Being There


2h 10m 1979
Being There

Brief Synopsis

Political pundits mistake an illiterate gardener for a media genius and turn him into a national hero.

Film Details

Also Known As
Bienvenue Mister Chance, Välkommen Mr. Chance
MPAA Rating
PG
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Release Date
1979

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 10m
Sound
Stereo
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.85 : 1

Synopsis

Until his employer died, a simple-minded man named Chance had worked his entire life as a gardener in Washington, D.C., totally sheltered within house and garden, his only knowledge of the outside world coming from television. Out on the street, Chance is hit by the limousine of an influential businessman's wife, who takes him home as a guest. When Chance's references from television and to his garden are taken as metaphors, he is assumed to be a great thinker and becomes a Washington insider.

Crew

Edle Bakke

Script Supervisor

Sidney R. Baldwin

Photography

Robert R. Benton

Set Decorator

Andrew Braunsberg

Producer

Charles Clapsaddle

Production Assistant

Norval Crutcher

Sound Effects Editor

Samuel C Crutcher

Sound Effects Editor

Eumir Deodato

Music Arranger

Caleb Deschanel

Director Of Photography

Caleb Deschanel

Dp/Cinematographer

Tony Faso

Costumes

Pablo Ferro

Titles

Michael Flowers

Production Assistant

Gary S. Gerlich

Sound Effects Editor

Suzanne Grace

Costumes

Michael Haller

Production Designer

David Shamroy Hamburger

Assistant Director

Donald Hansard

Camera Coordinator

Clyde Hart

Key Grip

Jerzy Kosinski

Screenplay

Jerzy Kosinski

Source Material (From Novel)

Toby Lovallo

Assistant Director

Mireille Machu

Creative Consultant

Louis Mahler

Video Playback

Richard Mahoney

Costumes

Johnny Mandel

Music

Victoria Martin

Sound Effects Editor

Peter Martinez

Video Playback

Nick Mclean

Camera Operator

Ray Mercer

Props

Don Mischer

Video

Donald O Mitchell

Sound

Charles Mulvehill

Production Manager

Charles Mulvehill

Associate Producer

Gregory Palmer

Production Assistant

Edie Panda

Hair

Spencer Quinn

Location Manager

May Routh

Costumes

Erik Satie

Music

James Schoppe

Art Director

Charles Schram

Makeup

Dianne Schroeder

Photography

Dianne Schroeder

Video

Jack Schwartzman

Executive Producer

Lynn Stalmaster

Casting

Teresa Stokovic

Production Coordinator

Richard Strauss

Music

Vivienne Walker

Hair

Frank Warner

Sound Effects Editor

Mark Warner

Assistant Editor

Frank Westmore

Makeup

Jeffrey S Wexler

Sound

Jerry Whittington

Editor

Don Zimmerman

Editor

Videos

Movie Clip

Trailer

Hosted Intro

Film Details

Also Known As
Bienvenue Mister Chance, Välkommen Mr. Chance
MPAA Rating
PG
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Release Date
1979

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 10m
Sound
Stereo
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.85 : 1

Award Wins

Best Supporting Actor

1979
Melvyn Douglas

Award Nominations

Best Actor

1979
Peter Sellers

Articles

Being There


Jerzy Kosinski's novel, Being There, was first published in 1971, it prompted Peter Sellers to begin an eight year campaign to bring it to the screen. Kosinski soon found himself bombarded by telegrams, cards, and letters from Sellers signed 'Chance' (the name of the novel's protagonist). Clearly, Sellers connected with Chance, a simple-minded gardener who is mistaken for a man of profound wisdom and insight. Unfortunately, the actor's career was at its lowest point in 1972 and no studio would seriously consider his proposal. Undaunted, Sellers approached Hal Ashby, his first choice of director for the project. Sellers had been a great admirer of Ashby's cult comedy, Harold and Maude (1971) but Ashby wasn't an A-list director yet and had no better chance of getting the film produced. However, the two men struck a deal. Whoever developed some financial clout in Hollywood first would try to turn Being There into a movie.

The turning point came in 1979 when Sellers was reaping the financial rewards of his 'Inspector Clouseau' character, which was successfully revived in 1975 with the release of The Return of the Pink Panther and its subsequent sequels. Ashby had also become a much sought-after director after a string of hits (The Last Detail (1973), Shampoo (1975), Coming Home, 1978). After Lorimar Pictures agreed to produce Being There in 1979, the rest fell into place quickly. In order to protect his original concept, Jerzy Kosinski adapted the screenplay himself, adhering closely to the book's allegorical tone and chronology. The film locations were divided between Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and the George W. Vanderbilt estate in Asheville, North Carolina. Melvyn Douglas was cast as Benjamin Rand, a wealthy industrialist and advisor to the President and Shirley MacLaine played his wife, Eve. MacLaine had previously starred with Sellers in Woman Times Seven (1967) but her role in Being There was a complete departure from the gallery of kooks she played earlier in her career. Cast as the younger, sex-starved wife of a prominent Washington figure, MacLaine faced the challenge of several difficult scenes which, if not handled delicately, could have exposed her to ridicule; in particular, the scene in which she tries to introduce Chance to the pleasures of sex. Not surprisingly, MacLaine transforms what could have been a foolish and pathetic figure into a sympathetic yet humorous portrayal. For his part, Melvyn Douglas won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar® making him the oldest recipient at the time to win that award.

Yet it was Peter Sellers who earned the greatest praise as well as an Oscar® nomination for Best Actor. When he lost to Dustin Hoffman for Kramer vs. Kramer, Sellers was convinced it was because of the outtakes Ashby included in the closing credits, a ploy which Sellers felt undermined his performance and destroyed the film's mood. Regardless of his anger at Ashby, Sellers still viewed Being There as a major achievement, saying, "My ambition in the cinema, since I came across it, was to play Chance the gardener in Being There. I have realized that ambition, and so I have no more. The older I get, the less I like the film industry and the people in it. In fact, I'm at a stage where I almost loathe them. If all films were like Strangelove and I'm All Right, Jack and Being There, it would be a different thing." Sellers would only make one more film - The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu (1980) - before succumbing to a heart attack at the age of 54.

Director: Hal Ashby
Producer: Andrew Braunsberg
Screenplay: Robert C. Jones, Jerzy Kosinski (also novel)
Cinematography: Caleb Deschanel, Dianne Schroeder
Editor: Don Zimmerman
Art Direction: James L. Schoppe
Music: Johnny Mandel
Cast: Peter Sellers (Chance the Gardener), Shirley MacLaine (Eve Rand), Melvyn Douglas (Benjamin Rand), Jack Warden (President ÔBobbyÕ), Richard A. Dysart (Dr. Robert Allenby).
C-130m. Letterboxed.

By Jeff Stafford

Being There

Being There

Jerzy Kosinski's novel, Being There, was first published in 1971, it prompted Peter Sellers to begin an eight year campaign to bring it to the screen. Kosinski soon found himself bombarded by telegrams, cards, and letters from Sellers signed 'Chance' (the name of the novel's protagonist). Clearly, Sellers connected with Chance, a simple-minded gardener who is mistaken for a man of profound wisdom and insight. Unfortunately, the actor's career was at its lowest point in 1972 and no studio would seriously consider his proposal. Undaunted, Sellers approached Hal Ashby, his first choice of director for the project. Sellers had been a great admirer of Ashby's cult comedy, Harold and Maude (1971) but Ashby wasn't an A-list director yet and had no better chance of getting the film produced. However, the two men struck a deal. Whoever developed some financial clout in Hollywood first would try to turn Being There into a movie. The turning point came in 1979 when Sellers was reaping the financial rewards of his 'Inspector Clouseau' character, which was successfully revived in 1975 with the release of The Return of the Pink Panther and its subsequent sequels. Ashby had also become a much sought-after director after a string of hits (The Last Detail (1973), Shampoo (1975), Coming Home, 1978). After Lorimar Pictures agreed to produce Being There in 1979, the rest fell into place quickly. In order to protect his original concept, Jerzy Kosinski adapted the screenplay himself, adhering closely to the book's allegorical tone and chronology. The film locations were divided between Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and the George W. Vanderbilt estate in Asheville, North Carolina. Melvyn Douglas was cast as Benjamin Rand, a wealthy industrialist and advisor to the President and Shirley MacLaine played his wife, Eve. MacLaine had previously starred with Sellers in Woman Times Seven (1967) but her role in Being There was a complete departure from the gallery of kooks she played earlier in her career. Cast as the younger, sex-starved wife of a prominent Washington figure, MacLaine faced the challenge of several difficult scenes which, if not handled delicately, could have exposed her to ridicule; in particular, the scene in which she tries to introduce Chance to the pleasures of sex. Not surprisingly, MacLaine transforms what could have been a foolish and pathetic figure into a sympathetic yet humorous portrayal. For his part, Melvyn Douglas won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar® making him the oldest recipient at the time to win that award. Yet it was Peter Sellers who earned the greatest praise as well as an Oscar® nomination for Best Actor. When he lost to Dustin Hoffman for Kramer vs. Kramer, Sellers was convinced it was because of the outtakes Ashby included in the closing credits, a ploy which Sellers felt undermined his performance and destroyed the film's mood. Regardless of his anger at Ashby, Sellers still viewed Being There as a major achievement, saying, "My ambition in the cinema, since I came across it, was to play Chance the gardener in Being There. I have realized that ambition, and so I have no more. The older I get, the less I like the film industry and the people in it. In fact, I'm at a stage where I almost loathe them. If all films were like Strangelove and I'm All Right, Jack and Being There, it would be a different thing." Sellers would only make one more film - The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu (1980) - before succumbing to a heart attack at the age of 54. Director: Hal Ashby Producer: Andrew Braunsberg Screenplay: Robert C. Jones, Jerzy Kosinski (also novel) Cinematography: Caleb Deschanel, Dianne Schroeder Editor: Don Zimmerman Art Direction: James L. Schoppe Music: Johnny Mandel Cast: Peter Sellers (Chance the Gardener), Shirley MacLaine (Eve Rand), Melvyn Douglas (Benjamin Rand), Jack Warden (President ÔBobbyÕ), Richard A. Dysart (Dr. Robert Allenby). C-130m. Letterboxed. By Jeff Stafford

Being There (Deluxe Edition) - BEING THERE - Peter Sellers' Film Classic Directed by Hal Ashby


Being There is a wonderful and highly original comedy. It moves at a deliberate pace, depends on careful nuances of writing and performance, and pays off with big laughs in the oddest places. It's the crowning achievement of star Peter Sellers, who excels in a role he'd wanted to play for years. The movie also represents a career high for its director, Hal Ashby, a seventies success story with five straight hits to his credit. Warner Home Video's new Blu-ray presents this elegant & eccentric show in a dazzling HD transfer.

Author Jerzy Kosinski's script (from his novel) must have been a tough sell to the studios; we can imagine the movie being green-lit solely on the insistence of Ashby, a comedy veteran whose first films The Landlord andHarold and Maude defined "out there" humor. Being There relies almost completely on the talents of Peter Sellers, which lately had been wasted on increasingly inane Pink Panther movies. Ironically, the success of Sellers' Inspector Clouseau character made the star bankable again. Without that push, the almost abstract comedy Being There would never have been filmed.

Peter Sellers plays Chance, an unnervingly serene simpleton who has lived out his life in the walled compound of a wealthy man, working as a gardener. Chance has been raised and protected in seclusion, knowing only his master and the housekeeper Louise (Ruth Attaway). Chance reacts almost in slow motion to verbal communication, searching for the few words and concepts he understands. Television provides his sole contact with the world beyond the garden. He watches TV constantly, sometimes imitating people's hand gestures and actions. He understands his gardening tools, his television remotes, and little else.

Events force Chance out into the real world, alone. He's fascinated and confused by things he's seen on TV but doesn't really understand: basketball, rides in cars, young street thugs. He asks a black woman out shopping if she'll make him some lunch. We expect Chance to either become a mugging victim or be taken to a mental hospital. He's instead picked up by Eve Rand (Shirley MacLaine) the wife of Benjamin Rand (Melvyn Douglas), an ailing multi-millionaire, philanthropist and political kingmaker. Poised and relaxed, Chance answers questions with quiet phrases, delivered with sincere concern. He filters everything he hears through the one activity he knows and understands, gardening. That, along with a good heart and a gift for mimicry, insures that Chance is completely misinterpreted by almost everyone he meets. Eve takes Chance for a reserved, refined gentleman named Chauncey Gardiner. Benjamin is convinced that Chance is a worldly-wise businessman above the common fray. "Chauncey's" non-sequitur responses are taken as sophisticated wit.

Benjamin decides to introduce Chauncey to the visiting President (Jack Warden), casting media-driven ripples across the political landscape. Unable to find any record of Rand's new friend, the FBI and CIA conclude that Chauncey is so powerful, his identity has been carefully erased from the public record. Chauncey charms TV audiences and foreign dignitaries with his meaningless allusions to "growth in the garden", and is immediately embraced by Eve and Benjamin as their most valued friend. Meanwhile, the now unemployed housekeeper Louise is disgusted when she sees Chance on TV: "Yes, sir, all you've gotta be is white in America, to get whatever you want."

