In 1979, British comic actor Peter Sellers charmed the world with his portrayal of a childlike gardener, raised from early childhood on a wealthy man's estate, who experiences the "real world" for the first time at midlife, with surprising results. (Well, it has to be said that while a lot of people were charmed, observant Americans might have been unsettled by the not-so-veiled critique of the average American, TV-obsessed and clueless about life outside a small, privileged bubble).
"Chance," whose real last name is never known, blunders out into the world after the death of his employer and lifelong guardian. Instead of becoming homeless or ending up in an institution, he is mistaken for a reserved but wise businessman and then taken into the home of a fabulously wealthy couple. He then ascends to the heights of American society. "Being There" was one of the political satires that came out of the mid-1970s, a time of political turmoil and economic sluggishness. It was a modern "emperor's new clothes" story, indicting those in power of not being able to see what was right in front of them. And what did that *ending* mean? (We won't spoil it, if you can't remember the surprise at the very close).
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