help but shed a tear or two myself.I'm sure I was not the only one.Great film.

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