A simple-minded gardener named Chance has spent all his life in the Washington D.C. house of an old man. When the man dies, Chance is put out on the street with no knowledge of the world except what he has learned from television. After a run in with a limousine, he ends up a guest of a woman (Eve) and her husband Ben, an influential but sickly businessman. Now called Chauncey Gardner, Chance becomes friend and confidante to Ben, and an unlikely political insider. –IMDb
Hal Ashby was born the fourth and youngest child in a Mormon household in Ogden, Utah, on September 2, 1929. His father was a dairy farmer. After a rough childhood that included the divorce of his parents, his father’s suicide, his dropping out of high school, getting married and divorced all before he was 19, he decided to leave Utah for California. A Californian employment office found him a printing press job at Universal Studios. Within a few years, he was an assistant film editor at various other studios. One of his pals while at MGM was a young messenger named Jack Nicholson. He moved up to being a full fledged editor on The Loved One (1965) and started editing the films of director Norman Jewison.
A highlight of his film editing career was winning an Oscar for the landmark In the Heat of the Night (1967). Itching to become a director, Jewison gave him a script he was too busy to work on called The Landlord (1970). It became Ashby’s first film as a director. From there… read more
Like all the Ashby films i've seen, the audience is invited to the main chareccters interpratations of reality so you are inevitably on their side. This story that you follow and support is one of pure unassuming intentions and warmth much like the charecter Sellers brings to the screen. Sellers as 'Chance' is up there as one of the finest perofrmances i've seen. lovely film- Impossible to dislike. 4/5
This works as a straight up, Forrest Gump-esque comedy, complete with a brilliant Peter Sellars performance but it also works as a satire on both a political level and as a probe on the human psyche. It’s not flawless – infact the second half of the film contains a few weak spots – most noticeably the seduction subplot, but the final curious shot is a perfect ending.
“To see me as a person on screen would be one of the dullest experiences you could ever wish to experience” – quote from Peter Sellers. Peter Sellers had many quotes like this in which he spoke of… read review
Hal Ashby’s comic fable gave Peter Sellers his last great role. Sellers had become obsessed with Jerzy Kosinski’s novella Being There since the early 1970’s, fascinated by the character of Chance the… read review