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Moving (1988)

R | | Comedy | 4 March 1988 (USA)
Arlo accepts what seems to him to be a dream promotion to Idaho. He soon discovers, however, that moving has its own share of problems.


Alan Metter


Andy Breckman

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Pryor ... Arlo Pear
Beverly Todd ... Monica Pear
Stacey Dash ... Casey Pear
Raphael Harris ... Marshall Pear
Ishmael Harris Ishmael Harris ... Randy Pear
Randy Quaid ... Frank / Cornall Crawford
Tony Rolan Tony Rolan ... Parking Attendant
Claire Malis Claire Malis ... Helen Fredericks
John Wesley ... Roy Hendersen
Jason Marin Jason Marin ... Paperboy
Traci Lind ... Natalie (as Traci Lin)
Will Gill Jr. Will Gill Jr. ... Security Guard
Don Franklin ... Kevin
Gordon Jump ... Simon Eberhart
Dave Thomas ... Gary Marcus


Meet Arlo Pear! He's a family man with a loving wife, a rebellious daughter, twin sons, and a half-dead dog, he's also got a nice job with the city in New Jersey. He's a mass transit engineer. But one day Arlo is fired so he must try to get another job. He finds a similar one to his old one, except it's in Boise, Idaho. Sounds good to Arlo, so he can finally get away from his insane neighbor who has a lawn mower the size of Pennsylvania. Only problem, how to break it to the family? The decision is soon made: they're moving. Now they've got to sell their house which has hilarious results, so now they need to get movers. Two former cons now movers show up with King Kong Bundy. Now, they gotta find a new house in Idaho. They soon find their dream house, so they return to New Jersey and head off to Boise. Arlo hires a man (Dana Carvey) to drive his SAAB to Idaho, not knowing he's a man of eight personalities. And if that isn't bad enough, their new house is not what they expected, and ... Written by Dylan Self <robocoptng986127@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The movie that packs lots of laughs. See more »




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

4 March 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Moving - Rückwärts ins Chaos See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,022,782, 6 March 1988

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Richard Pryor's last solo starring vehicle. See more »


In the opening dream sequence, Arlo throws Frank through the wall of the garage, leading to a white padded dojo. The shelving that appears on the wall when Frank crashes through it disappears when Arlo jumps over to the next room. See more »


Arlo Pear: Maybe we'll send you a plane ticket and you can visit us at Christmas.
Frank Crawford: Good but I won't.
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Crazy Credits

The movie's opening title consist of the words speeding in from the right of the screen and crashing together before straightening out at the end. See more »


References First Blood (1982) See more »


Written, Performed, and Produced by Ollie E. Brown
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User Reviews

MOVING violations.
24 April 2004 | by FeverDogSee all my reviews

In the '80s Richard Pryor jumped the shark with THE TOY, which kicked off a string of forgettable films. Ranging from awful (SUPERMAN III) to merely mediocre (CRITICAL CONDITION), his Reagan-Bush output didn't produce anything decent until he reteamed with Gene Wilder for 1989's SEE NO EVIL, HEAR NO EVIL (which, granted, was no classic).

MOVING wasn't his worst movie, but it certainly didn't help his career. Playing a meek suburbanite, Pryor's raw comedic persona was castrated with a silly name (Arlo Pear???) and a bland, inoffensive script. Watch him in this movie and note how defeated he appears. In a decade Pryor went from STIR CRAZY and BLUE COLLAR to a feature-length sitcom that could have starred anybody.

That's not to say MOVING is without merits. It provided Dana Carvey with his funniest role that didn't co-star Mike Myers, and Randy Quaid (a good actor who can do comedy as opposed to a good comedian) earns a lot of laughs here in a dual role.

But the efforts of the supporting cast are wasted by a script that should have gone through more re-writes. A comedy about moving your family across the country could find a lot of humor in the small but countless frustrations that can happen when undertaking such a challenge. Instead of wringing laughs from human foibles, here we've got stupid professional movers who do things to be funny, therefore making what they do unfunny. That old guy wrapping every toy separately? The other guys breaking furniture and taking a side trip to New Orleans? It's dumb, and not believable, and not funny. (However, Carvey acts like he's in a whole 'nother--and better--comedy. I gotta admit: his shtick in drag was hilarious.)

The movie has structural problems too. It spends half the movie packing their things and dealing with the slob neighbor, and -- bam! -- it jumps to the family's new home. What happened during the 3000-mile drive to get there? Did the kids get on the parent's nerves while cooped up in the back seat the whole time? Surely there are possible cross-country mishaps that weren't already explored in NAT'L LAMPOON'S VACATION, right?

(One minor thing. What road did they take out of Jersey? They're on some blacktop with a sign stating they're leaving the Garden State. Um, don't they have to cross the Delaware River to enter Pennsylvania?)

And I wonder if a black family from Jersey would assimilate so easily in suburban Idaho. Since anybody could have been cast in the role, was this movie written with Pryor in mind? Doesn't seem so, since this family is white in every way except skin color. Their closest friends are an elderly white couple, and their daughter, played by Stacey Dash, appears to have blue eyes (leading me to believe she should have been cast instead as a Wannabe in Spike Lee's SCHOOL DAZE). Forgive me for raising racial issues in a lightweight '80s comedy, but wouldn't this affluent black family from the East Coast have any reservations about relocating to Aryan Nation? A 1990 census shows that Idaho was over 94% Caucasian while Blacks made up less than one percent around the time the movie was made. (American Indians, at 1.3%, were more represented.) Wouldn't this have been a factor in their decision to move there?

Finally, for a movie that's barely ninety minutes long, MOVING coughs and wheezes to the closing credits. It somehow feels both overlong and too short, if that makes sense. And there's a chase scene to wrap things up. A chase scene to end a bad comedy? What else is new?

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