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On Golden Pond (Special Edition)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Katharine Hepburn, Henry Fonda, Jane Fonda, Doug McKeon, Dabney Coleman
  • Directors: Mark Rydell
  • Writers: Ernest Thompson
  • Producers: Bruce Gilbert
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Special Edition, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1 EX)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: December 16, 2003
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (416 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000JBALO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,932 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "On Golden Pond (Special Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • "Reflections on Golden Pond" documentary, a tribute to cinematographer Billy Williams
  • Katharine Hepburn Tribute documentary
  • "Loving Against Time" documentary

Editorial Reviews

An old professor and his wife make peace with their daughter in Maine. Directed by Mark Rydell. Oscars for actor Fonda, actress Hepburn.

Customer Reviews

Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda are lovely!
James Pierce
I can watch this movie over and over and never get bored with it.
C. Denise Swander
It's a movie you can watch again and again and enjoy every time.
Daniel E Martinez

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Candace Scott on August 26, 2000
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
I've seen On Golden Pond at least thirty times since its release and never get tired of it. Henry Fonda is brilliant as the crabby Norman Thayer and he shines in his last screen performance. His interplay with Katharine Hepburn reminds one of the rare chemistry she enjoyed with Spencer Tracy in all the magical movies they made together. Everything Fonda says in this movie is real and believable, you'll never catch him overacting or playing one false note. It would be difficult to imagine anyone else in this role.
Fonda's scenes with daughter Jane are particularly moving considering their strained real life relationship. Their last embrace at the conclusion of the film will tug at your heart strings. It's a poignant and wistful look at growing old and facing death, two unpleasant but unavoidable subjects. Fonda and Hepburn are literally perfect in this film, which is also enhanced by a beautiful, haunting soundtrack. This is a film you can watch again and again and never weary of it.
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Movie Mania VINE VOICE on January 15, 2006
Format: DVD
On Golden Pond was Henry Fonda's last film, Katherine Hepburn's final starring film role and the only film with Henry and Jane Fonda. Just for this it's a must have DVD. Add to this Ernest Thompson's brilliant adaptation of his Broadway smash.

Norman and Ethel Thayer (Hank and Kate) are at the end of their lives (Great line: Ethel: "I met this nice middle age couple just like us." Norman: "Ethel we're not middle aged. Middle aged refers to the middle third of your life. You're old, I'm ancient."). They are spending their summer at their cabin. When their daughter Chelsea (Jane Fonda) arrives for a visit with her new boyfriend (Dabney Coleman), she springs a surprise on them. She wants Norman and Ethel to take care of Bill, jr. while she and Bill, sr. go to Europe.

At first, things don't go well but Norman bonds with Billy and Billy gives Norman a new focus on life. When Chelsea returns, it's time for her and Norman to mend fences.

This is a fine film that examines relationships at the end of life and mending the broken fences. Many say that Fonda won the Oscar for "Lifetime Achievement" but this is a brilliant performance. Hepburn was a perfect match for Fonda and after six decades, she proved why she is considered the greatest actress of all time. You can tell that this was a film of love for Jane as she absorbs every line and every scene.

This is one of the great films of the 80's.


Reflections on Golden Pond - A 30 minute feature on the making of the film and principally on cinematographer Billy Williams. A very good documentary.

Katherine Hepburn Remembered - A 16 minute tribute to the great actress made shortly after her death for this DVD release.

Commentary Tract by Oscar winner Ernest Thompson

Archival Commentary Tract by Director Mark Rydell
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Barron Laycock HALL OF FAME on September 17, 2002
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I remember with fondness having been booked into a seat next to one of Jane Fonda's production assistants flying back to Boston from Los Angeles early in the 1980s. This was how I learned of the film shooting going on that summer up in rural New Hampshire at Great Squam Lake (the actual setting for the mythical Golden Pond). I really enjoyed having an animated conversation with the young lady, who was obviously very bright and very knowledgeable about various aspects of the movie production, and made sure I was in line to see the new film when it within the following year. Evidently it was rushed through both production and release due to Henry Fonda's failing health and the desire to try to set him up for would certainly be his final attempt to receive the Academy Award that had so long eluded him. After seeing the movie, there was doubt he deserved the award he eventually received for this role of a lifetime.
It was indeed a bravura performance, one that is as quintessentially American as apple pie or the fourth of July, and one that will long endure as both a popular and critical favorite. Fonda played Norman Thayer, last of the great American curmudgeons, to perfection, and did so with such convincing energy and verve as to remove any and all doubt he knew from personal experience of what he spoke. Moreover, Everything about the production is first rate, from the splendid adaptation of the Broadway play to a screenplay to the wonderfully bucolic and even idyllic setting of one of New Hampshire's more scenic and pristine lake areas. The cast is also superb, and I was quite surprised that Katharine Hepburn did not receive an Oscar for her stellar performance as Ethel Thayer, the long suffering but devoted wife to Norman.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 28, 2003
Format: DVD
Our family viewed the original VHS version and purchased same. The film is without a doubt awe inspiring. I was 56 years of age at the time, and Henry Fonda has the look of my father at that age. I received the Special Edition DVD as a Christmas gift. I shall treasure it to the end of my days. The SE edition is far superior in sound and photography to the VHS print. Dave Grusin couldn't have done a better job with the musical score. I didn't know of the existance of Dave Grusin until my children made me aware of his talent.
The casting is brilliant. Even Jane, despite her detractors.
This play/movie is unique. If you can't relate to some part of "On Golden Pond," you are intellectually or emotionally bankrupt.
If this movie is part of your collection, the DVD SE edition is a must.
Some of the lines have become part of our family lexicon. i.e. "It's me you old poop." "You made a hell of a mess."
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