On Golden Pond - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

On Golden Pond Reviews

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October 4, 2017
as you get older, movies like this feel more important and realistic. Lovely natural acting by the cast; the 2 legends (Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda) are perfect in all their wonderful scenes...
August 24, 2017
Dabney Coleman's finest work since he tried to jam that dude in Tootsie.
August 2, 2017
Fonda and Hepburn play a great old couple but that's about it.
July 13, 2017
The chemistry of this drama is casual entertainment of simplicity as veteran actors Henry Fonda and Katherine Hepburn very nicely performed in an aging, meaningful relationship. (B+)

(Full review TBD)
March 29, 2017
A trio of golden achievement in acting from Oscar-winning Henry Fonda, Katherine Hepburn and Jane Fonda radiates in this pleasantly balmy Hallmark-esque family drama that reflects upon aging, mortality and reconciliation.
December 16, 2016
I really enjoyed this movie. Loved both Katharine and Henry in the movie. LEGENDS.
August 18, 2016
Mark Rydell's ON GOLDEN POND is heartwarming vision of redemption before death.
August 13, 2016
There is only one way to describe "On Golden Pond"...when you watch it, you know you are seeing something rare, intimate, and valuable. It is the highest caliber of all cinema.
July 21, 2016
On Golden Pond is the story of an older couple who are summering in a cottage and dealing with the realities of old age and eventual death. Henry Fonda plays Norman, the gruff husband who seems to have a sour attitude about everything, and Katharine Hepburn plays his upbeat wife. Everything is disrupted when their daughter (played by Jane Fonda) shows up with her boyfriend and his son. I enjoyed the interaction between grumpy old Norman and the young boy. That progression from frustration to friendship was satisfying. The end of the film tried to accomplish the same thing between Norman and his daughter, but it was so rushed that I didn't buy it. This is a movie that doesn't have a lot of story to tell. It was more about relationships and how time can affect them. I liked the feel of the movie, it was warm and comforting. The bond between Hepburn and Fonda felt genuine, and I could see how these two people would fall in love and stay together for decades. There's really nothing wrong with On Golden Pond, it accomplishes what I think it set out to do reasonably well. It just wasn't trying to do anything all that special or significant. I'd watch it any time, because it seems like comfort viewing that will make you feel good, but I don't know how much I would recommend it to others.
May 31, 2016
A fitting final film for movie greats Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn, "On Golden Pond" is just lovely.
May 28, 2016
Charming and feel-good movie with Hollywood legends on the board.
April 11, 2016
On Golden Pond is typical and often goes into overly maudlin territory, but it is still surprisingly involving and quite charming with a great score, excellent scenery, a great sense of realism, some moving moments and strong performances from Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn.
½ March 1, 2016
While watching my favorite 1981 film you will discover something rare and precious as it explores the passion that arouses between the elderly couple Fonda and Hepburn, accompanied with a majestic score from Dave Grusin.
February 7, 2016
With impressive simplicity Mark Rydell´s On Golden Pond manages to stay true to life and delivers a touching - and surprisingly funny - familiar drama that wanders on themes like aging and family bonds with honesty and sensitivity while boasting tour de force performances from the legendary leads Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda.
November 5, 2015
Sometimes drifts into sentimentality which borders on the cheesy (this feeling is particularly heightened by the score) but is saved by two great performances from Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn with solid performances from the rest of the cast. Leaves you with a feeling of hope and a true joy to watch.
September 17, 2015
On Golden Pond could be watched just for the performances alone, but the movie itself is heartfelt and deals with many issues in a charming and realistic way. Just seeing Henry Fonda and daughter Jane on screen together is beautiful, especially since their real life relationship was similar to the father-daughter relationship their characters had. Not to mention, Katherine Hepburn. A wonderful film.
½ August 15, 2015
Seeing that this was one of the last films for both Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn, I was a little disappointed that this film marked the end of their acting careers. What is disappointing is not their ability in the film - they both won Oscars, rightfully so for Fonda, not so sure for Hepburn's fourth Oscar - but rather the fact that each of them had amazing movies such as 12 Angry Men for Fonda and The African Queen for Hepburn, yet they ended their careers on this simple and cheesy melodrama about aging.

First, let's talk about what is done well - Henry Fonda's great performance as a senior citizen. We get all the humor we can get about an old man through Fonda's performance - he doesn't sound like himself at all, he'll make harsh jokes every now and then based on sexuality or race, he's extremely forgetful. But most of all, from a few key scenes we can clearly see that Thayer is afraid of death hitting him soon, even though this contradicts what he says throughout the movie. It is nearly heartbreaking (but also pretty cheesy) when his daughter confronts him towards the conclusion of the film about never acting as a true friend to her like he has been acting around Billy, who is Chelsea's soon-to-be stepson. It is a great moment to analyze whether their relationship has failed in the past based on gender or simply because Fonda's character was not a good father to Chelsea.

Sadly, Fonda's performance along with that climactic moment about repairing his relationship with Chelsea are the only things of merit/interest for this film in my eyes. The main story is about Chelsea and her new fiance Bill leaving Bill's son, Billy, with Chelsea's parents while they take a trip. What a weird decision to leave a thirteen year old kid alone with two elderly citizens whom he just met and is not even related to. Best parenting ever. While it is a delight to see Billy become friends with Norman, their "journey" is not that exciting at all except for when Norman and Billy become stranded on a rock in the middle of the pond after an accident.

To put it simply, with actors of this particular caliber, their final movie could have been a lot stronger, but instead they starred in a decent melodrama at the end of their careers, not quite reaching the greatness of movies we come to expect from Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn.
July 22, 2015
I liked that this movie chose unique material-aging, which is rare in Hollywood. The film also chose a rather cantankerous, odd main character. That being said I found the movie-despite great performances, rather boring and lacking some much needed excitement. Some day I should only hope to be so lucky to have a beautiful lake house like them- great cinematography. I also should hope to be kinda like hepburns character when I'm old,
July 10, 2015
Life marches on.

Norman and Ethel Thayer are an aging couple in their 80s that take summer vacations on the pond. She spends days cooking and reading and he spends days fishing and complaining. One day their daughter shows up with a new man and her teenage son. She asks the grandparents to watch their grandchild and a fantastic, magical summer unfolds.

"She said she's in love with her dentist."
"What does her boyfriend think of this?"

Mark Rydell, director of The Cowboys, The River, The Rose, For the Boys, The Fox, Even Money, and Harry and Walter go to New York, deliver On Golden Pond. The storyline for this picture is very well written and contains fun and entertaining characters. There are some great messages sprinkled throughout the film and the performances by Henry Fonda and Katherine Hepburn were awesome.

"One of the lesbians expired."

I came across this on Netflix while looking up Henry Fonda pictures and had to add it to my queue. I finally got around to seeing this and I love it. This is a very entertaining picture that reminds me so much of my life in Maine.

"Don't be such an old poop."

Grade: A
½ December 23, 2014
I saw this movie as a kid and obviously didn't appreciate it at the time. However with great movies you remember parts about it that stick with you. The relationship between Fondas character and the young boy were memorable. So much star power in this movie it's just ridiculous. Predictable of course, but with the Performances is doesn't matter at all..
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