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Harrison Bergeron [VHS]
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Customer Reviews:

  • An unfaithful adaptation
    I despise this film. It is flimsily based on one of the greatest short stories I have ever read, but it is terribly melodramatic and dramatically different from the original story. It has a very made-for-television quality. In other words, it's low-budget. The acting is crummy. The dialogue is nothing like what Vonnegut would have written. I am shocked that he authorized it and allowed his name to be put in the title. His name is obviously used as a selling point, because the film can't stand up on its own. Mother Night and Slaughterhouse Five, both excellent films in every respect, are adaptations of Vonnegut novels that are available on video and much more worthy of your attention. Those two films are true to Vonnegut's vision. Slaughterhouse Five is particularly impressive in the way it deals with the difficulty of working with a story that is set in both World-War-II-devastated Germany and the imaginary planet, Tralfamadore....more info
  • AmAzInG!
    One of the most powerful movies I have seen. The beginning entranced me, the middle kept me interested and the ending devestated me. Disturbing but beautiful. It makes you wonder what the world is coming to. Perhaps not realistic in today's society but one day... who knows? Assimilation will get the best of us as Harisson got the best of me. Bring your hankies, this one will make you cry....more info
  • Foreseeing PC Dystopia
    A cautionary tale of political-correctness taken to its logical extreme in a leftist dystopia that enforces "equality" and no one is permitted the freedom of achievement or failure, since everyone is made to have the same ability ---whether they like it or not. Mediocrity and standardization are enforced on citizens by a totalitarian socialist government of well-meaning know-better elites (who are of course exempt from their own rules) until one young man rebels and threatens their order. In the vein of Orwell's "1984" or Animal Farm, this is a classic allegory for left-wing authoritarian hyprocrisy and supression of the individual's identity in favor of the "group."...more info
  • much better than the short story
    The movie takes the basic idea of the story (which is under 4 pages long), and builds it into a full-length movie. I respectfully disagree with the viewer who claimed that the movie was bad because it deviated from the story; I thought this movie was better than the printed version, but the film version of Slaughterhouse Five was *terrible* compared to the book.

    This movie ought to be required viewing (in a G-to-PG editted form) in all of the schools, starting with the very young children. They *made* us watch footage of the holocaust in 6th grade, dead bodies, nearly dead bodies, and everything; why can't we also let kids see footage of the 'intellectual holocaust'?

    If people could realize what they are truly asking for, it might put a stop to all this nonsense, or at least allow us to determine who lacks the intelligence to participate in public policy.

    People who continue to espouse the viewpoint that everyone should be equal in all respects ought to be lined up and shot like the criminals they are....more info

  • Illustrates where we are headed
    with the continued dumbing down of the population and we just might be past the point of no return....more info
  • Excellent, truly a thought-provoking movie
    I stumbled over this purely by accident one day while flipping through the stations and it was airing on Showtime, I believe. I lingered a moment or two out of curiousity because I saw Sean Astin (I used to have the biggest crush on him years ago when I was a kid) but I stayed on the station because the movie itself drew me in. It's terrifying and forces you to think. I've never read any of Kurt's works before, so I can't compare the two, but as a movie itself, this is a refreshing change of pace from the majority of the fluff Hollywood puts out....more info
  • Definately a Thinking Movie
    It was one of those movies that can make you think "what if?". There were the little things that just started to make too much sense. It is a reflection of modern society, only a step ahead of where we are now. The mind control seemed to the point where it made sense, everyone wants to be average. The students in the movie were expected to get straight C's and then they could graduate. It is fun to think the culture didn't want smart people. That it could be possible to end up like Harrison did in the end. The government is who we should fear is the message the movie sent. Those in control may not be doing things for our own good....more info
  • I think this movie was great.
    This was an excellent flim. It scares you into thinking about what our counrty would be like if everyone was forced to be the same. Of course except for the elite few who would "guide" our thoughts and actions. I have never heard of the short story until I saw this film. Now I want to read it....more info
  • Wow.
    It was just another day in the basic chemistry course I was taking last semester. No one particularly liked the movies Mr. Roberts picked out, especially after that whole laser cancer thing. But, when he turned off the lights, and Harrison Bergeron began, I knew this movie would be different.

    The whole view of controlling intelligence, and what the future may hold is portrayed in this movie so well, it's scary. The ending and the middle and the beginning and the whole point will leave you numb with amazement.

