Written and directed by Lawrence Kasdan, "The Big Chill" told the serio-comic tale of a group of friends from college reuniting to mourn the death - by suicide - of one of their circle. It showed Baby Boomers confronting not only mortality, but also the compromises they have made in their lives, and the loss of their youthful dreams and innocence upon entering middle age.
A critical and popular favorite upon its debut in September 1983, "The Big Chill" featured an impressive cast and a memorable soundtrack of '60s pop hits. It was nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
By CBSNews.com senior producer David Morgan
"You Can't Always Get What You Want"The suicide of Alex brings together a group of old housemates from the University of Michigan, who reestablish bonds after 15 years, and in the process of a weekend reevaluate the courses their lives have taken.
"It's the Same Old Song"The film's soundtrack was rich with hits from the 1960s by The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, the Rolling Stones, Martha and The Vandellas, The Four Tops and others.
Harold: "There is no other music, not in my house."
Michael: "There's been a lot of terrific music in the last ten years."
Harold: "Like what?"
Lawrence KasdanAfter earning a masters degree in education from the University of Michigan, Lawrence Kasdan (left, behind camera) worked as an advertising copywriter in Los Angeles in the late '70s when his screenplays for "The Bodyguard" and "Continental Divide" drew the attention of George Lucas, who hired him to co-author the screenplay of the second "Star Wars" feature, "The Empire Strikes Back." Kasdan's freshman film as a director was 1981's "Body Heat."
In addition to "The Big Chill" (for which he was nominated for an Oscar), Kasdan wrote and directed "Silverado"; "The Accidental Tourist" and "Grand Canyon" (both also receiving Academy Award nominations); "Wyatt Earp"; "Mumford"; "Dreamcatcher"; and "Darling Companion."
He also scripted "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "Return of the Jedi," and is set to write Episode VIII of the recently-revived "Star Wars" series.
JoBeth WilliamsAfter appearances in "Kramer vs. Kramer," "Stir Crazy" and "The Dogs of War," JoBeth Williams made a splash in the 1982 horror hit, "Poltergeist," as the mother of a girl snatched away by supernatural beasties.
In "The Big Chill," Williams played Karen, a suburban housewife bored by her marriage to an ad exec (Don Galloway, left).
JoBeth WilliamsAfter "Big Chill," JoBeth Williams starred in the nuclear disaster TV movie, "The Day After"; as Marybeth Whitehead in "Baby M" (left); as the mother of an abducted child in "Adam"; and in "My Name Is Bill W." Other films include Kasdan's"Wyatt Earp," "Desert Bloom," "Fever Pitch," "The Big Year," and appearances in the TV series "Frasier," "The Client," "24," "The Nine," "Dexter," "Private Practice," "NCIS," and "Law & Order: L.A."
She also earned an Oscar nomination as producer of the 1994 live action short subject, "On Hope."
JoBeth WilliamsActress JoBeth Williams attends the SAG Foundation's 3rd Annual Poker Classic at the Gilmore Adobe on Aug. 24, 2013, in Los Angeles, Calif.
Tom BerengerAfter a stint on the TV soap opera "One Life to Live," Tom Berenger had roles in horror films ("The Sentinel," "Beyond the Door"), dramas ("Looking for Mr. Goodbar," "The Dogs of War"), and the prequel "Butch and Sundance: The Early Years."
In "The Big Chill," Berenger played Sam Weber, a TV actor whose reunion with Karen sparks a flirtatious rendezvous.
Tom BerengerAfter "The Big Chill," Tom Berenger starred in "Eddie and the Cruisers," "Rustlers' Rhapsody," "Someone to Watch Over Me," "Shoot to Kill," "Major League," "At Play in the Fields of the Lord," "Sniper," "Training Day," and "Inception."
As Sgt. Barnes in Oliver Stone's 1986 Oscar-winner, "Platoon" (left), he received a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nomination, and won a Golden Globe. He also played Lt. Gen. James Longstreet in the 1993 historical drama, "Gettysburg."
