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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.

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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? 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:

 »
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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

Co-screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan wrote the parts of Karen Bowens and Sarah Cooper specifically for JoBeth Williams and Glenn Close respectively. However, both actresses initially wanted to play the role of Meg Jones as they both felt that they better related to that character over the ones chosen by Kasdan. See more »

Goofs

Sarah's concern about putting everyone up in her huge house would actually make sense. Despite its size, the house has only four bedrooms, one in each quadrant upstairs. Putting Nick in the attic, and Chloe in the basement, Sarah and Harold in the master, and Richard and Karen in another, would leave only two bedrooms and three more people to accommodate. Yet everybody seems to have their own comfortable room throughout the film. See more »

Quotes

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.
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Soundtracks

Gimme Some Lovin'
Written by Steve Winwood, Muff Winwood (uncredited) and Spencer Davis (uncredited)
Performed by Spencer Davis
Courtesy of UK Single Label
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User Reviews

 
Reality staring you in the face
1 January 2003 | by See 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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