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On Golden Pond (2001)

TV Movie  -   -  Drama  -  29 April 2001 (USA)
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Ethel and Norman Thayer are an old couple living "On Golden Pond". Their daughter, Chelsea, is 42 years old, and has never been married. She is dating a 45 year old dentist, and brings him ... See full summary »



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Title: On Golden Pond (TV Movie 2001)

On Golden Pond (TV Movie 2001) on IMDb 6.7/10

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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview:


Ethel and Norman Thayer are an old couple living "On Golden Pond". Their daughter, Chelsea, is 42 years old, and has never been married. She is dating a 45 year old dentist, and brings him up to Golden Pond to meet her parents. Her boyfriend, Bill, has a 14 year old son named Billy, who comes along. Young Billy has been virtually raised by his mother, who is newly divorced from his father. The troubled child is left with the elderly Thayers for some time, as his father and Chelsea take off for a tour of Europe. Character-driven story about an elderly man coming to terms with his age, and the nearing of death; a middle-aged woman attempting to enter into a father-daughter relationship with her dad, whom she has never known closely; and a young teenager dealing with parental divorce. Written by Laura K. B.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

29 April 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Deres sensommer  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Adapted from a Broadway play, in which the roles of Norman and Ethel were played by Tom Aldredge and Frances Sternhagen. The stage production of "On Golden Pond" opened at the New Apollo Theater in New York on February 21, 1979 and ran for 126 performances. See more »


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User Reviews

30 April 2001 | by (Queens, New York) – See all my reviews

It was a risky experiment, but on the basis of last night's live presentation of "On Golden Pond", I'd say it was a major success. Despite a few flaws (no live presentation is completely perfect), this is one of the years' best films:a great film in the so far (with the exception of a few undeniable gems) lousy film year 2001.

It's becoming a trend, I'm afraid, that good, intelligent entertainment is being relegated to television more and more. So far, we've been treated to such excellent films as "Wit" and "61*" (both HBO), "Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Her" (Showtime) and "The Miracle Maker" (ABC). These are all films that deserved theatrical release. Why not?

The answer, I'm afraid, is that they wouldn't appeal to the mindless teenagers who go to films these days. They are actually about something, which is deadly to those affected by what Roger Ebert calls the "Screen Attention Defecit Disorder". But at least TV is giving these lost films a chance to be seen and heard. For that we should be grateful.

Now, back to the movie. Since it's inevitable that it will be compared with the highly regarded (deservedly so) 1981 film, I might as well start. There is much more comedy in this version than the 1981 version, and I think that's the way it should be. Henry Fonda's more grave and serious portrayal was just right in that version and Christopher Plummer puts his own personal spin on Norman. Of course, Plummer has had more success with comedy than Fonda did, so the change is good, in this case.

Also, there's more time spent on the personal relationship between Norman and his wife Ethel than in the 1981 version, and I think that's also a good change; you don't want to see a retread of the original, you want to see another reading of the same material and this live version takes risks. It's not shy about the material, which is what plagues most TV movies (and theatrical features, for that matter)

But I don't want to give away too much, since a video version is inevitable, I would like to save some of the nice changes for you to discover. Like I stated before, there are a few flaws (some shaky camera work and you can hear the director speaking through the soundman during one of Julie Andrews' big speeches), but what amazes me about this live version is how it constantly surprised and entertained me, especially since I loved the 1981 version.

During the commercial break, it was announced that this was the first in a series of live presentations. That's good news; in an era of trash TV, perhaps an exciting, offbeat format like live TV (these days, at least)will make TV worth watching today.

**** out of 4 stars

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