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Being There / Bienvenue Mister Chance (Bilingual) [Blu-ray]

 Unrated   Blu-ray
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 14.98
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Being There / Bienvenue Mister Chance (Bilingual) [Blu-ray] + Chinatown (Bilingual) [Blu-ray] + Network [Blu-ray] (Bilingual)
Price For All Three: CDN$ 44.70


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Product Description

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Thanks to an extraordinary, delicately balanced performance by Peter Sellers, Being There received mixed reviews during its theatrical release in 1979, but has since become a celebrated comedy with a loyal following. It's one of the most unusual black comedies ever made, simply because it stretches a simple premise over 130 minutes of straight-faced, strangely compelling commentary on politics, media, and celebrity in media-savvy America. Adapted by Jerzy Kozinsky from his own novel, the movie's about a simple-minded, middle-aged gardener who, after a lifetime of seclusion and safety in a Washington, D.C. townhouse, gets his first exposure to reality beyond the walls of his sheltered existence. His only reference to the world is through his childlike addiction to television, and when a chance encounter brings him into the inner fold of a dying billionaire (Melvyn Douglas), he suddenly finds himself the toast of Washington's political elite. His simple phrases about gardening are misinterpreted as anything from economic predictions to sage political advice, and under the sharp direction of Hal Ashby, Sellers has the audacity to take this comedic conceit to its logical extreme. Being There is not for all tastes--especially not for those who don't appreciate comedic subtlety. But as a showcase for the daring genius of Peter Sellers, this is a classic movie in a category all its own. --Jeff Shannon

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and haunting..... May 31 2004
By D. Pawl
Format:VHS Tape
This film is like none I have ever seen before. In the past, when I thought of Peter Sellers (who plays lead character "Chance the Gardener"), my mind automatically went to Inspector Clouseau from the Pink Panther series. I thought of the bumbling, clumsy and silly detective in hot persuit of the pink panther jewel. What a terrific change of pace! I really got a sense of Peter Sellers' depth as an actor in this brilliant film. Sellers, Melvyn Douglas, and Shirley Maclaine were all strong leads in this story, along with a great supporting cast.
BEING THERE tells the story of Chance, the Gardener, a simple man who spends his entire life gardening in the backyard of his boss' house, until one day the old man passes away. When a couple of journalists come around to find out more about the former master of the house, Chance is the only one there. The house must close, and for the first time the man must make strides into the big, wide world. This world is like nothing he could have ever imagined outside of the house where he worked. One thing that keeps him tranquil and holds his attention is the television. As Chance says, "I like to watch." (this line is misinterpreted a few times during the course of the movie.) By chance, Chance meets up with Shirley Maclaine the wife of an elderly billionaire. This is just the beginning of an intriguing series of events where Chance--renamed Chauncey Gardner--the simple man who speaks of plants and their growth (the only real knowledge he has about the world) becomes central as wise sage in one of the most intriguing political ventures.
This film has moments of laugh-out-loud comedy, and serious elements as well. (The final scene is chilling.....that is all I am going to say......)
Check it out if you are in the mood for something completely different. In the words of Chauncy, this is definitely a film "I like to watch."
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5.0 out of 5 stars I'm so pleased I was...and could be again April 5 2004
By Robert Morris HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
This is both a political satire and a contemporary fable such as Hans Christian Andersen might have written had he lived in the 1970s. It shares much in common with "The Emperor's New Clothes" (1837), except there is no Honest Boy to point out that Chauncy Gardner is not whom he is assumed to be. Actually, Jerzy Kosinski wrote the novel on which this film is based and it was skillfully directed by Hal Ashby. The acting throughout the cast is outstanding. Douglas received an Academy Award for best actor in a supporting role, Sellers a nomination for best actor in a leading role. MacLaine is also terrific. Obviously, Eve is devoted to her husband as well as very fond of him but starved for attention and affection when Chauncy appears in her life. She is attracted to him just as everyone else is. (I have already noted that this is a fable.) I should point out, now, that at no time and in no way does Chauncy consciously and deliberately attempt to deceive anyone. Yes, he really is THAT dim. If contrasted with him, Forrest Gump would seem like Gore Vidal. Credit Ashby and Sellers for establishing and then sustaining precisely the right tone. The satire has an edge throughout the film but is nicely balanced with gentle humor and tender moments. As someone immortal once said, "All's well that ends well." Indeed, I cannot imagine a more appropriate final scene for Being There.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A thinking man's Forrest Gump Dec 1 2003
Format:DVD
Being There is the story of Chance (Peter Sellers), a slightly retarded man who has been gardener all his life, and is only interested in television. When the house owner dies, Chance is forced to go out in the real world. One freak accident involving a television later, he enters the life of the Rand family. His dress and demeanour makes everyone believe him a patron of industry, and soon his mundane and rote gardening pronouncements are revered as profound statements.
Being There is the story of a cypher who becomes popular because he appears to be powerful, and not despite but rather because of his pronouncements (such as "I like to watch TV", perhaps the most wildly interpreted of Chance's statement in the entire movie). As such, it is mostly reactive : everyone bounces on Chance, his appearance and his pronouncements.
There are many scenes to talk about : although it rarely deviates from its main theme (the wish-fulfillment of people who interpret banalities as profound, both politically and socially), this movie is very interesting philosophically. For instance, Also Sprach Zarathustra with modern rythms superimposed on it plays throughout Chance's first forays in the "real world". Chance tries to "turn off" a gang member with his remote control, or enters a car for the first time. But the story doesn't dwell too much on Chance's inexperience : he doesn't know how things are supposed to feel, but he does know things from television.
Being There is suppored by Peter Sellers' performance. It's not a hard role, but he plays it perfectly.
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5.0 out of 5 stars That famous ending Sept. 10 2003
By A Customer
Format:DVD
All I can say is the final shot is a masterpiece of cinema. To convey the entire theme of a film in one single shot, in such an understated and almost off-handed way, is nothing short of filmmaking genius. The film would have been memorable without it, but it's this final icing on the cake that just floored me.
I can only wonder how long it took director Hal Ashby to dream it up, because I read the original script and it only ends with Peter Sellers walking away from the funeral and tending to a broken tree. Ashby must have had a brainstorm on the set and it was a brilliant one. Watching Peter Sellers walk on water -- as we hear the President end his eulogy with the words: "Life is a state of mind" so effortlessly sums everything up it's almost frightening. When I saw it, I had to rewind the DVD at least five or six times just to savior the meaning. You just don't see that kind of thing in movies anymore.
And to those who think it's some sort of Christ metaphor, I take exception and I think the President's dialogue supports me. The final shot is simply saying that Sellers' character was never told you couldn't do all these amazing things; his childlike innocence was never diluted by doubts about what can and can't be accomplished in this world -- even impossible things like walking on water. He doesn't know it's impossible because no one told him. Indeed, life is a state of mind, and I think thats a mighty powerful idea all on its own.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I can't believe I bought such an old movie...
And yet I can't believe this movie is better than nearly every other movie out there.

