Edit
The Big Chill (1983) Poster

(1983)

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.
Jump to: Cameo (3) | Director Trademark (1)
The main cast members lived together for a few weeks before filming began.
Kevin Kline met future wife Phoebe Cates when she auditioned for the part of Chloe, which eventually went to Meg Tilly.
The main house in the film is in Beaufort in South Carolina, USA. The home is the same antebellum dwelling where The Great Santini (1979) was shot. Director Lawrence Kasdan liked The Great Santini (1979) so much that he decided to shoot this film in the same location.
The characters were based on people Lawrence Kasdan lived with in the Eugene V. Debs co-op in Ann Arbor in Michigan, USA while attending the University of Michigan. "Co-ops" are co-ed housing in which the residents share household duties like cooking. This explains why the characters are so comfortable sharing the house and cooking, and are so attached to the Michigan football game.
Co-screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan wrote the parts of Karen Bowens and Sarah Cooper specifically for JoBeth Williams and Glenn Close respectively. However, both actresses initially wanted to play the role of Meg Jones as they both felt that they better related to that character over the ones chosen by Kasdan.
When Glenn Close walked in for the first reading, Tom Berenger did not recognize her. They had co-starred in a stage production of "The Rose Tattoo" in 1977, but, according to Berenger, she had lost 15-20 pounds, had a shorter hairstyle and thinner face, and he initially did not know her.
The soundtrack of the movie consisted of many 1960s-era rock songs. Because of the success of the soundtrack, dozens of TV commercials used music from the same period.
Before actual shooting was to begin, Lawrence Kasdan wanted the cast to spend some significant time rehearsing together. As they travelled from California to Atlanta, Georgia and ultimately Beaufort, South Carolina, the actors had nearly three weeks of rehearsal time before the cameras rolled--something extremely rare for a film. JoBeth Williams believed it was partly due to the studio not wanting to spend a lot of money on the actual shooting process. More importantly, however, Kasdan wanted to give the cast and crew a chance to work out how they would play their scenes together and get to know each other well enough to achieve the effortless camaraderie that comes with the close long-time friendships depicted in the story. It was a strategy that all of the actors found extremely helpful in making their characters' relationships believable. "It's like playing on a wonderful team," said Kevin Kline at the time, "and it's fun being part of that team. It's a sharing, like sharing a victory when you've won. There's a beautiful exhilaration in team play, which is about as apt a parallel as I can make to this ensemble."
At least twice during the movie we can see an octopus on a television screen in the house. Of course an octopus has eight legs, and there are eight intertwined friends in the film, counting their late friend Alex Marshall, who we barely see, but for an opening shot in a coffin.
After filming the college Thanksgiving flashback scene, the cast and crew moved on to the picturesque town of Beaufort, SC and settled in for the remainder of the shoot. It was during the colder fall off-season for Beaufort, so the usual summer vacationers were absent, leaving a somewhat deserted feel to the area. With Hollywood so far away, and it being a time before cell phones or the Internet, contact with the outside world was limited, leaving the cast and crew to spend most of their time together off-camera as well, which helped in creating a tight communal atmosphere. When they weren't filming, the actors spent their time exploring the area, playing parlour games and having dinner together.
Michael's girlfriend Annie (seen only during the opening titles) is played by Jeff Goldblum's then-wife Patricia Gaul.
For scenes in which director Lawrence Kasdan anticipated using music, he would have the actors deliver their lines in voices much louder than normal. This was done so that when the songs were added to the soundtrack later in post-production the lines would be heard clearly above the music and sound natural.
The name of Harold Cooper (Kevin Kline)'s "Running Dog" shoe-store chain is a play on the 'Mao Tse-tung' phrase, "the running dogs of capitalism".
The first thing actually shot was a key flashback scene in Atlanta that Lawrence Kasdan always intended to be the ending of the film. It was a scene that showed all of the friends, including the deceased Alex, back during their college days making Thanksgiving dinner together. It was intended to depict how all of the friends were back then and finally show Alex as a contrast to everyone's different memories of him.
According to Mary Kay Place, Lawrence Kasdan would often time scenes so that they would move along at a certain clip. It was an effort to keep the scenes from running too long so that Kasdan wouldn't be forced to cut them down later--something he hated having to do.
9 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Writer-director Lawrence Kasdan didn't want all of the songs to necessarily be an obvious commentary on every scene but rather something more subtle. He wanted it "in some oblique way to support the feeling of the movie."
