Being There Film Still

Being There

Hal Ashby

Being There (Criterion Blu-Ray)

21 Mar 2017


1 Disc

SRP: $39.95

Criterion Store price:$31.96

  • United States
  • 1979
  • 130 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.85:1
  • English
  • Spine #864

In one of his most finely tuned performances, Peter Sellers plays the pure-hearted, childlike Chance, a gardener who is forced into the wilds of Washington, D.C., when his wealthy guardian dies. Shocked to discover that the real world doesn’t respond to the click of a remote, Chance stumbles into celebrity after being taken under the wing of a tycoon (Melvyn Douglas, in an Oscar-winning performance), who mistakes his protégé’s horticultural mumblings for sagacious pronouncements on life and politics, and whose wife (Shirley MacLaine) targets Chance as the object of her desire. Adapted from a novel by Jerzy Kosinski, this satire, both deeply melancholy and hilarious, is the culmination of Hal Ashby’s remarkable string of films in the 1970s, and a carefully modulated examination of the ideals, anxieties, and media-fueled delusions that shaped American culture during that decade.


ChancePeter Sellers
Eve RandShirley MacLaine
Benjamin RandMelvyn Douglas
President BobbyJack Warden
Dr. Robert AllenbyRichard Dysart
Vladimir SkrapinovRichard Baseheart
LouiseRuth Attaway
Thomas FranklinDave Clennon
Sally HayesFran Brill


DirectorHal Ashby
Produced byAndrew Braunsberg
Executive producerJack Schwartzman
Associate producerCharles B. Mulvehill
Screenplay byJerzy Kosinksi and Robert C. Jones (uncredited)
Based on the novel byJerzy Kosinski
CinematographerCaleb Deschanel
Music byJohnny Mandel
Film editorDon Zimmerman
Production designerMichael Haller
Costume designerMay Routh

Disc Features

  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by cinematographer Caleb Deschanel, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New documentary on the making of the film, featuring interviews with members of the production team
  • Excerpts from a 1980 American Film Institute seminar with director Hal Ashby
  • Author Jerzy Kosinski in a 1979 appearance on The Dick Cavett Show
  • Appearances from 1980 by actor Peter Sellers on NBC’s Today and on The Don Lane Show
  • Promo reel featuring Sellers and Ashby
  • Trailer and TV spots
  • Deleted scene, outtakes, and alternate ending
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Mark Harris

Other Editions

Being There (Criterion DVD)

21 Mar 2017


2 Discs

SRP: $29.95

Criterion Store price:$23.96


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