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Packin' It In (1983)

Unrated | | Comedy, Drama, Family | TV Movie 7 February 1983
In quest of a wholesome place to live: at first the Webbers laugh at their neighbors when they leave L.A. for the mountains of Oregon. But when they recognize the same symptoms in their ... See full summary »


Jud Taylor




Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Benjamin ... Gary Webber
Paula Prentiss ... Dianne Webber
Tony Roberts ... Charlie Baumgarten
Andrea Marcovicci ... Rita Baumgarten
Molly Ringwald ... Melissa Webber
Mari Gorman ... Brooklyn Mary
Sam Whipple ... Zack Estep
Kenneth McMillan ... Howard Estep
David Hollander ... Jay Webber
Phil Proctor ... Cliff, Gary's Coworker (as Philip Proctor)
Susan Ruttan ... Mrs. Estep
Ivan Bonar Ivan Bonar ... Gas Station Attendant
Clinton Dean Clinton Dean ... Johnny Crud
Laura Bruneau Laura Bruneau ... Claire Baumgarten
Walter Marsh ... Dr. Langendorf


In quest of a wholesome place to live: at first the Webbers laugh at their neighbors when they leave L.A. for the mountains of Oregon. But when they recognize the same symptoms in their family that made the neighbors leave, they follow them. However their new domicile is a bit more apart from the civilization than expected. Even then it's not a paradise: their neighbors are weird, the next shop is miles away and their house lacks even the most basic comfort. How long will it take until they're packin' it in again? Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama | Family








Release Date:

7 February 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Auf und davon See more »

Filming Locations:

British Columbia, Canada

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Sam Whipple, who plays Molly Ringwald's semi love interest, a few years later appeared with Judd Nelson and Ally Sheedy in Blue City: so during the mid-1980's he worked with three Brat Packers (although this was right before there was a Brat Pack). See more »

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User Reviews

Underrated & Unknown Fish Outta Water Tale
9 December 2018 | by cultfilmfreaksdotcomSee all my reviews

The husband/wife team of Richard Benjamin and Paula Prentiss isn't famous for what's arguably their best effort - a television movie titled PACKIN' IT IN with a non-famous Molly Ringwald whose father... like the theatrical TEMPEST... is tired of the ordinary life, moving to a rural location: not an island but in this case, the woods...

As the family ventures to a better place to raise their kids and to breath the clear air, the jokes are quick and never forced while our hero provides the weak husband out of his element with ease. In one moment, before the big shift from L.A. to Oregon (or Washington?), Molly's boyfriend, a punker named Johnny Crud, repeats how life is basically for the birds, and Benjamin replies: "Crud, get a job!"

The opening stages back home seems like its very own episode - followed by the family's luck running dry in the mountainous town that's more of a survivalist camp and that, at one point, winds up without any food or supplies. Benjamin, and comic actors like him who aren't exactly the macho type, are all reminiscent of (and inspired by) Woody Allen, so Tony Roberts, as the family's best friend and eventual foil, fits right in...

Meanwhile, Paula Prentiss is her usual tomboyish, independent pretty, smart and clever gal; Molly and AIRPLANE child actor David Hollander are suburb brats and only annoying to their parents, not the audience...

And the passive yet fully effective scene stealer is the monotone son of Kenneth McMillan's survivalist a--hole, played by Sam Whipple. PACKIN' is a nearly perfect adventure, and you'll feel right there, out there, in the comedic nightmare of "bad things constantly happening to nice people" i.e. "a nice person,"which is basically a sub-genre in itself.

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