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Being There (1979)

 -  Comedy  -  19 December 1979 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 43,802 users  
Reviews: 263 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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(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
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

In different versions, the end credits are either shown over retakes of Chance saying a line that was not in the movie (the message from Raphael, restored to the home video version) or shown over TV white noise. Peter Sellers was at the film's screening at the 1980 Cannes Film Festival and was furious with director Hal Ashby and the producers for including the outtakes version of the end credits at this performance as well as the audience's reaction to them. This incident may have finally made the producers change their minds. When the film opened soon after in Australia in late May 1980, the entire end credits were removed from all prints (leading to a deafening thud on the soundtrack after the film's final line). These prints were all replaced with versions including the "white noise" end credits, including the film's main theme by composer Johnny Mandel. See more »

Goofs

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 »

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 Woody Allen: A Documentary (2012) 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

Perhaps one of the saddest movies ever made?
12 January 1999 | by (London England) – See all my reviews

To learn that Peter Sellers spent the last ten years of his life dedicated to producing this film, reluctantly taking parts in the Pink Panther series to gain enough money to do so, is dedication enough to tell you that this film meant a lot to Sellers.

It is sad that Sellers died just one year after completing the film, which to me stands as a testament to his talent.

Being There was not a successful film, indeed many people have never heard of it. If you haven't seen it, track it down. It is one of the most touching films I have ever seen.


101 of 144 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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