On Golden Pond

On Golden Pond
Drama

1981

Director: Mark Rydell CastKatharine Hepburn, Henry Fonda, Jane Fonda, Doug McKeon, Dabney Coleman, William Lanteau, Christopher Rydell, Troy Garity

Academy Awards: Best Actor in a Leading Role (Henry Fonda); Best Actress in a Leading Role (Katharine Hepburn); Best Adapted Screenplay (Ernest Thompson)

Also Nominated For: Best Picture; Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Jane Fonda); Best Director (Mark Rydell); Best Cinematography; Best Sound; Best Film Editing; Best Original Score

I First Saw In: 2015

Synopsis: Cantankerous retiree Norman Thayer and his conciliatory wife, Ethel, spend summers at their New England vacation home on the shores of idyllic Golden Pond. This year, their adult daughter, Chelsea, visits with her new fiancé and his teenage son, Billy 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.

Did You Know? Henry Fonda currently holds the record for the longest gap between acting Oscar nominations. His first nomination was for The Grapes of Wrath, and he did not receive another acting nomination for 41 years for On Golden Pond. In between these nominations, he did receive a Best Picture nomination for 12 Angry Men, as well as earning an Honourary Oscar for being “the consummate actor, in recognition of his brilliant accomplishments and enduring contribution to the art of motion pictures”.

Quotables: ETHEL: Why did you strain yourself? You know better!
NORMAN: Showing off. Trying to turn you on.
ETHEL: Well, you succeeded. No need for you to try that sort of thing again.

And now a Word from the Guise:
No two actors have so perfectly captured an elderly married couple like Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda in On Golden Pond. They remind me of my Aunt Verna and Uncle Dave, though they’re not quite as old as Hepburn and Fonda were in this film. You can tell just by watching them that they have seen many years together, have weathered many storms, have comforted each other through hardships and celebrated in each other’s triumphs, and are still – after all these years – passionately and emphatically in love with each other. This is what a love story should be.

Oscar Madness Ranking – ??? out of 233

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