IMDb > The Big Chill (1983)
The Big Chill
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The Big Chill (1983) More at IMDbPro »

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

Overview

User Rating:
7.2/10   21,018 votes »
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Down 26% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Lawrence Kasdan (written by) &
Barbara Benedek (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Big Chill on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
28 September 1983 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The story of eight old friends searching for something they lost, and finding that all they needed was each other. See more »
Plot:
A group of seven former college friends gather for a weekend reunion at a posh South Carolina winter house after the funeral of one of their friends. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Hippies Turned Yuppies See more (160 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Tom Berenger ... Sam Weber

Glenn Close ... Sarah Cooper

Jeff Goldblum ... Michael Gold

William Hurt ... Nick Carlton

Kevin Kline ... Harold Cooper

Mary Kay Place ... Meg Jones

Meg Tilly ... Chloe

JoBeth Williams ... Karen Bowens
Don Galloway ... Richard Bowens
James Gillis ... Minister
Ken Place ... Peter the Cop

Jon Kasdan ... Harold and Sarah's Son
Ira Stiltner ... Running Dog Driver

Jake Kasdan ... Autograph Seeker (as Jacob Kasdan)
Muriel Moore ... Alex's Mother
Meg Kasdan ... Airline Hostess

Patricia Gaul ... Annie
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Kevin Costner ... Alex (scenes deleted)
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Directed by
Lawrence Kasdan 
 
Writing credits
Lawrence Kasdan (written by) &
Barbara Benedek (written by)

Produced by
Lawrence Kasdan .... executive producer
Marcia Nasatir .... executive producer
Barrie M. Osborne .... associate producer (as Barrie Osborne)
Michael Shamberg .... producer
 
Cinematography by
John Bailey 
 
Film Editing by
Carol Littleton 
 
Casting by
Wallis Nicita  (as Wally Nicita)
 
Production Design by
Ida Random 
 
Set Decoration by
George Gaines 
 
Costume Design by
April Ferry 
 
Makeup Department
Michael Germain .... makeup artist
Lyndell Quiyou .... hair stylist
Mickey Scott .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Barrie M. Osborne .... unit production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Stephen P. Dunn .... second assistant director (as Stephen Dunn)
Michael Grillo .... first assistant director
Daniel J. Heffner .... second assistant director (as Dan Heffner)
 
Art Department
Donald R. Abblett .... production painter (as Donald Ablett)
Michael Casey .... assistant property master
Tim Donelan .... set dresser
Mike Higelmire .... set dresser (as Michael Higelmire)
Gary Kudroff .... set dresser
Michael Muscarella .... construction coordinator
Rick Young .... property master
Lewis Bowen .... painter (uncredited)
David Goldstein .... painter (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Raul A. Bruce .... boom operator (as Raul Bruce)
Gene S. Cantamessa .... production sound mixer
Dennis Drummond .... sound editor
Patrick Drummond .... sound editor
Robert Grieve .... sound editor
Rick Kline .... sound re-recording mixer
Donald O. Mitchell .... sound re-recording mixer
Kevin O'Connell .... sound re-recording mixer
Norman B. Schwartz .... post-production dialogue
Michael Tomack .... sound editor
Dody Dorn .... assistant sound editor (uncredited)
Stephen Purvis .... adr post-production (uncredited)
Donald C. Rogers .... technical director of sound (uncredited)
Philip Rogers .... sound recordist (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Lawrence J. Cavanaugh .... special effects supervisor (as Larry Cavanaugh)
 
Stunts
James Winburn .... stunt coordinator (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Lou Barlia .... camera operator
Michael W. Blymyer .... best boy (as Michael Blymyer)
Bobby Brown .... assistant camera (as Robert Brown)
Jack Brown .... assistant camera
Michael Ginsburg .... still photographer
Al LaVerde .... key grip
Ronald W. McLeish .... gaffer (as Ron McLeish)
George R. Schrader .... dolly grip (as George Schrader)
Ty Suehiro .... second grip
Jeffrey W. Petersen .... electrician (uncredited)
Riko Schatke .... grip (uncredited)
Ronald Vidor .... camera operator (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Sandra Dawes .... extras casting
Deborah Lucchesi .... casting coordinator
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
April Ferry .... costume supervisor
Michele Neely .... costumer
Mort Schwartz .... costumer
 
Editorial Department
Bruce Cannon .... assistant editor
Mia Goldman .... assistant editor
Bruce Pearson .... color timer (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Meg Kasdan .... music consultant
Mike Deasy .... musician (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
John Reade .... transportation coordinator
Roy A. Grace .... driver (uncredited)
Graham Ready .... transportation (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Pamela Alch .... script supervisor
Jenny Collins .... production assistant
Nan R. Eisley .... assistant: Mr. Kasdan
Wayne Fitzgerald .... title designer
Michael Hill .... production accountant
Mark Indig .... location manager: South Carolina
Larry Kaplan .... unit publicist
Stratton Leopold .... location manager: Atlanta
Scott Musgrave .... production assistant
Elise Rohden .... production coordinator
Gerald Scaife .... production assistant
Emily T. Warwick .... assistant: Mr. Shamberg
Michael McCulley .... production assistant (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
105 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The main cast members lived together for a few weeks before filming began. The night before filming began they all stayed in character.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: Karen's hair on the dock with Sam.See more »
Quotes:
Nick:Wise up, folks. We're all alone out there and tomorrow we're going out there again.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in RED 2 (2013)See more »
Soundtrack:
IN THE MIDNIGHT HOURSee more »