Berenger won an Emmy for the 2012 miniseries, "Hatfields & McCoys."
Tom BerengerActor Tom Berenger poses during a photocall for the TV show "Hatfields and McCoys," at the 53rd Monte-Carlo Television Festival in Monaco, June 12, 2013.
Glenn CloseFollowing roles in the TV films "Too Far to Go" and an adaptation of "The Elephant Man," and a Tony Award nomination for the musical, "Barnum," Glenn Close received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her first feature, "The World According to Garp," as feminist author and activist Jenny Fields.
Close was nominated for a second Best Supporting Actress Oscar for "The Big Chill," playing the married Sarah, who harbors the secret of a long-ago affair with Alex.
Glenn CloseIn addition to "Garp" and "Big Chill," Glenn Close has received Oscar nominations for "Fatal Attraction" (left), "The Natural," "Dangerous Liaisons," and "Albert Nobbs."
She has won three Emmy Awards - for the TV series "Damages," the miniseries "Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story" - and received 11 other nominations. Close has also won three Tonys, for "The Real Thing," "Death and the Maiden," and "Sunset Boulevard."
Glenn CloseActress Glenn Close attends the 18th Annual Nantucket Film Fesitval on June 29, 2013, in Nantucket, Mass.
Jeff GoldblumJeff Goldblum's first film credit was as Freak #1 in the Charles Bronson vigilante flick, "Death Wish." He appeared in Robert Altman's "California Split" and "Nashville," Woody Allen's "Annie Hall," Joan Micklin Silver's "Between the Lines," Paul Mazursky's "Next Stop, Greenwich Village," "Remember My Name," "Thank God It's Friday," Philip Kaufman's 1978 remake of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," and "Threshold."
In "The Big Chill," Goldblum played a writer for People Magazine who says his one editorial dictate is to write stories short enough to be read in the bathroom.
"I'm tired of having all my work read in the can," he says.
"People read Dostoyevsky in the can," someone offers.
"Yes, but they can't finish it."
Jeff GoldblumJeff Goldblum later starred in David Cronenberg's 1986 remake of "The Fly" (left, with Geena Davis), as a scientist undergoing a gruesome transformation following a botched experiment. He was also featured in "The Right Stuff," "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across the 8th Dimension," "Into the Night," Lawrence Kasdan's "Silverado," "Jurassic Park" and its sequel, "The Lost World," "Independence Day," "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou," "Morning Glory" and "The Switch."
Goldblum was nominated for an Oscar for the 1996 short film, "Little Surprises."
Jeff GoldblumActor Jeff Goldblum attends a "Grace" Preview Performance Fan Meet-And-Greet at the Cort Theatre, Sept. 13, 2012, in New York.
William HurtAfter TV roles on "Kojak" and in the 1978 TV movie "Verna: USO Girl," William Hurt made his feature film debut in Ken Russell's phantasmagorical "Altered States" (1980). He then starred opposite Sigourney Weaver in the thriller "Eyewitness," and with Kathleen Turner in the erotically-charged murder mystery "Body Heat."
In "The Big Chill" Hurt played Nick, a drug-abusing Vietnam vet who suffers from impotence, and who is the most cynical of the group:
"Wise up, folks. We're all alone out there, and tomorrow we're going out there again."
William HurtPost-"Big Chill," William Hurt won an Academy Award for Best Actor playing a homosexual prisoner who weaves cinematic tales of passion and danger in "Kiss of the Spider Woman," opposite Raul Julia (left). He was also nominated for performances in "Children of a Lesser God," "Broadcast News," and "A History of Violence."
Hurt also starred in "Gorky Park," "The Accidental Tourist," "I Love You to Death," "Alice," "The Doctor," "Until the End of the World," "Jane Eyre," "Michael," "Dark City," "One True Thing," "A.I.: Artificial Intelligence," "The Village," "Syriana," "Into the Wild," "Vantage Point," "The Host," and the TV series "Damages" with Glenn Close.
