Parents' Guide to

Being There

By Kelly Kessler, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Amazingly poignant performance by Peter Sellers.

Movie PG 1979 130 minutes
Being There Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 16+

Incredible performances, but not for younger teens

Peter Sellers was absolutely tearing me apart when seeing this movie. He plays a gardener who gains fame because of his supposed "words of wisdom". It is a critique of the way the media reacts to people's actions and what misunderstandings can result because of that. It ends a little weird though, and I feel like I need to see the film again to get a better grip on what else it is trying to say. Concerning content advisory, there is no violence, only a scene where a man is threatened with a knife. I might have recommended "Being There" for most teens if there weren't a couple of really suggestive moments, including two seduction scenes (one has masturbation) and some lingering sexual dialogue and references. As a whole, I think this movie is definitely worth watching, but I would also recommend parents know what they are going into before showing it to teens. 7.8/10

This title has:

Too much sex
age 12+

A glimpse at the truth??

This is one of my all time favorite stories, and I am glad a film was made from it. This movie depicts how people, through their own choices, misinterpret the acts and utterances of a very simple man. It just so happens that in this story, the believing people have a lot of political clout, causing the simple man to become a prominent figure in national politics. There is no reason to believe this kind of thing does not happen on a regular basis, and it is a good step from which to launch the idea that you must really think about what any leader is saying, if it makes sense, and if it will ultimately serve our community.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2):
Kids say (2):

Although the film has been touted as a classic, some people may find it too esoteric. The majority of the main characters are overall good people, but the film's premise emerges from a poignant/painful misunderstanding. Parents, not kids, will be drawn to this film due to its grown-up humor.

Sellers spent years trying to bring the story of the odd-duck gardener to the big screen, but not until the Pink Panther sequels renewed his bankability would a major studio agree to front the film. The result was a critically acclaimed and poignant piece. Sellers earned many nominations for his role and took home the Golden Globe. Director Hal Ashby won the coveted Golden Palm from the Cannes Film Festival, while Melvyn Douglas earned the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as the ailing Benjamin Rand.

Movie Details

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