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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.

Director:

Lawrence Kasdan
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Popularity
3,716 ( 73)
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 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:

In a cold world, you need your friends to keep you warm. 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

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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

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). See more »

Goofs

The fog completely disappears after Harold's brief close-up shot when he and Nick are jogging through town. See more »

Quotes

Michael: [Michael enters the kitchen, sees Sarah standing in front of the open refrigerator] You know, that's the problem with these things. You have to watch them every minute.
[Takes a small carton of milk from the refrigerator]
Michael: Oh, hey, did I miss Karen and Richard?
Sarah: No, just Richard; Karen's staying for the weekend.
Michael: But not Richard?
Sarah: Went back to be with the kids.
Michael: Oohhhh, interesting. What did Richard have to say about that?
Sarah: Michael, if you're going to sleep this late, you're going to miss a few ...
[...]
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Alternate Versions

In the original, after Meg tells Sam how much she loves him (in bed), Sam jokingly replies, "so, you wanna fuck?". However, in the network version, he says "so, you wanna do it?". See more »

Connections

Referenced in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Nesting Dolls (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

A Whiter Shade of Pale
Written by Keith Reid, Gary Brooker and Matthew Fisher (uncredited)
Performed by Procol Harum
Courtesy of Muscadet Records
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User Reviews

 
an intelligent and sensitive script for a talented cast
15 June 2009 | by yris2002See all my reviews

Reunions of former college mates can be an enthusiastic, but also dramatic experience, mainly when you have shared with your now adult friends great ideals in a better and just world, and all those ideals have been abandoned in favour of professional careers and wealthy lives and, moreover, when the only mate who has faced the unfillable gap between the ideal and the real has just committed suicide and thus caused that same reunion.

Single sense of more or less pretended personal self-fulfilment, but hiding a dramatic sense of disillusionment, is rendered through noteworthy dialogues: intelligent, witty, ironical, sensitive and deep. Each protagonist will have to take off his/her mask, and show himself/herself for what he/she is now: the easy and devouring enthusiasm of those, not so distant, at least chronologically, but mentally and emotionally buried times cannot be acted for long. The only form of consolation, a very significant one, actually, is the possibility to share this sense of disillusionment, and the understanding that the only way out of personal dramas is communing with others.

Evidently, the actors, nowadays known as talented performers, but not so famous in 1983, are more than good. Not to mention the soundtrack, which contributes strongly to the emotional impact of the movie and makes one feel like rediscovering the great and out of time hits of the 60's, 70's. A cult and must see movie.


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