Many years ago (1970s or 80s) I saw a TV film clearly based on Harrison Bergeron, though I can't remember whether it used the title.

However it had a very different ending. Harrison is not killed, but recruited by some kind of "deep state" which runs things from behind the scenes. One particular line sticks in mind. When Harrison asks if he is destined for the Presidency or Congress, he is told no, because the ordinary mediocre people are ok in those jobs - that his role will be far more important.


It's off your timeframe, but the 1995 made-for-tv adaptation of Harrison Bergeron fits part of the bill.

From Wikipedia:

Unfortunately, his first intelligent conversation ever (with "mind whore" Phillipa) is interrupted by a police bust. While the raid on the police station is underway Phillipa addresses a hidden camera saying, not to take him away, and that she likes him. While being held captive in the police station, he is approached by a special agent who offers him an alternative to the lobotomy - to join what turns out to be the secret elite that runs the government.

At 28'19, Harrison is told that:

AGENT: The problem is, to run such a society requires certain high administrative functions that the average person is simply incapable of performing.

HARRISON: You mean like Senator or President?

AGENT: Oh good lord, no! I mean, anyone with average intelligence or less could handle those.

At 34'00, he is given the task to pick the new governor of Connecticut, an agent having explained to him that formerly this was done with elections, but the average (read: stupid) person can do it, so the process saves time and money, and people don't really care or make a difference.

Harrison does die at the end, though.

  • 1
    Could be. The dates I gave were little more than a guess. I don't actually remember the police raid but it's been a while.
    – Mike Stone
    Oct 17 '20 at 8:28
  • 1
    @MikeStone I edited in what I think is the quote you remember
    – Jenayah
    Oct 17 '20 at 8:54
  • Thanks. The history of the last four years makes the comment seem only too apt.
    – Mike Stone
    Oct 17 '20 at 14:58

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