I imagine everyone who took part in Forrest Gump was instructed to watch this film. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Blee
2.0 out of 5 stars weird
I know I'm swimming upstream against the flow of positive reviews, but I really didn't like this movie. It seemed quite creepy to me. Read more
Published 9 months ago by George Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars peter sellers is great
great film, peter sellers is awesome in the lead and really makes you wonder... i recommend it to all, in fact i recommend it to all schools as mandatory so all kids could... Read more
Published 16 months ago by F. Marra
5.0 out of 5 stars Sellers shines
Being There (1979)
Drama, Comedy, 130 minutes
Directed by Hal Ashby
Starring Peter Sellers, Shirley MacLaine and Melvyn Douglas

Being There is an unusual... Read more
Published on Feb. 29 2012 by Steven Aldersley
5.0 out of 5 stars Peter Sellers Best Screen Performance
I discovered this film only 7 years ago when I caught the Peter Sellers Bug after watching "The Party". Read more
Published on Oct. 31 2011 by Miracle Max
5.0 out of 5 stars Peter Sellers Best Screen Performance........ Hands Down
I discovered this film only 7 years ago when I caught the Peter Sellers Bug after watching "The Party". Read more
Published on Oct. 31 2011 by Miracle Max
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and unique
Sellers plays a man who is a complete blank, seemingly mentally handicapped, having spent his whole life working as a
gardener, his only real enjoyment being watching TV. Read more
Published on June 6 2011 by K. Gordon
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and unique
Sellers plays a man who is a complete blank, seemingly mentally handicapped, having spent his whole life working as a
gardener, his only real enjoyment being watching TV. Read more
Published on June 6 2011 by K. Gordon
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and unique
Sellers plays a man who is a complete blank, seemingly mentally handicapped, having spent his whole life working as a
gardener, his only real enjoyment being watching TV. Read more
Published on June 6 2011 by K. Gordon
5.0 out of 5 stars Great price....fast service!
I was so thrilled to find this on Amazon....could not find anywhere else. Best movie ever!

Arrived quickly and exactly as displayed in ad. Really pleased!
Published on Feb. 19 2011 by Northwest Designer
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