On Golden Pond | 1981

Directed by: Mark Rydell

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Main Plot

Norman is a curmudgeon with an estranged relationship with his daughter Chelsea. At Golden Pond, he and his wife nevertheless agree to care for Billy, the son of Chelsea's new boyfriend, and a most unexpected relationship blooms.


  • Katharine Hepburn's character in On Golden Pond plays the supportive wife and caring stepmother to her husband's estranged daughter.
  • Henry Fonda's character in On Golden Pond is the patriarch who connects with his estranged daughter and builds a relationship with his grandson.
  • Jane Fonda's character in On Golden Pond, named Chelsea Thayer, reconciles with her estranged father after years of distance.


In the ending of "On Golden Pond," directed by Mark Rydell, Norman and Ethel Thayer return to their beloved lake house after a summer spent reconnecting with their estranged daughter, Chelsea. As they prepare to leave, Chelsea and her new fiancé, Billy Ray, surprise them with a visit. The family shares a heartfelt reunion, filled with forgiveness and love. Norman, finally embracing his vulnerable side, expresses his deep affection for Chelsea, symbolizing a renewed bond between them. The film concludes with the Thayers bidding farewell to Golden Pond, leaving behind cherished memories and a stronger family connection.

Mark Rydell