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Harrison Bergeron (1995)

In a distant future, egalitarianism has created a truly equal state. The cost? The sacrifice of everything great about humankind. The question: is peace worth the price?

Director:

Bruce Pittman

Writers:

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (story), Arthur Crimm
Reviews
4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sean Astin ... Harrison Bergeron
Miranda de Pencier ... Phillipa
Eugene Levy ... President McCloskey
Howie Mandel ... Charlie (of 'Chat with Charlie')
Andrea Martin ... Diana Moon Glampers
Christopher Plummer ... John Klaxon
Nigel Bennett ... Dr. Eisenstock
Peter Boretski ... Newman
David Calderisi ... Commissioner Benson
Emmanuelle Chriqui ... Jeannie
Hayden Christensen ... Eric
Cindy Cook Cindy Cook ... Weatherperson
Roger Dunn ... George Bergeron
Jayne Eastwood ... Ms. Newbound
Hal Eisen Hal Eisen ... TV Announcer - San Quentin
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Storyline

"All men are not created equal. It is the purpose of the Government to make them so." This is the premise of the Showtime film adaption of Kurt Vonnegut's futuristic short story Harrison Bergeron. The film centers around a young man (Harrison) 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. Written by Glenn Kurtzrock <glennk@pegasus.rutgers.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Welcome to the future. It's a no-brainer.

Genres:

Comedy | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, and for some sexuality and violence | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Cypress Films home page

Country:

Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 August 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron See more »

Filming Locations:

Ontario, Canada See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film takes place in 2053. See more »

Quotes

John Klaxon: 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.
See more »

Connections

References Casablanca (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

Only Hope
Music by Louis Natale
Performed by Pat La Barbara
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User Reviews

 
Good, smart sci-fi
24 May 2005 | by itamarscomixSee all my reviews

Bruce Pittman's intelligent and modest TV adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's short story is a wonderful and much under-appreciated piece of high sci-fi. Films of this kind are rarely made, simply because there's not much potential audience for low-budget science fiction - most people are in sci-fi mainly for special effects and impressive battles. Harrison Bergeron, though, is one of those few adaptations made of real philosophical sci-fi, the kind that creates an image of the future as a reflection of our own reality. And it succeeds quite well in delivering its message, and for what it is it could be enjoyed by almost everyone - though I doubt it could have done well in the theaters.

The film revolves around two wonderful lead actors - one is Sean Astin, who recently gained success and fame as Sam Gamgee in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy. The other is the wonderful British actor Christopher Plummer, remembered by sci-fi buffs as the Klingon General Chang from Star Trek 6: The Undiscovered Country. Brilliant comedian Eugene Levy gives an eerily funny performance as the President. The story is of a future America in which equality is achieved by discouraging exceptional talent or intelligence and creating forced mediocrity. Harrison (Sean Astin) is one of the exceptional few whose intelligence surfaces despite the government's best efforts and is therefore given the chance to work for the government. There he discovers the timeless Orwellian truth of Fascist regimes - all are equal, but some are more equal than others. Astin's interplay with Clummer (the classic 'Big Brother') is wonderful, and the ending is beautiful. The script does an excellent job of expanding Vonnegut's very short story into a 100 minute film.

Harrison Bergeron is well worth watching - if you can get your hands on it. As far as I know there isn't a DVD available, but the VHS can be ordered on Amazon and the movie plays occasionally on television. If you're interested in science fiction literature of authors like Vonnegut, Philip K. Dick, or Isaac Asimov, this wonderful little think-piece is a good purchase.


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