9 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Lawrence Kasdan says the title, "The Big Chill is about a cooling process that takes place for every generation when they move from the outward-directed, more idealistic concerns of their youth to a kind of self-absorption, a self-interest which places their personal desires above those of the society or even an ideal". Further, "the [movie's] title refers to the cold world of adult reality" as stated in the essay by Torene Svitil included with the Criterion Collection's DVD and also available online. Moreover, '10 Things I Learned: The Big Chill' by Curtis Tsui at the Criterion Collection's website states: "What does the film's title mean? Writer-director Lawrence Kasdan explains that The Big Chill refers to the experience of cold adult reality after leaving the 'warm embrace' of true friendship during college.".
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".
8 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
8 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
To make up for cutting him out of the film, Lawrence Kasdan offered Kevin Costner a leading role in his next film, Silverado (1985) which was the part of Jake. According to Yahoo Movies, "a longtime funny Hollywood story tells of the [then] up-and-coming actor having all shots of his face being cut from the final version of the film".
Fans have long clamored to see Kevin Costner's footage for several sequences showing Alex Marshall's life prior to his suicide, but in documentaries and interviews since, Lawrence Kasdan has never shown anything more than still photographs from the location shoot. Kasdan has also refused to do any sort of "director's cut" saying that the version of the film as it has stood since 1983 is his director's cut and will not be augmented.
Once the cast was assembled, the actors entered into a month long rehearsal period with director Lawrence Kasdan in Los Angeles, Atlanta and in Beaufort, South Carolina, where most of the film was shot. This extended and intense rehearsal period gave each performer the opportunity to develop his or her character in the context of the ensemble, especially important in a story that shows a group of friends with a long history of shifting, complicated dynamics.
6 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Of the marathon improvisation period during the rehearsals period, director Lawrence Kasdan said: "It happened kind of spontaneously. We were working at the house and everyone was in costume and we decided it might be great if we all cooked a meal. That way they'd have to split up the tasks and approximate a group of close friends putting together a dinner. I chose to leave at that point and all I said was, 'You should do this in character'. I left and for five hours they remained in character without any authority figure, without any director to tell them if they were behaving or reacting in the correct way according to the writer's or director's ideas. They had to live in those characters' skins and instantly deal with input from each other character. It became a very intense experience and they all came out of it exhausted and drained. I'm not sure it would have developed as fully had I been there during that time. A rehearsal period goes through stages like a life cycle and we had already had three and a half weeks of rehearsal. But that happened at a crucial, crystallizing moment and it turned eight individual actors into an ensemble".
6 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
According to the one hour documentary The Big Chill: A Reunion (1999), a supernatural event apparently occurred during principal photography where a sound technician recorded the sound of a ghost and was allegedly freaked-out by the event. Cast and crew ran to the technicians truck to hear what had been recorded.
9 of 10 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Actor Tom Berenger described this film as being " . . . about that period in life when you're beginning to realize you have limitations, that you will never accomplish certain goals and dreams . . . Suddenly, you know you're not a kid anymore".
5 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Actress Mary Kay Place said of what she thought this film was about: "When you're in college, you think you can do anything, be anything, accomplish anything . . . Then suddenly you reach a point where you're settled into what you're going to be and once you realize it, everything stops. Then the questions begin".
5 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Apparently, star Kevin Kline really wanted the Michael Gold part, which was cast with actor Jeff Goldblum, because the role was much funnier.
5 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Reportedly, Tom Berenger loved the film's American countryside shooting location so much that he later bought a house in Beaufort in the American state of South Carolina.
5 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
After the movie was made and released, actor Tom Berenger loved the film's main shooting location of the "Tidalholm Mansion" so much, that he later got married in its gardens on its lawn.
5 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Director Lawrence Kasdan offered Mickey Rourke a role in the movie but Rourke passed on it.
Wife Meg Kasdan and sons Jon Kasdan & Jake Kasdan of writer-director Lawrence Kasdan all appear briefly in this movie as they would later do again in Kasdan's next picture Silverado (1985). And like Silverado (1985), Meg Kasdan said that the casting of her and her sons in brief appearances in the film was a way to send a postcard to friends and family to show how they were doing.
4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Drawing on their own theatrical experience, many of the actors compared the atmosphere on the set during rehearsal and during filming to that of a workshop, allowing them to be comfortable and creative, and to take risks. They all cited one example of that atmosphere: a marathon improvisation prior to the start of production, during which each of them stayed in character for over five hours, merging their identity with that of the characters in the film.
4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Actor William Hurt played racy, promiscuous lawyer Ned Racine, who bedded at least three women, in director Lawrence Kasdan's previous film Body Heat (1981). In The Big Chill (1983), the subsequent film Hurt made with Kasdan, Hurt plays a character who is impotent.
