Being There script
Being There (1979)
Synopsis: Simple-minded Chance (Peter Sellers), a gardener who has resided in the Washington, D.C., townhouse of his wealthy employer for his entire life and been educated only by television, is forced to vacate his home when his boss dies. While wandering the streets, he encounters business mogul Ben Rand (Melvyn Douglas), who assumes Chance to be a fellow upper-class gentleman. Soon Chance is ushered into high society, and his unaffected gardening wisdom makes him the talk of the town.

FADE IN:

1INT. CHANCE'S ROOM - DAWN

A large-screen color TV dominates a room sparsely decorated

with expensive furniture of the twenties. There are no

books, magazines, newspapers to be seen. A man, CHANCE, is

in bed, sleeping. His eyes slowly open, and, with no change

of expression, he sits up and turns on the TV with a remote

control. He reaches for a pocketwatch on the bedside table,

and, as he looks at it, the watch chimes. He gets out of

bed, crosses to the closet, his eyes never straying from the

TV. Chance puts on a bathrobe and leaves the room.

2INT. POTTING ROOM - DAWN

The room is filled with the tools of a gardener. Chance enters

and turns on a 1940's black and white TV that sits on a shelf.

A wheel with colored gels spins in front of the set, giving

an early form of color television. He waters a few of the plants

in the potting room as he watches TV.

3INT. GARAGE - DAWN

Chance, with a dust rag and feather duster, cleans off a 1935

limousine, in perfect condition.

4INT. CHANCE'S ROOM - DAWN

Chance takes off his robe, hangs it in the closet, changes

channels on the TV, then goes into the bathroom.

5EXT. GARDEN - MORNING

A light snow is falling in a garden between a three-story

brick townhouse and a one-story rear building, guarded on

either side by a high brick wall. The door to the rear

building opens, Chance peeks out, then goes back inside. A

moment passes and Chance reappears, this time with an

umbrella. Smartly attired in suit and tie, Chance, with an

eye on the garden, crosses to the townhouse.

6INT. TOWN HOUSE - REAR ENTRANCE/HALLWAY - MORNING

Chance enters, hangs his umbrella on a door knob, then

crosses through the hall. As he goes, we reveal that the

furniture in the house is covered with sheets.

7INT. TOWN HOUSE - DINING ROOM - MORNING

A large table, covered with a sheet except for two place-

settings. A TV is on the table. Chance comes into the

room, sits and turns on the television. He watches the

screen for a moment, then turns, as if expecting someone.

No one appears, so he turns back to the TV. After a time.

footsteps are heard and Chance smiles. LOUISE, an elderly

Black maid, hurries into the room, visibly distraught.

CHANCE:

Good morning, Louise.

LOUISE:

(out of breath)

He's dead, Chance! The Old Man's

dead!

CHANCE:

(flatly, turns

back to TV)

...I see.

LOUISE:

Must of happened durin' the night,

I don't know...Lord, he wasn't

breathin' and as cold as a fish.

I touched him, just to see, and

you believe me, Chance - that's

doin' more than I get paid to

do... Then I just cover him

up, pulled the sheet over his head...

CHANCE:

(nodding)

Yes. I've seen that done.

LOUISE:

...Then I get the hell out of that

room and call the doctor and I

think I woke him probably, he wasn't

any too alert. He just said, 'Yeah,

he's been expectin' it and said he'd

send somebody over...' Lord, what a

mornin'!

CHANCE:

(watches news,

flashes of season's

first snowfall)

...Yes, Lousie, it's snowing in

the garden today. Have you

looked outside and seen the snow?

It's very white.

A beat of silence from Louise, then anger.

LOUISE:

Gobbledegook! Dammit, Boy! Is

that all you got to say? More

gobbledegook?

(Chance smiles,

is silent)

That Old Man's layin' up there

dead as hell and it just don't

make any difference to you!

Lousie takes a long look at Chance, then softens, sits

next to him.

LOUISE (Cont'd)

Oh, Lord, Chance - I don't know

what I was expectin' from you...

I'm sorry for yellin' like I did...

No sir, I just don't know what I

was expectin'...

(Chance doesn't

react, watches TV)

...I 'spose I'd better gather up

some breakfast for you...

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Jerzy Kosiński

Jerzy Kosiński (Polish pronunciation: [ˈjɛʐɨ kɔˈɕiɲskʲi]; June 14, 1933 – May 3, 1991), born Józef Lewinkopf, was an award-winning Polish-American novelist and two-time President of the American Chapter of P.E.N., who wrote primarily in English. Born in Poland, he survived World War II and, as a young man, emigrated to the U.S., where he became a citizen. more…

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"Being There" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 14 Dec. 2017. <http://www.scripts.com/script/being_there_408>.

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