FAQ

How does it end?
See more »
4 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
Hippies Turned Yuppies, 5 March 2010
Author: James Hitchcock from Tunbridge Wells, England

When I was a student at Cambridge in the early eighties, shortly before "The Big Chill" came out, a friend of mine had a poster on his wall entitled "Woodstock Tenth Anniversary Reunion". (The actual anniversary had taken place in August 1979, not long before we went up). The joke was that those attending the reunion were all middle-class professional types, smartly dressed in lounge suits with well-trimmed short hair. This poster exemplified the way in which my generation saw the baby boomers, twentysomething hippies turned thirtysomething yuppies. Those who still retained their hippie idealism were mercilessly derided as being at least ten years behind the times. (And derided not only by Cambridge students but also by the likes of B. A. Robertson, in his satirical song "Kool in the Kaftan").

"The Big Chill" takes a rather more charitable look at the problems facing those idealists from the 1960s who tried to retain their idealism during the conservative Reagan years of the early 1980s. It features a group of old college friends from the University of Michigan who are reunited after fifteen years. The event which reunites them is the death of Alex, one of the group, who committed suicide while staying at the home of his friends Harold and Sarah. An impromptu reunion occurs as the old friends gather for Alex's funeral.

The precise reasons why Alex killed himself are not spelled out- he did not leave a suicide note- but as the movie progresses we realise that he had become disillusioned with the course his life had taken. (He was a brilliant scientist, but had dropped out of the academic life to become a social worker). His friends also come to realise this, and the realisation prompts them to consider the paths their own lives have taken. Most of the group were involved in the counterculture of the 1960s and the peace movement or other forms of radical politics, but most are now living much more conservative, middle-class lifestyles. Harold is a business executive and his wife Sarah a doctor; they live in an elegant antebellum home in the South. Sam, a one-time radical, has now become a Hollywood actor closely based upon Tom Selleck, down to the moustache. (While watching the film I assumed that Selleck himself was playing the part; it was only when I saw the cast-list that I realised it was actually Tom Berenger). Karen is also now living an affluent lifestyle but is feeling dissatisfied with her husband Richard (who was not one of the college group). Michael, once a radical journalist, now works for the apolitical, celebrity-obsessed "People Magazine". Nick, a Vietnam War veteran, has now become a drug dealer. Apart from their friend's suicide, the question which haunts the group is what became of their youthful idealism?

Contrary to what one might have expected, the film does not take a straightforward "radicalism good, conservatism bad" line. A key scene comes when Nick nearly gets himself arrested by badmouthing the local policeman. Harold, a personal friend of the officer, manages to smooth things out, but then berates Nick for his rudeness and stupidity. To Nick, who still subscribes to the sixties idea that all cops are "pigs" , this may seem like a sellout to the enemy, but I suspect that most of the audience will side with Harold who realises that some of his contemporaries have difficulty in distinguishing between idealism and childishness.

"The Big Chill" has something in common with another movie from the early eighties, Barry Levinson's "Diner" from 1981, which also deals with a reunion of a group of former classmates, although that film is a period piece set in 1959 and the characters are rather younger, being in their twenties rather than their thirties. What the two films have in common is that both are excellent examples of ensemble acting.

This was the second film of its director Lawrence Kasdan (his first was the very different neo-noir thriller "Body Heat") and it starred a number of actors, such as William Hurt and Kevin Kline, who were to become regulars in Kasdan's movies. , (Kevin Costner, originally cast as Alex, was edited out of the final version, but also went on to become a Kasdan regular). There are too may good performances to list them all, but special mentions must go to Kline as Harold, Glenn Close as Sarah and Meg Tilly as Alex's strange, unworldly younger girlfriend Chloe.

One question much discussed on this board is whether the film is "dated". Leaving aside trivial questions of fashion (even in the eighties Tom Berenger's hairstyle must have looked very seventies), I think that it is "dated", but only in the narrow, limited sense that it deals with cultural phenomena such as the sixties counterculture which were very much of their own era. In a wider sense it is not dated because it deals with timeless issues such as love, friendship and the challenge of staying true to one's youthful ideals in later life. (Another eighties film on this theme, although in my view a less successful one, is Fred Schepisi's "Plenty").

I felt that the film was occasionally slow-moving, with too great an emphasis on talk over action. I also wondered whether it might not have been improved by keeping Costner's scenes to allow us to see what sort of a person Alex was and why his death had such a traumatic impact on his friends. Overall, however, I felt that it was a very watchable film, and often a moving one- one that could be watched for pleasure not only by those who are too young to remember the sixties but even those who are too young to remember the eighties. 7/10

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Is it generational? mscalici
Worst Movie ever? art_vandelay3-1
What's the title refer to? nrho-243-714395
Kevin Costner Jphilip
What is movie/tv show Nick is watching 'I think the guy in the hat did s eahazell42-1
TOTALLY UN-AMERICAN bettyanngandy
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