4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Return of the Secaucus Seven (1979) has been considered a precursor (in theme, story and subject) to the larger-budget popular-soundtrack studio movie The Big Chill (1983) which was made a few years later. The film is often referred to being the inspiration for this movie but director Lawrence Kasdan denies ever having seen it before making The Big Chill (1983). Nonetheless, Return of the Secaucus Seven (1979) is considered the first of the modern wave of "friends reunion" movies and productions, this film being followed by The Big Chill (1983); Peter's Friends (1992); The Decline of the American Empire (1986); Everything Relative (1996); Indian Summer (1993); Grand Canyon (1991); The Myth of Fingerprints (1997); The Men's Club (1986); Beautiful Girls (1996); That Championship Season (1982) and the TV series Thirtysomething (1987). Interestingly, the reunion movies Jonah Who Will Be 25 in the Year 2000 (1976) and September 30, 1955 (1977) predate Return of the Secaucus Seven (1979).
4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The movie was nominated for three Academy Awards in 1984 including Best Picture, Best Writing - Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, and Best Actress in a Supporting Role - Glenn Close, but the film failed to take home an Oscar in any category.
4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
First time Kevin Kline and Jon Kasdan played a father and son. The second time would be in I Love You to Death (1990).
4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The movie was Oscar nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award without its director Lawrence Kasdan being Oscar nominated for Best Director but Kasdan was Oscar nominated for co-writing the film's screenplay with Barbara Benedek in the category of Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen.
4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
This major motion picture produced not one but two soundtrack albums: "The Big Chill Soundtrack" and "The Big Chill - More Songs From The Original Soundtrack".
4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
This picture and the same year's Psycho II (1983) were the breakthrough film roles of actress Meg Tilly.
4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Actress Meg Tilly said of the film's 30th Anniversary Reunion gathering: "It's wonderful, I'm so happy they had the idea to bring us all together to do this. It's such a gift, I get to see everybody again and I haven't seen everybody in so long. To see their happy smiling faces, that was such a blessing, I'm really grateful".
4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Sean Penn was considered for the role of Alex Marshall, which was greatly reduced. In the end, Kevin Costner was cast in the role, then all of his scenes were deleted.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Of the film's acting, script text, rehearsals, performers, and characterizations, director Lawrence Kasdan said: "An actor's work is hard enough. No matter how much preparation, no matter how much background you give them about the text, one way you can really help is by giving them more time to get familiar with the other performers. On a movie about friends you want the actors to have some of the intimacy that long friendships would create. Having a long rehearsal period gave these actors a chance to approximate, in a short, intense time, some of that intimacy".
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Second of four movies that William Hurt and writer-director Lawrence Kasdan have made together. The others are Body Heat (1981), The Accidental Tourist (1988), and I Love You to Death (1990). Hurt has commented on the Body Heat (1981) DVD's documentary that his professional relationship with Kasdan has been the most rewarding of his career.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The earlier film Return of the Secaucus Seven (1979) has oft been mentioned alongside The Big Chill (1983) but Return of the Secaucus Seven (1979)'s writer-director John Sayles has noted that in The Big Chill (1983) the friends characters are more upwardly mobile than in Return of the Secaucus Seven (1979).
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The academic journal article "The long-term effect of a degree on graduate lives" by A Jenkins, L Jones & A Ward and published in the journal 'Studies in Higher Education', Vol 26, No 2, erroneously states that the film Return of the Secaucus Seven (1979) was remade as 'The Big Chill' (p. 148). The Big Chill (1983) is not a remake of Return of the Secaucus Seven (1979) even though the two movies cover similar thematic territory.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
It has been written and said many times that Return of the Secaucus Seven (1979) "inspired" The Big Chill (1983). Apparently, that film's director, Lawrence Kasdan, has said he had not seen Return of the Secaucus Seven (1979).
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
First of six cinema movie collaborations [to date, September 2015] of actor Kevin Kline and director Lawrence Kasdan. The films are Silverado (1985), Grand Canyon (1991), French Kiss (1995), The Big Chill (1983), Darling Companion (2012), and I Love You to Death (1990).
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Co-screenwriter-director Lawrence Kasdan described this movie as follows: "The Big Chill (1983) deals with members of my generation who have discovered that not everything they wanted is possible, that not every ideal they believed in has stayed in the forefront of their intentions. 'The Big Chill' is about a cooling process that takes place for every generation when they move from the outward-directed, more idealistic concerns of their youth to a kind of self-absorption, a self-interest which places their personal desires above those of the society or even an ideal".