William HurtActor William Hurt arrives at the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 15, 2012, in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Kevin KlineKevin Kline won two Tony Awards, for the musicals "On the Twentieth Century" and "The Pirates of Penzance," before making his feature film debut opposite Meryl Streep in "Sophie's Choice." He also recreated his performance as The Pirate King in the screen version of "Penzance."
In "The Big Chill," Kline played Harold, a businessman married to Sarah, who places a high value on public appearances (especially with regards to the local police).
Kevin KlineFollowing "The Big Chill," Kevin Kline reteamed with Lawrence Kasdan for five features: "Silverado," "Grand Canyon," "I Love You to Death," "French Kiss," and "Darling Companion."
He also starred in "Cry Freedom," "Soapdish," "Chaplin," "Dave," "Princess Caraboo," "The Ice Storm," "In and Out," "A Midsummer Night's Dream," "Wild, Wild West," "The Pink Panther," "A Prairie Home Companion," "As You Like It," and "The Last of Robin Hood" (in which he plays Errol Flynn).
Kline won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor as Otto, the slightly unbalanced member of a gang of thieves, in the 1989 comedy, "A Fish Called Wanda," in which he placed John Cleese in a rather uncomfortable position (left).
Kevin KlineKasey the dog and actor Kevin Kline attend the Los Angeles premiere of Lawrence Kasdan's "Darling Companion," at the Egyptian Theatre on April 17, 2012, in Hollywood, Calif.
Mary Kay PlaceIn the 1970s Mary Kay Place turned up on such TV shows as "All in the Family," "MASH," "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," and an Emmy Award-winning turn on "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman," before making appearances in the films "Bound for Glory," Martin Scorsese's "New York, New York," "Starting Over," "Private Benjamin," and "Waltz Across Texas."
In "The Big Chill," Place played Meg, a former public defender who changed her legal practice to the corporate world. With a ticking biological clock, she wants to have a baby, and seeks to recruit one of her former college friends as the lucky father.
Mary Kay PlaceMary Kay Place's other film credits include "Explorers," "Citizen Ruth," "The Rainmaker," "Being John Malkovich" (left, with John Cusack), "Girl, Interrupted," "Sweet Home Alabama," and "It's Complicated." Her TV credits include "The History of White People in America," "thirtysomething," "Armistead Mauphin's Tales of the City," "My So-Called Life," "Chicago Hope," "The West Wing," "Big Love," "The New Normal," and various voices on "King of the Hill."
Mary Kay PlaceActress Mary Kay Place arrives at HBO's "Big Love" Season 5 premiere at the Directors Guild of America, Jan. 12, 2011, in Los Angeles, Calif.
Meg TillyMaking her debut as a dancer in the 1980 film, "Fame," Meg Tilly starred in "One Dark Night," "Tex" (based on the S.E. Hinton novel), and the horror sequel "Psycho II" as the object of Norman Bates' curious attention.
In "The Big Chill" Tilly played Chloe, the much younger girlfriend of Alex.
Sarah (on Alex): "I know he wasn't happy. That doesn't tell you much. I'd no idea how bad it was. I think he purposely wanted to cut off from all of us because he was so unhappy with where he was at."
Karen: "Is that true, Chloe? Did you feel that?"
Chloe: "I don't know. We had some good times. I haven't met that many happy people in my life, how do they act?"
Meg TillyMeg Tilly was a Golden Globe winner and Oscar nominee for the film version of the play "Agnes of God" (left, with Jane Fonda), as a young nun found with a dead infant.
Her other credits include the films "Masquerade," "Valmont," "Impulse," "The Two Jakes," "Body Snatchers" and "Sleep With Me," and the TV series "Winnetka Road," "Caprica," and "Bomb Girls."
