Getting there is half the fun; being there is all of it!
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.
Part of the No Rewatch November 2012 Project.
People hear what they want to hear, what they're already expecting to hear. That's the central driving notion behind the greatness of Being There. Not that it's a film that rambles on in love with it's own message. Quite the opposite actually.
This is a movie that seems to steer clear of heavy handed-ness in favor of simple delight. The process of watching it somehow puts you into Chance's mind so that you end up seeing things the way he does. You begin to experience, in some sense, the way it must be to see the world for the first time. You root for the misunderstandings, you root for the absurdity of…
Another one of those "So good, I had to see it again as soon as possble." and with a film like this, can you blame me?
This is very similar to Forrest Gump in that they both follow a simple man who is mistaken for a something much more brilliant and in his journey encounters powerful figures, like the President of the United States, as they all fall for his misunderstandings. This is a much stronger film than Forrest Gump, not that I don't like Forrest; I love Forrest Gump. Where this surpasses the latter film is that the latter constantly throws it all in your face how sentimental and inspiring it tries to be to the point it's pretty…
Somehow I've managed to pick 3 films in a row absolutely dripping with Biblical allegory. Purely coincidence, I assure you.
Being There is mostly kept afloat by the brazenly naive yet hopelessly adorable performance of Peter Sellers, and the stunning Shirley MacLaine. Thanks to Sellers, the Christ allegory at the core of the film always dances with satire but never quite seems to descend in outright ridicule of Christianity thanks to the pure likability of Chauncey Gardiner, and the fact that it is the world around him that elevates his words; that their adulation of him comes from a deep-seated need for optimism and hope. As much as I was hoping to see Sellers let loose, it's equally impressive to…
There are a few films I remember being interested in from my childhood. I remember this being one of them, primarily because I was a huge Peter Sellers fan as a kid. However, when I read descriptions of this movie at the time, many described it as being dry with very little dialogue, and I even thought I read one description that said Peter Sellers was mute. This tempered my enthusiasm, and I was in no big hurry to see the film.
As time went on, it seemed like I heard less and less about this film, while critical assessment of other Ashby films like Harold And Maude seemed to increase. In addition, my enthusiasm for Hal Ashby as a…
''Life is a state of mind''
I can see why 'Being There' is so beloved, what a beautiful and hilarious experience. A Comedy where basically every moment of hilarity is natural and there are no instances of filmmakers pandering to their audiences. And why is Hal Ashby so underrated ? This is the same guy who Directed 'The Last Detail' and Harold & Maude' right ? Why isn't the man more renowned ?!
A dream cast too, Shirley Maclaine is terrific, Melvyn Douglas is incredible and Peter Sellers is brilliant beyond words. 'Being There' is every bit as wonderful as its made out to be.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Movie #386 of "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die".
This movie successfully takes on America's obsession with media, consumption, sex, class, and money and delivers the satire with gentleness. Social commentary just works better with Peter Sellers.
A simple minded gardener who has never left the estate he works in , Suddenly finds himself out in the world after the death of his master, He ends up on adventure where he meets the powerful people of the time who mistake his simple TV-informed utterances for profundity.
Really enjoyable and amusing film (and not just because it reminds me of "Big") in which Peter Sellars channels Stan Laurel to great satirical effect.
Subdued and awkward, Sellers' character laborious simplicity and innocence have a difficult to explain—yet undeniable—appeal in the onscreen world and off. (And, MacLaine being one of the all-time hotties, this is quite the pleasing film. Besides the obvious scene, even. You perv.)
I've never understood the popularity of Forrest Gump when Being There, produced fifteen years earlier, is so much better. Being There is a career end for star Peter Sellers and a career cap for director Hal Ashby as the '70s wound down. And one can never hear too much Satie in a movie. "Life... is a state of mind."
...I like to watch.
Before Tom Hanks was Forrest Gump, Peter Sellers was Chance the gardener, er... Chauncey Gardner?
A wonderfully funny satire, that toys with obliviousness. A seemingly blank man takes the world by storm, simply by being simple. Reading too much into everything Chance says, people hear only what they want to hear. A bit depressing at times, but the dry deadpan is absolutely killer. Sellers nails everything. The outtakes over the credits make it a wonder they could keep a straight face long enough to finish filming.
That being said, there are serious themes within, whether it's the perception of appearances or America, or the ramifications of television, Being There doesn't go too overboard. It's a nice mesh of humor and drama. Only Ashby could have directed such an oddly perfect film.
(If Shirley MacLaine masturbating can't sell you. I don't know what will.)
Another perfect film. So sweet, so funny. Shirley MacLaine made me laugh so hard in her “wild with desire” scene I nearly spewed root beer all over myself. So wonderfully darling, so very clever. I just love movies like this.
Simpleton who spent all his life as the gardener of a wealthy man gets evicted from the house when his benefactor dies, but his meaningless ramblings are mistaken for deep wisdom by the powers that be. Based on Jezy Kosinski's short novel, subtly funny parable treads lightly but assuredly on such themes as communication, destiny, power and, ultimately, solitude. Peter Sellers, who died a year later, reaches the highest point but Shirley MacLaine's performance is nothing short of extraordinary. Memorable ending is Hal Ahsby's personal contribution to a true masterpiece