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The billing order of the movie's eight lead central characters was alphabetical.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The principal photography production shoot period for this picture ran for fifty-three days.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Glenn Close had wanted to portray the Meg Jones character which was cast with actress Mary Kay Place but Close reiterated that she was not surprised that she was wanted for the maternal motherly character of Sarah Cooper after having recently portrayed a mother in The World According to Garp (1982).
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
A '60s flashback sequence was shot with the seven friends, and the Alex character played by Kevin Costner as well, but according to the 15th Anniversary DVD documentary, the scene did not fit and was not required and as it did not gel with the film. According to The '80s Movies Rewind website, the scenes were cut "because test audiences laughed at the period hair and clothing styles".
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Two movie posters for Lawrence Kasdan's later picture Grand Canyon (1991), which was made and released about eight years later, boasted two taglines that referenced this film: (1) "From the director of 'The Big Chill'. A story of friendship and other natural wonders" and (2) "In the 1980's, director Lawrence Kasdan brought you 'The Big Chill'. Welcome to the 90's". Both pictures featured actor 'Kevin Kline' and both were Oscar nominated for Best Original Screenplay.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The name of the American higher educational institution in the USA that the seven friends had attended during the 1960s was the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. This campus that the characters in the picture attended, Michigan University, was the same tertiary educational institution that director and co-screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan had studied at.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Part of a trilogy of three films by Lawrence Kasdan which examine his "generation". The movies are [in order] The Big Chill (1983), Grand Canyon (1991), and Darling Companion (2012).
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Writer-director Lawrence Kasdan at times played music from the 1960s to the cast whilst shooting the picture to enhance the retro 60s mood and feelings for the casts' performances and characterizations.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The picture in its first week of theatrical release in the USA in 1983 went to the top of the box-office charts stateside ranking at top spot at No. #1.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Meg says that she envisaged herself defending "Huey and Bobby", referring to Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, founders of the Black Panther Party.
4 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Director Lawrence Kasdan and producer Michael Shamberg cast the eight equally important leading roles with some of the most gifted young actors in films today. With the exception of Meg Tilly, all the actors were approximately the same age, and more or less at a similar point in each of their careers.
4 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Debut produced screenplay of screenwriter Barbara Benedek who co-wrote the film's script with director Lawrence Kasdan.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The picture won two significant movie awards: The Toronto International Film Festival People's Choice Award and the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Comedy Written Directly for the Screen.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The film was selected as one of the Top Ten Films of the Year by the USA's National Board of Review in 1983.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The picture was selected to screen as the Opening Night Film at the New York Film Festival in 1983.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The edition of "US" magazine seen twice in the movie featuring Sam Weber (Tom Berenger) on the cover was headlined with the blurb: "SAM WEBER. Cars squeal, hearts throbs, and J.T. Lancer lays down a hot streak".
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
JoBeth Williams wanted to portray the Meg Jones character which was cast with actress Mary Kay Place but later found out that writer-director Lawrence Kasdan had written her character of Karen Bowens with Williams in mind.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
There was a 30th Anniversary Reunion of some of the crew and lead cast of this film in 2013. The Big Chill (1983) is itself a friends reunion movie. In attendance were producer Michael Shamberg, executive producer Marcia Nasatir, co-screenwriter Barbara Benedek, cameo performer & music consultant Meg Kasdan, director, co-scriptwriter & executive producer Lawrence Kasdan, and actors and actresses Tom Berenger, Glenn Close, Kevin Kline, Mary Kay Place, Meg Tilly, and JoBeth Williams. Not present were actors Kevin Costner, William Hurt, and Jeff Goldblum. A 45 minute "Thirteen Anniversary Q&A" was staged and recorded, it being moderated by show-business trade-paper 'Variety' chief film critic Scott Foundas.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Music consultant Meg Kasdan and co-writer/director Lawrence Kasdan are married as are editor Carol Littleton and cinematographer John Bailey.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
According to the film's writer-director Lawrence Kasdan, the American country house setting in South Carolina, where relationships and revelations of the friends are disclosed, was inspired by the French country homestead setting from Jean Renoir's "The Rules of the Game" [The Rules of the Game (1939)].
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Writer-director Lawrence Kasdan wrote the character of Nick Carlton especially for William Hurt whom he had worked previously on Body Heat (1981).
