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The Big Chill Details


Embraced by the Baby Boomer generation and spawning countless imitators, the sophomore film of writer-director Lawrence Kasdan was a successful comedy-drama with a best selling soundtrack of Motown hits. Kevin Kline and Glenn Close star as Harold and Sarah Cooper, a couple whose marital troubles are put on hold while they host an unhappy reunion of former college pals gathered for the funeral of one of their own, a suicide victim named Alex. As the weekend unfolds, the friends catch up with each other, play the music of their youth, reminisce, smoke marijuana, and pair off with each other in unexpected combinations. Included are Michael (Jeff Goldblum), a smarmy journalist; Sam (Tom Berenger), a TV star; Karen (JoBeth Williams), unhappily married and pining for Sam; Nick (William Hurt), a drug-addicted Vietnam vet; and Meg (Mary Kay Place), a single career woman who wants a child. Joining the group is Alex's bizarre girlfriend Chloe (Meg Tilly), who finds new love with Nick. As they learn to deal with the truth about the loss of idealism in their lives and Alex's sad demise, the friends find their bond still intact, while the marriage of Harold and Sarah is healed in an unusual way that's in sync with the era of their youth. Cut from the release of The Big Chill (1983) was the brief appearance of young actor Kevin Costner as Alex. Kasdan promised Costner a role in his next picture, which turned out to be a star-making part in Silverado (1985). ~ Karl Williams, Rovi

  • Release date:September 9, 1983


Awarded by
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Michael Shamberg Best Picture 1983 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Barbara Benedek Best Screenplay 1983 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Barbara Benedek Best Original Screenplay 1983 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Glenn Close Best Supporting Actress 1983 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Lawrence Kasdan Best Screenplay 1983 Nominee
Directors Guild of America Lawrence Kasdan Best Director 1983 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Lawrence Kasdan Best Original Screenplay 1983 Nominee


Kevin Kline
as Harold
Glenn Close
as Sarah
Jeff Goldblum
as Michael
William Hurt
as Nick
JoBeth Williams
as Karen
Tom Berenger
as Sam
Mary Kay Place
as Meg
Meg Tilly
as Chloe
Don Galloway
as Richard
Ken Place
as Peter The Cop
Muriel Moore
as Alex's Mother
Meg Kasdan
as Airline Hostess
Patricia Gaul
as Annie
Jon Kasdan
as Harold and Sarah's Son
Kevin Costner
as Alex (uncredited)


Lawrence Kasdan
Michael Shamberg
Ida Random
Lawrence Kasdan
Barbara Benedek
John Bailey
Meg Kasdan
Composer (Music Score)
The Rolling Stones
Featured Music
Smokey Robinson
Featured Music
Marvin Gaye
Featured Music
Carol Littleton
Ida Random
Production Designer
Barrie M. Osborne
Associate Producer
Lawrence Kasdan
Executive Producer
Marcia Nasatir
Executive Producer
April Ferry
Costume Designer
Michael Grillo
First Assistant Director
Wallis Nicita
Al Laverde
Key Grip
Mickey Scott