Seven members of a close-knit college group of friends are reunited fifteen years later after the eighth commits suicide. The funeral and reception lead to an extended weekend for all as they decide to spend time together pondering the recent events. Amidst a barrage of Motown classics, the members each offer little tidbits about their current lives while reminiscing about the past. In college, the absent and recently deceased Alex was the biggest and brightest star of the bunch but never seemed to get anywhere after being set loose in the real world. The slow acknowledgement that their champion never materialized leads the group in ever widening circles of thought. Discussions of their past lives and current bring about the realization that each has changed so much while remaining remarkably similar. Despite the tragic circumstances, the group disperses with renewed friendships and a newfound appreciation for life.
Meg Tilly - American Actress
Lawrence Kasdan - Director/Screenwriter/Prod.
Larry Kasdan - Director/Screenwriter/Prod.
John Bailey - American Director Of Photography/Director
Glenn Close - American actress/producer
JoBeth Williams - American actress, ON HOPE, POLTERGEIST
John Williams - American film composer, STAR WARS (1977)
John Towner Williams - American film composer, STAR WARS (1977)
Johnny Williams - American film composer, STAR WARS (1977)
Kevin Kline - Actor, SOPHIE'S CHOICE
Mary Kay Place - American actress, MARY HARTMAN, MARY HARTMAN
William Hurt - American Actor, THE BIG CHILL (1983)
Tom Berenger - American Actor
Jeff Goldblum - American actor
Kevin Costner played Alex, the dead friend, but alas, all of his scenes were cut from the film. He can still be seen briefly in the opening titles. Vincent Canby, the New York Times film critic, named "The Big Chill" one of the ten-best films of 1983. Filmed on location in Beaufort, South Carolina. Shot in Metrocolor. Screened at the Toronto Film Festival and the New York Film Festival, where it was the opening film.
"...[A] sweet, sharp, melancholy new comedy....The performances represent ensemble playing of an order Hollywood films seldom have time for..." - 09/23/1983 New York Times, p.C14
Included in The New York Times "10 BEST FILMS OF 1983" - 12/25/1983 New York Times, p.II:15
"...All of [the actors] are given opportunities to shine, and all rise to the occasion with seeming effortlessness..." - 09/07/1983 Variety
"...It's an anthropological soap opera that casts a hushed, elegant spell..." - 10/03/1997 Entertainment Weekly, p.57
"...The then fresh-faced Kevin Kline, William Hurt and Glenn Close excel as erstwhile '60s radicals, reunited in the '80s..." - 07/01/2003 Total Film, p.137