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The real life name of the film's major setting seen in the picture, the gigantic white country house, is the "Tidalholm Mansion". It's actual street address is No. 1 Laurens Street, Beaufort, South Carolina, USA.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The deceased Alex's nick-name for Sam Weber (Tom Berenger) was "Sam the Sham". The name of the producer of The Big Chill (1983) was actually Michael Shamberg.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
In an interview published in the March 1984 of the UK's 'Photoplay' magazine, director and co-writer Lawrence Kasdan said of the movie's music: "The 1960s were an incredibly varied explosion of pop music. For a lot of people in my generation, rock 'n' roll hasn't since equaled that period in terms of richness or emotional impact. The songs really spoke to us, spoke to a lot of our concerns. Harold ['Kevin Kline'], in whose home the picture takes place, won't allow any other music in the house. It's not just background to these people. These songs mean something very real and different to each of the characters. It's a strong reference for them - a sense of memory of that time".
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
In the later movie About Alex (2014), at dinner, Sarah (Aubrey Plaza) mentions that it feels like a big 80s movie around the table. This picture very closely resembles the 1980s movie The Big Chill (1983), where a group of college friends reunite after a funeral of one of their friends, also named Alex. In The Big Chill (1983), the Alex character kills himself prior to the start of the film. In_About Alex (2014)_, the Alex character attempts to commit suicide at the beginning of the movie, but does not die.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
As of 2014, actress Glenn Close has appeared in three films that have been Oscar nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. They are The Big Chill (1983), Fatal Attraction (1987), and Dangerous Liaisons (1988), but none of them have won the prize.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The historic "Tidalholm Mansion", the gigantic white antebellum house in Beaufort, South Carolina in the USA, the homely setting centerpiece to the movie, and arguably also virtually also a character in itself in the picture, went up for sale in 2013, this being the 30th Anniversary Year since The Big Chill (1983) was released. The Italianate-style manse house was built in 1853 on the banks of the Beaufort River and is situated on a 1.5 acre block of land, the house itself measuring .38 acres (or 7381 square feet). The manor includes a two-bedroom guest cottage and has a private dock and jetty with access to the Intracoastal Waterway, positioned to take full advantage of the nearby cooling body of water. The dwelling is three stories high with and has seven bedrooms and eight bathrooms. The home was constructed by 19th Century magnate Edgar Fripp as a refuge from the summer heat of his cotton plantation. It was used by Union troops as a hospital during the Civil War. The Fripp family later reacquired the property in a roundabout fashion. It had been sold at auction to a person who donated it back to the family. It was as a guest house for a short time from the 1930s to the 1970s when it "entertained many artists, authors and statesmen" according to the broker-babble.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Of director Lawrence Kasdan's first two films he directed, both had oppositional temperature-related titles, Body Heat (1981) referenced hotness whilst The Big Chill (1983) referenced coldness.
3 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Lawrence Kasdan directed a unique ensemble of contemporary young actors in "The Big Chill," which he co-wrote with Barbara Benedek, and described as a "comedy of values". The performers chosen for the film's lead roles read like a list of Hollywood's most talented and popular rising stars: Tom Berenger, Glenn Close, Jeff Goldblum, William Hurt, Kevin Kline, Mary Kay Place, Meg Tilly and JoBeth Williams.
4 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Among the books on the bookshelves of Sarah Cooper (Glenn Close) and Harold Cooper (Kevin Kline) was screen legend Lana Turner's autobiography, "Lana: The Lady, the Legend, the Truth" (1982).
5 of 11 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The film cast includes three Oscar (Academy Award) winners: William Hurt, Kevin Kline and Kevin Costner - though the latter actor's scenes were deleted from the movie, and six Academy Award (Oscar) nominees: Tom Berenger, Glenn Close, Jeff Goldblum, Meg Tilly, Meg Kasdan and JoBeth Williams.
2 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Actress Phoebe Cates auditioned for the part of Chloe and actress Valerie Bertinelli was also considered for the role of Chloe. In the end, the Chloe character was cast with actress Meg Tilly.
2 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The name of Harold Cooper (Kevin Kline) shoe business was "Running Dog" Athletic Footwear Centers. Its slogan catch-phrase was "Sole Food for every Sport".
2 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
"The Ladd Company, producers of [writer-director Lawrence Kasdan's earlier] Body Heat (1981), passed on the project as did top executives at Paramount, Universal, MGM, 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros [and Columbia Pictures]. It was Marcia Nasatir, then president of Carson Films, who finally persuaded Columbia chairman Frank Price and president Guy McElwaine to back the project" according to Torene Svitil's essay with the Criterion Collection's DVD. On the 15th Anniversary DVD documentary, Lawrence Kasdan says how every major studio had turned down the project, including Columbia who ended it making it, they just couldn't see it. It was the belief of Nasatir that catalyzed the film to get made at Columbia, though, according to Kasdan, with much resistance, and toing and froing, until they reluctantly agreed to make it.
