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Being There
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Being There

1979
Comedy
Drama
2h 10m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 68.88% from 2703 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(2703)
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Rated 19 May 2008
97
97th
Has a wonderful, mellow atmosphere that I simply love. The editing is incredible, mixing Chance's life with the television he watches all the time. It's an enjoyable dramatic comedy, and a thought-provoking film; it speaks volumes about how people see one another, and just how much of it we invent on our own.
Rated 12 Dec 2006
36
3rd
I like the idea this was going for but Chance is just too stupid and oblivious for no one to call him out on it. For satire to work the exaggeration needs to be at least a little believable, and this wasn't, making the entire thing just frustrating to watch. Kind of like a horror movie where you keep yelling "don't go in there" at the screen.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
80
66th
If perhaps not quite the masterpiece it's often hailed as, it does have a certain charm and intrigue to it, due primarily to Sellers' brilliant deadpan performance. Stick around for the ending credits.
Rated 16 Jul 2016
78
65th
Sellers' tabula rasa performance is a great anchor but the movie's concept reaches too far to make its point, rendering everyone from streetwise thugs to leaders of nations unable to perceive that this guy is stupid six ways from Sunday. It is undoubtedly well-crafted, often dressing its protagonist in artsy photography and classical piano to reinforce the role of appearances - every lake looks deep on the surface.
Rated 10 Oct 2010
19
7th
The entire plot & dialogue is built around the central conceit; nothing about the way Chance & the rest of the world react to one another seems natural or plausible. I like to think that this film is a sort of meta-satire at the audience's expense.
Rated 08 Jul 2019
80
65th
Jesus, what an ending!
Rated 19 Aug 2008
88
85th
Hilarious! So well done. I don't know if I'm sold on the last scene, but I loved it overall. It's amazing that they were able to make such an oblivious character completely endearing and not at all annoying.
Rated 13 Nov 2008
85
68th
The emperor is always nude.
Rated 04 Jan 2009
86
92nd
Facinating movie, the character of Chance is such a pure and wonderful man. This movie is much more valuable in its drama than its comedy. Much of the movie is quite profound and the ending is quite beautiful.
Rated 07 Jan 2010
40
13th
Like the main character, this movie is a little simple, yet is misunderstood to be brilliant by everyone.
Rated 11 May 2010
9
93rd
Nicely paced, funny, a good satire and very interesting. I love Zimmerman's editing. This and the other Ashby film he worked on (Coming Home) both have amazing editing. Also has just the right amount of symbolism, love the freemasonry reference at the end, very fitting with the rest of the film. PS, Forrest Gump owes it's entire existence to Jerzy Kosinski, huge ripoff. The end credits are great.
Rated 30 Jun 2010
84
92nd
Being There was Forrest Gump before Forrest Gump was Forrest Gump but quite a while after Sergeant York was Forrest Gump.
Rated 05 Jan 2013
70
63rd
Oddball fantasy about a simpleton gardener who, through a bizarre and unlikely sequence of events, becomes a nationally known Presidential adviser on economics simply by muttering about gardening and watching TV. It's long and not terribly funny, and the ending is a little too cute for it's own good, but Peter Sellers' performance is completely captivating and worth watching the film for. Dustin Hoffman pretty much stole the Oscar from Sellers.
Rated 24 Dec 2013
73
22nd
t wasn't a bad movie, but i found it to be on the whole very bland. i couldn't relate to the characters because i didn't understand what their thought-processes were or what the point of it all was. the film took the easy way out every chance it got, playing with a simple concept and not taking it anywhere. i suppose what this film lacked was conflict, and that is a great lack indeed.
Rated 22 Oct 2007
90
89th
Fantastic satire with a remarkable performance from Sellers. There is a certain amount of repetition in the kind of observation being made, but there is an increasing unbelievability to Chance's acceptance, as the situations grow in significance (TV, president) or in their personal nature (the whole interlude with Eve). It's that very unbelievability that forms the basis for Ashby's satire, one that continues to be relevant today as we watch people imbue an empty candidate with their hopes.
