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Brazil (1985)

R  |   |  Sci-Fi  |  18 December 1985 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 144,904 users   Metascore: 88/100
Reviews: 508 user | 228 critic | 12 from Metacritic.com

A bureaucrat in a retro-future world tries to correct an administrative error and himself becomes an enemy of the state.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 8 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Barbara Hicks ...
Charles McKeown ...
Kathryn Pogson ...
Bryan Pringle ...


Sam Lowry is a harried technocrat in a futuristic society that is needlessly convoluted and inefficient. He dreams of a life where he can fly away from technology and overpowering bureaucracy, and spend eternity with the woman of his dreams. While trying to rectify the wrongful arrest of one Harry Buttle, Lowry meets the woman he is always chasing in his dreams, Jill Layton. Meanwhile, the bureaucracy has fingered him responsible for a rash of terrorist bombings, and both Sam and Jill's lives are put in danger. Written by Philip Brubaker <coda@nando.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


It's only a state of mind. See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some strong violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

18 December 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Бразилия  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)


$9,929,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (edited) | (director's cut)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Archibald Buttle's wife's name is Veronica. A reference to Archie and Veronica of Archie Comics. See more »


When Sam Lowry is overwhelmed by the incoming cylinders coming through the pneumatic tubes, he connects the "incoming" pipe to the "outgoing" pipe with a short U-shaped hose. The bend in the hose is far too sharp a turn for any of the cylinders to make it to the "outgoing" pipe. See more »


[first lines]
Singers: [TV commercial jingle] Central Services: We do the work, you do the pleasure.
TV commercial pitchman: Hi, there. I want to talk to you about ducts.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Sidney Sheinberg's name is listed in the credits next to Worst Boy. Terry Gilliam and Sheinberg fought notoriously over the content and release of the film. See more »


Referenced in The Zero Theorem (2013) See more »


Sam Lowry's 1st Dream
Written by Kate Bush
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Perhaps the most imaginative and entertaining nightmare ever put on film
11 November 2015 | by (wherever good films play) – See all my reviews

A virtual celebration of writer/director Terry Gilliam's singular creative vision and seemingly limitless imagination, Brazil is a unique movie experience. And it is kind of hard to put the label of any one particular genre on the film; it's generally referred to as "dystopian science fiction" (which certainly isn't wrong), but it's also a satire, a drama, a black comedy and perhaps even a fantasy film. Like many other dystopian sci-fi films (e.g. Fahrenheit 451, Equilibrium, The Hunger Games), Brazil depicts a totalitarian society, but that's about as far as the similarities with other films go.

The whole design of Brazil's crazy world is unlike anything I've ever seen in other movies (with the exception perhaps of those made by the same filmmaker). Where films with similar themes typically go for a futuristic look that is defined by all the technological advancements the writers and filmmakers can dream of, Terry Gilliam chooses the complete opposite direction. In his film, technology seems to have made no progress since somewhere around the forties or fifties, and what technology there is doesn't exactly look very reliable. And unlike other dystopian films, it's not primarily the bleak aspects of a totalitarian society Gilliam wants to explore; in his film, he wants to show how hilariously insane, inept and ridiculous many of the mechanisms and instruments of oppression truly are. In that sense, Brazil is mainly a satire (at least that's how I perceive it), and it is often either darkly funny or downright hilarious.

There is simply not a dull moment in the film: it's a wild ride that never lets up and almost every image on the screen practically bursts with clever (often hilarious) details; from the way food is served in restaurants to how the benefits of plastic surgery are presented, Gilliam's imagination can only be marveled at. His vision of a bureaucracy gone mad is probably the most entertaining nightmare ever put on film (I'm talking about the director's cut, of course). A masterpiece that gets even better after repeat viewings: 10 stars out of 10.

Favorite films: http://www.IMDb.com/list/mkjOKvqlSBs/

Lesser-Known Masterpieces: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls070242495/

Favorite Low-Budget and B-Movies: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls054808375/

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Message Boards

Recent Posts
am i the only one? aron-stoner
The (most) hilarious thing in Brazil's retro-future world... Ramuna
The Director's Cut ending is more optimistic than the 'LCA' ending. kruegerfan97
Why make a movie like this? troxx
Brilliant in EVERY way... house_of_usher99
WHY ALL THE HATERS!!!??!!... philly69
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