2 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The picture was parodied in T. Coraghessan Boyle's short story "The Little Chill" (1987) which was first published by the PEN Syndicated Fiction Project in that year.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The white church complex featured during the funeral sequence at the picture's start, and in some of the movie's deleted scenes, is the Sandhill Baptist Church, which is situated at 15480 Pocotaligo Road, west of Varnville, in South Carolina, USA.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Of the film's audio digital restoration, the Criterion Collection DVD liner notes state: "The original monaural soundtrack was remastered at 24-bit from the original 35mm magnetic tracks. For the alternate 5.1 surround presentation, stereo music masters were used in tandem with elements from the 3-track dialogue, music, and effects stems. The full soundtrack was then remastered and remixed at Chace Audio in Burbank, California, under the supervision of Lawrence Kasdan. Clicks, thumps, hiss, and crackle were manually removed using Pro Tools HD, AudioCube's integrated workstation, and iZotope RX 3".
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Windy City (1984) was the first "friends reunion" type movie that got made and released after the critical and commercial success of Lawrence Kasdan's The Big Chill (1983) which had come out the previous year. Director Armyan Bernstein ended up directing his second and final cinema movie [to date, February 2016] Cross My Heart (1987) with Kasdan being the producer on it.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
As of 2014, actor Tom Berenger has appeared in four films that have been Oscar nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. They are Inception (2010), The Big Chill (1983), Born on the Fourth of July (1989) and Platoon (1986), the latter being the only winner of the four nominees.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
In 1984, actress Glenn Close became the third actor to receive a Tony, Emmy, and Oscar (Academy Award) nomination all in the same calendar year for The Real Thing, Something About Amelia (1984), and The Big Chill (1983), respectively.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Lawrence Kasdan has directed two actresses each to Oscar nominations for an acting Academy Award. They are Glenn Close for Best Supporting Actress for The Big Chill (1983) and Geena Davis for Best Supporting Actress for The Accidental Tourist (1988)t, he latter of whom won, but Close lost out to Linda Hunt for Peter Weir's The Year of Living Dangerously (1982).
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Actress JoBeth Williams went on to star in such other later friends reunion movies as Chantilly Lace (1993) and Parallel Lives (1994).
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Despite being nearly totally cut out of the movie, except for shots of his body for the opening funeral casket sequence, this picture is the first of four collaborations of Kevin Costner as an actor and writer-director-producer Lawrence Kasdan. The films are Silverado (1985), Wyatt Earp (1994), The Bodyguard (1992), and The Big Chill (1983).
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
According to Meg Kasdan, the film's music consultant and wife of the movie's director and co-screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, in an interview published in the 30th November 1983 edition of show-business trade paper 'Variety', ". . . the movie is 'indirectly' based on the Kasdan's life together. (They met as students at the U. [University] of Michigan, the alma mater of the picture's subjects.). She said a quasi-autobiographical film containing 'rock songs with emotional impact' was something the Kasdans had 'been talking about for years' . . . the music chosen reflects the couple's tastes in rock oldies. She brusged aside a suggestion that the party-type nature of the music used did not necessarily reflect the once-radical sentiments of the characters brought together in the film".
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Three songs from the movie - "You Can't Always Get What You Want" by The Rolling Stones, "The Weight" by The Band, and "Bad Moon Rising" by Creedence Clearwater Revival could not be cleared for inclusion in the movie's original soundtrack album "The Big Chill Original Motion Picture Soundtrack". The first track by the Stones could only be cleared for inclusion in the movie and not for audio as the rights owner "wouldn't loan the master for any soundtrack" at all whilst the other two tracks were able to be cleared for the picture's second soundtrack album, "The Big Chill. More Songs from the Original Soundtrack". "The Wait" was no included on the first album as a deal could not be agreed upon whilst for "Bad Moon Rising", which is the first track on the second album, the clearance process simply ran out of time. A third album not featuring any songs from the movie is entitled "More Songs from The Big Chill era".
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
One of numerous collaborations of husband and wife cinematographer John Bailey and editor Carol Littleton.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
There were three significant women called "Meg" associated with the movie. Actress Meg Tilly portrayed Chloe; actress Mary Kay Place played a character called Meg Jones; whilst the wife of director Lawrence Kasdan, Meg Kasdan, made a cameo as an airline hostess and was a music consultant for the film.
2 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The name of the television series that Sam Weber (Tom Berenger) starred in was "J.T. Lancer". The wording on his customized Louisiana number plate on his Porsche sports car read "J.T." which were his character's first two initials. In the 1960s, when most of the lead central characters in the movie had been in their youth, there had actually been a TV series called Lancer (1968).
2 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The film's closing credits declare that the picture was "filmed entirely on location in Beaufort, South Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia".
