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The Big Chill (1983)

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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.


Lawrence Kasdan
4,190 ( 9)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »





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


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


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 »


Comedy | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

30 September 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Reencuentro See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »


Box Office


$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

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

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


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. See more »


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


Harold: [Harold, Sam, and Nick are trying to chase a bat out of the attic] I'll open the window, maybe it'll split.
[He opens the window; two more bats fly in]
Nick: Good, now we've got a fair fight.
See more »

Alternate Versions

CBS edited 6 minutes from this film for its 1986 network television premiere. See more »


Quicksilver Girl
Written by Steve Miller
Performed by the Steve Miller Band
Courtesy of Capitol Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Jeez, it isn't THAT bad!
10 July 2002 | by EscheteSee all my reviews

Yes, I hate yuppies just as much as the next guy. And yes, I see all the flaws in this movie. But this movie IS telling the truth about the Baby Boomers, in my eyes, not glorifying them. By that I mean that it tells the story of a group people who THOUGHT they were idealistic when they were young and stoned, only to grow up (and sober up) a little to find out they are as shallow, fake, and greedy as their parents. Some of them are so jarred by this realization that they become depressed and maybe even kill themselves, as their friend did.

So the "talky, plastic" characters AREN'T the result of bad acting or bad writing. They're accurately portraying a generation so full of itself and hot air that it IS talky and plastic, see?

I especially like the character playing JoBeth Williams' husband. He steps into the movie, utters prophetic truth while eating a sandwich, and steps out, leaving the yuppies in the audience stunned. The soundtrack is good, but it becomes kind of transparent and commercial-y after a while. I give the movie a B-.

Things to watch for: cynical product placement (Miller Beer, Nike shoes, etc.); Meg Tilly's body; Kevin Kline's come-and-go accent.

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