Being There

Released on: 08 Feb 1980 • Rated: PG • Runtime: 130 min

Genre: Comedy, Drama

Director: Hal Ashby
Writer: Jerzy Kosinski, Robert C. Jones
Actors: Peter Sellers, Shirley MacLaine, Melvyn Douglas

Plot: After the death of his employer forces him out of the only home he’s ever known, a simpleminded, sheltered gardener becomes an unlikely trusted advisor to a powerful tycoon and an insider in Washington politics.

Box Office Gross: $30,177,511

Awards: Won 1 Oscar. 14 wins & 15 nominations total








When the wealthy man Chance (Sellers) works for as a long-time, live-in gardener suddenly passes away, he is told by the man’s kin that his services are longer needed, which leaves him jobless and homeless. Chance has spent his entire life gardening and is quite naive of the world outside of the sheltered life he’s led up to this point. His simplemindedness is taken for wisdom and he soon becomes a close advisor to the President, played by Jack Warden.

Being There is reminiscent of Forrest Gump in that it is the story of a simpleminded man who finds himself in important company. Although he doesn’t have the adventures of Gump, he does find himself in some interesting situations.

The film ends with outtakes during the credits, which does take some of the seriousness away from the story and, quite possibly, cost Sellers an Oscar for Best Actor.

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