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A simple, sheltered gardener becomes an unlikely trusted advisor to a powerful businessman and an insider in Washington politics.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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4,327 ( 146)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 11 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Benjamin Rand
...
President 'Bobby'
...
...
Vladimir Skrapinov
Ruth Attaway ...
Louise
...
Thomas Franklin (as Dave Clennon)
Fran Brill ...
Sally Hayes
...
Johanna Franklin
Oteil Burbridge ...
Lolo
Ravenell Keller III ...
Abbaz
Brian Corrigan ...
Policeman by White House
Alfie Brown ...
Old Woman asked for lunch (as Alfredine Brown)
Don Jacob ...
David (as Donald Jacob)
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Storyline

A simple-minded gardener named Chance has spent all his life in the Washington D.C. house 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 a woman (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:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

19 December 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Chance  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After the novel's release and the subsequent purchase of rights to the book, Peter Sellers successfully lobbied for the lead role by sending a telegram to author Jerzy Kosinski with the message, "Gardener available for work". It was during casting and after the success of the later Pink Panther movies that Sellers became the only choice for the lead role. See more »

Goofs

While at dinner for the first evening with Ben and Eve, Chauncey's wine glass fills and empties within seconds. 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

Under the end titles of the theatrical release are outtakes of Peter Sellers as Chance recounting the encounter with Abbaz. Sellers breaks character and laughs during each attempt. The lines do not appear in the movie. Certain versions of the film have credits with white text on a black background without the outtakes. See more »

Connections

Referenced in De slimste mens ter wereld: Episode #7.9 (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Different Ways
Performed by Buffy Sainte-Marie and Caroll Spinney
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User Reviews

 
A Gift....
31 January 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Even as a kid I loved this movie and upon seeing it again as an adult I found much to re appreciate in this marvelous sleeper of a film. Sellers is in top form as are the supporting cast--the shear farce of it all makes the improbable seem probable--and as a vehicle for political/social commentary it ranks as one of the best dark comedies ever made. The inclusion of all the 70's TV clips make Being There an invaluable period piece and provide the film with some of it's funniest scenes. The movie also provides an interesting portrayal of the trappings of the super wealthy and it's portrayal of the workings of power and money are reminiscent of some of Kubrick's better work. Check out the all seeing eye of the Illuminati on the apex of the pyramid of "Rand's" mausoleum during the funeral scene. Pretty powerful stuff--makes Being There all the more an important and revealing work--as well as spiritual. Like the protagonist, Chauncey Gardner, there's something about this film that makes you feel better about life and , yeah, even about death. Kosinski's, Ashby's and Seller's gift to us all.


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