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Being There Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

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

  • Release date:December 19, 1979

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Jerzy Kosinski Best Screenplay 1979 Nominee
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Jerzy Kosinski Best Screenplay 1980 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Peter Sellers Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy 1979 Winner
National Board of Review Peter Sellers Best Actor 1979 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Peter Sellers Best Actor 1979 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Hal Ashby Best Director 1979 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Melvyn Douglas Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture 1979 Winner
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Melvyn Douglas Best Supporting Actor 1979 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Melvyn Douglas Best Supporting Actor 1979 Winner
New York Film Critics Circle Melvyn Douglas Best Supporting Actor 1979 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Shirley MacLaine Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy 1979 Nominee

Cast

Peter Sellers
as Chance the Gardener
Shirley MacLaine
as Eve Rand
Melvyn Douglas
as Benjamin Rand
Jack Warden
as President Bobby
Richard Basehart
as Vladimir Skrapinov
Richard Dysart
as Dr. Robert Allenby
David Clennon
as Thomas Franklin
Fran Brill
as Sally Hayes
Wendell Burton
Ernest McClure
as Jeffery
Oteil Burbridge
as Lolo
Brian Corrigan
as Policeman
Donald Jacob
as David, chauffeur
Richard Venture
as Wilson
Arthur Grundy
as Arthur
Georgine Hall
as Mrs. Aubrey
Alice Hirson
as First Lady
James Noble
as Kaufman, Presidential Advisor
Stanley Grover
as Baldwin
Paul Marin
as Reporter
John Harkins
as Courtney
William Larsen
as Lyman Stuart
Jerome Hellman
as Gary Burns
Arthur Rosenberg
as Morton Hull
Sam Weisman
as Colson
Fredric Lehne
as TV Page
Gwen Humble
as TV Guest
Melendy Britt
as Sophie
Allen Williams
as Reporter
Hanna Hertelendy
as Natasha Skrapinov
Elya Baskin
as Karpatov
Than Wyenn
as Ambassador Gaufridi
John Miller
as Ron Steigler
Sandy Ward
as Sen. Slipshod
Danna Hansen
as Mrs. Slipshod
Mitch Kreindel
as Dennis Watson
Austin Hay
as Pallbearer
Mark Hammer
as Pallbearer
Maurice Copeland
as Pallbearer
Ernest McClure
as Jeffery
William Larsen
as Lyman Stuart
Elya Baskin
as Karpatov
Mitch Kreindel
as Dennis Watson
Than Wyenn
as Ambassador Gaufridi
James Noble
as Kaufman, Presidential Advisor
Jerome Hellman
as Gary Burns
Austin Hay
as Pallbearer
Stanley Grover
as Baldwin
Paul Marin
as Reporter
Arthur Grundy
as Arthur
Donald Jacob
as David, chauffeur
Georgine Hall
as Mrs. Aubrey
Brian Corrigan
as Policeman
Hanna Hertelendy
as Natasha Skrapinov
Mark Hammer
as Pallbearer
Arthur Rosenberg
as Morton Hull
Sam Weisman
as Colson
Fredric Lehne
as TV Page
Allen Williams
as Reporter
Danna Hansen
as Mrs. Slipshod
John Harkins
as Courtney
Sandy Ward
as Sen. Slipshod
Melendy Britt
as Sophie
Gwen Humble
as TV Guest
Oteil Burbridge
as Lolo
John Miller
as Ron Steigler
Alice Hirson
as First Lady
Richard Venture
as Wilson

Crew

Hal Ashby
Director
Jack Schwartzman
Producer
Charles B. Mulvehill
Producer
Andrew Braunsberg
Producer
Jerzy Kosinski
Book Author
Jerzy Kosinski
Screenwriter
Caleb Deschanel
Cinematographer
Johnny Mandel
Composer (Music Score)
Don Zimmerman
Editor
Charles B. Mulvehill
Associate Producer
Jack Schwartzman
Executive Producer
Robert R. Benton
Set Designer
May Routh
Costume Designer
Jeff Wexler
Sound/Sound Designer
David Shamroy Hamburger
First Assistant Director
Charles B. Mulvehill
Production Manager
Charles Schram
Makeup
Frank Westmore
Makeup
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