• On Golden Pond (2003)

On Golden Pond

Release Date: July 20th, 2003

DVD Release Date: May 20th, 1998

PG |1 hr 49 min

Plot Summary

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.

Cast: Katharine Hepburn, Henry Fonda, Jane Fonda, Doug McKeon, Dabney Coleman, William Lanteau, Christopher Rydell

Director: Mark Rydell

Genres: Comedy drama

Production Co: Universal Pictures

Distributors: Universal Pictures, Artisan Entertainment

Keywords: Emotional, Daughter, Transformation, Mother, Moving, Family, Heartwarming, Marriage, 1980s

Ratings & Reviews

  • 100
    Roger EbertChicago Sun-Times

    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 things they felt for one another, and there were moments when the movie was witness to human growth and change. I left the theater feeling good and warm, and with a certain resolve to try to mend my own relationships and learn to start listening better. show more

  • 100
    San Francisco Chronicle

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

  • 75
    Gene SiskelChicago Tribune

    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 "great scenes," who communicates so much of the film's emotional power as a portrait of the serenity and anger associated with old age. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com


Nominated Actor
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1982)
Nominated Best Director - Motion Picture
Nominated Best Picture
Nominated Sound
Nominated Directing
Nominated Supporting Actress
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1982)
Nominated Cinematography
Nominated Actress in a Supporting Role
Winner Best Performance By an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama
Nominated Film
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1982)
Winner Best Motion Picture - Drama
Nominated Best Performance By an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Winner Best Screenplay - Motion Picture
Winner Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated Screenplay
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1982)
Nominated Direction
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1982)
Winner Writing (Screenplay - Based on Material From Another Medium)
Nominated Music (Original Score)
Nominated Film Editing