On Golden Pond

On Golden Pond

4.5 7
Director: Mark Rydell

Cast: Katharine Hepburn, Henry Fonda, Jane Fonda

     
 

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There's little that happens in On Golden Pond that isn't thoroughly predictable from the start, but the film is blessed with so much star power, charm and honest sentiment that everyone in the audience is willing to ignore the cliches and go the distance. In his last film, Henry Fonda plays Norman Thayer, a cranky 80-year-old retired professor, making hisSee more details below

Overview

There's little that happens in On Golden Pond that isn't thoroughly predictable from the start, but the film is blessed with so much star power, charm and honest sentiment that everyone in the audience is willing to ignore the cliches and go the distance. In his last film, Henry Fonda plays Norman Thayer, a cranky 80-year-old retired professor, making his annual pilgrimage with his wife Katharine Hepburn (in her only teaming with Henry Fonda) to their New England summer cottage. Their solitude is interrupted when the couple's daughter Chelsea (Jane Fonda) arrives with her fiance Bill (Dabney Coleman) and his son Doug McKeon in tow. It takes a while, but Jane Fonda and Coleman, about to go on a vacation of their own, persuade Henry Fonda and Hepburn to take care of McKeon. Henry Fonda and the kid dislike each other from Square One, and it looks as though this summer (which may very well be Henry Fonda's last) will be a depressing experience. Gradually, Henry Fonda and McKeon grow to love one another; their bond is strengthened during a near-fatal accident while fishing. It is through the warm relationship between Henry Fonda and the boy that the old man and his daughter Jane Fonda are at last able to display affection towards each other--the first time they've done so in years. Gorgeously photographed by Billy Williams, On Golden Pond is a wonderful valedictory for Henry Fonda, who died not long after the film's completion; Katharine Hepburn has less to do, but few can do so much with so little. Academy Awards were bestowed upon Henry Fonda, Hepburn, and screenwriter Ernest Thompson (who adapted the film from his stage play).

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Dan Jardine
As America staggered out of its post-Vietnam Carter-era late-'70's numbness, films became one of the means to healing the country's psychic wounds. Consequently, 1981's On Golden Pond became one of a string of films anchored by the generational theme of parent-child rapprochement. One of the things that set this film apart from its contemporaries was the first-time pairing of real life father and daughter Henry and Jane Fonda. In order to evoke the requisite nostalgic tone, director Mary Rydell's film is seeped in sepia-golden hues courtesy of veteran cinematographer Billy Williams III. The film's conflict resolution process is too pat and the direction too self-congratulatory to allow it status as a classic, but there is genuine pathos plus some remarkable work done by Katharine Hepburn and Best Actor Oscar winner Henry Fonda. The elder thespians raise their roles from what could have been clichés (the doting wife, the dottering coot) into the realm of archetypes. The supporting characters fare less well, as the script sometimes short circuits their development in order to get to the next big emotional moment. Despite these complaints, On Golden Pond succeeds because of its appealingly humane plea for generational healing and the wonderful work of Hepburn and Henry Fonda.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/16/1993
UPC:
0012232745635
Original Release:
1981
Rating:
PG
Source:
Live / Artisan

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Katharine Hepburn Ethel Thayer
Henry Fonda Norman Thayer Jr.
Jane Fonda Chelsea Thayer Wayne
Doug McKeon Billy Ray
Dabney Coleman Bill Ray
William Lanteau Charlie Martin
Chris Rydell Sumner Todd

Technical Credits
Mark Rydell Director
Jane Bogart Set Decoration/Design
Terry Carr Producer
Dianne Crittenden Casting
Gary Daigler Asst. Director
Bruce Gilbert Producer
Stephen B. Grimes Production Designer
Dave Grusin Score Composer
Emad Helmey Set Decoration/Design
Dorothy Jeakins Costumes/Costume Designer
Barry Primus Casting
Ida Random Production Designer
David Ronne Sound/Sound Designer
Kay Rose Sound Editor
Martin Starger Producer
Ernest Thompson Original Story,Screenwriter
Tom Tuttle Makeup
Billy Williams Cinematographer
Robert Wolfe Editor

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