The Top 100 Inspirational Movies: 100 - 81
83 - On Golden Pond
Wild loons have returned to Golden Pond and so have retired professor Norman Thayer (Henry Fonda) and his wife of half a century, Ethel (Katherine Hepburn). They are retreating to their summer cottage just as they have since early in their marriage.
However, this year, their daughter Chelsea (Jane Fonda) – whom they haven't seen for years – feels she must be there for Norman's birthday. She and her fiance are on their way to Europe the next day, but will be back in a couple of weeks – will it be OK if they drop off the fiance's 13-year-old son, Billy?
What follows is a gentle war of the wills as Norman teaches the resentful boy how to fish on Golden Pond – and to enjoy life. When she returns, Chelsea is married and her stepson has the relationship with her father that she always wanted. Will father and daughter be able to communicate at last? And is there a subtext here – considering that in real life Henry and Jane are really father and daughter?
Henry Fonda won his only Oscar for this role – and On Golden Pond it is fun to watch if for no other reason to watch him and Hepburn, 50-year veterans of the silver screen, just enjoying working together.
~ Rob Kerby