8.0/10
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340 user 132 critic

Being There (1979)

PG | | Comedy, Drama | 8 February 1980 (USA)
Trailer
2:46 | Trailer
A simpleminded, sheltered gardener becomes an unlikely trusted advisor to a powerful businessman and an insider in Washington politics.

Director:

Hal Ashby

Writers:

Jerzy Kosinski (novel), Jerzy Kosinski (screenplay)
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Popularity
3,712 ( 41)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 13 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Sellers ... Chance
Shirley MacLaine ... Eve Rand
Melvyn Douglas ... Benjamin Rand
Jack Warden ... President 'Bobby'
Richard Dysart ... Dr. Robert Allenby
Richard Basehart ... Vladimir Skrapinov
Ruth Attaway ... Louise
David Clennon ... Thomas Franklin (as Dave Clennon)
Fran Brill ... Sally Hayes
Denise DuBarry ... Johanna Franklin
Oteil Burbridge ... Lolo
Ravenell Keller III Ravenell Keller III ... Abbaz
Brian Corrigan Brian Corrigan ... Policeman by White House
Alfie Brown Alfie Brown ... Old Woman asked for lunch (as Alfredine Brown)
Don Jacob Don Jacob ... David (as Donald Jacob)
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Storyline

Simple-minded gardener Chance has spent all his life in the Washington D.C. home of an old man. When the man dies, Chance is put out on the street with no knowledge of the world except what he has learned from television. After a run-in with a limousine, he ends up a guest of Eve and her husband Ben, an influential but sickly businessman. Now called Chauncey Gardner, Chance becomes friend and confidante to Ben, and an unlikely political insider. Written by Scott Renshaw <as.idc@forsythe.stanford.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Getting there is half the fun; being there is all of it! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It took Peter Sellers nearly nine years to get this movie made by a studio, mainly because by the 1970s Sellers' career had hit rock bottom and no studio in Hollywood would work with him. After the revival (and success) of the Pink Panther movies, Lorimar Pictures finally greenlit the project. See more »

Goofs

When Eve enters Chance's room as he is eating breakfast in bed, the napkin beneath his chin changes position back and forth between shots. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Chance the Gardener: Good morning, Louise.
Louise: He's dead, Chance. The old man's dead.
Chance the Gardener: I see.
[Chance goes back to watching TV]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Many characters are given parenthetical identifiers in the credits. Denise DuBarry's character is identified as Johanna (Thomas Franklin's wife or girl friend?) See more »

Alternate Versions

CBS edited 3 minutes from this film for its 1984 network television premiere. See more »

Connections

Featured in Words (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony N°6 in F Major (opus 68)
known as "The Pastoral Symphony"
Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven
(1808)
See more »

User Reviews

 
Sellers a work of Art.
13 December 2003 | by tbonea28See all my reviews

Being There is a film about a simple and mildly retarded gardener, played by Peter Sellers who's entire adult life was gardening for an elderly gentleman and watching television. When the old man dies, Chancey is left homeless and on his own. Due to his past recluse surroundings he is unaware of the every day technology, such as telephone, elevators etc., which leads to some comical situations. He is saved from the streets, by a wealthy woman, Eve Rand, played by Shirley MacLean. When her limo backs into him she takes him home to be treated by her dying husbands physician Dr Allenby played by Richard Dysort. Everyone mistakes Chancey's simple mutterings as profound insight and wisdom. Benjamin Rand played by Melvin Douglas is a wealthy influential business tycoon who is well connected in politics and a personal friend of the President, played by Jack Warden. They also mistake the simple utterance's as insightful.

Although the film is comical at times, it is also very sad, as Chancey lacks awareness of what's going on around him most of the time. He has no reaction, even when Eve Rand, tries to seduce him, which is one of the many humourous scenes.

The filming and directing is good and the film moves along with a good pace, and is very entertaining and a must see for all Peter Sellers fans. Once again Sellers shows the incredible talent, that he was so well known for.


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Details

Country:

West Germany | USA

Language:

English | Russian | Italian

Release Date:

8 February 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Being There See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$30,177,511

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$30,177,511
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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