Being There

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Released 1979

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Movie Summary

Director:
Hal Ashby
Released:
1979
Rating:
PG
Being There is the acclaimed 1979 dramedy from legendary director Hal Ashby (Harold and Maude, Coming Home, The Last Detail), that was a pet project of its iconic star for years. Chance (Peter Sellers, Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb) is a mentally challenged gardener who has not stepped out of his master's house for decades. His only exposure to the outside world has been through television. When his master dies the simpleton is given eviction notice. He leaves the house and starts walking around town only to be involved in a minor car accident that brings him as a guest to the house of Eve Rand (Shirley MacLaine) and her dying millionaire husband. He impresses the husband and, in turn, the US President, as a deep thinking, calm and very important man. When the President quotes him in a speech, he becomes a nationally known figure.

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Metacritic Score

  • 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    Hal Ashby's direction is perfect in realizing the offbeat humor and gentle satire of the piece.

  • 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    It's a movie based on an idea, and all the conventional wisdom agrees that emotions, not ideas, are the best to make movies from. But Being There pulls off its long shot and is one...

  • 88

    Slant Magazine

    Elegiac and yet ruefully funny, Hal Ashby's Being There is at once a profoundly philosophical fable about how we become truly human only in the face of our ineluctable mortality, a...

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Categories

Comedy

Themes

Politics, Satire