Sunday, April 7, 2013

Being There (1979)

dir. Hal Ashby

The house where Chance (Peter Sellers) works as a gardener – Fenyes Mansion (interior only), 470 W. Walnut Street, Pasadena, California.

The garden was a studio set.

Chance leaving his late employer’s house – 937 M Street NW, Washington, DC. There’s a large tree in front of the house now, so it’s virtually impossible to get a good shot.

Chance crossing the street - M Street at 10th Street NW, Washington, DC

Chance continues wandering around the city - 7th Street at O Street NW, Washington, DC

Chance asks a woman carrying groceries to give him something to eat - the 800 block of 14th Street NW, Washington, DC. Most of the block was torn down in the mid-1980s to make way for new shiny office buildings.

The TV World store - 1400 14th Street NW, Washington, DC. The building has since been demolished, and a Caribou Coffee now stands in its place.

Chance looking at the Benito Juarez statue, Virginia Avenue at 25th Street NW, Washington, DC.

Chance walking past the National Gallery of Art, National Mall, Washington, DC.

Chance puzzles a policeman by telling him "that tree is very sick" – White House (south side), 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC.

Chance walking on the median strip toward the U.S. Capitol – N. Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC.

Chance accidentally gets hit by Mrs. Rand’s (Shirley MacLaine) car and is taken to her husband’s mansion – K Street at 17th Street NW, Washington, DC. The YWCA building whose neon sign is visible on the right, was torn down in the early 1980s.

Ben Rand’s (Melvyn Douglas) mansion – Biltmore Estate, Asheville, North Carolina.

See also...


Dave

The American President

14 comments:

  1. I have been looking for Chance's house for years. Thanks for finding it. One day I will visit all these locations as its my favourite film of all time. The garden of the house was a set though as confirmed in an email I received from Fran Brill who played Sally Hayes in the film.

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    1. I'm glad I was able to help. Thank you for the information on the garden.

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    2. When asked what my favourite film (of all time!) is, it has to be, 'Being There'. Maybe because it has some profound messages, not all obvious.
      Thanks again - from the UK
      MdeMontaigne@talktalk.net

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  2. I love this movie... There are movie locations in my neighborhood and I just found this out last year..

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  3. About two and a half minutes into Chance's walkabout to the music of Eumir Deodato, he passes the now mostly gone John F. Kennedy Memorial Playground at 7th and P Streets NW where basketball is being played. It was dedicated in June 1964 by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. The former D.C. Transit PCC streetcar shell in the background became a problem during the drug wars because it was being used by people to get their fix out of view, and was subsequently removed as were a military jet and a locomotive.

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  4. Thank you for your website and your interest in film locations and homes, buildings used in film scenes. I loved looking the hotels used in : Somewhere in Time, and the original and remake of the Shining, among others. Thanks so much.

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  5. Thanks for spotting the N. Capitol St. location. I couldn't figure it out until now. Having come into the city myself on South Capitol St. so often I was always looking for the location there. Never thought Chance could have been approaching from the north. He's just about to reach M Street in the scene by the way.

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  6. I met Sellers, Ashby and Caleb Deschanel that day, walking through my neighborhood, 7th & O Street NW. I talked to them, I was 13. they asked me to help keep the basketball moving in the background while Sellers looked in.

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  7. Do you happen to know the filming location for the entrance to Ben's estate? When the presidential motorcade drives through the gates, you can see a McDonalds sign behind the trees to the left. Thanks!

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    1. Michael: Yes, absolutely. It's the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. There's still a McDonald's by the entrance gate. Check it out on Google Maps.

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  8. It's hard to believe (though it's true) that 937 M Street NW is the right location. That area is so gentrified now.

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    1. Is it ever. I watched the other day and thought, did Washington really look like that?

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  9. I absolutely loved this movie growing up in Florida, watching it with my mom multiple times on one of the early pay movie cable channels.

    Decades later, having moved to DC, I was stunned one morning when it was playing on TV to realize Chance’s great emergence to the outside world was filmed in my neighborhood! The building where we owned a condo, gutted and renovated in the early 2000s, actually appears in the background as the camera pans around while the theme from 2001 plays.

    Was such a surreal moment making that sudden connection. A mix of a smile and nostalgia, for sure.

    Thank you for putting this together. I knew some of the other DC locations, but couldn’t quite put my finger on the location of others.

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  10. Can’t say how much I enjoy the movie. Was recently in DC and drove by “The Old Man’s” estate. I assume the Old Man was Chance’s father?

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