On Golden Pond (1981)


on golden pond“Don’t you think that everyone looks back on their childhood with a certain amount of bitterness and regret? It doesn’t have to ruin your life! ” – Ethel

Number of Times Seen – at least 5 times (cable in the 80’s and 27 Apr 2014)

Brief Synopsis – An elderly couple spends the summer with their somewhat estranged daughter’s step-son and everyone learns a lot about themselves during this turbulent summer.

My Take on it – This movie has always been a favorite of mine, but I think I appreciated it more this time around since I’m much older and have kids of my own.

Based on the play by Ernest Thompson, this movie deals with so many aspects of life, I don’t think I can describe them all.

Beneath it all, it’s a story about relationship between people; whether they be of the same generation and have spent 40 or 50 years together, between elderly parents and their grown up daughter or how they create new relationships with teenagers.

The dialogue is amazing; I loved the banter between the characters throughout the entire movie.

The best part of this movie tho are the performances.  Everyone in this small cast is in top form especially Katherine Hepburn and Henry Fonda.

Hepburn won her 4th Best Actress Oscar for this role.

This was Fonda’s final role before he died and it is so befitting to be his swansong for numerous reasons.  It was the only time in his very long career that he acted with his daughter Jane Fonda.  His character pondered questions about life and death and about living to an old age and he won his only Best Actor Oscar for this role.

To this day, he is still the oldest Best Actor winner to take home that golden statue and the only man to win Best Actor in his 70’s (He was 76 at the time).  Two other actors were older when they won Best supporting Oscars (George Burns and Christopher Plummer).

This movie also deservingly won an Oscar for its adapted script that Thompson scripted himself.

Bottom Line – Excellent movie, amazing acting based on a well written play. Highly recommended!

Rating – Oscar Worthy

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12 thoughts on “On Golden Pond (1981)

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  3. I love this film. It’s been decades since I’ve seen it last. Thanks for reminding me it’s time for a revisit. As you mentioned, the performances are wonderful. The relationship between the couple and the boy—I love the scene when the boy is on the boat and speeding around the lake. Great energy there. 🙂

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