TV Cream

Films: B is for...

Being There

Oooh, ambiguity ahoy! Is he a gardener? Is he gay? Is he Stan Laurel? Is he Jesus? Is he – chortle – a premonition of the Reagan era? Answers on a stuck-down Lawson, please. By no means Sellers’ best role, but a damn good absent turn all the same, Jerzy Kosinsky’s numb parable puts mild-mannered, TV-obsessed man child Chance out into the Washington streets after his boss croaks it, quickly running in with ill senator Mervyn Douglas and rampant wife Shirley MacLaine, and climbing the political pole by default with a collection of vacant homespun homilies. Charming and occasionally sharp, in an airless sort of way. Oh, and due to the afternoon timeslot this is normally put out in, when next you see it this will almost certainly have the scene where MacLaine masturbates on the floor while Sellers sits on the end of the bed staring into space heavily butchered.



  1. Paul

    October 6, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    ‘I like to watch.’

  2. Paul Gatenby

    October 6, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Being There would have made a great swansong to Peter Sellers’ career. It’s a lot better than The Fiendish Plot of Fu Manchu, which I saw on Channel 5 once, and was very crap indeed.

  3. Tom Ronson

    March 31, 2022 at 7:12 pm

    Peter Sellers was a huge fan of Stan Laurel, and visited the legend at his Santa Monica apartment during his retirement, so no surprise that he based Chance on Ulverston’s finest export.

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