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Being There (1979)

 -  Comedy  -  19 December 1979 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 44,373 users  
Reviews: 265 user | 88 critic

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

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Writers:

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

Being There (1979) on IMDb 8.1/10

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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
Alfredine P. 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:

Life is a state of mind. See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

19 December 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Chance  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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

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 The Unknown Peter Sellers (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Basketball Jones Featuring Tyrone Shoelaces
Written and Performed by Cheech Marin (as Cheech) & Tommy Chong (as Chong)
Band: George Harrison (lead guitar), Carole King
(piano/background vocals), Billy Preston (keyboards) and Tom Scott (saxophone)
Background vocals (cheerleaders): Darlene Love and Michelle Phillips
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Stellar Sellers
22 November 2004 | by (Charlotte NC USA) – See all my reviews

Melvyn Douglas as Ben Rand and Shirley MacLaine as Eve Rand were only two examples of the great casting in this film. The best casting of course was to place Peter Sellers in the role of Chauncey "Chance" Gardener. I have watched this film many times and each time I see something else to enjoy in Peter Sellers' performance along with something else to mourn for his passing. In "Being There" Sellers abandons the crowd pleasing slapstick which attracted the droves for the "Pink Panther" series to offer a far more sincere performance that to me is flawlessly in-character and ultimately believable. I am constantly debating with myself whether "Dr. Strangelove" or "Being There" was Sellers' best work. "Being There" is very enjoyable and I never seem to get tired of it. Apart from Sellers standout performance, "Being There" from every angle is an extremely well made film that holds up well to remain engaging 25 years later and is no doubt a source of pride for all involved in any regard. In short, this is a movie that, "I like to watch!"


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