Being ThereDirector: Hal Ashby, Peter Sellers, Shirley MacLaine, Melvyn Douglas
Having lived his life as the gardener on a millionaire's estate, Chance (Peter Sellers) knows of the real world only what he has seen on TV. When his benefactor dies, Chance walks aimlessly into the streets of Washington D.C., where he is struck by a car owned by wealthy Eve Rand (Shirley MacLaine). Identifying himself, the confused man mutters "Chance...gardener," which Eve takes to be "Chauncey Gardiner." Eve takes him to her home to convalesce, and because Chance is so well-dressed and well-groomed, and because he speaks in such a cultured tone, everyone in her orbit assumes that "Chauncey Gardiner" must be a man of profound intelligence. No matter what he says, it is interpreted as a pearl of wisdom and insight. He rises to the top of Washington society, where his simplistic responses to the most difficult questions (responses usually related to his gardening experience) are highly prized by the town's movers and shakers. In fact, there is serious consideration given to running Chance as a presidential candidate. Both a modern fable and a political satire, Being There was based on the novel by Jerzy Kosinski and costars Melvyn Douglas, who won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar as Eve's aging power-broker husband.
- Release Date:
- Original Release:
- Warner Home Video
Cast & Crew
|Robert R. Benton||Set Decoration/Design|
|Michael Haller||Production Designer|
|David Shamroy Hamburger||Asst. Director|
|Johnny Mandel||Score Composer|
|Charles B. Mulvehill||Associate Producer,Production Manager|
|May Routh||Costumes/Costume Designer|
|James L. Schoppe||Art Director|
|Jack Schwartzman||Executive Producer|
|Jeff Wexler||Sound/Sound Designer|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
This movie was very interesting. Most of the main characters were wealthy or politicians, but the movie didn't get into politics and big business in all their complexities. This movie was made in simpler times. A good bit of the movie took place in a beautiful mansion, so you get a sense of what it might be like to be wealthy. Humorous at times. The pervading theme was how everyone related to the Peter Sellers character and what they believed him to be. If you are interested in human behavior, watch this movie. No fluff, gratuitous violence, continuous action, and very little sexual content. In other words, a lot of today's audience might not fully appreciate it.
Don't remember who was President when this first came out, but it doesn't really matter. It's a thought-provoking look at power and politics in the USA, from a very unusual perspective. Peter Sellers really did save his best performance for last.