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On location: The Big Chill (1983)

Beaufort

The Big Chill (1983)

Starring Tom Berenger as Sam Weber, Glenn Close as Sarah Cooper, Jeff Goldblum as Michael Gold, William Hurt as Nick Carlton, Kevin Kline as Harold Cooper, Mary Kay Place as Meg Jones and Meg Tilly as Chloe.


Details

This Oscar-nominated comedy-drama classic follows a group of seven University of Michigan baby-boomer college friends who reunite for a weekend 15 years after graduation to attend the funeral of another college friend. Most of the filming for the movie took place in and around Tidalholm, a 7,400-square-foot waterfront mansion located at One Laurens St. in Beaufort. Some locals refer to it as The Edgar Fripp House or The Big Chill House. 

Local residents will notice several other area landmarks in the movie, including Bay Street in Beaufort, where the jogging scene with Nick and Harold was filmed. The opening funeral scenes were shot at Sand Hill Baptist Church near Varnville. Two Beaufort Police Department motorcycles were part of the procession.


Film facts

  • During production members of the cast and crew frequently visited the Original Steamer Oyster & Steakhouse on Lady’s Island, where a fast-food restaurant is now located. For decades Steamer was a popular spot for locals and visiting celebrities, including Lou Holtz, Barbra Streisand, Nick Nolte, Demi Moore, Joel Silver, Tom Hanks and Robert Zemeckis.
  • Tidalholm also was featured in the 1979 film The Great Santini, featuring Robert Duvall. The director, Lawrence Kasdan, liked Tidalholm so much in The Great Santini, he decided to shoot The Big Chill in the same house. Country Living magazine labeled Tidalholm “the most famous historic house in South Carolina.”
  • Actor Tom Berenger married Beaufort’s Lisa Williams on the Tidalholm lawn in 1986. The couple bought a house in the area, and Berenger has lived here ever since. He is currently married to Laura Moretti, and the two are frequently seen out exploring the Lowcountry on motorcycles.

Day trip 

Hilton Head Island to The Point (Beaufort) 

Drive time: 53 minutes (34.5 miles) via SC 170-E

Travel notes: Walk back in time by strolling through this historic Beaufort neighborhood on foot. The neighborhood is located between Carteret Street and the Beaufort River near downtown. Many of Beaufort’s largest, most historic and most famous homes are located in the neighborhood.


Watch it

  • HBO Max