Rated 24 Mar 2008
37
34th
Being There was Forrest Gump before Forrest Gump was Forrest Gump. Not quite as ugly or sentimental as that movie, but its satire -- the public takes the platitudes of an intellectually retarded man as insightful -- is just as obvious and, seeing as it refuses to take a stance on its retard-protagonist's ascendance to prophet, kinda meaningless too. The less talk about the Christ imagery, the better.
Rated 02 Oct 2008
30
17th
Seller's last film is routinely hailed as genius but I don't get it. I found it boring and unfunny
Rated 14 Dec 2008
70
51st
The first 129 minutes of this film appear to be about the American public's love of reassuring bullshit. While ambiguous, and possibly incredibly stupid, the ending is intriguing: have the filmmakers missed their own point and bought Gardiner's bullshit? Or are they trying to put one over on a receptive audience? I like being in on a joke, so I choose the latter, but is that just bullshit I tell myself so I can enjoy Sellers in his greatest role by far?
Rated 27 Mar 2009
72
81st
Good Movie
Rated 26 Apr 2009
40
54th
Sellers is fantastic in this but something about this movie rings a little false. I don't demand realism from cinema but certain movies, such as this one, need realism to connect with the viewer. As it stands, the series of events in "Being There" are just too unbelievable for me to become totally immersed.
Rated 26 Apr 2009
100
99th
Maybe my favourite movie ever, hilarious and thought-provoking at the same time with Peter Sellers' best performance ever in the movie he finally got to do. Everyone else plays a wonderful straight-man to him as he cluelessly goes about his life, changing everything around him. Also features one of the best endings to a movie in movie history.
Rated 06 Jun 2009
4
93rd
Builds up and grows on you till you sit with a big grin on your face. Warm hearted and hilarious.
Rated 27 Jun 2009
84
97th
Very funny and thought provoking film. It's just one joke film, but there's plenty to see if you look deeper. A brilliant satire about the life in the age of media. Politics, religion, consumerism, sex, even identity in touched in this film. But it never looses sensitivity and humor. A movie to see.
Rated 07 Sep 2015
85
82nd
You really have to dig deep to find the laugh-out-loud laughs if you're used to the in your face punchlines of the Panther movies. I enjoyed seeing Sellers in a more subdued comedy role. Social commentary that still holds true today unfortunately, but it felt like it was missing a bit of an edge that the filmmakers could have carried this movie to. Perhaps I came in thinking it would be more like "Brazil" or "Magic Christian" but it felt more like an Allen film. I miss Sellers. Worth a watch.
Rated 13 Dec 2009
91
94th
Sellers' subdued performance is absolutely perfect, and Shirley MacLaine and the rest of the supporting cast are superb as well. Overall the film is a slow and thoughtful comedy, although for me at least there was a kind of sadness running throughout the film due to the fact that none of the people Chance interacts with really understand him except in their own superficial ways.
Rated 12 Jun 2018
65
26th
Overrated and just lacks believability. Cross between Forest Gump and Bad Boy Bubby.
Rated 18 Apr 2010
6
62nd
Sellers was brilliant as Chance - he really captured the deadpan, emotionally challenged protagonist, and kept it up all throughout the film. But I could not sympathise with the character at all. It's a great satire of public perception and people believing what they want to believe. I just didn't connect with it, nor did it provide any insight that I haven't seen elsewhere, yet done far better.
Rated 05 Apr 2018
80
73rd
Ashby delivers a film that looks and sounds mature, and then you realize it hinges on a single joke for two hours. This wouldn't be possible without Sellers and his wonderfully bizarre performance. He mesmerizes with his simplicity and quiet gazes. Ultimately, this all may go a beat too far but the film is something to behold, for sure.
Rated 19 Mar 2015
50
29th
An ultimately unfulfilling cinematic experience, but there are some parts that are wonderful, particularly when Sellers leaves the garden home for the first time ever.
Rated 06 Jun 2011
90
95th
Being There has one of the most beautifully profound endings I've ever seen, it left me bawling. The whole film is remarkably sweet and funny. Peter Sellers is magnificent.
Rated 27 Sep 2011
80
85th
What I learned from this movie: Jesus was illiterate?
