Hit film of 1978 "On Golden Pond" centered on an older couple and their grown daughter. Annually the couple--and Wisconsin's state bird--returned to Golden Pond.
Norman Sayers, a curmudgeonly professor who was growing forgetful, was played by Henry Fonda. Wife Ethel was played by Katherine Hepburn. Their estranged daughter Chelsea was played by Henry Fonda's adopted daughter Jane Fonda. Actor Dabney Colman had a bit part as Chelsea's fiancé Bill Ray, and Doug McKeon rounds out the cast as Bill's son.
Of films made that year, only "Raiders of the Lost Ark" took in more money at United States movie theaters. "On Golden Pond" premiered in December, playing at five theaters initially, and went into wide release after Christmas. The movie enjoyed nine straight weekends as box office champ.
Film critic Roger Ebert savaged the movie in his review.
All together, the film received eight Oscar nominations. For her part, Hepburn won her third Best Actress award. When he won at age 80, Henry Fonda was the oldest person to receive the Academy Award for Best Actor.
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