A follow-up (The Big Chill)

5 April 2007
Categories: Film buff

In a March 2006 post I pondered a reference to “John Barrister Tipton” in the film The Big Chill, but was unable to find a satisfactory answer online. Thanks to another Google search today, I found that John Beresford Tipton was a character on a 1950s TV show called The Millionaire, in which he “indulges himself [by] giving away one million dollars apiece to persons that he has never met.” Now, that makes sense. Whether the character in The Big Chill misspoke and said “Barrister” rather than “Beresford” remains to be determined.

  1. Andrew Schultz
    August 4th, 2008 at 16:38 | #1

    I’d guess we both heard it wrong–since nobody else has in all these years. I’m glad you searched for it and found it. I suppose I could check the movie out from the library again to make sure what the person says, but it’s not quite worth it.

    Thanks for taking care of one potentially annoying piece of trivia for me :).

  2. Lori
    December 8th, 2008 at 17:59 | #2

    The world is a strange place. I decided my 18 year old son really must see the movie “The Big Chill”. This film has always held a special place in my heart and maybe even more so since a good friend from high school followed in Alex’s footsteps. I don’t think I’d ever caught the reference until today and like you I had to see what it referenced. So, thanks for posting this. It’s always nice to know that there are others as blantantly curious as I am. All these years later…I still love that movie.

  3. Kevin
    August 8th, 2009 at 21:58 | #3

    Are we sure about the reference being John Beresford Tipton?

  4. October 30th, 2009 at 13:48 | #4


  5. Jen
    January 9th, 2010 at 15:02 | #5

    I always thought she was saying, “John Barras RO-tipton” so I never was able to find a reference. Thank God for your mention, otherwise this would bother me for another 10 years! 😉

  6. Jason Young
    March 25th, 2011 at 05:51 | #6

    Thank you so much for researching that question. I just watched the best movie ever filmed last night and thought Glenn Close said the same thing as you. Likewise, I couldn’t find any info so thank you again not just for finding the information but also sharing it with the rest of curious humanity!

  7. Joe Canon
    May 14th, 2011 at 22:33 | #7

    Thank you for researching this too. I always wondered who it was, and I always heard it as “John Barrister Tipton”!!! I always imagined him as some famous English Lord from a bygone era dispensing sound life-changing advice to people. Interesting result. Thank you Kevin for going the distance and finding this out. I love “The Big Chill” and this will only serve to enhance my enjoyment of it.

  8. Kimberly Dawn Fields
    June 7th, 2012 at 13:29 | #8

    If you listen closely, she does say John Beresford Tipton. Of course, this was listening to a clip on my laptop with headphones turned up full blast.

  1. No trackbacks yet.