Rated 29 Nov 2011
75
74th
Really funny! About comedic misunderstandings. Great movie line:"It's for sure a white man's world in America. Look here: I raised that boy since he was the size of a piss-ant. And I'll say right now, he never learned to read and write. No, sir. Had no brains at all. Was stuffed with rice pudding between th' ears. Shortchanged by the Lord, and dumb as a jackass. Look at him now! Yes, sir, all you've gotta be is white in America, to get whatever you want. Gobbledy-gook!"
Rated 29 Oct 2012
55
44th
At best it's slightly amusing, but mostly just boring and awkward to watch.
Rated 15 Mar 2013
4
34th
Not as good as Tokyo Gore Police.
Rated 15 Oct 2014
60
29th
Like Chance, "Being There" is naive if endearing and I have mixed feelings about it. I like the final scene, the credits, the lounge-Wagner sequence. Like Sellers. But this is ultimately too soft to be great satire and too unrealistic for a great character study. And I feel the way it handles themes like Chance's accidental wisdom, Ben's ridiculous wealth and the media is rather clichéd. Of course, it helped invent the cliché, but, still, it seems sketchy -and not funny enough.
Rated 01 Mar 2007
80
95th
Brilliance,Peter Sellers was a genius.This is a must see film.
Rated 03 Mar 2007
73
79th
Overlong, with many redundancies (the whole Soviet embassador part..) and general deterioration towards the end, just when it should have picked up for a climax. Those things prevented me from going gaga over this. Still, for most of the film the concept is well executed. I love how Being There's social commentary isn't the least bit mean-spirited to anyone or anything, but still packs a punch somehow. And yeah, Sellers is great, blah blah.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
79
69th
It's hard to believe they got so much out of Chance's character... but they did!
Rated 14 Aug 2007
40
6th
It must have been too deep for me. I didn't get it.
Rated 29 Apr 2019
80
80th
Chance the Gardener: "As long as the roots are not severed, all is well. And all will be well in the garden."
Rated 22 Dec 2007
92
93rd
great peter weir. peter sellers should've gotten best actor for this.
Rated 12 Feb 2008
75
25th
A great performance by Peter Sellers, the story of a man raised by television then suddenly thrust into the real world, where his naivety is taken as quiet brilliance. Though it can be somewhat forgiven for it - as it is meant to be allegory more than anything else - the story is utterly unbelievable, and the film suffers because of it.
Rated 02 Mar 2008
63
40th
# 731
Rated 06 Jun 2008
100
92nd
Perfect in every way. See this immediately.
Rated 12 Feb 2019
30
15th
I don't get it. I understand the premise and why it receives praise, but it's just not for me. Most of the movie goes along in a very boring fashion. Sellers' character is too stupid and slow to convince anyone. It's like an unlikeable Forrest Gump. Fav scene: Shirley MacLaine.
Rated 19 Dec 2008
63
26th
746
Rated 21 Dec 2008
9
96th
One of my favorite movie moments has to be Chance getting out of the limo as Basketball Jones plays.
Rated 15 Mar 2009
86
80th
This sublimely funny and bitingly satiric comedy features Sellers's last great screen performance. His portrayal of a simple-minded gardener is a classic. MacLaine and Douglas are also excellent in this memorable film.
Rated 08 May 2009
5
8th
No jokes = no points
Rated 25 Oct 2015
80
72nd
Dougie Jones: The Movie
Rated 05 Jul 2009
77
76th
Excellent performance of Peter Sellers reminding me of Dustin Hoffman in 'Rain Man' in a sense, though his role in the film and more poignantly the reactions of his environment on his role can hardly be called 'realistic', making it harder for the viewer to connect with the film. Nevertheless, this satirical comedy is sublimely funny and very warm hearted and I enjoyed it throughout.
Rated 08 Jul 2009
97
99th
Although I don't like picking my favourite film of all time, if pressed this would be it. An astonishing Sellers who should have gotten the Oscar.
Rated 19 Jul 2009
100
93rd
Absolutely wonderful. Sellers truly was one of the greatest.
Rated 22 Jul 2009
80
91st
As mild mannered as the protagonist himself, a story about a mentally challenged middle aged man coming to grips, or maybe not, with his new life.
