MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 242 this week

Being There (1979)

PG  |   |  Comedy  |  19 December 1979 (USA)
8.0
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.0/10 from 47,174 users  
Reviews: 277 user | 94 critic

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

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

IMDb Picks: May

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in May, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 44 titles
created 03 Jun 2012
 
a list of 40 titles
created 11 Jun 2012
 
a list of 37 titles
created 05 Dec 2012
 
a list of 41 titles
created 6 months ago
 
a list of 31 titles
created 4 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Being There" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Being There (1979)

Being There (1979) on IMDb 8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Being There.

User Polls

Won 1 Oscar. Another 15 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: GP Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Young, rich, and obsessed with death, Harold finds himself changed forever when he meets lively septuagenarian Maude at a funeral.

Director: Hal Ashby
Stars: Ruth Gordon, Bud Cort, Vivian Pickles
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

Fu Manchu's 168th birthday celebration is dampened when a hapless flunky spills Fu's age-regressing elixir vitae. Fu sends his lackeys to round up ingredients for a new batch of elixir, ... See full summary »

Directors: Piers Haggard, Richard Quine, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Peter Sellers, Helen Mirren, David Tomlinson
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Two Navy men are ordered to bring a young offender to prison but decide to show him one last good time along the way.

Director: Hal Ashby
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Randy Quaid, Otis Young
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Bumbling and conceited French police inspector Clouseau tries to catch The Phantom, a daring jewel thief whose identity and features are unknown - and is acting right under his nose.

Director: Blake Edwards
Stars: David Niven, Peter Sellers, Robert Wagner
Comedy | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Charles Dreyfus threatens to destroy the world with a doomsday device if Inspector Clouseau is not killed. Naturally, this is far harder than it sounds.

Director: Blake Edwards
Stars: Peter Sellers, Herbert Lom, Lesley-Anne Down
The Party (1968)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A clerical mistake results in a bumbling film extra being invited to an exclusive Hollywood party instead of being fired.

Director: Blake Edwards
Stars: Peter Sellers, Claudine Longet, Natalia Borisova
Coming Home (1978)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A woman whose husband is fighting in Vietnam falls in love with another man who suffered a paralyzing combat injury there.

Director: Hal Ashby
Stars: Jane Fonda, Jon Voight, Bruce Dern
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

To prove that he still is strong and powerful, Philippe Douvier decides to kill Clouseau. Once news of his "death" has been announced, Clouseau tries to take advantage of it and goes undercover with Cato to find out who tried to kill him.

Director: Blake Edwards
Stars: Peter Sellers, Herbert Lom, Burt Kwouk
Being There (2011)
Documentary | Adventure | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

With some of the best skiers within all aspects of modern freeskiing, and a passionate film crew equipped with the best of HD cameras, this movie will both thrill and amaze you. Along side ... See full summary »

Director: Filip Christensen
Stars: Aleksander Aurdal, Thomas Dølplads, Eirik Finseth
Being There (1999)
Documentary | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A film documenting the heroic preparations involved in bringing Sydney's 2000 Olympic Games to the world.

Director: Glenn Fraser
Stars: Duncan Armstrong, Daniel Kowalski, Susie O'Neill
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Inspector Clouseau is put on the case when the Pink Panther diamond is stolen, with the Phantom's trademark glove the only clue.

Director: Blake Edwards
Stars: Peter Sellers, Christopher Plummer, Catherine Schell
The Landlord (1970)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

At the age of twenty-nine, Elgar Enders "runs away" from home. This running away consists of buying a building in a black ghetto in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn. Initially his ... See full summary »

Director: Hal Ashby
Stars: Beau Bridges, Lee Grant, Diana Sands
Edit

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)
Edit

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:

A story of chance See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

19 December 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Chance  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Peter Sellers was nominated for the Oscar for Best Actor. Some said the reason Sellers lost was because of the outtakes at the very end of the movie as the credits are rolling. Sellers himself later said the outtakes "broke the spell" of the movie. See more »

Goofs

When Eve and Chance first enter the Rand estate by limousine the car turns left inside the gate, but when they arrive at the front door they are approaching from the right. 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 »


Soundtracks

Different Ways
Performed by Buffy Sainte-Marie and Caroll Spinney
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Masterpiece
12 December 2003 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

"To see me as a person on screen would be one of the dullest experiences you could ever wish to experience" - quote from Peter Sellers.

Peter Sellers had many quotes like this in which he spoke of his near self-hatred, hated seeing himself, and that when he was not doing comedy, he was dull and unfunny. That makes his portrayal of Chauncey Gardner that much more amazing, because he portrays a very simple man totally comfortable within himself.

Being There is a great film. It deals with a simple premise - if you act in a certain way, people will make unquestioned assumptions about you. Chauncy is slow witted and has the mind of small child, and all that he knows in gardening. However, he dresses in nice suits, has impeccable manners and is not shy, so he is accepted into social circles. When he speaks of gardening, his ramblings are mistaken for metaphors and he is instantly considered an economic genius.

This is wrapped around a beautiful film, in which Chauncey wanders from one circumstance into another, never changing his demeanor, never faltering. I an reminded of Mr Magoo walking blindly down a succession of steel girders thinking they are stairs. Essentially, he is not in peril because he does not know he is in peril. The charm of this film exists in Chauncey's unwavering personality, and how it affects the world of phonies and bureaucrats he has come to inhabit.

Although the film sometimes comes across as forced, and some of the encounters with Eve (Shirley MacLaine) come off forced, the film is still a masterpiece. Its theme and Sellers' stunning performance lauch it into the catoegory of greatness.

There is much debate amongst the lovers of this film over its final scene. If you have not seen it, rent it, and draw your conclusions. Like many great movies steeped in mood and metaphor, we are left to draw our own conclusions.

The phrase "I like to watch" has become so famous from this movie - it refers to Chauncey's love for TV and the fact that it is his reference point for his existance. (Such has when he tries to click a remote to thwart off muggers). But there is a great deal more to Being There. It is a Top 10 Selection of 70s, Hal Ashby's best film and Peter Sellers greatest performance. **** out of ****.


77 of 91 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
what's with females under 18? fernandomassuy
Difficult to Watch nitrocow
Racism bhold1
The Biltmore ?? cheapfrill
I'm angry with the maid danno02-1
Irony of an Overrated film Jzorrill
Discuss Being There (1979) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?