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Brazil (1985)

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



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1,841 ( 7)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 8 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kathryn Pogson ...


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 »


Drama | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some strong violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

18 December 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Brasil  »


Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$30,099, 22 December 1985, Limited Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (edited) | (director's cut)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The second in Terry Gilliam's "Trilogy of Imagination". The first was Time Bandits (1981), and the third was The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988). All three films are about escapes from an awkward, ordered society, seen through the eyes of a child, a man in his 30s, and an elderly man. See more »


When Sam enters his apartment after the Central Services had frozen it, his shoulders bump into some "ice" that is hanging from pipes. You can clearly see that the "ice" is made out of rubber. 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

The only credits at the start of the film were the preliminary studio credits, a credit for Gilliam, and the title. All other credits are at the end. (Although commonplace today, the lack of full opening credits was still unusual in 1985). All versions of the film, including the "Love Conquers All" edit follow this format. See more »


Referenced in Jupiter Ascending (2015) See more »


Aquarela do Brasil
Music by Ary Barroso
English Lyrics by Bob Russell
(C) 1939 by Irmaos Visale, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
(C) 1939 by Southern Music Publishing Company Inc., New York, N.Y., U.S.A.
(C) obtained 1982 by Peer International Corporation, New York, N.Y., U.S.A.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Perhaps the most imaginative and entertaining nightmare ever put on film
11 November 2015 | by 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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