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

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Product Details

  • Actors: Shirley Mac Laine, Peter Sellers, Jack Warden, Melvyn Douglas
  • Directors: Hal Ashby
  • Format: NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Warner Bros. Home Video
  • Release Date: Feb. 3 2009
  • Run Time: 129 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001MIV0LC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #15,436 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Product Description

Being There BD

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Sept. 10 2003
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Old Film Lover on Oct. 27 2014
Format: DVD
This Warner DVD of Being There (1979) contains the full-length version of the film, in widescreen (the original film format).

The image and sound are good. The colours are fairly vivid, though perhaps not as vivid as the film originally looked on the screen.

This "Deluxe" edition is not so deluxe -- the only extras are a trailer and a short "remembering Being There" piece which is mainly an interview with actress Illeana Douglas, granddaughter of Melvyn Douglas (who won the Best Supporting Actor award for the film). This feature is good and informative, but limited compared to a commentary; and while Douglas gives some interesting insights into her grandfather, we don't get much insight into the film itself. One would think that for a film as recent as 1979 there would still be people alive who could provide a commentary, or at least some short features.

The scene menu is better than most, with 36 stops, making the intervals shorter than 4 minutes, which is handy.

The details of the movie itself I won't discuss because all the other reviewers will have covered that. I'll just make the general comment that I hadn't seen the movie since 1979 when it came out, and I think it still holds up today, 35 years later. Camera work, music, script are all excellent, as is the acting not only of the leads but all the supporting players. The IMDb voters give this film an average of 8.0; arguably it deserves more than that, something approaching a 9.0.

This DVD can still be obtained fairly cheaply, directly from Amazon, and from affiliated merchants. Now would be the time to grab it if you have never seen it and want to put your toe in the water in the most inexpensive way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Hale & Hardy TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Nov. 10 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Seeing this film again after so many years really made me appreciate just what a marvelous actor Peter Sellers was. We lost the Master very suddenly and there will never be anyone like him.

Playing a straight-man is hard work, especially when he must also play the part with such innocence and subdued intelligence. What makes this so entertaining are the reactions of those around "Chance" (or Chauncy) particularly the President and his cohorts. It's beautiful that only one person is actually "clued in" by the end of the film, and he's smart enough to leave well enough alone.

I won't give anything away here, suffice to say this is the pinnacle of Peter Sellers's skills as an actor, as clearly illustrated by the one scene's outtakes during the credits. It was the only scene that he could not do with a straight face and shows just how much of a character Peter Sellers truly was.

Enjoy the film. :-)
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By Miracle Max TOP 100 REVIEWER on Oct. 31 2011
Format: DVD
I discovered this film only 7 years ago when I caught the Peter Sellers Bug after watching "The Party".

This film is easily one of the best films to ever hit the silver screen. It will move you in such a way that you will be left speachless and quiet for a couple of hours after it's done. The film is loaded with wonderful hidden themes and messages that really cause the viewer to question the world around them in a very good a positive way.

The writing and producing is top notch, and in my opinion simply "Brilliant."

Peter Sellers character is that of Chauncey(Chance)Gardiner. He is an innocently reclusive individual who has spent his entire life confined to the inside of one single house without any knowledge of the outside world or that it even exists. Being raised since birth by the "old man" and the household Maid, His duties are to simply take care of the garden in the back yard and do some light cleaning duties around the house. When the old man suddenly dies and the deed of the house is taken by a law firm, Chauncey finds himself alone with nothing more than several TV sets that are spread out in various parts of the house.

He is soon forced to leave the safe and familiar confines of this house and venture out into the world. Armed only with a TV remote control Chauncey steps out of the front door of the house for the very first time in his life to discover a very real and different world than the one he has only seen on television sets. This sequence is set brilliantly without any spoken word to a Disco/funk version of 2010 a space odyssey by Brazillian musician Deodato.
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