Being There [Criterion Collection] [2 Discs] [DVD] [1979]

  • SKU: 32434627
  • Release Date: 03/21/2017
  • Rating: PG
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Ratings & Reviews

Overall Customer Rating:
100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (4 out of 4)

Special Features

  • Appearances from 1980 by actor Peter Sellers on NBC's Today and on The Don Lane Show
  • Author Jerzy Kosinski in a 1979 appearance on The Dick Cavett Show
  • Deleted scenes, outtakes, and alternate ending
  • Excerpts from a 1980 American Film Institute seminar with director Hal Ashby
  • New documentary on the making of the film, featuring interviews with members of the production team
  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by cinematographer Caleb Deschanel
  • Promo reel featuring Sellers And Ashby
  • Trailer And TV spots


Being There
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. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Peter Sellers
    Peter Sellers - Chance the Gardener
  • Shirley MacLaine
    Shirley MacLaine - Eve Rand
  • Melvyn Douglas
    Melvyn Douglas - Benjamin Rand
  • Jack Warden
    Jack Warden - President Bobby
  • Richard Basehart
    Richard Basehart - Vladimir Skrapinov

Customer rating

would recommend to a friend
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Criterion NEVER Fails

    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase

    I bought this item before I left for vacation expecting to not receive it until I already left, but it was delievered early and it came to my home the day of its release! Being There is a film I cherish, an underappreciated masterpiece with an incredible performance by the great Peter Sellers. Criterion brought the film through restoration, and it's (of course) glorious. The supplementail features make the purchase more than worth it. Highly recommended.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Take a "Chance" with Peter Sellers

    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    This is one of the best Peter Sellers movies in his great career. With the supporting cast of Shirley MacClaine, Melvin Douglas and Jack Warden. The story of a simple minded house gardener whose lived his entire life staying on one property and watching tv. Until the owner of the house passes away, so Chance, the gardener, is forced into the outside world.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    A great movie

    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    A very well written scrip. A little slow paced, but very funny. Peter Sellers is excellent in this film.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    A great satire on Americas gullibility

    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    Peter Sellers finest film performance. Funny and unforgettable!

    I would recommend this to a friend

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