Meg TillyActress Meg Tilly poses at a photocall for "Bomb Girls" during the 52nd Monte Carlo TV Festival on June 14, 2012, in Monte Carlo, Monaco.
Kevin CostnerAfter small roles in an assortment of films (including as "Frat Boy #1" in the Michael Keaton comedy "Night Shift"), Kevin Costner played Alex, the college friend whose suicide triggered the reunion of the "The Big Chill."
Costner filmed a flashback scene - a '60s Thanksgiving dinner with the entire cast - which was to end the film, but director Lawrence Kasdan cut it. All that remains of Costner is bits representing the body of Alex being dressed for his funeral, shown during the opening credits.
Kevin CostnerCostner's terrible luck - being cut from "The Big Chill" - was mitigated by being cast in a plum role in Kasdan's next feature, "Silverado," and as lead in Kasdan's "Wyatt Earp."
From left: Danny Glover, Kevin Kline, Scott Glenn, Kevin Costner, director Lawrence Kasdan and Linda Hunt on the set of "Silverado."
Costner's later films included the Oscar-nominated "JFK" and "Field of Dreams," "The Untouchables," "Bull Durham," "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves," "The Bodyguard," "A Perfect World," "Tin Cup," "Waterworld," "Message in a Bottle," "For Love of the Game," "Open Range," "Thirteen Days," "The Guardian," "Man of Steel," and the TV mini-series, "Hatfields & McCoys."
Costner was nominated for three Oscars for the 1991 western "Dances With Wolves," and won two - for Best Director and Best Picture.
Kevin CostnerPrince Albert II of Monaco's wife Princess Charlene (left) poses with actor Kevin Costner before the Haute Couture Spring-Summer 2013 Versace collection show, on Jan. 20, 2013, in Paris.
ReunionThirty years after "The Big Chill" premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, a special 30th anniversary screening was held at the 2013 edition of the festival, with many cast members and creatives in attendance.
From left: Producer Michael Shamberg, writer/director Lawrence Kasdan, music consultant Meg Kasdan, actors Kevin Kline, Glenn Close, Meg Tilly, Mary Kay Place, JoBeth Williams, Tom Berenger and co-writer Barbara Benedek arrive at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival at Princess of Wales Theatre on September 5, 2013 in Toronto, Canada.
Glenn CloseActress Glenn Close arrives at "The Big Chill" 30th Anniversary screening during the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival at Princess of Wales Theatre on September 5, 2013 in Toronto, Canada.
"I think it's a pretty timeless story that everybody goes through," said Close. "There's certain times in your life that you will always look back and say, 'That was the best time of my life,' and college for a lot of people is that."
ReunionActresses Glenn Close, Mary Kay Place and JoBeth Williams arrive at "The Big Chill" 30th Anniversary screening during the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival at Princess of Wales Theatre on September 5, 2013 in Toronto, Canada.
JoBeth WilliamsActress JoBeth Williams arrives at "The Big Chill" 30th Anniversary screening during the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival at Princess of Wales Theatre on September 5, 2013 in Toronto, Canada.
Lawrence KasdanWriter/director Lawrence Kasdan arrives at "The Big Chill" 30th Anniversary screening during the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival at Princess of Wales Theatre on September 5, 2013 in Toronto, Canada.
ReunionFrom left: Actors Glenn Close, Mary Kay Place, Kevin Kline, Meg Tilly, Tom Berenger and JoBeth Williams arrive at "The Big Chill" 30th Anniversary screening during the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival at Princess of Wales Theatre on September 5, 2013 in Toronto, Canada.
"I remember when I first saw it screened," Klein recalled on Thursday, "it felt like a home movie because we had such a great time doing it. And I thought, 'This is a great record, I'm glad we had this of such a wonderful time,' but I thought nobody will see it. That's why I'm not a studio executive!"
The CastThe cast of "The Big Chill."
By CBSNews.com senior producer David Morgan