    If you enjoy this sort of movie, the kind that makes you really think, I'd like to suggest a couple others. 1984 and The Truman Show. Two great movies that make you value what you really have....more info

  • Everyone cannot be average
    directed by Bruce Pittman
    approximately 1 hour 39 minutes

    In the future there isn't any envy or hate. There is no competition, so people don't feel bad when they don't do as well as their peers. In fact they don't feel anything at all because their thought patterns are regulated by an electrical band that must be worn at all times. There are very strict rules about what can be shown on television since people may have different reactions to the same show. Therefore the official culture of the day is aimed at the lowest common denominator. Sitcoms are bland and unoriginal and sports players are deliberately handicapped so as to skew the results into something close to a tie finish.

    One young man born into this world can't seem to get it. He likes learning and wants to do better for himself. He is on his way to marry a pretty girl but laments the fact that they have nothing to talk about. He does well in school in spite of his teachers who encourage him to get a special surgery that should take care of his intelligence "problem". The doctor who is to perform the surgery recommends that since Harrison will only have his special brain for one last night, that he should check out a "head house". These are places where people meet illegally to challenge themselves and learn for the sake of learning. Our protagonist checks into a local head house and is impressed with this intellectual underworld. This marks a major turning point in his life. It turns out that Harrison has been monitored all his life by a group of elite bureaucrats - the same group who help to craft the mediocre culture that Harrison cannot relate to.

    Harrison is recruited into this group because of his brilliant mind. He takes a job in television, thinking it doesn't have to be the uninteresting schlock that it has become. Best of all, he has access to real culture - Orson Welles radio plays, 'Its a Wonderful Life', Mozart - things all banned to the general population. These are the kinds of things that fascinate Harrison, but they could inflame a civil disturbance amongst the citizenry. When Harrison presents an idea for an exciting show to his supervisor, his proposal is swiftly rejected. As he spends more time in the central planning process, he understands the secrets known only to the inner elite of the bureaucracy. Even the president doesn't have a complete grasp of how the world works. It becomes clear that the planners hold themselves to a a different set of standards than the rest of the population who doesn't even know that they exist. Nevertheless Harrison sees their objective as a noble one. After all, who wants to live in a society of turmoil and conflict? Harrison must decide if he can reconcile the apparent benefits of the system with the double standards of the central planners.

    This is a very good movie, especially since culture seems to be getting closer each year to the shows depicted in the movie. It is of course based on the story by Kurt Vonnegut. There is another Harrison Bergeron movie being made with the title '2081'. I hope it is as enjoyable as this one!

    "You haven't made everyone equal,
    you've made everyone the same..."
    -Harrison...more info
  • A scary and all too plausible American future
    I found this movie in the sci-fi section, and from the description and names on the cast list (Buck Henry, Howie Mandell, Andrea Martin, and Eugene Levy), I thought this was going to be a comedy. It wasn't, but that didn't matter -- comedic actors often excel in serious roles. This movie presents a chilling view of a future where government policy is driven by a twisted definition of "equality." A few scenes were disturbing, but I'd still include "Harrison Bergeron" on the MUST SEE list for serious observers of the human condition. If you liked "Gattaca" and "1984," I believe you'll like "Harrison Bergeron" too....more info
    A kick a$$ movie w/ a MIND blowing ending!!!It would not have been possible w/o the genuis & insprational roll of Howie Mandel that actually brought me to tears. Anyone that gives this movie a double O negitive should listen to Data,"No its not."...more info
  • The short story and movie are very different BUT!!!
    Although the movie is loosely (very loosely) based on the short story it's still quite well done. It has the humor and pathos that Vonnegut is so well known for while combining ideas from other short stories (via "Welcome to the Monkey House") that work quite well in the film. Though I wouldn't have picked Sean Austin as Harrison he does a very good job of filling the role. The film is entertaining, humorous and downright frightening. A typical Vonnegut story.

    Worth every one of the stars I give it....more info

  • By all
    It's NOT the short story on film...but it IS a creative interpretation, unexpectedly well-done, entertaining and likely to motivate those who haven't, to read one of the GREATEST short stories....more info
  • Movies do not usually affect me much...BUT...
    I don't usually get really emotional about movies, but this is my exception. Nothing has ever inspired me so much to fearlessly be myself and stand up for what I believe in the way this movie has. I have also read the short story, and, true, to some people's dismay, there are not many similarites, but if you don't like it I suggest you take it up with Mr. Vonnegut himself, who had a hand in producing it. As I've said, movie's don't usually affect me, but as soon as this one was over I turned my television off and just sobbed. This is a very provocative look at how sad our culture really is and how much worse it could become if we simply sit on our couches and refuse to stop it. Watch this movie....more info