Rated 26 Aug 2009
69
44th
Gonna nominate this for most ridiculous sex scene in any movie ever
Rated 21 Sep 2009
92
93rd
quite amazing
Rated 14 Oct 2018
60
58th
the irony upon which this film builds its foundation is cruel if you ask me
Rated 17 Dec 2009
63
51st
Saftirik, sessiz ve agirbasli bir insan olan Chauncey Gardiner'in hayattaki talih kuslarini teker teker ele gecirmesinin oykusu.
Rated 18 Dec 2009
78
80th
Excellent performance of Peter Sellers reminding me of Dustin Hoffman in 'Rain Man' in a sense, though his role in the film and more poignantly the reactions of his environment on his role can hardly be called 'realistic', making it harder for the viewer to connect with the film. Nevertheless, this satirical comedy is sublimely funny and very warm hearted and I enjoyed it throughout.
Rated 14 Jan 2010
78
56th
447
Rated 24 Jan 2010
3
45th
Chance is a great character, a sad figure because of his limitations, but also charming and sympathetic because of his sincerity. Peter Sellers plays him at the same detached, oblivious note for the entire film, and it's great. Very touching and often very funny.
Rated 12 Jun 2010
88
85th
Phenomenal. Not quite as funny as I thought it would be, but that didn't bother me in the least. It was heartfelt and stark at the same time. Absolutely incredible acting on all fronts. Ashby, who had yet to truly impress me in the past, completely knocked it out of the park during certain scenes. An incredible character study, while at the same time painting a vibrant portrait of the media those who live off of it. The film is about appearances, and how they can rule the world...literally.
Rated 14 Jun 2010
90
94th
jan2010
Rated 05 Aug 2010
95
92nd
This beats out all of Peter Sellers' work with Blake Edwards and all the Pink Panther movies he did
Rated 16 Mar 2024
65
39th
Iwouldveopenedupattheslightesttouchetclool
Rated 02 Apr 2015
85
87th
I don't normally like movies where coincidence is the driving force of the plot, yet this one had enough charm and humor that I didn't end up minding. Sellers is great.
Rated 24 Oct 2010
82
83rd
It's a funny movie, though I never once laughed out loud. Only at the ending credits I did. Doesn't mean it wasn't funny though. But also most of the time I felt pretty awkward.
Rated 16 Dec 2010
60
15th
i could not get into it. so boring...
Rated 19 Dec 2010
80
83rd
Sophisticated satire on truth and power, with a good performance from Sellers and a great supporting cast. The humour is understated, but the real star is the editor - the editing is fantastic.
Rated 26 Feb 2011
31
10th
A handicapped man getting threatened by a gang is funny? Inspiring, maybe. Comedy, no. And minus 20 points for bloopers over the end credits.
Rated 02 Jan 2024
90
27th
Brilliant social satire
Rated 11 May 2019
94
96th
Bütün Peter Sellers filmografisini bitirmemek için zor tutuyorum kendimi şu anda. Bir insan nasıl bu kadar büyük bir aktör olabilir, aklım hayalim duruyor düşündükçe. Being There, şüphesiz bir başyapıt ve hakkında okuduğum şeyler ile filme karşı daha çok yükseliyorum.
Rated 21 Sep 2011
61
70th
Takes too much suspension of disbelief. But somehow I still liked it, although not for what it was supposed to be, I guess.
Rated 30 Nov 2011
76
52nd
#475
Rated 19 Jul 2021
87
84th
Eve give two rides
Rated 29 Jan 2018
81
58th
It's kind of just like Chance himself. As long as the water is still enough, you can see your own reflection whether it's an inch or a mile deep.
Rated 02 Apr 2017
80
92nd
Ashby's droll social satire perhaps overstays its welcome, but it is an original comedy-drama that's smart and surprising, presenting a cynical view of the media age that avoids contempt. Sellers is excellent as Chauncey, a simple minded gardener who by chance (get it?) finds his way into high society where his vacuous utterances are mistaken for profundity. His slow deadpan delivery is wryly amusing, and Ashby wisely focuses on his awkward interactions with others to create real ambiguity.
