Down 37 this week

The Big Chill (1983)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  30 September 1983 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 24,485 users   Metascore: 62/100
Reviews: 174 user | 61 critic | 11 from Metacritic.com

A group of seven former college friends gather for a weekend reunion at a South Carolina winter house after the funeral of one of their friends.


Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Video

Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Body Heat (1981)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In the midst of a searing Florida heat wave, a woman convinces her lover, a small-town lawyer, to murder her rich husband.

Director: Lawrence Kasdan
Stars: William Hurt, Kathleen Turner, Richard Crenna
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An emotionally distant writer of travel guides must carry on with his life after his son is killed and his marriage crumbles.

Director: Lawrence Kasdan
Stars: William Hurt, Kathleen Turner, Geena Davis
Grand Canyon (1991)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Grand Canyon revolved around six residents from different backgrounds whose lives intertwine in modern-day Los Angeles. At the center of the film is the unlikely friendship of two men from ... See full summary »

Director: Lawrence Kasdan
Stars: Danny Glover, Kevin Kline, Steve Martin
Silverado (1985)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A misfit bunch of friends come together to right the injustices which exist in a small town.

Director: Lawrence Kasdan
Stars: Kevin Kline, Scott Glenn, Kevin Costner
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Take two rival TV reporters: one handsome, one talented, both male. Add one producer, female. Mix well and watch the sparks fly.

Director: James L. Brooks
Stars: William Hurt, Albert Brooks, Holly Hunter
Diner (1982)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A group of college-age buddies struggle with their imminent passage into adulthood in 1959 Baltimore.

Director: Barry Levinson
Stars: Steve Guttenberg, Mickey Rourke, Kevin Bacon
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Follows hard-to-please Aurora looking for love and her daughter's family problems.

Director: James L. Brooks
Stars: Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger, Jack Nicholson
Bull Durham (1988)
Comedy | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A fan who has an affair with one minor-league baseball player each season meets an up-and-coming pitcher and the experienced catcher assigned to him.

Director: Ron Shelton
Stars: Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

James is a new speech teacher at a school for the deaf. He falls for Sarah, a pupil who decided to stay on at the school rather than venture into the big bad world. She shuns him at first, ... See full summary »

Director: Randa Haines
Stars: William Hurt, Marlee Matlin, Piper Laurie
No Way Out (1987)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A coverup and witchhunt occur after a politician accidentally kills his mistress.

Director: Roger Donaldson
Stars: Kevin Costner, Gene Hackman, Sean Young
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A professional hit man and hit woman fall in love.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Kathleen Turner, Robert Loggia
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Joey owns a pizza parlor, and is married to Rosalee, and is a major womanizer. Rosalee goes to extremes when she finds he has been cheating.

Director: Lawrence Kasdan
Stars: Kevin Kline, Tracey Ullman, William Hurt


Cast overview, first billed only:
Don Galloway ...
Richard Bowens
James Gillis ...
Ken Place ...
Peter the Cop
Harold and Sarah's Son
Ira Stiltner ...
Running Dog Driver
Autograph Seeker (as Jacob Kasdan)
Muriel Moore ...
Alex's Mother


A seminal Thirty-Something movie in which a group of old college friends who are now all grown up and hardened by the big wide world come together for the funeral of Alex, a barely glimpsed corpse, who was at one time the brightest and the best of them, and yet who never managed to achieve half as much as any of the others. The friends use the occasion to reacquaint themselves with each other and to speculate as to what happened to their idealism which had been abundant when they were younger. Written by Mark Thompson <mrt@oasis.icl.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


How much love, sex, fun and friendship can a person take? See more »


Comedy | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

30 September 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Reencuentro  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$56,968 (USA) (6 November 1998)


$56,400,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When shooting was complete and the film moved into the post-production phase, editor Carol Littleton was faced with some challenges. Littleton, who had previously edited Body Heat (1981) and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), found this to be a different kind of film. Not only did the vast majority of the action take place in one location, but the focus was on characters and dialogue rather than traditional story action. "It was really all about nuance and tone," said Littleton in a 2011 interview, "and constantly weighing the dramatic value. Looking for the small moments, the little remarks, that made the story." See more »


The position of Harold's and Sarah's left arms after she and Harold talk to Nick on the front steps after the wake. See more »


Richard: [talking to Karen about her former friends] I can't believe these are the same people you've been talking about all these years.
See more »


Spoofed in Stella Shorts 1998-2002 (2002) See more »


The Tracks of My Tears
Written by Warren Moore, Smokey Robinson (as William Robinson Jr.), and Marvin Tarplin
Performed by The Miracles
Courtesy of Motown Records and Jobete Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The perfect soundtrack, the perfect cast, the perfect script...a wonderful movie.
8 May 2005 | by See all my reviews

As a member of Gen-X having just revisited this movie after several years, I have to say that the soundtrack took me down "memory lane" in a big way, and may be one of the best things about The Big Chill. My generation's experience with this music is very different than that of my parents', having been force-fed Three Dog Night, The Band, and all the rest as a young child. It remains a part of my psyche, buried deep in the most obscure and remote of my memories. It was fantastic to hear those songs again, in spite of how much my taste in music has changed over the years. A classic is a classic, and the soundtrack is LOADED with them. Music can make or break a movie, and in The Big Chill, the music is an integral part of the film, as important as the cast, the writing and the directing. Its hard to imagine different music, just as it's hard to imagine a different cast. The songs weave in and out of the movie as easily and naturally as the subplots weave in and out of the story.

22 years after being dragged to this movie by my parents (who LOVED it), I remain pleasantly surprised at what a good movie it is as a whole, and how much more I liked it as an adult. The acting is brilliant. The writing is excellent. The directing is fantastic. Everything snaps into place in ways that keep you from getting bored, irritated, or otherwise turned off. Sometimes melodramatic, sometimes hilarious, the characters are well-constructed by the writer(s) and beautifully brought to life by the cast. Two hours fly by without dragging, down time, misfires or backfires. The story unfolds in 1983 with a crew of Baby Boomers, college friends brought back together by tragedy, taking stock in their lives as they get reacquainted with each other after many years have passed. The story may be dated, but anyone, no matter their "generation," can find something to relate to in this film. The interpersonal relationships, the individual journeys, and the self-reckoning that comes with the death of a friend... all of us can grasp these concepts and drink them in, get lost in them, feel the pain, and feel the joy. We can relate to it because its themes are timeless... love, loss, sadness, joy, growing up and getting older. This happens to us all.

My only real criticism of this picture would be that once in a while the film was a little too poignant and too depressing for my tastes, but only for brief moments. It could be that no one else who sees this film will agree with me, or even notice. That's fine. Opinions...we all have them. For me, it went a little overboard, just a smidgen. This is the only reason I did not give this movie a 10. It is still a wonderful movie. Some might suggest that this "going overboard" was what made the movie effective. It was effective, very much so, but for me it was a bit too much from time to time. Once in a while, my heart strings need a rest.

However, the music remains the most memorable part of the film. I had to look The Big Chill up on the internet to be reminded of the general story line, but the music has stayed with me all these years, and will remain with me, from the first notes of Joy to the World through the rest of the soundtrack and back. I would watch this movie again, and recommend it to anyone, no matter how cynical they are or what generation they belong to. Its that good.

23 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
why did Alex die? podtron-mn
Did anyone else noticed SoAudreyHepburn
What's the title refer to? kolnoaMograbi
More of an adults film? illgainprosperity
Is it generational? mscalici
Worst Movie ever? art_vandelay3-1
Discuss The Big Chill (1983) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: