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Being There DVD

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Hal Ashby's much-praised Being There stars Peter Sellers in what was perhaps his finest comic performance. Chance the gardener has spent his entire life in an old man's house and has no idea of the world outside except for what television has given him. Sellers manages to make his innocence touching and oddly impressive rather than an offensive exploitation of disability. Jerzy Kozinski's screenplay neither entirely endorses nor discounts the twin possibilities that Chance's simplicity and closeness to the natural world give him access to real wisdom, or that he is simply a blank on whom people project what they want to see and hear. What is clear is that he gives his dying friend Ben (Jack Warden) peace of mind and consoles Ben's wife (Shirley Maclaine). Whether he's being groomed for the Presidency or appearing to walk on water, he always does something right, and the same is true for Sellers' minimalist performance. On the DVD: Being There is presented in a widescreen visual aspect of 1.85:1 and has 1.0 Dolby Digital mono sound; it comes with the original theatrical trailer, information about the stars and director and a list of the film's awards. --Roz Kaveny

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