On Golden Pond

Synopsis: The loons are back again on Golden Pond and so are Norman Thayer, a retired professor, and Ethel who have had a summer cottage there since early in their marriage. This summer their daughter Chelsea -- 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 to pick up the fiance's son. 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?
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Mark Rydell
Production: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
  Won 3 Oscars. Another 11 wins & 23 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
109 min


Come here. Come here.


Hurry up!

The loons.

The loons.

They're welcoming us back.

I don't hear a thing.

Just look at this place.

It's a mess, isn't it?

Just take a second.

It'll be all shipshape again.

And warmer.


The phone works!

At least I think it does.


Hello! Hello!

Who the hell is that?

Who the hell's

in this picture here?

Who the hell is this?

Hello! Who's this?

The operator?

What do you want?

Well, you called.

Must want somethin'.

Oh, wait a minute.

I did call you, but you never answered.

Well, how are ya?

Well, how nice.

Listen, this is Norman Thayer, Jr.,

over on Golden Pond.

I have somethin' I want you to do.

Call me up. Can ya do that?

Yeah, I want to check my phone,

see if it still rings.

Haven't rung all winter.

It may have lost its "whatsee."

You got my number?

I have no idea.

It's got a nine in it, is all I know.

It's in the book.

You must have a book.

Norman Thayer, Jr.

Let's give her a try, shall we?

Who the hell is that?

- Someone's at the door.

- It's me, you old poop!

Well, look at you.

Yeah, look at me?

Quite a sight, aren't I?

Oh, Norman! It's so beautiful.

Everything's just waking up.

Little, tiny birds.

Little, tiny leaves.

I saw a patch of little, tiny flowers

over by the old cellar hole.

I forget what they're called.

Little, tiny, yellow things.

Well, want to help me

with the dustcovers?

- I don't have anything else to do.

- Come on.

What were you doin'

out in the woods?

Norman, what do you think I was doing?

I was getting wood.

Hey, I met

the nicest couple.

- Yeah? Where?

- In the woods.

- Couple of people?

- No, a couple of antelope.

Of course

a couple of people.

Their name is Migliori, I believe.


What sort of a name is that?

I don't know, darling. Italian, I suppose.

They're up from Boston.

- They speak English?

- Well, of course they speak English.

They're a nice middle-aged

couple, just like us.

If they're just like us,

they're not middle-aged.

- Of course they are.

- Middle-aged means the middle, Ethel.

Middle of life.

People don't live to be 150!

Well, we're at the far edge

of middle age. That's all.

We're not, you know. We're not middle-aged.

You're old, and I'm ancient.

Oh, pooh!

- You're in your 70s, and I'm in my 60s.

- Just barely on both counts.

Would you like to spend the rest

of the afternoon quibbling about this?

- We can, if you like.

- Oh, for the Lord's sake.

The Miglioris, whatever their age group,

have invited us to have dinner sometime.

Wouldn't that be nice?

I don't know. I'm not sure my stomach's

ready for rigatoni, that sort of thing.

Oh, no! Poor Elmer!

He's had a terrible fall.

Poor little Elmer.

The life you've led.

He was my first true love,

you know.

Known all along

I wasn't the first in line.

No, you were a rather

cheap substitute for Elmer.

- And now he's had a fall.

- Maybe he wanted to kill himself.

Maybe he wanted to be cremated.

Probably got cancer or termites or something.

- Shut up, Norman!

- Not a bad way to go, huh?

Quick front flip off the mantle,

end up in the fire. Nothin' to it.

- Norman, will you shut up?

- When my number's up, do that for me.

Prop me up on the mantle,

point out which way is down.

Might even try for a full gainer

with a half twist.

Norman Thayer, Jr., your fascination with dying

is beginning to frazzle my good humor.

Not fascination.

Just crosses my mind now and then.

Every five minutes. Don't you have

anything else to think about?

Nothing quite

as interesting.

Well, what's stopping you? Why don't

you take your dive and get it over with?

And leave you alone with Elmer?

You must be mad!

Oh, for pity's sake.

Come on and help me get

the canoe off the porch.

- Norman, are you paddling?

- Of course I'm paddling.

Then you're not steering.

You want me to take the stern?

I most certainly do not.

- Norman!

- God, what is it?

Look! Look! Oh, look,

I've spotted the loons!

Oh! Oh, they're so lovely.

Here. Here.


- Can you see them?

- No.

- Oh.

- Oh! Oh, my goodness. There they are.

- Oh, they're so beautiful.

- Yeah, they're huge.

I never saw such big loons

in my life.

Those are boats, you poop.

Come in closer.

A husband and wife.

I think they're

looking at us.

Yeah, they are.

What the hell's

the matter with them?

Hey, buzz off!

- Buzz off!

- Ethel, what are you doing?

- What do you mean?

- Don't do that.

- Why not? You did it.

- Never mind. I'll explain later.

Five, six, seven, eight,

nine, ten, eleven.

How about that?

Right on your man.

- Where were you?

- Where was I?

- Oh, come off it. Don't give me that.

- Five...

Six, seven,

eight, nine, ten...

- Damn!

- Eleven. Yes.

Good night, sweet prince.

Five, 10, 15 and 20.

Well, Mother!

You want to stay here and watch

the boat while I run into the store?

I think I'm qualified

to watch the boat.

- Come with me, if you want to.

- No, thank you very much.

- Okay. Hello, Sumner.

- Good morning, Mrs. Thayer.

- Will you fill her up, please? Norman will help you.

- Sure.

That'll be $38,

please, Mr. Thayer.

Good God. You know how much gasoline

cost when I was your age?

Twelve cents a gallon.

Is that a fact?

I didn't even know they had gas back then.

What are ya,

a couple of nitwits?

Think it's funny being old?

My whole goddamn body's

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Ernest Thompson

Ernest Thompson (born Richard Ernest Thompson; November 6, 1949) is an American writer, actor, and director. He won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for On Golden Pond an adaption of his own play of the same name. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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