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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 »
1,926 ( 3)
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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Have a laugh at the horror of things to come. 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:

Бразилия  »

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?


The samurai sequence was originally conceived to reflect Terry Gilliam's love for Akira Kurosawa films. See more »


In the early scene of the movie, in the Department of Information Retrieval, when the bug falls into the printing machine, we can see that the "Subject for Detention and Interview" forms identify Archibald Tuttle as a "shoe repair operative." This is, in fact, the occupation of the soon-to-be wrongfully identified "Buttle." Archibald Tuttle's occupation is "heating engineer." 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 closing shot of Lowry incarcerated humming to himself provides the backdrop for the end credits. See more »


Featured in Nostalgia Critic: Jupiter Ascending (2015) See more »


Performed by Geoff Muldaur and Maria Muldaur
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records, Inc
by Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A visual masterpiece
16 April 2005 | by (the Mad Hatter's tea party.) – See all my reviews

In a futuristic world Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce) a gawky bureaucrat clerk gets himself caught in the middle of a revolution all because of an error, where terrorists lead by Harry Tuttle (Robert De Niro) are out to destroy the bureaucratic governing state and also his literally after the girl of his dreams.

A totally grim and surreal fantasy is portrayed in co-writer/director Terry Gilliam's film. The bleak world that we see is truly bizarre and visually astonishing, by representing a domineering world run by an unfair bureaucracy and technology that has gone chaotic- because of obsession, daily routines and power. Its a materialistic society thats filled with unfair rules and regulations. The special effects are spellbinding with the gizmos and gadgets that flow through the film. The engaging screenplay is excellent in representing the disturbing life style of this future and the script filled with sharp satire and amusing black humour and wit. The set and art direction is nothing but breathtaking, while the plot might have it's flaws- but the superb detail and imagination that went into it you just glaze over it. The plot itself is filled with many interesting sub-plots on technology, the government system, pleasures of this life-style and terrorism- but also there are some subtle details that may go unnoticed- but with repeat viewings you catch onto them. The story has it's tense, mysterious and macabre moments that seem to gel perfectly, while the dream sequences that Sam has were simply splendid and very hypnotic and the same goes for the haunting music score that spirals with emotion.

The performances were good and quite colourful- but nothing really spectacular, Jonathan Pryce is charming as the love struck Sam; Kim Greist is elegantly mysterious as Jill Layton the girl Sam's after, Robert De Niro as a chirpy plumber/terrorist Tuttle, Bob Hospkins as Spoor the repair man, Katherine Helmond as the obsessive mother of Sam Mrs. Ida Lowry and Ian Holm as the twitchy Mr. M. Kurtzmann.

This is a brilliant and innovative Sci-fi film. Though it's long, but never dull and it leaves you wanting more at the end. It definitely leaves a significant impression… well, it did on me.

112 of 192 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
am i the only one? aron-stoner
Clarification regarding "Buttle" spelling mistake/connected consequences ADyingFox
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
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