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On Golden Pond

PG Released Jan 22, 1982 1h 49m Comedy Drama List
91% Tomatometer 44 Reviews 87% Audience Score 10,000+ Ratings
Cantankerous retiree Norman Thayer (Henry Fonda) and his conciliatory wife, Ethel (Katharine Hepburn), spend summers at their New England vacation home on the shores of idyllic Golden Pond. This year, their adult daughter, Chelsea (Jane Fonda), visits with her new fiancée and his teenage son, Billy (Doug McKeon) on their way to Europe. After leaving Billy behind to bond with Norman, Chelsea returns, attempting to repair the long-strained relationship with her aging father before it's too late. Read More Read Less
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On Golden Pond

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Critics Consensus

Henry Fonda and Katherine Hepburn are a wondrous duo in On Golden Pond, a wistful drama that movingly explores the twilight years of a loving marriage.

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Critics Reviews

View All (44) Critics Reviews
Pauline Kael New Yorker This isn’t material for actors, no matter what their age. It’s material for milking tears from an audience. Sep 18, 2023 Full Review Ian Nathan Empire Magazine Definitely soppy in places but also genuinely moving. Rated: 4/5 Aug 18, 2021 Full Review Ed Potton Times (UK) Adapted by Ernest Thompson from his 1979 play of the same name, Mark Rydell's classy weepie follows an elderly couple holidaying in their idyllic lakeside house in New England. Rated: 5/5 Aug 18, 2021 Full Review Bill Cosford Miami Herald Though On Golden Pond is a shameless bit of manipulation... the movie is relentlessly enjoyable. Aug 18, 2021 Full Review David Parkinson Radio Times Complementing the subtle shades of performance are cinematographer Billy Williams's superb images, using to dramatic effect the changing light of the countryside in summer. Rated: 4/5 Aug 18, 2021 Full Review Ronald Boyd Tampa Bay Times If ever there's been a motion picture collaboration worth waiting for, Fonda and Hepburn in On Golden Pond is it. Aug 18, 2021 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (937) audience reviews
Michael L On Golden Pond came out the year after I was born. I remember watching it with my Grandmother from the time that I was around 4. I lost her just over a year ago, so On Golden Pond will forever be a reminder of her. It is such a funny, heartwarming film that will leave you longing for a simpler time when family and friends were more important than smartphones and celebrity gossip. You need to watch this before you crossover to the spiritual world. 😀 Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/12/24 Full Review Michael F I hadn't seen this movie since it was first released and was too young to appreciate it. 42 years later, I'm a lot more appreciative of this wonderful film. Hepburn is superb and Henry Fonda shines in one of his greatest roles. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 08/02/23 Full Review Leaburn O This film was average 🤏 Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 03/19/23 Full Review TJ M A 1980's classic for a good reason. Paired with great performances from Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda, beautiful cinematography, stellar writing and a great instrumental score. An absolute must see. Go see it you won't regret it. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 08/31/22 Full Review William L "Oh, Billy is the happiest thing that's happened to Norman since Roosevelt. I should have rented him a 13-year-old boy years ago." How did that make it through the writing room without some kind of revision? As a film on aging, parts of On Golden Pond feel pretty solid, including a pair of legendary lead actors that still shine in their golden years and a few entertaining, biting zingers from Fonda's Norman, a man whose primary character trait is morose sarcasm. But the story and character development are wildly inconsistent, including a father-daughter rectification that is awkwardly dropped in at the end of the film, and a dynamic between Norman and Doug McKeon's Billy that swings back and forth between idyllic and laughably rocky without ever feeling very original. When Fonda and Hepburn are allowed to sweetly chastise each other with gentle familiarity, their dynamic really elevates the film, but the character arcs would have been less predictable and obvious if they were spelled out in six-foot tall neon letters. (2/5) Rated 2 out of 5 stars 05/20/22 Full Review Audience Member It's actually fascinating how such a simple story and plot can bring up several meaningful and relatable themes. I found myself really paying attention to Katharine Hepburn's words, as she is as compelling as ever. Jane and Henry are also endearing in their roles. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/26/23 Full Review Read all reviews
On Golden Pond

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Cast & Crew

On Golden Pond

On Golden Pond: Official Clip - Boating Accident On Golden Pond: Official Clip - Boating Accident 2:57 On Golden Pond: Official Clip - A Rainbow Trout On Golden Pond: Official Clip - A Rainbow Trout 2:10 On Golden Pond: Official Clip - A Father or a Friend On Golden Pond: Official Clip - A Father or a Friend 2:13 On Golden Pond: Official Clip - We're Going Fishing On Golden Pond: Official Clip - We're Going Fishing 2:13 On Golden Pond: Official Clip - I Was Showing Off On Golden Pond: Official Clip - I Was Showing Off 2:39 On Golden Pond: Official Clip - We'd Like to Sleep Together On Golden Pond: Official Clip - We'd Like to Sleep Together 3:24 On Golden Pond: Official Clip - You're a Big Girl Now On Golden Pond: Official Clip - You're a Big Girl Now 2:32 On Golden Pond: Official Clip - My Knight in Shining Armor On Golden Pond: Official Clip - My Knight in Shining Armor 2:10 On Golden Pond: Official Clip - We Cruise Chicks On Golden Pond: Official Clip - We Cruise Chicks 1:46 On Golden Pond: Official Clip - Mad for So Long On Golden Pond: Official Clip - Mad for So Long 2:05 View more videos
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Movie Info

Synopsis Cantankerous retiree Norman Thayer (Henry Fonda) and his conciliatory wife, Ethel (Katharine Hepburn), spend summers at their New England vacation home on the shores of idyllic Golden Pond. This year, their adult daughter, Chelsea (Jane Fonda), visits with her new fiancée and his teenage son, Billy (Doug McKeon) on their way to Europe. After leaving Billy behind to bond with Norman, Chelsea returns, attempting to repair the long-strained relationship with her aging father before it's too late.
Director
Mark Rydell
Producer
Bruce Gilbert
Screenwriter
Ernest Thompson
Distributor
Artisan Entertainment, Universal Pictures
Production Co
Universal Pictures
Rating
PG
Genre
Comedy, Drama
Original Language
English
Release Date (Theaters)
Jan 22, 1982, Wide
Release Date (Streaming)
Nov 19, 2016
Runtime
1h 49m
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