Being There (2-DVD) PG

Getting there is half the fun; being there is all of it!
Being There (2-DVD)
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Format:  DVD  (2 Discs)
item number:  6E4XR
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DVD Features:

  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Rated: PG
  • Run Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes
  • Video: Color
  • Released: March 21, 2017
  • Originally Released: 1979
  • Label: Criterion Collection
  • Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
  • Note: New, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by cinematographer Caleb Deschanel
    • New documentary on the making of the film, featuring interviews with members of the production team
    • Excerpts from a 1980 American Film Institute seminar with director Hal Ashby
    • Author Jerzy Kosinski in a 1979 appearance on The Dick Cavett Show
    • Appearances from 1980 by actor Peter Sellers on NBC's Today and on The Don Lane Show
    • Promo reel featuring Sellers And Ashby
    • Trailer And TV spots
    • Deleted scenes, outtakes, and alternate ending
  • Aspect Ratio: Widescreen - 1.85
  • Audio:
    • Subtitles - English

Performers, Cast and Crew:

Starring &
Performer: , , &
Directed by
Edited by
Screenplay by
Composition by
Art Direction by
Produced by
Director of Photography:

Memorable Quotes and Dialog:

"I like to watch."
  - Chauncy Gardner (Peter Sellers) to Eve Rand (Shirley MacLaine)

Major Awards:

Academy Awards 1979 - Best Supporting Actor: Melvyn Douglas

Entertainment Reviews:

Certified Fresh94%

Total Count: 52


User Ratings: 25,035
A highly unusual and an unusually fine film. Full Review
Oct 31, 2007
[Chance] is a cipher both funny and frightening, making utter vacancy look like Zen inscrutability.
Apr 1, 2004
...A rare and subtle bird that finds its tone and sticks with it. It has the appeal of an ingenious intellectual game...
Chicago Sun-Times
May 25, 1997
Rating: 3/4 -- Sellers is funny in every moment; you just have to watch very closely. Full Review
May 12, 2019
No one seems to know what to do with the allegorical undertone of Jerzy Kosinski's script, but as a whole this 1979 film maintains a fine level of wit, sophistication, and insight. Full Review
Chicago Reader
Oct 31, 2007
Rating: 4/4 -- Closed out the 1970's with a knowing smile, mourning that which was to come, and celebrating an unassuming antidote to the decade's increasing sense of materialism and political polarization. Full Review
From the Front Row
Jun 4, 2019
Sellers has never been better and he embellishes the detached, childlike innocence of this character with perfect style and timing. It's a deceptively simple performance, but it is essentially the core and substance of the film. Full Review
Hollywood Reporter
Dec 19, 2016

Product Description:

BEING THERE is based on Jerzy Kosinski's short comic novel about a simpleton, Chance (Peter Sellers), raised in isolation whose only education came from watching TV. When he's forced out of the house where he worked as a gardener by the death of the wealthy recluse who raised him from infancy, he's fortuitously struck by a limousine carrying Eve Rand (Shirley MacLaine), the wife of a wealthy industrialist. He's mistaken, because of his well-tailored suits, for a man of means and taken to dinner with her husband, Ben Rand (Melvyn Douglas). There, as Chauncy Gardner, his blank affect is taken for seriousness and his literal pronouncements about gardening for metaphoric economic predictions. Soon he's meeting the president (Jack Warden) and becoming a star on TV--where he's a natural.

Kosinski was well known to be personally fascinated by the power of television. In BEING THERE, which he adapted for the screen himself, he presents a comic fable about a man whose entire sense of reality came from watching television. Sellers is marvelous as the always-deadpan cipher in whom everyone he meets sees whatever it is they need to see. Shirley MacLaine, Jack Warden, and Melvyn Douglas give outstanding performances in this biting satire directed by Hal Ashby.


Production Notes:

  • Theatrical release: December 19, 1979.
  • Director Hal Ashby's former producer, Jerome Hellman, plays the role of Gary Burns, a talk show host.
  • The film was cited for Best Screenplay by BAFTA.
  • Jerzy Kosinski actually performed experiments in schools with young children, trying to see if TV creates culture or is a reflection of it.

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Product Info

  • Sales Rank: 33,130
  • UPC: 715515195317
  • Shipping Weight: 0.22/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 2 items

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