Being There (1979)

Being There (1979)

Taglines: A story of chance.

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. After a run in with a limousine, he ends up a guest of a woman (Eve) and her husband Ben, an influential but sickly businessman. Now called Chauncey Gardner, Chance becomes friend and confidante to Ben, and an unlikely political insider.

Being There is a 1979 American comedy-drama film directed by Hal Ashby. Its screenplay was adapted by Jerzy Kosiński and the uncredited Robert C. Jones from the 1970 novella by Kosiński. The film stars Peter Sellers, Shirley MacLaine, Melvyn Douglas, Richard A. Dysart, Jack Warden, and Richard Basehart.

Douglas won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and Sellers was nominated for Best Actor. The screenplay won the British Academy Film Award for Best Screenplay and the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Comedy Adapted from Another Medium. It was also nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay.

The making of the film is portrayed in The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, a biographical film of Sellers’ life. In 2015 the United States Library of Congress selected the film for preservation in the National Film Registry, finding it “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

Being There Movie Poster (1979)

Being There (1979)

Directed by: Hal Ashby
Starring: Peter Sellers, Shirley MacLaine, Melvyn Douglas, Jack Warden, Richard Dysart, Denise DuBarry, Richard Basehart
Screenplay by: Jerzy Kosinski
Production Design by: Michael D. Haller
Cinematography by: Caleb Deschanel
Film Editing by: Don Zimmerman
Costume Design by: May Routh
Set Decoration by: Robert R. Benton
Art Direction by: James L. Schoppe
Music by: Johnny Mandel
Distributed by: United Artists
Release Date: December 19, 1979