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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.

Director:

Lawrence Kasdan
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3,605 ( 1,857)
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:

Spend some time with a few good friends. 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

Gross USA:

$56,399,659

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$56,399,659
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

In the later movie About Alex (2014), at dinner, Sarah (Aubrey Plaza) mentions that it feels like a big 80s movie around the table. This picture very closely resembles the 1980s movie The Big Chill (1983), where a group of college friends reunite after a funeral of one of their friends, also named Alex. In The Big Chill (1983), the Alex character kills himself prior to the start of the film. In_About Alex (2014)_, the Alex character attempts to commit suicide at the beginning of the movie, but does not die. See more »

Goofs

As the characters clean up following the dinner, the turkey platter is simultaneously on the kitchen table and the dining room table. See more »

Quotes

Meg: Maybe it's a sign from God that I should reconsider. Too bad I'm an atheist.
See more »

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.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #20.67 (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

When a Man Loves a Woman
Written by Calvin Lewis (as Calvin H. Lewis) and Andrew Wright
Performed by Percy Sledge
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corporation
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User Reviews

One of the best ever
12 December 2000 | by rick45See all my reviews

While channel surfing, saw this movie again tonight, for about the 35th time. What makes this movie great is not the story - hell, there is no story really - but the making of the movie itself. It is the single best combination of acting, film editing, sound track, dialogue, and every other thing that goes into a movie, ever put together. No special effects, no car chases, no suspense, no anything that usaually passes for entertainment. Just excellent film making. Even tonight, I saw yet one more background detail I never noticed before. You have to watch this movie multiple times to appreciate it. Nearly everything that happens early in the movie relates to something that occurs later on. The transitions and foreshadowing, the character relationships, the very words themselves all fit together like no other film ever made. I truly believe that this is a film that should be studied as an example of pure movie making, no less than Citizen Kane. To rate this movie as a 10 is to underrate it. Of course, that is just my opinion.


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