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Being There (1979)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  19 December 1979 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 48,685 users  
Reviews: 282 user | 95 critic

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



(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 15 wins & 11 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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A story of chance See more »


Comedy | Drama


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

19 December 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Chance  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The mansion used in the movie was The Biltmore Mansion in Asheville, North Carolina. See more »


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 »


[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 »


Features The Gong Show (1976) See more »


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

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User Reviews

A well-kept secret
5 September 2000 | by (Chicago, USA) – See all my reviews

This film is an absolute jewel. The main character, played by Peter Sellers, is the exact opposite of the film itself. Chauncey/Chance is simple, vapid, unconcerned and utterly unselfconscious, yet he radiates an image of being ponderous, calculating, and complex. The film is deceptively straightforward and uncomplicated on the surface, but is rich and complex upon reflection. The film is very enigmatic (even the title seems to make no sense, even though it seems like it should) and lends itself to interpretation. This is one of those films that you have to talk about after seeing it, and you'll find endless points of view to consider. More than that, however, this film is historically fascinating. Taken as a whole, the movie, the book, the behind the scenes intrigue, the place it holds in the careers of the Stars, the writers and the directors, makes this an exceptionally interesting and enjoyable film.

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One of the greatest endings in Cinema history forbidden10
Difficult to Watch nitrocow
what's with females under 18? fernandomassuy
Racism bhold1
The Biltmore ?? cheapfrill
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