Being There
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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… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A highly unusual and an unusually fine film."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Hal Ashby directs Being There at an unruffled, elegant pace, the better to let Mr. Sellers's double-edged mannerisms make their full impression upon the audience."
‑ Janet Maslin, New York Times
"Amazingly poignant performance by Peter Sellers."
‑ Kelly Kessler, Common Sense Media
"If you are going to see only one Peter Sellers movie, see Dr. Strangelove, but if you're going to see two, then Being There also belongs on your must-see list."
‑ Brian Webster, Apollo Guide
"It's perhaps the great comic actor's most emotionally moving role."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"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."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"Satire is a threatened species in American film, and when it does occur, it's usually broad and slapstick, as in the Mel Brooks films. Being There, directed by Hal Ashby, is a rare and subtle bird that finds its tone and stays with it."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Sweet, feel-good sports flick is girl-powered."
‑ Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
"While the story is utterly ridiculous, since not everyone would be fooled all the time, it still works as a charming work of fiction."
‑ Kevin Carr, 7M Pictures
"Ground Zero for the cult of Sellers."
‑ Eric Henderson, Slant Magazine
"What emerges in the end is a strange ambiguity of attitude to the American political system and a hollow humour about cultural values. The cinema of cynicism, really."
‑ , Time Out
"Peter Sellers gives a stellar performance."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"a product not of Ashby's essential modesty but of Kosinski's essential egoism."
‑ Walter Chaw, Film Freak Central
"Sellers uses simple looks and gestures to bring light to some very serious situations. At many points it's like he's in a trance, truly embodying Chance."
‑ Ryan Cracknell, Movie Views
"Whether Being There is an indictment of our narrow view of the world, a celebration of empty-headedness or all of the above, "Life is a state of mind," and Ashby's film is a gift to treasure. [Blu-ray]"
‑ Peter Canavese, Groucho Reviews
More reviews for Being There on Rotten Tomatoes

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