Being There

Being There

DVD - 2017
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"In one of his most finely tuned performances, Peter Sellers plays the pure-hearted, childlike Chance, a gardener who is forced into the wilds of Washington, D.C., when his wealthy guardian dies. Shocked to discover that the real world doesn't respond to the click of a remote, Chance stumbles into celebrity after being taken under the wing of a tycoon (Melvyn Douglas, in an Oscar-winning performance), who mistakes his prote?ge?'s horticultural mumblings for sagacious pronouncements on life and politics, and whose wife (Shirley MacLaine) targets Chance as the object of her desire. Adapted from a novel by Jerzy Kosinski, this satire, both deeply melancholy and hilarious, is the culmination of Hal Ashy's remarkable string of films in the 1970s and a carefully modulated examination of the ideals, anxieties and media-fueled delusions that shaped American culture during that decade"--Container.
Publisher: [New York, New York] : The Criterion Collection, [2017]
Edition: Two-DVD special edition.
Copyright Date: 979.
ISBN: 9781681432823
168143282X
Branch Call Number: DVD COMEDY Bein
Characteristics: 2 videodiscs (130 min.) : DVD video, sound, color ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 insert (10 panels : color illustrations ; folded to 19 cm).

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c
Caro12
Feb 18, 2020

Not a "laugh out loud" comedy, its for adults. Kind of plodding, but hang in there. Its worth it.

g
gates2
Dec 06, 2019

Such a great story, and everyone on board does such an outstanding job, especially Peter Sellers who just plays the half-wit gardener so perfectly. What a treat to watch the story unfold and people faun all over who they think this guy is. The story is brilliantly about the people around the gardener, as they're enamored by their own projections and, of course, Sellers unwittingly just gives them what they need to act on those projections. A scene when Shirley McClean has an organism is priceless, classic. Such a treat of a movie.

b
BBRUTTIG
Jul 25, 2019

This is a VERY GOOD Sellers movie of just BEING THERE in the right place and right time. The comedy is in how the man CHANCE just falls into experiences with people and events. I think this is one of SELLERS BEST subtle comedies he acted in. Not a constant laughing out loud movie but a shake your head and belly chuckle at the various circumstances he experiences with surrounding people not knowing who and what he actually is in life.

a
akirakato
Mar 20, 2019

Directed by Hal Ashby in 1979 based on the 1970 novel of the same name by Jerzy KosiƄski, this American dramedy delves into the life of an child-like innocent middle-aged gardener.
Superb are the performances of Peter Sellers and Shirley MacLaine who try to make love in such a funny way that you would certainly laugh to death as I did.

m
ManMachine
Feb 07, 2019

Completely stone-faced, I sat there and waited (and, Waited!) (and, WAITED!) (ho-hum) for "Being There" to get funny (or a reasonable facsimile there of). But, no, it just didn't happen.

Like - WTF!? I must've rolled my eyes to the ceiling about 100 frickin' times while watching "Being There".

Instead of being the savagely witty "laugh-fest" that I had expected it to be, "Being There" (a truly over-rated comedy, if there ever was one) was about as moronic and brain-dead and totally lacking in any genuine humor as you could possibly imagine it to be.

If I'm not mistaken, I believe that "Being There" was actor/comedian, Peter Sellers' movie career "swansong". (Sellers died at 54, a year after this film's release) For a fellow who spent over 25 years making people laugh their guts out, Sellers, sadly enough, certainly went out with a mealy-mouthed, little wimper with this one.

d
desmondghyoung
Dec 13, 2018

There are so many movies made of similar storyline, but this is profound and certainly the best I have ever seen. How come I have not seen it earlier?

h
hesselugano
Dec 04, 2018

A truly outstanding comedy that succeeds because of its subtlety - a script that avoids the fatal mistake of trying to be too funny (The Ladykillers). Having revisited this movie recently, I still feel a lump in my throat when Peter Sellers and Melvyn Douglas discus death:
Chauncey Gardiner: "I know exactly what you mean, Ben, the garden I had was such a place, but I don't have that anymore. All I have left is the room upstairs."
Benjamin Rand: "Oh come on now! Wait a minute Chauncey, you've got your health. For God's sake man, you can't let those bastards get you down, you gotta fight. I don't want to hear any more from you about that 'room upstairs'. That's where I'm going. And too damn soon!"
Ironically, Peter Sellers would die within a year and Melvyn Douglas would outlive him by just over a year. Such a shame Sellers wasted the time left to him on a piece of garbage like "The fiendish plot of Fu Manchu".

v
VonHafenstaaad
Aug 31, 2018

A classic. I've never understood why this excellent movie isn't more well-known or popular. Peter Sellers and Shirley MacLaine are wonderful actors - and the entire cast is filled with talented actors. This is my favorite work of Sellers- the book by the same title, written by Jerzy Kozinski, is also excellent.

r
RoyalJellyIII
Aug 25, 2018

I love this movie and for a single reason: It tells a story with minimal exposition and simplicity. Peter Sellers plays his part with admirable restraint and the rest of the production elevates his performance. Sometimes I think that a good drama does not need multiple story arcs or fancy effects to resonate with audiences. This film shows the truth of that powerfully, while leaving it up to us (the viewers) to create meaning from what we have seen. The hold of the mass media over our collective imaginations has never been presented in quite such a funny way, with the possible exception of Paddy Chayefsky's Network.

t
tuan_canada
Oct 17, 2017

Surprisingly good movie.

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Quotes

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Laura_X Feb 22, 2019

Yes. In the garden, growth has it seasons. First comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and winter. And then we get spring and summer again.

c
coryegan
Feb 18, 2013

"Life is a state of mind"

v
vickiz
Jan 07, 2009

I like to watch.

v
vickiz
Jan 07, 2009

As long as the roots are not severed, all is well. And all will be well in the garden.

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PimaLib_WilliamB May 06, 2015

A simple man who has been raised his entire life inside a house watching television is suddenly forced out into the world, and stumbles into all kinds of odd and hilarious situations until he enters into the home of a politician, who mistakes him for being a brilliant strategist. Oscar-nominated performance by Peter Sellers.

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