Not soon after Chance first steps from his master's house (to a jazz cover of Also sprach Zarathustra, the theme familiar from 2001: A Space Odyssey) , we see him in a telephoto angle, walking on a concrete median amid busy Washington, D.C. traffic. With his umbrella and bowler hat, Chance immediately reminds us of paintings by the surrealist René Magritte. Being There is a prime absurdist comedy. General audiences have often responded to comedies and fantasies with surreal content, even if only subconsciously: Duck Soup, King Kong, the musicals of Busby Berkeley. Chance is a definite surreal hero. He ventures forth ignorant of the perils of our modern world, and instead of being destroyed, is carried aloft by sheer dumb luck and serendipitous fortune.

Jerzy Kozinski's slightly subversive script reinforces the notion that the air is thin at society's higher elevations. Housemaids and street punks immediately see Chance for what he is -- "Shortchanged by The Lord and dumb as a jackass." But the very rich are quick to misread Chance's utterly vacant poise as wisdom and reserve. Isolated within their palatial country estate, Eve and Benjamin are emotionally needy. "Chauncey" is a cipher, a blank slate, a Rorschach inkblot ready to reflect whatever qualities they want to see. Benjamin finds an intellectual equal in Chauncey, while Eve discovers an understanding and passionate soul mate. The misunderstandings proceed with a maddening logic, until almost everything Chance does or says, no matter how minor, is a laugh line.

Former editor Hal Ashby scales and times his film to Peter Sellers' remarkably controlled performance. Being There is a high-wire act, a shaggy dog story; we marvel that it can stay fresh and funny for over two hours running. As fundamentally absurd as the horror film The Birds or the romantic fantasy Peter Ibbetson, Ashby and Sellers' film remains faithful to its irrational premise. The poetic finish is a final jest, like the car driving away through the bird-landscape at the end of Hitchcock's thriller: "We've taken this idea to its logical conclusion; we've painted ourselves into a corner and there's absolutely no way out. That's all, folks!"

The film has an exemplary supporting cast. Shirley MacLaine misinterprets Chauncey's every word and is turned on by what she thinks are his amorous attentions: "I like to watch." Her orgasmic gyrations are hilarious, yet are also a completely convincing sex scene. The elderly Melvyn Douglas caps a fifty-year career as a master of comedy, never losing his composure opposite Sellers. Richard Dysart is the doctor who slowly comes to realize Chauncey's true nature, and Jack Warden is diverting as a President suddenly made impotent because Chauncey tells him he looks small on Television. Richard Basehart and David Clennon have important smaller roles.

"Being There" is an apt title for a film whose motto is that "Life is a state of mind." The title also expresses the film's unique appeal, one difficult to convey in words: "I guess you had to be there." A viewer arriving late at a screening of Being There might be forgiven for concluding that the movie makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. That's a reaction that a surrealist would cherish!

Warner Home Video's Blu-ray edition of Being There reveals visual qualities unseen in the film since its theatrical run. Ace cinematographer Caleb Deschanel (The Black Stallion) lights for drama, not comedy, emphasizing the enormity of the Rand house (villa? palace?) with its high-ceiling rooms made of rich dark woods. Audio is in Dolby Digital, with alternate English, French and Spanish mono tracks.

The extras include two brief deleted scenes and a "Gag Reel" that turns out to be more outtakes of the flubbed-line setup used for a few laughs behind the end credits. Peter Sellers objected strongly to the inclusion of the bloopers on the grounds that they broke the film's unique spell. He was nominated for an acting Oscar® but the winner that year was Dustin Hoffman for Kramer vs. Kramer. A less effective alternate ending is included along with a trailer.

The Laurent Bouzereau featurette Memories from Being There is really a biographical tribute to co-star Melvyn Douglas by his granddaughter, actress Illeanna Douglas. At one point Ms. Douglas elaborates on a perceived religious subtext, looking for symbols and shortcuts to explain the film's puzzle. The whole point of Being There is that the only reality we know is the one we reshape to fit our subjective preconceptions.

