7.7/10
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117 user 40 critic

On Golden Pond (1981)

PG | | Drama | 12 February 1982 (USA)
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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.

Director:

Mark Rydell

Writers:

Ernest Thompson (screenplay), Ernest Thompson (based on his play)
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Popularity
4,269 ( 415)
Won 3 Oscars. Another 11 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Katharine Hepburn ... Ethel Thayer
Henry Fonda ... Norman Thayer Jr.
Jane Fonda ... Chelsea Thayer Wayne
Doug McKeon ... Billy Ray
Dabney Coleman ... Bill Ray
William Lanteau William Lanteau ... Charlie Martin
Christopher Rydell ... Sumner Todd (as Chris Rydell)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 February 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Am goldenen See See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$89,213, 6 December 1981, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$119,285,432
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Star Barbara Stanwyck was on call to replace Katharine Hepburn in the event Hepburn was unable to appear in the film due to the surgery she had undergone just prior to production. Stanwyck had star teamed with Henry Fonda in pictures in three earlier movies: The Lady Eve (1941), You Belong to Me (1941) and The Mad Miss Manton (1938). The most recent of these, which were two of the films from 1941, having being made and released about forty years prior to this film. See more »

Goofs

Alternating calm/choppy lake-water in closeup/wide-angle shots as Norman and Billy enter Purgatory Cove. See more »

Quotes

Ethel: [to Chelsea] Don't you think that everyone looks back on their childhood with a certain amount of bitterness and regret about something? You're a big girl now. Aren't you tired of it all? Bore, bore. It doesn't have to ruin your life, darling. Life marches by, Chels. I suggest you get on with it.
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Connections

Referenced in Stardust: The Bette Davis Story (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Henry Fonda saves his best for last
20 July 2002 | by SmileysWorldSee 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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