2 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Much has been said how Return of the Secaucus Seven (1979) is a precursor to the Academy Award nominated Best Picture nominee The Big Chill (1983) which examines similar themes. It has not been said as much though how Jonah Who Will Be 25 in the Year 2000 (1976) is also a kind of precursor to Return of the Secaucus Seven (1979) and also examines the same similar themes.
1 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Three of the stars of The Big Chill (1983) also starred in director Lawrence Kasdan's later movie Silverado (1985). They are Kevin Kline, Jeff Goldblum, and Kevin Costner, however the latter's scenes all got deleted in The Big Chill (1983) (except for the coffin shot), so only two of them appeared in the final cut of The Big Chill (1983) (except for the Costner in the coffin shot), but all three appear in Silverado (1985). Actress Patricia Gaul also appeared in both pictures in minor roles.
1 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Actor William Hurt portrays a drug taker in both this movie and director Lawrence Kasdan's later film I Love You to Death (1990).
1 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The second theatrical feature film directed by Lawrence Kasdan.
1 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
One of the phrases that is uttered by the alley urchin in writer-director Lawrence Kasdan's later film Grand Canyon (1991) is "Beaufort, South Carolina" which was the major setting for The Big Chill (1983).
1 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Director and co-writer Lawrence Kasdan, actress Glenn Close, and co-screenwriter Barbara Benedek, all later collaborated on Immediate Family (1989) around six years later . Immediate Family (1989), where Kasdan acted only as a producer and neither as a writer or a director, with Close also performing as an actress, and Benedek being this time the sole screenwriter, was the second and final [to date, March 2016] of each of the three's collaborations with one another.
1 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Cast members Kevin Kline and William Hurt both appeared in director Lawrence Kasdan's later movie I Love You to Death (1990).
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Kevin Kline read for three parts: Sam Weber, Michael Gold , and Harold Cooper. The three characters were cast with Tom Berenger, Jeff Goldblum, and Kevin Kline respectively.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The night before the start of principal photography all the lead cast stayed in character.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
One of numerous collaborations of editor Carol Littleton and writer-director Lawrence Kasdan.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Of the movie's visual digital restoration, the Criterion Collection DVD liner notes state: "This new digital transfer was created in 4K resolution on a wetgate Oxberry film scanner from the 35mm original camera negative at Cineric in New York City; the color correction was done at Colorworks in Culver City, California, and the restoration at MTI Film in Los Angeles. The entire process was supervised by director of photography John Bailey, and the final result was approved by director Lawrence Kasdan".
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Lawrence Kasdan, the film's director and co-screenwriter, has said that for this picture, the films that influenced him included Leo McCarey's The Awful Truth (1937) and Jean Renoir's The Rules of the Game (1939) (The Rules of the Game).
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Director and co-writer Lawrence Kasdan said of this film in an interview published in the March 1984 of the UK's 'Photoplay' magazine: "I consider myself very lucky. I've been able to make a very personal film . . . an unusual thing in Hollywood".
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Actor Jeff Goldblum appeared with his first wife, Patricia Gaul, in both Silverado (1985) and The Big Chill (1983), both of which were directed by Lawrence Kasdan. Goldblum's second wife, Geena Davis, starred in The Accidental Tourist (1988), also directed by Kasdan.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Actor William Hurt has acted in five films that have been Oscar nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. They are The Big Chill (1983), Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985), Children of a Lesser God (1986), Broadcast News (1987), and The Accidental Tourist (1988). All of the movies are from the 1980s and none of them won the gong but Hurt did win a Best Actor Oscar Academy Award for Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985). Two of the Best Picture Oscar nominees were for movies directed by Lawrence Kasdan, they being The Big Chill (1983) and The Accidental Tourist (1988).
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Director Lawrence Kasdan has directed both of actor Jeff Goldblum's ex-wives, they being Geena Davis in The Accidental Tourist (1988), and Patricia Gaul in both Silverado (1985) and The Big Chill (1983).
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
First movie in a three picture deal between director Lawrence Kasdan and the Columbia Pictures studio. The films are [in order]: The Big Chill (1983), Silverado (1985), and, I Love You to Death (1990),
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Director and co-writer Lawrence Kasdan wanted to sponsor a solo Barbara Benedek screenplay since they worked together on The Big Chill (1983) script, agreed with Benedek that the concept of a professional couple struggling to have a child had great potential. Screenwriter Barbara Benedek was struck that so many of her friends who had waited until their mid-30s to have children were encountering difficulties. This all ultimately eventuated in the later movie Immediate Family (1989). Kasdan said: "What's most remarkable about Barbara's work is her ability to write comedy that tries to understand everybody's reasons, and has no villains".
