A group of seven former college friends gather for a week-end reunion at a South Carolina vacation home after the funeral of another of their college friends.

Director:

Lawrence Kasdan
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Popularity
3,027 ( 2,116)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Berenger ... Sam
Glenn Close ... Sarah
Jeff Goldblum ... Michael
William Hurt ... Nick
Kevin Kline ... Harold
Mary Kay Place ... Meg
Meg Tilly ... Chloe
JoBeth Williams ... Karen
Don Galloway ... Richard
James Gillis James Gillis ... Minister
Ken Place Ken Place ... Peter the Cop
Jonathan Kasdan ... Harold and Sarah's Son (as Jon Kasdan)
Ira Stiltner Ira Stiltner ... Running Dog Driver
Jake Kasdan ... Autograph Seeker (as Jacob Kasdan)
Muriel Moore 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 older and experienced come together for the funeral of Alex, who was at one time the brightest and the best of them at college and yet who never managed to find his way. The friends use the occasion to reacquaint themselves with each other, discuss where their lives have led and speculate on 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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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". See more »

Goofs

When the cast is eating their first dinner, a crew member is visible through the window on the right. See more »

Quotes

Harold: Nick, help me with all these bleeding hearts!
Nick: I know what Alex would say.
Harold: What?
Nick: What's for dessert?
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Alternate Versions

The network TV version shown on CBS in 1986 contained a few alternate lines. Among them are: See more »


Soundtracks

(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman
Written by Gerry Goffin, Carole King and Jerry Wexler
Performed by Aretha Franklin
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corporation
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User Reviews

 
Reality staring you in the face
1 January 2003 | by super_trooperSee all my reviews

There was something about this movie which I couldn't place my finger on. Although I barely made the 60's, of which all the characters are reminiscing of and therefore perhaps I maybe missed some subtle messages or didn't get some in-jokes about the 60's, this movie still applies to everyone. I guarantee every generation will have a time where they come back after 10 or 15 years and see friends that had been so important but are now barely on the radar. They will have a weekend of drinking and tears and fights and laughter. You will look at someone and remember a deep, hidden passion for them that you felt so long ago and never shared with anyone.

That is of course, the plot of the movie.

7 friends (who go wayyy back) one husband (who disappears pretty quickly) and a widowed girlfriend (who is barely known by anyone) come together after they learn that Alex, a friend formally part of the clique, had committed suicide (this part was infamously played by Kevin Costner). They have a weekend of sex, drugs, and good ol' fashioned rock and roll, the whole time bringing up past ghosts that had seemed long forgotten and faded. This is touchy subject, even in today's standards. Yet the movie handles it beautifully. My favourite section in the whole movie was when `You can't always get what you want' was played at his funeral. Not for the song, although it is a classic but for how the characters react. Each sit there in the church, some smiling quietly to themselves, while others have a sadden expression, remembering great times that were and never will be again. Every person has a song like that, one that makes you remember your friends, one that makes you sad or laugh and or grin to yourself as you remember the things you did. That to me clinches the movie. It shows how true the script is, and how humanly the characters react. There is a lot of angry hype about the movie, how there is too much talking and not enough sex or car chases or whatever people think is missing. Yet for me, it is reality. When something like this happens in real life, people do not over dramatise. Life is not a soap opera, although movie-goers seemed to want this movie to be. In a real-life situation, people would do exactly what the characters did, examine themselves and try to find a reason for the problems that have happened. Yet the hard truth is, especially about suicide, sometimes, there is no one you can blame. I think people didn't like this movie too much because it rang too true. It was too realistic. People go the movies to be entertained, to fall in love with the fairy-tales lives that movies have. This movie is honest. It seems, for now, people just want to be naïve and live in a fantasy world. If you want a true movie, see this one now.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 September 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Big Chill See more »

Filming Locations:

Atlanta, Georgia, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,662,152, 2 October 1983

Gross USA:

$56,399,659

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$56,399,659
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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