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On Golden Pond (1981)

PG | | Drama | 12 February 1982 (USA)
1:47 | Trailer

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Norman is a curmudgeon with an estranged relationship with his daughter Chelsea. At Golden Pond, he and his wife nevertheless agree to care for Billy, the son of Chelsea's new boyfriend, and a most unexpected relationship blooms.



(screenplay), (based on his play)
4,521 ( 1,022)
Won 3 Oscars. Another 11 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
William Lanteau ...
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  »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$89,213, 6 December 1981, Limited Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


In the scene near the beginning of the film where Norman Thayer (Henry Fonda) calls the operator to see if the phone is working, he looks at a framed family photograph on the desk and asks "Who the hell is that?" The picture shows Henry Fonda and four-year-old Jane Fonda with Fonda's real-life second wife (and Jane's real mother), Frances Seymour Brokaw. See more »


When Ethel and Norman first drive to Golden pond it's supposed to be early spring, but there is a close up of Queen Anne's lace, which is a flower that blooms in late summer. See more »


Norman: "Ethel Thayer." It sounds like I'm lisping, doesn't it?
See more »


Featured in The 76th Annual Academy Awards (2004) 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

It kept me laughing
22 April 2003 | by See all my reviews

When I first heard of this movie I didn't think that it would be much. I knew that Katharine Hepburn would be older and the plotline of two older people being in a cabin on a "golden pond" wouldn't be that exciting. How wrong I was. This movie kept me laughing for two hours and for days after that. Hepburn is sweet and sincere in her love for Fonda, Henry is funny as the smart aleck who is scared of dying, and Jane Fonda is wonderful as their daughter who feels as if she never really belonged. The boy who played Billy was terrific. I can't believe how funny this movie really was. Watch for the moment where the Bill Sr. and Fonda talk about grizzly bears. Definitely one of the most touching and hilarious movies I have ever seen! A real screen gem!

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