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The Chain (1984)

Comedy featuring interweaving stories of seven households caught up in a property chain on moving day, each one dependent on the other.


Jack Gold


Jack Rosenthal (original screenplay)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Denis Lawson ... Keith
Rita Wolf ... Carrie
Phyllis Logan ... Alison
David Troughton ... Dudley
Jade Magri Jade Magri ... Tasha
Maurice Denham ... Grandpa
Nigel Hawthorne ... Mr. Thorn
Anna Massey ... Betty
Billie Whitelaw ... Mrs. Andreos
Judy Parfitt ... Deidre
John Rowe ... Alex
Matthew Blakstad Matthew Blakstad ... Mark
Charlotte Long Charlotte Long ... Rosemary
Leo McKern ... Thomas
Herbert Norville Herbert Norville ... Des


Comedy featuring interweaving stories of seven households caught up in a property chain on moving day, each one dependent on the other.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Release Date:

13 March 1986 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

Ein Umzug kommt selten allein See more »


Box Office


£1,125,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Kodak Eastmancolor)
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Did You Know?


Screenwriter Jack Rosenthal used the same character name, "Bamber", for the head removal man in this movie and in the television series Moving Story (1994). In both cases, the character was a know-it-all who incessantly impressed, and bored, his colleagues with his prodigious knowledge, hence the nickname "Bamber", a reference to Bamber Gascoigne, the Question Master on University Challenge (1962). See more »


Des's mum hands a cup of tea to Thomas. When seen from behind, he has the cup and saucer resting on his thigh, When viewed from his front, he has the cup at chest height. See more »


Spin-off Moving Story (1994) See more »


Karma Chameleon
Composed by Boy George (as O'Dowd), Roy Hay, Jon Moss, Mikey Craig,
Phil Pickett
Performed by Billie Whitelaw
Used by kind permission of Virgin Music (Publishers) Limited and Warner Bros. Music
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User Reviews

the philosophising removal man about London
9 June 2009 | by didi-5See all my reviews

'The Chain' is an excellent film from the pen of Jack Rosenthal (who later reworked it into the TV series 'Moving Story'), starring Warren Mitchell as Bamber, a student of philosophy and pronouncer of wisdom to those about to move home. On his shift are a rag bag of working types including the ever reliable Bernard Hill.

The premise of the film is simple - we watch several people moving up in the world and follow the chain of progress through the eyes of the removal men (Last Removals, as good a name as any). So as we watch the moves from Hackney to Tufnell Park to Wilesden to Hammersmith to Hampstead to Holland Park to Knightsbridge, seeing how the different families inside the flats and houses deal with life, we see both a range of people and ways of life, and a travelogue of 80s London.

Bamber of course is the wisest of all - encountering a pompous couple doing everything on the cheap (Nigel Hawthorne and Anna Massey), a young couple just starting their future (Denis Lawson and Rita Wolf), and a widowed lady longing for her Mediterranean home (Billie Whitelaw), amongst others. Not one seems as settled as he is.

Great writing and razor sharp characters give 'The Chain' the edge over similar dramas, and although it may now feel a bit of a period piece, it is still an excellent film - and a good companion to Rosenthal's feature length drama for TV about taxi drivers, 'The Knowledge'.

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