8.0/10
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302 user 109 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)
Reviews
Popularity
3,936 ( 424)

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From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
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:

Life is a state of mind. 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  »

Box Office

Gross:

$30,177,511 (USA)
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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

The orchestra performing Schubert's "Unfinished" Symphony at the very start of the movie is the North Carolina School of the Arts Orchestra and its conductor, seen in close up, is Nicholas Harsanyi. See more »

Goofs

When the President is shown aboard Air Force One asking aids about "Chancey Gardner", immediately prior is shown a twin engine Boeing 737 taking off. A 737 has never been outfitted as a presidential plane. More accurately, a Boeing 707 taking off should have been shown. 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 »

Connections

Referenced in Ally McBeal: Being There (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony N°6 in F Major (opus 68)
known as "The Pastoral Symphony"
Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven
(1808)
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User Reviews

 
Sellers deserves the Oscar not hanks,
9 December 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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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