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

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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 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.

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29 April 2001 (USA)  »

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Arany-tó  »

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Trivia

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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Charlie: Holy Mackinoley!
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Referenced in TV's Most Censored Moments (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Okay, but not great. Somehow the weaknesses of the story show in this version.
22 January 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Christopher Plummer is always worth watching, so I sat through this whole production Not for the first time, I kept wishing that "On Golden Pond" was less of a glossed over, wishy-washy, happy-ending sort of show. Both the play and the film, and this version, too, gloss over the fact that Norman Thayer is truly a cruel person who was deliberately unkind to his daughter all her life. He seems to have been unkind, sarcastic, and verbally abusive to a great many people. I wouldn't want to be his daughter and I wouldn't want to be his wife. He's embittered and negative, and there seems to be no reason for his embitteredness as his life, as we are shown it, seems to have been a fortunate one. He and his wife appear to have no money troubles, he was successful in his career, his wife sticks by him and loves him -- what the he** is his problem? Every version of On Golden Pond presents Norman as a sort of curmudgeon, an old "poop." But he's not just an old curmudgeon. He's nasty. He hurt Chelsea. There's no reason to believe he won't continue to hurt Chelsea, even after their little confrontation/reconciliation. Consider how he refuses to tell her on the phone that he and Ethel will visit Chelsea and Bill in January? He later says it to the boy. But not to Chelsea. No, he's got to leave her hanging. He can't say they'll come. He can't give her that satisfaction or even allow her to plan. It's creepy.

I've never understood why On Golden Pond is considered a sweet, love story. I just don't get it.

This TV version is okay. Just okay. Plummer and Andrews turn in professional performances. They have chemistry together, that's obvious. Headly, playing the daughter, is less believable and seems nervous even when Norman isn't in the room. Sam Robards as Bill seems twitchy, too. The boy's role is downplayed in this version and he doesn't really get a chance to register. The set is excellent. There's some strikingly bad camera work here and there, more than I think is acceptable, even in a live production.

The best part of the whole production is the promo at the beginning when the camera zooms in on Plummer and Andrews in a private room. They're supposedly rehearsing, but are actually playing Go Fish. It was cute. If you listen, you can hear the difference between Plummer's actual, strong voice in that promo, and his strained, weaker voice as Norman.

I also love the bit when Plummer is on the phone with the boy, and says that Dumas, author of The Three Musketeers, is not pronounced Dumb-A**. Whenever I see Alexandre Dumas' name from now on, I'm going to think of that :-).


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