Skip to main content
Being There Movie Poster
Plot, Details & Awards

Being There

PG In Theaters 05/1/1994 , 130min.
Share this movie on

Plot & Details

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 assumes that "Chauncey Gardiner" must be a man of profound intelligence. No matter what he says, it is interpreted as a pearl of wisdom and insight. He rises to the top of Washington society, where his simplistic responses to the most difficult questions (responses usually related to his gardening experience) are highly prized by the town's movers and shakers. In fact, there is serious consideration given to running Chance as a presidential candidate. Both a modern fable and a political satire, Being There was based on the novel by Jerzy Kosinski and costars Melvyn Douglas, who won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar as Eve's aging power-broker husband.

Awards

Academy Awards

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1979 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Supporting Actor Melvyn Douglas Won
1979 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Actor Peter Sellers Nominated

British Academy of Film and Television Arts

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1980 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best Screenplay Jerzy Kosinski Won

Golden Globes

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1979 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Best Picture - Musical or Comedy Nominated
1979 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy Peter Sellers Won
1979 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Best Screenplay Jerzy Kosinski Nominated
1979 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture Melvyn Douglas Won
1979 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy Shirley MacLaine Nominated
1979 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Best Screenplay Robert Jones Nominated
1979 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Best Director Hal Ashby Nominated

British Academy of Film and Television Arts

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1980 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best Screenplay Jerzy Kosinski Won

Los Angeles Film Critics Association

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1979 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actor Melvyn Douglas Won

National Board of Review

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1979 National Board of Review Best Picture Nominated
1979 National Board of Review Best Actor Peter Sellers Won

New York Film Critics Circle

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1979 New York Film Critics Circle Best Supporting Actor Melvyn Douglas Won

Stay Connected with Moviefone

My Settings

You are currently subscribed as: {email}


Subscriptions

Get the latest reviews, movie news, photos, and trailers sent straight to your inbox.

Weekly Newsletter

Daily alerts

Movies

You're not following any movies.

These are the movies you’re currently following.


    Update settings
    X