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Being There (1979)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  19 December 1979 (USA)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 48,355 users  
Reviews: 279 user | 95 critic

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), 1 more credit »
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Title: Being There (1979)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 15 wins & 11 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:

| |

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  »
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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 Chance is watching himself on the large screen in the store window display, he uses his home remote control to try and change the channels on that set, but it controls another TV instead. However the remote is of the earlier "ultrasonic" technology, and these sound waves DO NOT pass through glass at the required strength needed to work. Those of us born before the movie can recall that jiggling your keys would make a remote controlled TV unwittingly change channels, or turn off and on. At about this same time the now common "infrared" RCs were coming out, albeit at outrageous prices. These signals CAN in effect pass through glass, despite some losses due to reflection. For the scene to be technically correct they should have used an IR remote, which would not make those "ringing bell" metallic sounds. 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 Funny People (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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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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