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On Golden Pond

One of the eighties best stage to film adaptions, 1981's ON GOLDEN POND still holds up pretty well thanks to a fantastic cast.

Katherine Hepburn and Henry Fonda are Ethel and Norman Thayer Jr, long retired and reaching an age where Norman's memory is beginning to fail and their annual trips to their summer home may be growing few in number.

Henry Fonda is excellent as Norman, all ornery and impatient fire on the outside as he wrestles with the realization that his memory is fading.

Hepburn is every bit his equal, conveying real love and concern, along with plenty of spunk and humor.

When their daughter Chelsea comes to visit, the strain between father and daughter is tangible.

Many stories about the making of the film emerged that Henry Fonda and his daughter Jane Fonda (in a great performance as Chelsea) worked through some serious personal issues in their film roles.

The emotions and tension between them is palpable.

When Chelsea and her fiance Bill (Dabney Coleman) decide to leave his son Billy (Doug McKeon) with the older couple for a month while they travel abroad, Norman, Ethel and Billy are left to explore their new family dynamic.

Playwright Ernest Thompson adapted his own play for the screen and the stunning outdoor settings really open the play up.

Jazz artist Dave Grusin provides a beautiful music score and Director Mark Rydell (The Rose, For the Boys, The Cowboys) brings a nice touch.

At the end of the day, you get to spend a couple hours in the company of a couple screen legends playing at the top of their game.

Hepburn and both Fondas are superb.

Enjoyable, old fashioned and moving, On Golden Pond gets a B.

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