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Cinematographer John Bailey said of the films cut 60s flashback sequence in an interview with 'The Hollywood Reporter': "It was the first thing we shot. It was about a Thanksgiving dinner that they were preparing together when they were students, and there was discussion over [a grant that Alex was offered]. Carol Littleton [the film's editor and Bailey's wife] and Larry [director Lawrence Kasdan] realized at a certain point, after previewing it both ways, that by the end of the film, everybody had their own notion of what the relationships were when they were students. To be so literal wasn't as satisfying."
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Although "The Big Chill" differed in subject matter and style from director Lawrence Kasdan's previous picture Body Heat (1981), both films shared Kasdan's interest in creating dynamic characters which are true to people's lives. In "The Big Chill", the characters are former college house-mates who have drifted apart over the years. Members of the baby-boom generation who entered young adulthood as idealistic non-conformists, they are now, for the most part, members of the establishment. "The Big Chill" emerged as a compassionate testimonial to a confused generation, one that has survived the passions of youth and grown through painful self-awareness into adulthood. In this context, the title "The Big Chill" takes on several resonant metaphorical meanings, from the obvious reference to the group's own mortality, strongly reinforced by the occasion of their reunion at a funeral, to the cooling of idealistic fires in the face of more calculated self-interest.
0 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Actor Jeff Goldblum was considered for the role of Peter Lowenstein in director Lawrence Kasdan's previous film Body Heat (1981), a part that went to Ted Danson. Goldblum though got to work with Kasdan later on The Big Chill (1983) as well as on Silverado (1985).
0 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The 'Video Hounds Golden Movie Retriever' states that Return of the Secaucus Seven (1979) is "a less trendy predecessor of The Big Chill (1983) which audiences were, perhaps, not ready for".
0 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Many movie posters for the film featured a long blurb that read: "How much love, sex, fun and friendship can a person take? The story of eight old friends searching for something they lost, and finding that all they needed was each other. THE BIG CHILL. In a cold world, you need your friends to keep you warm".
0 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Michael Gold (Jeff Goldblum) wants to open a night-club in this picture. In Goldblum's earlier movie, Thank God It's Friday (1978), which had been made and released around five years earlier, his Tony Di Marco character was a night-club owner. Both films were made by the Columbia Pictures studio.
0 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The name of the San Francisco talk radio station that Nick Carlton (William Hurt) had worked on as a talk-radio pop-psychologist talk-back show host on was "KSFO". This is a real radio station there which broadcasts on the frequency 560 kHz AM. It is also known as "KSFO-AM" and "KSFO 560". Its current contemporary branding is: "Hot Talk 560 KSFO".
0 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The film The Big Chill (1983), a movie about a friends reunion, has had two major reunions itself. The first, a 15th Anniversary Reunion in 1998, has interview footage recorded from it for the one hour documentary The Big Chill: A Reunion (1999). The second, a 30th Anniversary Reunion, had a Q&A Event recorded at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival where The Big Chill (1983) had originally premiered, with footage from it available as a 45 minute special feature on the film's 2014 Criterion Collection DVD and Blu Ray release, it being entitled the "Thirtieth Anniversary Q&A".
0 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
As of 2015, actor Jeff Goldblum has appeared in five films that have been Oscar nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. They are Nashville (1975), The Right Stuff (1983), The Big Chill (1983), The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), and Annie Hall (1977), the latter being the only winner of the five nominees. Both The Big Chill (1983) and The Right Stuff (1983) competed in the same year.
0 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Editor Carol Littleton frequently edits Lawrence Kasdan's movies.
0 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Cameo 

Meg Kasdan: The wife of director Lawrence Kasdan as the airline stewardess flirting with Sam Weber (Tom Berenger) at the beginning of the film.
Jon Kasdan: The son of director Lawrence Kasdan and wife Meg Kasdan as the son of Sarah Cooper (Glenn Close) and Harold Cooper (Kevin Kline) in the bathtub.
6 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Jake Kasdan: The son of director Lawrence Kasdan and wife Meg Kasdan as the boy seeking Sam Weber (Tom Berenger)'s autograph at the wake.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Director Trademark 

Lawrence Kasdan: [Indiana Jones] As he fights off the bat, Harold Cooper (Kevin Kline) hums the theme from Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), a movie whose screenplay was written by Kasdan. Sam Weber (Tom Berenger)'s appearance, and career as a television actor, resemble Tom Selleck, who had to turn down the role of Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), due to his commitment to Magnum, P.I. (1980).

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

Contribute to This Page