Being There: Anniversary Edition

In February 2009, Warner Home Video celebrates the 30th Anniversary of “Being There,” director Hal Ashby (Coming Home, Shampoo) and writer Jerzy Kosinski’s satirical fable about politics, celebrity and the media, with a 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition. Starring Peter Sellers (“Pink Panther” franchise), Melvyn Douglas, Shirley MacLaine and Jack Warden, the film was nominated for two Academy Awards (for Sellers and Douglas) and won one for Douglas as Best Supporting Actor.


“Being There” 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition will be available on both Blu-ray Hi-Def ($28.99 SRP) and Standard DVD ($19.96 SRP).

The Blu-ray Hi-Def version of this 30th Anniversary Deluxe Edition boasts special bonus content including 10 minutes of never-before-seen additional footage consisting of deleted scenes, a gag take, and an alternate ending. Both versions, restored and remastered with 5.1 Dolby Digital audio, include a revealing new retrospective featurette with Melvyn Douglas’ actress-granddaughter Illeana Douglas.

Says Ms. Douglas: “My grandfather and Peter Sellers had a very warm and special relationship that started years before the movie and is definitely reflected throughout in their scenes together.” In the featurette, Ms. Douglas, who visited the set as a young girl, speaks revealingly about the movie, her bond with her grandfather and his encouragement and support in her choice to become an actress.  In fact, the elder Douglas bequeathed his Oscar statuette to her.

After Being There was published, author Jerzy Kosinski got a telegram from its lead character, Chance the Gardener: “Available in my garden or outside of it.” Kosinski dialed the accompanying telephone number and Peter Seller’s answered. Sellers indeed got the part and gave an indelible performance (scoring National Board of Review and Golden Globe Best Actor Awards and an Oscar Award nomination) in this modern comedy classic.

Isolated all his life in a Washington, DC, townhouse, Chance knows only what he’s seen on TV.  Cast into the world, he stumbles into the inner circle of political power brokers (including Melvyn Douglas in his second Oscar-winning role) eager for sage wisdom. As Chance might say, you’ll like to watch.

Special Features:  

Memories from Being There with Illeana Douglas  

Theatrical trailer

Additional Special Features Exclusive to Blu-ray Hi-Def:  

Additional scenes  

Alternate ending  

Gag take

Feature Running Time: 130 minutes.

Rated: PG