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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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Popularity
4,301 ( 634)
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:

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:

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

Jonathan Kasdan: The son of director Lawrence Kasdan and wife Meg Kasdan as the son of Sarah Cooper (Glenn Close) and Harold Cooper (Kevin Kline) in the bathtub. 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

Meg: It's a cold world out there. Sometimes I feel like I'm getting a little frosty myself.
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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.
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Connections

Referenced in God, Sex & Apple Pie (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

In the Midnight Hour
Written by Wilson Pickett and Steve Cropper
Performed by The Rascals
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corporation
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User Reviews

 
Ensemble Acting at it's Best
3 February 2001 | by gbheronSee all my reviews

"The Big Chill" is about my peers. When first released in 1983, I, like the characters, was in my early thirties, a former rebellious collegian from the '60s. After a decade in the work-a-day world, being a family man and raising babies, watching "The Big Chill" was like a fantastic time machine and took me back to places long forgotten. It really connected with me on a visceral level and I loved it.

Now, almost twenty years later, I've watched "The Big Chill" again. Same effect? Not exactly, although a lot of this may be due to the effect of viewing any movie a second time. My views of the 60s are not so gilded as they were then either. "The Big Chill" is still a very good movie; you have to love it for the ensemble acting. So many of the actors in the movie went on to have respected careers in the 80s and 90s. It's one of those rare movies like "American Graffiti" and "Diner" that served as a launch pad for acting careers. And the soundtrack is perfect, capturing the breadth of late '60s pop music. I really wish Kasdan had done with these characters, what Updike did with his "Rabbit" novels, that is, show the characters at ten year intervals through their lives.

This is one of the better movies of this type and is highly recommended even for the gen-x'ers.


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