For more information about Being There, visit Warner Video. To order Being There, go to TCM Shopping.

by Glenn Erickson

Being There (Deluxe Edition) - BEING THERE - Peter Sellers' Film Classic Directed by Hal Ashby

Being There is a wonderful and highly original comedy. It moves at a deliberate pace, depends on careful nuances of writing and performance, and pays off with big laughs in the oddest places. It's the crowning achievement of star Peter Sellers, who excels in a role he'd wanted to play for years. The movie also represents a career high for its director, Hal Ashby, a seventies success story with five straight hits to his credit. Warner Home Video's new Blu-ray presents this elegant & eccentric show in a dazzling HD transfer. Author Jerzy Kosinski's script (from his novel) must have been a tough sell to the studios; we can imagine the movie being green-lit solely on the insistence of Ashby, a comedy veteran whose first films The Landlord andHarold and Maude defined "out there" humor. Being There relies almost completely on the talents of Peter Sellers, which lately had been wasted on increasingly inane Pink Panther movies. Ironically, the success of Sellers' Inspector Clouseau character made the star bankable again. Without that push, the almost abstract comedy Being There would never have been filmed. Peter Sellers plays Chance, an unnervingly serene simpleton who has lived out his life in the walled compound of a wealthy man, working as a gardener. Chance has been raised and protected in seclusion, knowing only his master and the housekeeper Louise (Ruth Attaway). Chance reacts almost in slow motion to verbal communication, searching for the few words and concepts he understands. Television provides his sole contact with the world beyond the garden. He watches TV constantly, sometimes imitating people's hand gestures and actions. He understands his gardening tools, his television remotes, and little else. Events force Chance out into the real world, alone. He's fascinated and confused by things he's seen on TV but doesn't really understand: basketball, rides in cars, young street thugs. He asks a black woman out shopping if she'll make him some lunch. We expect Chance to either become a mugging victim or be taken to a mental hospital. He's instead picked up by Eve Rand (Shirley MacLaine) the wife of Benjamin Rand (Melvyn Douglas), an ailing multi-millionaire, philanthropist and political kingmaker. Poised and relaxed, Chance answers questions with quiet phrases, delivered with sincere concern. He filters everything he hears through the one activity he knows and understands, gardening. That, along with a good heart and a gift for mimicry, insures that Chance is completely misinterpreted by almost everyone he meets. Eve takes Chance for a reserved, refined gentleman named Chauncey Gardiner. Benjamin is convinced that Chance is a worldly-wise businessman above the common fray. "Chauncey's" non-sequitur responses are taken as sophisticated wit. Benjamin decides to introduce Chauncey to the visiting President (Jack Warden), casting media-driven ripples across the political landscape. Unable to find any record of Rand's new friend, the FBI and CIA conclude that Chauncey is so powerful, his identity has been carefully erased from the public record. Chauncey charms TV audiences and foreign dignitaries with his meaningless allusions to "growth in the garden", and is immediately embraced by Eve and Benjamin as their most valued friend. Meanwhile, the now unemployed housekeeper Louise is disgusted when she sees Chance on TV: "Yes, sir, all you've gotta be is white in America, to get whatever you want." Not soon after Chance first steps from his master's house (to a jazz cover of Also sprach Zarathustra, the theme familiar from 2001: A Space Odyssey) , we see him in a telephoto angle, walking on a concrete median amid busy Washington, D.C. traffic. With his umbrella and bowler hat, Chance immediately reminds us of paintings by the surrealist René Magritte. Being There is a prime absurdist comedy. General audiences have often responded to comedies and fantasies with surreal content, even if only subconsciously: Duck Soup, King Kong, the musicals of Busby Berkeley. Chance is a definite surreal hero. He ventures forth ignorant of the perils of our modern world, and instead of being destroyed, is carried aloft by sheer dumb luck and serendipitous fortune. Jerzy Kozinski's slightly subversive script reinforces the notion that the air is thin at society's higher elevations. Housemaids and street punks immediately see Chance for what he is -- "Shortchanged by The Lord and dumb as a jackass." But the very rich are quick to misread Chance's utterly vacant poise as wisdom and reserve. Isolated within their palatial country estate, Eve and Benjamin are emotionally needy. "Chauncey" is a cipher, a blank slate, a Rorschach inkblot ready to reflect whatever qualities they want to see. Benjamin finds an intellectual equal in Chauncey, while Eve discovers an understanding and passionate soul mate. The misunderstandings proceed with a maddening logic, until almost everything Chance does or says, no matter how minor, is a laugh line. Former editor Hal Ashby scales and times his film to Peter Sellers' remarkably controlled performance. Being There is a high-wire act, a shaggy dog story; we marvel that it can stay fresh and funny for over two hours running. As fundamentally absurd as the horror film The Birds or the romantic fantasy Peter Ibbetson, Ashby and Sellers' film remains faithful to its irrational premise. The poetic finish is a final jest, like the car driving away through the bird-landscape at the end of Hitchcock's thriller: "We've taken this idea to its logical conclusion; we've painted ourselves into a corner and there's absolutely no way out. That's all, folks!" The film has an exemplary supporting cast. Shirley MacLaine misinterprets Chauncey's every word and is turned on by what she thinks are his amorous attentions: "I like to watch." Her orgasmic gyrations are hilarious, yet are also a completely convincing sex scene. The elderly Melvyn Douglas caps a fifty-year career as a master of comedy, never losing his composure opposite Sellers. Richard Dysart is the doctor who slowly comes to realize Chauncey's true nature, and Jack Warden is diverting as a President suddenly made impotent because Chauncey tells him he looks small on Television. Richard Basehart and David Clennon have important smaller roles. "Being There" is an apt title for a film whose motto is that "Life is a state of mind." The title also expresses the film's unique appeal, one difficult to convey in words: "I guess you had to be there." A viewer arriving late at a screening of Being There might be forgiven for concluding that the movie makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. That's a reaction that a surrealist would cherish! Warner Home Video's Blu-ray edition of Being There reveals visual qualities unseen in the film since its theatrical run. Ace cinematographer Caleb Deschanel (The Black Stallion) lights for drama, not comedy, emphasizing the enormity of the Rand house (villa? palace?) with its high-ceiling rooms made of rich dark woods. Audio is in Dolby Digital, with alternate English, French and Spanish mono tracks. The extras include two brief deleted scenes and a "Gag Reel" that turns out to be more outtakes of the flubbed-line setup used for a few laughs behind the end credits. Peter Sellers objected strongly to the inclusion of the bloopers on the grounds that they broke the film's unique spell. He was nominated for an acting Oscar® but the winner that year was Dustin Hoffman for Kramer vs. Kramer. A less effective alternate ending is included along with a trailer. The Laurent Bouzereau featurette Memories from Being There is really a biographical tribute to co-star Melvyn Douglas by his granddaughter, actress Illeanna Douglas. At one point Ms. Douglas elaborates on a perceived religious subtext, looking for symbols and shortcuts to explain the film's puzzle. The whole point of Being There is that the only reality we know is the one we reshape to fit our subjective preconceptions. For more information about Being There, visit Warner Video. To order Being There, go to TCM Shopping. by Glenn Erickson

