Harrison Bergeron (film)

1995 film by Bruce Pittman

Harrison Bergeron is a 1995 made for television movie about a young man who is smarter than his peers, and is not affected by the usual "Handicapping" which is used to train all Americans so everyone is of equal intelligence.

Directed by Bruce Pittman. Written by Arthur Crimm, based on Kurt Vonnegut's short story Harrison Bergeron.
Welcome to the future. It's a no-brainer.

Harrison Bergeron edit

  • You haven't made everybody equal. You've made them the same. And there's a big difference.
  • I hope you understand what I've been trying to show you. You see...the most important thing about a person is what makes him different from anybody else. And that difference is what's gonna make someone else to fall in love with you.
  • Since I've been here, I've been lucky enough to really love someone, and to know all the things about her that are special, and that are different - and love all of them. That kind of love - real love - is the greatest thing in the world.
  • When they took away envy, they took away love too.
  • If I have such a great life ahead of me, how come I feel so lousy every time I think about living it?

John Klaxon edit

  • As you know, since the second revolution, America has been striving to create a truly egalitarian society, a society with average people. Well the problem is, to run such a society requires certain high administrative functions that the average person is simply incapable of performing.
  • Can you imagine how I must feel, knowing that I'm striving to create a world in which no Beethoven will ever be born? But it has to be, not just because of some words in a constitution. It has to be.

President McCloskey edit

  • [The randomly selected president is disturbed due to a national emergency while watching a game show that involves a big pumpkin] It'd better be important, it's almost time for the big pumpkin.

Technician edit

  • [notices Harrison Bergeron] Pleasure to meet you, young fellow. You've come in a good time. Say, how would you like to pick the next governor of Connecticut?

Jennifer edit

  • [considers whether to approve a new sitcom] Well, ah, there's certainly nothing fresh or original in the concept. The, ah, writing was mundane, the acting is, ah, pedestrian...I like it!

Other edit

  • It's lonely, being smart.
  • The intelligence gene is the hardest to wipe out.
  • You shouldn't learn anything from television.

Dialogue edit

Harrison Bergeron: Anyway, I don't think you're all that stupid.
Alma Starbuck: Thanks. [smiles in joy] Well, I don't think that you're all that smart.

Garth Bergeron: I can't believe you're getting married.
Harrison Bergeron: Me neither.
Garth Bergeron: You like her though? She's nice, isn't she?
Harrison Bergeron: Yeah. I mean, I guess she seems nice. But I spent two hours with her, now I'm gonna spend the rest of my life with her. Does that make sense to you?
Garth Bergeron: Sure.

Harrison Bergeron: [gets dressed up] What if we don't hit it off?
George Bergeron: I know how you feel. When I first got to meet your mom I was up all night, worrying what if the computer screwed up. But it picked the absolute 100% perfect girl for me. And it will for you too. You'll see.

Harrison Bergeron: Hey, who is the old guy in King Lear?
Phillipa: King Lear?
Harrison Bergeron: No, the actor.
Phillipa: Macaulay Culkin.

[while on the phone with the newly randomly selected Connecticut governor]
Technician: Someone will be contacting you later today to work out the details of your inauguration.
The newly randomly selected (female) Connecticut Governor: Do I have time to get my hair done?

[Harrison Bergeron gets to see an official having a video conference with a private citizen who also serves as the randomly selected president]
President McCloskey: No, no way.
Reynolds: Mr. President, the Premier is only asking for another 24 hours. He wants the approval of the Moroccan parliament. He fears a civil war be axed(?) without their backing.
President McCloskey: Fuck 'em. I told them two weeks ago if they didn't agree to dismantle that factory under our supervision, we'd bomb the shit out of them! Now they've got one hour to agree, otherwise - bombs away.
Reynolds: But Mr. President, the installation is only 5 miles outside of Rabat. The nuclear fallout could be apocalyptic.
President McCloskey: Well, that's what they get for building a T-bomb when we told them not to. Those cocksuckers got to learn not to fuck with us. 59 minutes!
Newman: Inform the Premiere. Tell mission control to make final preparations for the strike.
[a female official complies and walks away]
Reynolds: You've got to be kidding me. Shouldn't we get Klaxon down here?
Newman: You know his motto - [cynically] the will of the people.
Reynolds: Well, this isn't the people! This is some steel worker from Scranton we picked as president!
Newman: I'll remind you, Mr. Reynolds, that since that nasty Canadian business, American policy - brutal and unsophisticated as it is - does work. The rest of the world seems has learned to use the president's stern words [cynically] that they can't...fuck...with us.
Reynolds: This Moroccan business is different. The Premiere is at an impossible situation with a board of dispute in Algeria and an unrest in his army. The president does not understand the complexity of the matter. Now, he may be an average person, but I can assure you leaders of other nations are not average. They are subtle, sophisticated men and dealing with them takes great skill and patience and diplomacy!
Female official: Sir, the Moroccan Premiere has agreed to the terms of the president's ultimatum.
[Harrison Bergeron sighs the words "thank you" in relief in the corner]
Newman: [smiles cynically] As you were saying?

TV Announcer - San Quentin: This is the first execution to be held under the new law passed by the board of legislators that extends capital punishment to traffic offences. Francis Narrows (?) is about to pay the ultimate price for making an illegal left turn. Besides me is Lorraine Newbound, head of the Miami chapter of the league *against* *non* capital punishment. Now, Ms. Newbound, you are of course in favor of this new law.
Ms. Newbound: Absolutely. I just wish they would go one step further and include non moving violations.
TV Announcer - San Quentin: Parking offences?
Ms. Newbound: Well, a crime is a crime. Why should we pay good money for jails just to keep criminals alive? Death to all crooks! [smiles in joy]

[after watching a pilot for a new sitcom]
Mr. TV: There were a couple of pretty clever jokes here or there, but I'm sure broadcast standards can whip them out. Let's order 13. What did you think about that, Harrison?
Harrison Bergeron: It was terrible.
Mr. TV: Yes, they did a fine job.
Harrison Bergeron: I can't believe I used to watch this stuff.
Mr. TV: Well, we all did. Even in the old days television tended to descend to the level of the least common denominator. But now and then shows of some quality would sneak through. Now WE, on the other hand, have made a conscious decision never to air anything that can't be appreciated by everyone watching, so we'd be able to eliminate quality altogether.

Cast edit

External links edit

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