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The Big Chill (1983)

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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 3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sam
...
...
...
...
...
Meg
...
...
Don Galloway ...
Richard
James Gillis ...
Minister
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
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

The story of eight old friends searching for something they lost, and finding that all they needed was each other. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 September 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Reencuentro  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$56,400,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Flashback scenes with Kevin Costner as Alex Marshall were filmed but then cut out of the movie. Costner is still visible as the body being dressed at the beginning of the film. See more »

Goofs

As the movie opens an older couple is walking up to the church, but both were clearly standing still arm in arm until they got their [late] cue to walk. See more »

Quotes

Richard: [Richard is having a late-night snack while talking to Sam and Nick] There's some asshole at work you have to kowtow to, and you find yourself doing things you thought you'd never do. But you try and minimize that stuff; be the best person you can be. But you set your priorities. And that's the way life is. I wonder if your friend Alex knew that. One thing's for sure, he couldn't live with it. I know I shouldn't talk; you guys knew him. But the thing is... no one ever said it would be fun. At ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Inside the Actors Studio: Episode #8.5 (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

My Girl
Written by Smokey Robinson (as William Robinson Jr.) and Ronald White
Performed by The Temptations
Courtesy of Motown Records and Jobete Music
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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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