Being There 1979 Criterion Collection
Based on the 1971 novel of the same name by Jerzy Kosinski, Being There tells the satirical tale of Chance the Gardener (Peter Sellers), a charming simpleton whose brief sentences and frank honesty is both disarming and refreshing. When his aging ward dies and his nurse leaves, Chance wanders onto the streets of Washington D.C. for the first time in his life. Before stepping foot outside, he had only experienced the world through television... everything he understands about society has come to him via the various shows he's watched. When a limousine backs into Chance and pins him against another car, the wealthy young woman inside, Eve Rand, invites the affable man to her estate so her resident physicians can examine his leg. While there, he befriends her dying husband, an aging business mogul named Ben, and proceeds to innocently win over everyone he encounters...

BD50 + 2xDVD9 | 1080p AVC, NTSC | 02:10:12 | 43.7 Gb + 12 Gb
Language: English
Subtitles: English
Genre: Comedy, Drama

Director: Hal Ashby
Cast: Peter Sellers, Shirley MacLaine, Melvyn Douglas
Country: USA


The Making of Being There - this brand new documentary examines the genesis of Being There and the unusual structure of its narrative as well as Hal Ashby's working methods and legacy. Included in it are new interviews with producer Andrew Braunsberg, screenwriter/editor Robert C. Jones (Coming Home, Being There), cinematographer Caleb Deschanel, and editor Don Zimmerman. The documentary was produced exclusively for Criterion in 2017. In English, not subtitled. (48 min, 1080p).

Hal Ashby at the AFI - presented here is a long audio excerpt from a seminar Hal Ashby gave at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles in January 1980. In it the director discusses the shooting of Being There, Peter Seller's performance and the preparation work he did prior to the shoot, Jerzy Kosinski and Bob Jones' scripts, his transition from editing to directing, some of the characterizations in the film, etc. In English, not subtitled. (33 min, 1080p).

Jerzy Kosinski and Dick Cavett - presented here is archival episode of The Dick Cavett Show in which writer Jerzy Kosinski discusses the adaptation of his novel, his approach to writing and contextualizing in different languages, his childhood years in Europe and his emigration to the United States, etc. The episode was broadcast on February 2, 1979. In English, not subtitled. (20 min, 1080i).

Peter Sellers - presented here is footage from archival interviews which Peter Sellers gave for two TV networks. In these excerpts, the actor discusses some of the favorite characters he played during the years and his contribution to Being There. In English, not subtitled.
1. Today - the interview is conducted by Gene Shalit for NBC's Today show in March 1980. (11 min, 1080i).
2. The Don Lane Show - the episode was broadcast on Australian TV in April, 1980. (12 min, 1080i).

Trailer and TV Spots - original U.S. theatrical trailer and TV Spots for Being There. In English, not subtitled. (3 min, 1080p).

Promo Reel - a hilarious archival promo piece for Being There featuring director Hal Ashby and Peter Seller. In English, not subtitled. (3 min, 1080p).

Deleted Scenes and Outtakes - a collection of deleted scenes, outtakes, and an alternate ending. In English not subtitled.
1. Deleted Scene 1: Kids Playing Basketball. (2 min, 1080p).
2. Deleted Scene 2: Bedroom. (1 min, 1080p).
3. Alternate Ending. (3 min, 1080p).
4. Outtakes. (4 min, 1080p).