Quotes

This won't hurt a bit.
- Doctor Allenby
It did hurt.
- Chance the Gardener
This is just like television, only you can see much further.
- Chance the Gardener
It's for sure a white man's world in America. Look here: I raised that boy since he was the size of a piss-ant. And I'll say right now, he never learned to read and write. No, sir. Had no brains at all. Was stuffed with rice pudding between th' ears. Shortchanged by the Lord, and dumb as a jackass. Look at him now! Yes, sir, all you've gotta be is white in America, to get whatever you want. Gobbledy-gook!
- Louise
I like to watch.
- Chance the Gardener
Mr. Gardner, do you agree with Ben, or do you think that we can stimulate growth through temporary incentives?
- President 'Bobby'
As long as the roots are not severed, all is well. And all will be well in the garden.
- Chance the Gardener
In the garden.
- President 'Bobby'
Yes. In the garden, growth has it seasons. First comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and winter. And then we get spring and summer again.
- Chance the Gardener
Spring and summer.
- President 'Bobby'

Trivia

Every contract that Peter Sellers signs includes a clause which stipulates that his accommodation must have the bed facing East-West. Chance says: "I like to sleep with my head facing North". The attorney he's with says "But this bed is facing west!"

In different versions, the credits are either shown over retakes of Chance saying a line that was not in the movie, or (for TV and video) shown over TV white noise.

Henry Dawkins, who plays Billings-the X-Ray Technician, really was an X-Ray Technician. He was the head of the Radiology Department at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College (in Asheville, North Carolina, one of the shooting locations of this film) in the early 1990's.

Despite Sellers' repeated requests, the producers would not remove the out-takes from the version they submitted to Cannes.

Peter Sellers patterned the voice for Chance the gardener after his idol, Stan Laurel.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Winter February 1, 1980

Released in United States 1982

Released in USA on video.

Released in United States December 1979

Released in United States Winter February 1, 1980

Released in United States 1982 (Shown at FILMEX: Los Angeles International Film Exposition (("Marathon of Mirth": Comedy Marathon) March 16 - April 1, 1982.)

Released in United States December 1979