Being There

BB.5

(out of 5)


 gave his last performance (at least until Blake Edwards magically edited him into a Pink Panther movie two years later) as a mentally challenged gardener who is used by greedy corporations to fill the position of President of the United States for their manipulative purposes (and as Julie Christie pointed out in A Decade Under The Influence, yes, it does sound familiar). After his employer dies, Sellers is left to wander Washington, DC armed with nothing but the few things he’s managed to mimic from television, until he falls into the hands of an elderly businessman (a marvelous ) and his frustrated wife (, who also sparkles). When his gardening terms are mistaken as political comments of a genius calibre, he finds himself an unlikely candidate to be the country’s next leader. Slyly humorous and very well acted, this Hal Ashby film enjoys a few too many offensive cliches (yeah, I’m sure the dirty gay men would think of Peter Sellers as catnip) and is a bit boring as well. Still, as a final showcase for Sellers and his phenomenal talents, it fits the bill just fine.


USA, 1979

Directed by

Screenplay by , based on his novel

Cinematography by

Produced by

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Academy Awards 1979

Cannes Film Festival 1980

Golden Globe Awards 1979

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