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Being There [Blu-ray] (2009)

Peter Sellers  |  PG |  Blu-ray
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (584 customer reviews)

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Being There [Blu-ray] + Barry Lyndon [Blu-ray]
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Product Details

  • Actors: Peter Sellers
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Color, NTSC, Original recording remastered, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Mono), French (Mono), Spanish (Mono)
  • Subtitles: French, Portuguese, English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: February 3, 2009
  • Run Time: 130 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (584 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001IHJ974
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,960 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Being There [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Being There author Jerzy Kosinski got a telegram from the book's lead character Chance the Gardener: "Available in my garden or outside of it." Kosinski dialed the accompanying phone number and Peter Sellers answered. The result was Sellers' indelible performance (scoring National Board of Review and Golden Globe Best Actor Awards and an Academy Award nomination*) in this modern comedy classic. Isolated all his life in a Washington, DC, townhouse, Chance knows only what hes seen on TV. Cast into the world, he stumbles into the world of power brokers (including Melvyn Douglas in his second Oscar-winning* role) eager for "sage wisdom." You'll like to watch.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
264 of 273 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In the garden, growth has its season. August 21, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
This is my favorite movie of all time. And I don't particularly like Peter Sellers!
It's a slow starter. First time I saw it, I remember being somewhat puzzled by the opening, where Chance is revealed as a very retarded middle-aged man, trained as a gardener, who apparantly has reached his full--and extremely limited--potential. He loses his livelihood and his sheltered place to live when "the old man"--his mysterious benefactor--dies, and the lawyers in charge of the estate evict him.
My first chuckle came soon after, when he tried using his TV remote on a mugger, trying to change the experience into something more pleasant; it wasn't until this point in the film that things began to make sense to me.
Throughout the rest of the movie, scene after scene shows 'Chauncy Gardener' as a complete misfit--and highlights how we human beings, in all our frailty, create ourselves and our world through what we decide to believe. When Chancy speaks, his words are mysterious because they are short and puzzling--when those around him try to make sense of them, they take what he says as metaphors, and read wildly profound meanings in his words.
(This leads to Jerzy Kosinski's purpose for writing the novel, to highlight the foolish way people blindly swallow whatever tripe the media--and our politicians--serve up. IMO director Hal Ashby caught Jerzy's intention with this movie even better than the book did.)
At the same time that people read wisdom into his simple words, Chauncy is fully present and honest in the moment, and the other characters--to whom this is foreign--treasure that, even while they completely miss that Chance is totally clueless as to what's really going on (with one notable exception).
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55 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Underappreciated Masterpiece November 14, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
"Being There" is one of my favorite movies of all time, starring Peter Sellers in his last major film role. How Sellers was cheated out of an Oscar is still a mystery to me, as this has to be one of the greatest performances by an actor in the last 40 years. Maybe voters for the Academy Award weren't in the mood for a black comedy, which this show is, or maybe they didn't like its political overtones? Or, maybe they just couldn't give such a serious award to someone who'd played Inspector Clouseau? In any case, this movie was way before its time in style and substance; Academy voters missed the boat. Among other things, they should have asked themselves if anyone else could have played this part so well? Could anyone else have done the blank, languid stares so convincingly? Could anyone else have delivered the dead-pan lines so flawlessly? The answers would have been a resounding, No.

The movie tells the story of a half-retarded gardener, Chance, whom one supposes is the illegitimate son of a prominent business man in Washington, D. C. This occurs in 1979, when the Carter Administration was in its last stages of faded glory. Chance, played by Peter Sellers, is left homeless when the old man dies. He then wanders the streets of the big city in search of his new life. Whatever he has learned has come from watching TV and he uses his remote control to change channels. While roaming the streets of Washington, Chance even tries his clicker in real life situations, which is very funny.

Chance then stumbles upon one of the main power brokers in D. C., a gravely-ill Ben Rand. He is played by Melvyn Douglas who won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in this portrayal. Rand's wife Eve, played by Shirley MacLane, falls for Chance and a tawdry affair (on her side) ensues.
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59 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still great after 30 years... January 18, 2009
Format:Blu-ray
This is a wonderful film that I saw theatrically some 30 years ago. This blu-ray is sharp and film like, with muted colors appropriate to the story, but still very nice to finally watch in hi def. Don't expect it to look like a modern day film. I saw several subtle things I hadn't noticed before, because of the sharp resolution.

The extras are nice, but brief. One short scene and one 'extension' plus the alternate (original) ending. Also, there's a promo piece for distributors with Peter and Hal Ashby. Nice to have these, but I'm wondering what happened to all those hours of videotapes of alternates of the whole film that I read about before. Were they poor quality or impossible to find? I heard some crumbled into dust when played back so perhaps they're gone for good.

The making of only has Illana Douglas (granddaughter of Melvyn)who was on set as a youngster. (Where is Shirley Maclaine? Most of the others are, of course, no longer with us.)

A no brainer buy for fans and if you haven't seen it - rent it!
A great performance from Peter Sellers and all involved.
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171 of 206 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Deluxe Edition? Bluff package! May 20, 2009
By coma
Format:DVD
I don't intend to question the movie, which is excellent indeed. My rating is based on the fact, that this so-called "Deluxe Edition" is only a hoax, a bluff package.

The only bonus material are the recollections of Melvyn Douglas' granddaughter (16 minutes runtime, intercut with scenes from the movie) and the trailer.

Sorry, that's not luxurious, but simply ridiculous. Thanks Warner Bros. for another rip-off.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great classy, classic movie
Great classy, classic movie. Shot on film in 1979 and it really pops in BluRay. If you love this movie (my wife and I first date movie) then buy the BluRay and enjoy it on a big... Read more
Published 16 hours ago by Ace Rimmer
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
Absolutely wonderful political and existential satire
Published 17 hours ago by Kathy
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Miss This Classic Film
This is the best Peter Sellers you will ever see. His performance is flawless. The story is great. Shirley MacLaine is right on too. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Ed Dickson
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Ending
Peter Sellers at his best. While a bit dated for the young crowd, the conclusion still blows one away the first time you see it. Pull up a seat and watch it!
Published 7 days ago by Ambassador Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Film
Not enough people have seen this film. You want a movie to perfectly sum up the end of the late 60s and 70s mentality toward cinema? Here you go.
Published 11 days ago by Jess Walsh
5.0 out of 5 stars The Importance of Being Earnestly Stupid
Am still reeling from just watching this tautly-drolle film, can't articulate a proper review; will edit later. Read more
Published 12 days ago by brainout
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books ever written.
One of the best books ever written.

Being There is funny, true and frightening. I think it was written about politicians like B. Obama. Read more
Published 19 days ago by Pinkyrose
4.0 out of 5 stars The best thing about this movie was Shirley McClaine
Peter Sellers at his prime. The best thing about this movie was Shirley McClaine.

( Okay, so I don't know how to spell her last name. Read more
Published 20 days ago by mawkeybird
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Tremendous!
Published 24 days ago by lbeachi
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
loved it
Published 24 days ago by Larry Jay Rose
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Yeah. That does suck. Just goes to show you can't trust freedom when it's not in your hands... (Guns N' Roses quote, I think...).
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