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The Big Chill (1983)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  30 September 1983 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 24,288 users   Metascore: 62/100
Reviews: 174 user | 61 critic | 11 from

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.


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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


In a cold world, you need your friends to keep you warm. 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?


The film cast includes three Oscar winners: William Hurt, Kevin Kline and Kevin Costner - though the latter was deleted from the movie ; and six Oscar nominees: Tom Berenger, Glenn Close, Jeff Goldblum, Meg Tilly, Meg Kasdan and JoBeth Williams. See more »


Karen's hair on the dock with Sam. 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 »


Features It Came from Beneath the Sea (1955) See more »


"Gimme Some Lovin'
Written by Steve Winwood
Performed by Spencer Davis Group
Courtesy of UK Single Label
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Nostalgic, elegantly handled and brilliantly done feel-good drama.
24 May 2003 | by (Dungarvan, Ireland) – See all my reviews

"The Big Chill" is often regarded as the best Hollywood movie to demonstrate ensemble acting. A problem that can affect similar films is the unequal division of time that each character receives, but "The Big Chill" avoids this problem. It certainly is a moving cinematic experience that isn't easily forgotten. OK it doesn't really lead anywhere, but as it goes on, the nostalgic charm sets in and the core isn't hollow.

Terrific performances from the ensemble cast who work well as a group. It's ironic how Kevin Costner had the most successful career yet if you blink you'll miss him. Some of the careers of the talented cast bloomed after this- Kevin Kline won an Oscar for "A Fish Called Wanda", Glenn Close got 5 nominations (this film included) and got a status in Hollywood, Jeff Goldblum got success in the likes of "Jurassic Park" and "Independence Day". Others didn't- Meg Tilly sort of disappeared, JoBeth Williams went on to flops such as Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot, Mary Kay Place had small parts in Girl Interupted and Being John Malkovich but went by un-noticed.

"The Big Chill" is a complex and often brilliant story of the need for companionship. The soundtrack greatly adds to the nostalgic and uplifting feel to the movie. Great performances, splendid direction and an engaging script make this a deserved (if not slightly dated) classic. My IMDb rating: 8.0/10.

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