Rated 30 Apr 2012
74
54th
A good satire, although it does hammer it's point home over and over again. I also didn't really think it was that funny. It's a smart and poignant film, but not one I feel like revisiting again anytime soon.
Rated 15 May 2012
100
97th
Masterpiece!
Rated 15 May 2012
90
92nd
89.750
Rated 08 Jun 2012
96
96th
Before Forrest Gump there was an amazing Mr. Gardener.
Rated 19 Jul 2012
84
60th
Tries to seem deeper than it is (so did the book), but Sellars is wonderful.
Rated 19 Jun 2021
80
78th
I started to get a little antsy around 15 minutes into this movie because it is glacially slow and really didn't seem to be going anywhere. There's a sophisticated humor that starts to pick up (it briefly dips into cheap laughs near the end) during so many intentionally awkward scenarios, yet it's hard to call this a comedy. Incredible performances keep this character study mostly believable, even when it feels like the thin premise has no more to give.
Rated 02 Dec 2017
65
34th
Not many things interesting or engaging here. For the thought experiment to work, it needed his actions and words to be slightly more than blithering idiocy, however they weren't, and this destroyed any possibility for suspension of disbelief.
Rated 10 Jan 2021
30
7th
Few film adaptations surpass the one that you visualize in your head while you read the book... but still, it's a bad idea to stretch a novella into a two-hour movie.
Rated 11 Sep 2012
80
90th
It's certainly the best example of a sort of mistaken identity comedy film I've seen. Peter Sellers' performance is pretty extraordinary. He completely became the character. It wasn't 'laugh out loud' funny, but it was amusing, while also being very touching and full of humanity. The final shot was fantastic.
Rated 09 Oct 2012
30
30th
A precursor of Adam Sandler movies. Shallow, effortless fluff that relies on the viewer being as stupid as its characters.
Rated 26 Nov 2012
82
93rd
Awesome script, fucking spot-on direction, those two brilliant performances, man....so fucking well done.
Rated 14 Apr 2021
100
96th
This movie could never be made today. Audiences now need to be beaten over the head for a plot to make an impact with them. Being There is a supremely funny movie about a bumbling idiot who just keeps getting the world thrown in his lap. The irony is that he would be perfectly happy just sitting on his butt watching TV or gardening. The subplot that laces the film is that white people can bumble their way through life and everything will just be presented to them on a platter. Perfection.
Rated 22 Sep 2017
70
76th
Cute. And that's the main problem. Still a very good movie.
Rated 28 Mar 2013
94
0th
Highly Recomend falliing on floor comedy.
Rated 17 Apr 2013
83
69th
So sweet and affectionate. I'm accustomed to modern cringe comedy, so most of the movie was watched through my fingers. I'm so glad that was unnecessary.
Rated 10 Aug 2013
85
86th
Is this retardedly touching or touchingly retarded??
Rated 09 Sep 2013
60
29th
Frankly, I think Sellers has been better. It takes a sort-of neat premise and hammers it into the ground.
Rated 11 Sep 2013
89
90th
A simple and delightful fable, goes into all sorts of strange and unexpected scenarios, yet they never feel forced or contrived. Sellers is amazing.
Rated 04 Feb 2021
75
76th
The story is simplistic and a bit silly, so this could easily have turned into a terrible movie. In Ashby's and Deschanel's hands (and with Sellers) , however, it is imbued with substance that make it a joy to watch.
Rated 30 May 2017
70
90th
There are two things going on in this film, silly humor and deep thinking. So you can laugh at the line, "I like to watch", then contemplate the meaning of the last line "life is a state of mind" as it relates to walking on water. This idea of deeper meaning might also all be part of the joke, enjoy the movie, I did.
Rated 23 Mar 2014
88
95th
88.000
Rated 26 Jul 2014
85
88th
The gardiner
Rated 07 Sep 2014
91
90th
I don't think Chance is mentally challenged at all. He is merely a product of the environment he has spent so much time around. His was incredibly simple - television and his garden. From this, he learned everything he implements in his human relationships. In this way, it comes across as more detailed and authentic than Forrest Gump. Sellers is PERFECT in this. Restrained yet sympathetic, even heroic. He's like Bill Murray meets Chaplin. I've never seen anything like his performance in this.

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