On Golden Pond (1981) – Encore Review


“You know, Norman, you really are the sweetest man in the world, but I’m the only one who knows it.” – Ethel

Number of Times Seen – at least 5 times (cable in the 80’s, 27 Apr 2014 and 23 Apr 2020)

Link to original reviewHere

Brief Synopsis – Two retirees who spend their summers at a cabin agree to watch the son of their daughter’s new boyfriend which changes how they all look at things in life.

My Take on it – This is a movie that I have always loved ever since I first saw it as a kid.

Obviously I understand things now much better than I did back when I saw it years ago.

This is such a moving and touching film with a very powerful story that works so well largely due to the amazing performances by Katherine Hepburn and Henry Fonda.

The two of them have amazing chemistry together and despite never having acted together in the past, they see like they have been together for so many years.

The banter between them is so much fun to watch and allows us to truly believe that they are a couple that have had a long and loving relationship.

The script is extremely profound and poignant and works so well in establishing who all of these characters are.

The dialogue is amazingly written and they give us some great and witty conversations that let us understand that even when people get older, certain aspects and perspectives in life will hopefully never change and allow us to stay who we are no matter what.

Both Hepburn and Fonda won Oscars for their performances here and was a deserving way to cap off both of their careers.

This was Fonda’s only performance with his daughter Jane which is also quite fitting for his final film role after such a storied career.

This is a film all about relationships and shows how integral they are to everyone no matter how old you are and also matter what has happened in the past.

The movie was nominated for 10 Oscars and won three including the two acting ones mentioned earlier and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Among it’s losses were for Best Picture, Director and Supporting Actress (Jane Fonda).

This is a story that still holds up really well even after 40 years and allows us to see how life can work even if it is sometimes through mysterious and strange ways.

Bottom Line – Such a moving and touching story that works so well due to the amazing performances by Hepburn and Fonda. The chemistry that the two of them have together makes us truly believe that they have ad such a long and strong relationship. The script is quite profound and the dialogue works so well in helping establish who all of these characters really are. The conversations between the characters are all witty and poignant and let us see that even once we are all older, certain perspectives and views on life will hopefully never change. Both Hepburn and Fonda were quite deserving of capping off their careers with Oscars for Best Actress and Actor for these roles that resonate so well.  The movie is all about relationships and how integral they are to our lives no matter our age and no matter what has happened in the past. The story still holds up after nearly 40 years and helps us understand how life works in strange and mysterious ways.  Unfortunately, only won 3 of it’s 10 Oscar nominations. Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The brown Fedora worn by Henry Fonda belonged to Spencer Tracy and was given to Fonda by Katharine Hepburn on the first day on the set. Fonda, overwhelmed with the gesture, painted a still life watercolor of the three hats he wore in the film and gave the original to Hepburn as a gift. He had 200 lithographs made of the painting and sent one to every person who worked on the film. Each copy was numbered and personally signed by Fonda thanking each person by name. In her autobiography, Hepburn wrote that she gave the painting to screenwriter Ernest Thompson. After Fonda’s death, she found the painting to be a sad reminder of him and Tracy. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10) (no change from original review)

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2 thoughts on “On Golden Pond (1981) – Encore Review

  1. Pingback: MovieRob Monthy Roundup – April 2020 | MovieRob

  2. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1981 | MovieRob

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