Friday Fun

Friday Fun: Peter Sellers: Being There Outtakes

Peter Sellers was a great comic actor.

Even if you saw nothing else, this is clear from his work in the Pink Panther movies; the  blackly funny satire of Stanley Kubrick’s ‘Lolita‘ (1962), and ‘Dr. Strangelove‘ (1964).

And then there’s ‘Being There‘ (1979).

Directed by the great Hal Ashby, ‘Being There’ is the story of Chance, a quiet simple gardener, who loves watching TV. He has always lived in the mansion of his employer, and has never left the estate on which it sits. And then his employer dies.

And Chance is forced out into the world for the first time.

Chance’s plain-spoken, simple, TV-informed quotes and slogans are mistaken for profundity by the people he meets…

Chance’s plain-spoken, simple, TV-informed quotes and slogans are mistaken for profundity by the people he meets, and Chance finally finds himself popular among the moneyed Washington types.

Simple, funny and elegant, Sellers’ performance is a masterwork of restraint. And just look into those eyes… the sweet naive Chance looks like he’s never had a thought in his head. Remarkable given the sharp comic intelligence of Peter Sellers.

The scene below shows Chance’s accidental confrontation with street thugs; thinking he has been sent by their rival ‘Raphael’, they send Chance on his way with a message for ‘Raphael’.

This is followed by ‘Being There”s end credits, which crawl by under Sellers’ outtakes of his message to ‘Raphael’.

It’s impossible to precisely convey how funny and delightful these outtakes are; you should just watch them and enjoy. Pure pleasure in less than 5 minutes…

Have a great weekend everybody.

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BEING THERE is available from Amazon.

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