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Being There

HD   PG Closed Captioning

Hal Ashby

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About the Movie

In his last great performance, Academy Award and Emmy-nominee and Golden Globe-winner Peter Sellers ("Dr. Strangelove," "The Pink Panther" features) stars as Chauncey Gardner, a child-like manservant (and progenitor to "Forrest Gump") whose hermetic existence is shaken when he is cast out upon his employer's death, and seems to encounter the outside world for the first time as he tries to reconcile reality with what he's seen on television. His enigmatic behavior from being autistic savant is taken for brilliance, as he profoundly affects the lives of his newfound friends and benefactors: a dying multimillionaire and political advisor to the president, portrayed by Melvyn Douglas in his Academy Award-winning role, and his wife, played by Academy Award, Emmy and Golden Globe-winner Shirley MacLaine ("Rumor Has It," "In Her Shoes"). Variety says: "a highly unusual and unusually fine film...Sellers' performance stands as the centerpiece of the film, and it's a beauty."

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 47
  • Fresh: 45
  • Rotten: 2
  • Average Rating: 8.5/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Hal Ashby directs Being There at an unruffled, elegant pace, the better to let Mr. Sellers's double-edged mannerisms make their full impression upon the audience. – Janet Maslin, New York Times, Jul 8, 2014

Fresh: Here is a comedy that valiantly defies both gravity and the latest Hollywood fashion. – Frank Rich, TIME Magazine, Jul 8, 2014

Fresh: A highly unusual and an unusually fine film. – Variety Staff, Variety, Jul 7, 2010

Fresh: Sellers has never been better and he embellishes the detached, childlike innocence of this character with perfect style and timing. It's a deceptively simple performance, but it is essentially the core and substance of the film. – Ron Pennington, Hollywood Reporter, Dec 19, 2016

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews


Perhaps Peter Sellers’ greatest role, elegant proof as to his superlative acting skills, an excellent screenplay, and an excellent supporting cast. One of his best — if not his greatest — of roles.

One of the greatest American films made.

Being There is a perfect example of how great films play out like a great symphony. The delicate weaving of story by Hal Ashby combined with the lucid performances of Peter Sellers, Melvyn Douglas and Shirley MacLaine and frankly all the amazing supporting and bit part players, play on the screen in harmony with the multi-faceted story. Although it’s not long before the audience is in on the joke, it still feels like we discover the depths of Chancey Gardner’s meaning and character along with all the characters in the film. This is one of those movies that could quite possible change your entire view on life. I can’t recommend it highly enough. Don’t wait. Purchase this absolute gem now. You won’t regret a minute of it.

'I like to watch'

My favorite movie. Profundity is interpreted by even the president of the United States- yet 'Chauncey Gardener' who knows nothing but television, and gardening in the walled in garden of a man who dies, thus he must leave the only home he knew. Shirley MacLaine and Peter Sellers are stellar. It's a must see!

Being There
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genre: Drama
  • Released: 1979

Customer Ratings