7.2/10
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190 user 61 critic

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.

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525 ( 822)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Sam
... Sarah
... Michael
... Nick
... Harold
... Meg
... Chloe
... Karen
... Richard
James Gillis ... Minister
Ken Place ... Peter the Cop
... Harold and Sarah's Son (as Jon Kasdan)
Ira Stiltner ... Running Dog Driver
... Autograph Seeker (as Jacob Kasdan)
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:

How much love, sex, fun and friendship can a person take? See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 September 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Reencuentro  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

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:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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). 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

Michael: [Dialogue in video being watched by several characters] Nobody thinks they're a bad person. I'm not even claiming that people always think they're doing the right thing; they may know that they're doing something dishonest or insensitive or manipulative but they almost always think that there's a good reason for doing it. They almost always think it will turn out for the best in the end, even if it just turns out best for them, because by definition what's best for them is what's best. In ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Fireman Sam: The Big Chill (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Gimme Some Lovin'
Written by Steve Winwood, Muff Winwood, and Spencer Davis
Performed by Spencer Davis
Courtesy of Liberty Records
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User Reviews

Nostalgic, elegantly handled and brilliantly done feel-good drama.
24 May 2003 | by See all my reviews

"The Big Chill" is often regarded as the best Hollywood movie to demonstrate ensemble acting. A problem that can affect similar films is the unequal division of time that each character receives, but "The Big Chill" avoids this problem. It certainly is a moving cinematic experience that isn't easily forgotten. OK it doesn't really lead anywhere, but as it goes on, the nostalgic charm sets in and the core isn't hollow.

Terrific performances from the ensemble cast who work well as a group. It's ironic how Kevin Costner had the most successful career yet if you blink you'll miss him. Some of the careers of the talented cast bloomed after this- Kevin Kline won an Oscar for "A Fish Called Wanda", Glenn Close got 5 nominations (this film included) and got a status in Hollywood, Jeff Goldblum got success in the likes of "Jurassic Park" and "Independence Day". Others didn't- Meg Tilly sort of disappeared, JoBeth Williams went on to flops such as Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot, Mary Kay Place had small parts in Girl Interupted and Being John Malkovich but went by un-noticed.

"The Big Chill" is a complex and often brilliant story of the need for companionship. The soundtrack greatly adds to the nostalgic and uplifting feel to the movie. Great performances, splendid direction and an engaging script make this a deserved (if not slightly dated) classic. My IMDb rating: 8.0/10.


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