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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 vacation home after the funeral of another of their college friends.

Director:

Lawrence Kasdan
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Popularity
3,667 ( 531)
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:

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. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 September 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Reencuentro See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,662,152, 2 October 1983, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$56,200,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The night before the start of principal photography all the lead cast stayed in character. 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

Sam Weber: You alright?
Chloe: Yeah. I'm a little disappointed though, I wanted to ride up there. I always wanted to ride in a limo.
[Michael and Sam exchange a look]
Michael: I do half my work in limos.
Chloe: Are you a chauffeur?
Michael: No I'm a journalist.
[Sam starts to laugh]
Michael: I write for People Magazine.
[Looks at Sam]
Michael: I can't believe you're still mad about that thing.
[...]
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Alternate Versions

Other scenes cut/altered for the Network version:
  • Michael unpacking condoms was cut.
  • The shot of Sarah in the shower was an alternate angle, and it is also reframed.
  • The entire scene late at night on the first night with Sam, Nick, and Richard not being able to sleep was cut.
  • The scene with Sarah talking on the phone to her daughter, and remarking "I can't believe what I hear myself say!" was cut.
  • The scene with Sam and Karen in the grocery store was cut. Because of this, to save the continuity, the second scene of Meg and Sarah in the kitchen is shown in the place of the grocery store scene, instead of being between the outdoor scene with Harold and Michael and the scene with Chloe and Nick in the cabin.
  • Michael's line, "Outside is just one big toilet" is cut, as is him zipping up just before he says this.
  • Sam saying "Jesus" after everyone goes to the living room to watch JT Lancer is cut.
  • The last part of the sequence where everyone clears the table while dancing to "Aint to Proud to Beg", with Sam talking in the dining room, was cut.
  • Most of the jogging scene with Sam, Nick, and Harold is cut. It goes from the shot of the sunrise to the door closing on the van.
  • The Second half of the scene with Sam and Karen on the dock was cut-the scene ends with Karen saying "It's not like talking to you".
  • While arguing over the football play, Sam says "What the hell are you talking about!" rather than "What the fuck are you talking about!".
  • Harold tells the cop to "Beat the hell out of" Nick rather than "Beat the shit out of" him. Later in that same scene, Harold says "I don't need this, Nick" rather than "I don't need this shit".
  • At the dinner table, in the original, Sarah said "Jesus, even fortune cookies are getting cynical!". In the TV print, the word "Jesus" is muted.
  • Meg says "I feel stupid in ten different ways" rather than "I feel shitty in ten different ways".
  • The shot of Harold and Meg having sex on the bed was deleted, as was the shot of Sam and Karen making out on the ground outside.
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Connections

References The Millionaire (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

You Can't Always Get What You Want
Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards
Performed by The Rolling Stones
Courtesy of ABKCO Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Winning Comedy-Drama Backed by One of the Best Soundtracks Ever!
18 July 2006 | by Isaac5855See all my reviews

1983's THE BIG CHILL is one of those beautifully crafted and wonderfully acted films that is so ingratiating that I can watch it over and over and never tire of it. Director Lawrence Kasdan hits the bullseye in this alternately hilarious and moving variation on the earlier RETURN OF THE SECAUCUS SEVEN. This film follows the reunion of a group of friends who went to college together, who have gathered for the funeral of their mutual friend, Alex, who has committed suicide. The original screenplay included scenes with Alex, who was played by Kevin Costner, but, in a stroke of genius, it was decide to delete all of the Alex scenes in the film, lending a wonderful air of mystery to the character of Alex and allowing the audience more input as to why Alex decided to end his life. Alex's friends are Harold Cooper (Kevin Kline), who now owns a shoe store franchise and his doctor-wife, Sarah (Glenn Close), who also serve as our hosts ; Michael (Jeff Goldblum), a writer for PEOPLE magazine; Meg (Mary Kay Place)an attorney who wants to have a baby; Sam (Tom Berenger) an actor with his own TV show who misses the simple life; Karen (JoBeth Williams), a restless housewife who would really like to be a writer and Nick (William Hurt) a drug dealer who would like to be anything else. Also thrown into the mix is Chloe (Meg Tilly) Alex's girlfriend, who knows a completely different Alex than his friends do. This gathering of old and new friends sets the stage for some long-dormant resentments to bubble to the surface and for some long buried passions to be re-ignited. Kasdan has a sharp directorial eye and a flawless ear for dialogue with one of the most quotable screenplays ever and it is all set to a soundtrack of the greatest music from the 1960's ever compiled for a movie soundtrack. The cast is perfection...Close received a Best Supporting Actress nomination but the entire cast works at the same level and to honor one without honoring the ensemble wouldn't have been right. This is the ultimate ensemble piece and it works just about perfectly. Anyway you slice it, an instant classic.


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