Being There (1979)

PG   |    |  Comedy, Drama


Being There (1979) Poster

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


8/10
61,094

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  • Peter Sellers and Nick McLean in Being There (1979)
  • Peter Sellers and Jack Warden in Being There (1979)
  • Shirley MacLaine and Peter Sellers in Being There (1979)
  • Peter Sellers in Being There (1979)
  • Peter Sellers in Being There (1979)
  • Peter Sellers and Melvyn Douglas in Being There (1979)

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9 December 2004 | skippymolloy
10
| Sellers deserves the Oscar not hanks,
When I first saw Being There I was all of 10 years old, and for some reason, I loved it. And yet I could never exactly say why. Several years latter while looking for another movie, I happen across this video and read the review. Chance Gardner played charmingly by Peter Sellers, ( I think that is what the reviewer wrote) stumbles his way into the upper crest where he is mistaken for someone with deep knowledge of the world. Other reviews point out this movie is cynical characterization of self absorbed people in politics and media. As a kid I didn't get that, and now on further reflection what I liked about this movie was how these people where drawn to Chances innocence. In some ways Forrest Gump tried to attempt to tell this story line, but only manages to rehash old stereotypes. Being There depicts in clever, real characters who use a veil of politeness to cover up a cynicisim they have of their world and their own power. But for a kid and maybe why it has a cult following is because the heart of the show, whats addicting about is no matter how self absorbed we become, our best nature is drawn to a simple life, absent of complications. After watching the movie again, the dark comedy is more apparent, but I am happy to say that in the "Life and death of Peter Sellers", Sellers himself interpreted the character as I thought of it when I was kid. Gardner is a man who is sublimely content with no past and no future, and therefore no worries. As a kid I kind of new that as innocence. So if you rent this movie don't just see it as a black comedy, but also see it how a kid might, and for that matter how Peter Sellers saw it.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Peter Sellers prepared for the role of Chance by recording his voice over and over again, experimenting with different styles and tones. He chose a deliberately blank style to convey the character.


Quotes

Chance the Gardener: Good morning, Louise.
Louise: He's dead, Chance. The old man's dead.
Chance the Gardener: I see.


Goofs

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.


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.


Alternate Versions

CBS edited 3 minutes from this film for its 1984 network television premiere.


Soundtracks

Symphony No. 8
(uncredited)
Written by
Franz Schubert

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Comedy | Drama

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