Being There (BD) [Blu-ray]
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Being There: Deluxe Edition (BD)
After Being There was published, author Jerzy Kosinski got a telegram from its lead character Chance the Gardener: “Available in my garden or outside of it.” Kosinski dialed the accompanying telephone number and Peter Sellers answered. Sellers indeed got the part and gave an 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 inner circle of political power brokers (including Melvyn Douglas in his second Oscar-winning* role) eager for “sage wisdom.” As Chance might say, youll like to watch.]]>
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Top customer reviews
Being there depends on one basic joke that makes the whole movie and makes it wonderful. Chauncey sees the word in his simple way and almost everyone he meets thinks there is some deeper meaning to the simple way he looks at the world. His innocent simplicity makes you want to like him.
How the powerful Chancy meets read deeper meanings from him and assume he is a person of power is the basis of the whole movie. I can only imagine Peter Sellers playing this role so perfectly. A superb supporting cast including Shirley Maclaine, Jack Warden and Melvyn Douglas provide the framework for Seller's great performance.
I wish this had been the crowning last glory of the great Peter Sellers. I would have been a fitting finish to a great career.
Being there is a masterpiece of how people believe what they want - isn't that so much like politics today? It makes the premise and theme of this movie as pertinent today as when it was first released in theatres decades ago.
I hope this helps someone.
Cons: Glad they got rid of that basketball scene (obviously pervy) from the film, masturbation scene, wish I got the Criterion edition
Chance the Gardener is a simple man whose calm demeanor leads him into a fast-paced life mingling with the elite of society, the titans of industry, and even the President of the United States.
If you love Peter Sellers, this will become a favorite of yours.
The basic premise of the movie is simple - a gardener has been kept secluded from the world, exposed only to television. As a result, his view of things is rather flat, not fully fleshed out. His personality is equally flat but also serene and straightforward. When he encounters the outside world, his simplicity is seen as wisdom and Sellers makes this odd scenario...well, believable.
This movie was made during a particularly turbulent period in Seller's personal life and yet he manages to be serene, even placid, on film, giving no hint at the emotional turmoil in his offscreen life. Just as Sellers defied categorization (he is, after all, the same actor who made The Pink Panther movies with Blake Edwards as well as Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove, this movie is in a class all its own.
Those who love Popular Culture should have a field day analyzing how television can affect one's view of the world, for better or worse. The rest of us will just sit back and enjoy a truly one of a kind performance.