On Golden Pond

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Released 1981

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Movie Summary

Director:
Mark Rydell
Released:
1981
Rating:
PG
For 48 years, Ethel and Norman Thayer have summered at their cabin on Golden Pond. Their New England home is filled with memorabilia, reflecting their long history on the lake, and life with their daughter, Chelsea. However, this summer becomes a season of conflict. Chelsea, now a forty-ish divorcee, and deeply distanced from her father, has come to visit with her new lover, Bill and his tough young son, Billy. These three generations are about to collide, with only the witty and buoyant Ethel between them. Chelsea and Bill announce that they are taking a trip to Europe, and ask Ethel and Norman to take care of young Billy. Both Ethel and Norman are more than a little uncertain about their new roles as grandparents. And what begins as a stubborn battle of wills between Norman and Billy, slowly turns into a warm and loving friendship. When Chelsea and Bill return from Europe, Chelsea sees in her father's friendship with Billy, the kind of connection she always wanted with her father. In turn, Norman sees how much he has missed by denying his daughter's love.moreless

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Metacritic Score

  • 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    On Golden Pond is a treasure for many reasons, but the best one, I think, is that I could believe it. I could believe in its major characters and their relationships, and in the th...

  • 100

    San Francisco Chronicle

    None of these issues are fully resolved, but just enough ... and that's what makes On Golden Pond cinema gold.

  • 75

    Chicago Tribune Gene Siskel

    The biggest surprise with On Golden Pond is that the best performance in the film is not turned in by a Fonda. Rather, it is Katharine Hepburn, in a performance without gimmicks or...

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Drama