Simple-minded gardener Chance has spent all his life in the Washington D.C. home 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 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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 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 »
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 »
CBS edited 3 minutes from this film for its 1984 network television premiere. See more »
Being There is a film about a simple and mildly retarded gardener, played by Peter Sellers who's entire adult life was gardening for an elderly gentleman and watching television. When the old man dies, Chancey is left homeless and on his own. Due to his past recluse surroundings he is unaware of the every day technology, such as telephone, elevators etc., which leads to some comical situations. He is saved from the streets, by a wealthy woman, Eve Rand, played by Shirley MacLean. When her limo backs into him she takes him home to be treated by her dying husbands physician Dr Allenby played by Richard Dysort. Everyone mistakes Chancey's simple mutterings as profound insight and wisdom. Benjamin Rand played by Melvin Douglas is a wealthy influential business tycoon who is well connected in politics and a personal friend of the President, played by Jack Warden. They also mistake the simple utterance's as insightful.
Although the film is comical at times, it is also very sad, as Chancey lacks awareness of what's going on around him most of the time. He has no reaction, even when Eve Rand, tries to seduce him, which is one of the many humourous scenes.
The filming and directing is good and the film moves along with a good pace, and is very entertaining and a must see for all Peter Sellers fans. Once again Sellers shows the incredible talent, that he was so well known for.
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