8.0/10
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302 user 110 critic

Being There (1979)

PG | | Comedy, Drama | 26 May 1980 (Denmark)
A simple, sheltered gardener becomes an unlikely trusted advisor to a powerful businessman and an insider in Washington politics.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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Popularity
4,326 ( 158)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 12 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Ruth Attaway ...
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Thomas Franklin (as Dave Clennon)
Fran Brill ...
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Oteil Burbridge ...
Ravenell Keller III ...
Brian Corrigan ...
Alfie 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:

Getting there is half the fun; being there is all of it! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

26 May 1980 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Chance  »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$30,177,511
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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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]
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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 »


Soundtracks

Gnossiennes #4 & #5
by Erik Satie
Rearranged by Johnny Mandel
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User Reviews

A well-kept secret
5 September 2000 | by 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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