ON GOLDEN POND
1981, Universal, 109 min, UK, USA, Dir: Mark Rydell

Writer Ernest Thompson’s adaptation of his 1979 play gave Henry Fonda one of the movies’ greatest swan songs. In his final performance, Fonda plays Norman Thayer, a retiree living on a lake called Golden Pond with his wife, Ethel (Katharine Hepburn). When their only child (played by Fonda’s real-life daughter, Jane) arrives with her fiancé and his son, the Thayers agree to take the boy for a few weeks while the couple get married and honeymoon. As the summer passes, the cantankerous old man slowly bonds with the teenager, something he was never able to do with his daughter. This warm look at love and reconciliation in the face of advancing age won Oscars for Fonda, Hepburn and Thompson and remains one of the most popular films of the 1980s.


CINDERELLA LIBERTY
1973, 20th Century Fox, 117 min, USA, Dir: Mark Rydell

Sailor James Caan finds himself at liberty in Seattle with no money and no assignment thanks to a bureaucratic error. He finds companionship with a prostitute (and skilled pool shark) played by Marsha Mason, and quickly forms a bond with her and her illegitimate son. Superb performances by Caan and Mason form the core of this touching romance, which also features Eli Wallach and Dabney Coleman.


HARRY AND WALTER GO TO NEW YORK
1976, Sony Repertory, 115 min, USA, Dir: Mark Rydell

“All the Digby-Hill-Chestnut gang needs is two breaks… out of jail… into a safe.” Second-rate entertainers James Caan and Elliott Gould try their hand at another line of work - bank robbing - when their vaudeville careers stall. Michael Caine, Diane Keaton and Charles Durning costar in this delightful comic crime caper in the tradition of THE STING. While the film’s budget almost crashed Columbia studios during production, the artistic and financial attention to details of the 19th-century period design pays off in this wildly fun crime comedy.


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