You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

On Golden Pond

Without question, these are major, meaty roles for Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda, and there could have been little doubt that the two would work superbly together. Fact that Ernest Thompson's 1978 play backs away from the dramatic fireworks that might have been mutes overall impact of the piece, but sufficient pleasures remain.

Cast:
Katharine Hepburn Henry Fonda Jane Fonda Dabney Coleman Doug McKeon

Without question, these are major, meaty roles for Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda, and there could have been little doubt that the two would work superbly together. Fact that Ernest Thompson’s 1978 play backs away from the dramatic fireworks that might have been mutes overall impact of the piece, but sufficient pleasures remain.

Fonda, a retired professor, and Hepburn arrive at their New England cottage to spend their 48th summer together. He’s approaching his 80th birthday and, while it’s clear that his wife is thoroughly familiar with his crotchety act, his mostly intentional rudeness and irascibility make life difficult for others in his vicinity.

At the half-hour point, along come daughter Jane Fonda, future son-in-law Dabney Coleman and latter’s son Doug McKeon. Coleman manages a stand-off with the elder Fonda, but Jane is clearly still terrified of her dad, suffering from lingering feelings of neglect and inferiority.

The film’s most moving interlude, a near-death scene, is saved for the end, and both Fonda (pere) and Hepburn are miraculous together here, conveying heartrending intimations of mortality which are doubly powerful due to the stars’ venerable status.

1981: Best Actor (Henry Fonda), Actress (Katharine Hepburn), Adapted Screenplay.

Nominations: Best Picture, Director, Supp. Actress (Jane Fonda), Cinematography, Editing, Score, Sound

On Golden Pond

Production: Universal/ITC/IPC. Director Mark Rydell; Producer Bruce Gilbert; Screenplay Ernest Thompson; Camera Billy Williams; Editor Robert L. Wolfe; Music Dave Grusin; Art Director Stephen Grimes

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1981. Running time: 109 MIN.

With: Katharine Hepburn Henry Fonda Jane Fonda Dabney Coleman Doug McKeon

More Film

  • Robert Hawkins, Variety Rome Correspondent, Dies

    Bob Hawkins, Longtime Variety Journalist in Italy, Dies at 93

    Without question, these are major, meaty roles for Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda, and there could have been little doubt that the two would work superbly together. Fact that Ernest Thompson’s 1978 play backs away from the dramatic fireworks that might have been mutes overall impact of the piece, but sufficient pleasures remain. Fonda, a […]

  • Boo 2! A Madea Halloween

    Box Office: Tyler Perry's 'Boo 2!' Tops Downbeat Weekend With $21.7 Million

    Without question, these are major, meaty roles for Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda, and there could have been little doubt that the two would work superbly together. Fact that Ernest Thompson’s 1978 play backs away from the dramatic fireworks that might have been mutes overall impact of the piece, but sufficient pleasures remain. Fonda, a […]

  • Aida Begic Director Aida Begic poses

    Antalya Festival: Aida Begic on ‘Never Leave Me,’ Shooting Movies with Kids

    Without question, these are major, meaty roles for Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda, and there could have been little doubt that the two would work superbly together. Fact that Ernest Thompson’s 1978 play backs away from the dramatic fireworks that might have been mutes overall impact of the piece, but sufficient pleasures remain. Fonda, a […]

  • Antalya Fest Opens with Walken, Syrian

    Antalya Festival Opens with Walken, Syrian Refugee Crisis-themed ‘Never Leave Me’

    Without question, these are major, meaty roles for Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda, and there could have been little doubt that the two would work superbly together. Fact that Ernest Thompson’s 1978 play backs away from the dramatic fireworks that might have been mutes overall impact of the piece, but sufficient pleasures remain. Fonda, a […]

  • Interview With Carla Simón, director of

    ‘Summer 1993’s’ Carla Simón Talks About, Summer, Kids, Oscars

    Without question, these are major, meaty roles for Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda, and there could have been little doubt that the two would work superbly together. Fact that Ernest Thompson’s 1978 play backs away from the dramatic fireworks that might have been mutes overall impact of the piece, but sufficient pleasures remain. Fonda, a […]

  • Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

    Turkish Cinema: The New Generation - Kivilcim Akay, Director ‘I am Also Here'

    Without question, these are major, meaty roles for Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda, and there could have been little doubt that the two would work superbly together. Fact that Ernest Thompson’s 1978 play backs away from the dramatic fireworks that might have been mutes overall impact of the piece, but sufficient pleasures remain. Fonda, a […]

  • Turkish Cinema: The New Generation -

    Turkish Cinema: The New Generation - Su Baloglu, Producer ‘The Island’

    Without question, these are major, meaty roles for Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda, and there could have been little doubt that the two would work superbly together. Fact that Ernest Thompson’s 1978 play backs away from the dramatic fireworks that might have been mutes overall impact of the piece, but sufficient pleasures remain. Fonda, a […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content