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Being There (1979)

PG | | Comedy, Drama | 26 May 1980 (Denmark)
2:45 | Trailer

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



(novel), (screenplay)
4,085 ( 324)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 12 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »



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


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


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


Comedy | Drama


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

26 May 1980 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Chance  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


When the President is shown aboard Air Force One asking aids about "Chancey Gardner", immediately prior is shown a twin engine Boeing 737 taking off. A 737 has never been outfitted as a presidential plane. More accurately, a Boeing 707 taking off should have been shown. See more »


[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 »


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


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

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User Reviews

The Great Peter Sellers
2 June 2004 | by (Boston, MA) – See all my reviews

Peter Sellers should have taken home the Academy Award for his role in Being There. A lifetime of comedies behind him, Sellers ended his career as an actor and a comic legend with this classic. Hard to believe that this was made over 20 years ago, it is still as funny as ever. Since then, no other comedian has captured the raw talent of comedy that Sellers could create. The silent comedy and the physical comedy that Sellers made was not only timeless but funnier than most of the comedy we see in film today. Second to maybe his role in Lolita and in the Pink Panther series, Sellers is not only funny, but gives his best performance in Being There. A terrific story with interesting and real characters, Being There is a delight.

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