Theatre: On Golden Pond
"Listen to me, mister. You're my knight in shining armor. Don't forget it. You're going to get back on that horse and I'm going to be right behind you, holding on tight and away we're going to go, go, go!"A 1979 play by Ernest Thompson, On Golden Pond is best remembered for its 1981 film version directed by Mark Rydell. It starred Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn, both of whom won Oscars for their work (his first and her fourth), along with Jane Fonda. Thompson also won an Oscar for adapting his play for the screen.Norman Thayer Jr. and his wife Ethel head off to their lake-house on Golden Pond for the summer. They're visited this year by their estranged daughter, Chelsea, who brings with her her new boyfriend Bill and his son Billy. The two leave Billy with Norman and Ethel for a few weeks as they go to Europe, a situation Billy resents. Over time, however, Billy's influence softens Norman's grumpy heart, which may help heal the rift between him and his own daughter.
This work features examples of:
- Cool Old Lady: Ethel Thayer
- Grumpy Old Man: Norman Thayer, Jr.
- Happy Birthday to You: The other characters sing it for Norman's birthday.
- Hollywood New England: The original play is set in Maine. The film version takes place in New Hampshire and was shot on Squam Lake.
- Intergenerational Friendship: Billy and Norman.
- Real-Life Relative: Henry Fonda and Jane Fonda as Norman and Chelsea in the film version. It was their only joint screen appearance.
- "Well Done, Daughter" Guy: Much of Chelsea's alienation from her father stems from his having withheld his approval from her growing up.