7.9/10
186,157
590 user 253 critic

Brazil (1985)

Trailer
1:32 | Trailer
A bureaucrat in a dystopic society becomes an enemy of the state as he pursues the woman of his dreams.

Director:

Terry Gilliam

Writers:

Terry Gilliam (screenplay by), Tom Stoppard (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
1,568 ( 137)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 8 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jonathan Pryce ... Sam Lowry
Robert De Niro ... Harry Tuttle
Katherine Helmond ... Mrs. Ida Lowry
Ian Holm ... Mr. Kurtzmann
Bob Hoskins ... Spoor
Michael Palin ... Jack Lint
Ian Richardson ... Mr. Warrenn
Peter Vaughan ... Mr. Helpmann
Kim Greist ... Jill Layton
Jim Broadbent ... Dr. Jaffe
Barbara Hicks ... Mrs. Terrain
Charles McKeown ... Lime
Derrick O'Connor ... Dowser
Kathryn Pogson ... Shirley
Bryan Pringle ... Spiro
Edit

Storyline

Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce) 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 (Brian Miller), Lowry meets the woman he is always chasing in his dreams, Jill Layton (Kim Greist). Meanwhile, the bureaucracy has fingered him responsible for a rash of terrorist bombings, and Sam and Jill's lives are put in danger. Written by Philip Brubaker <coda@nando.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's only a state of mind. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some strong violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert De Niro and Jonathan Pryce played in opposite sides in Ronin (1998). See more »

Goofs

While Tuttle repairs Sam's air conditioning, Sam approaches him and the cameraman's shadow is visible over him. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Alternate Versions

The Sid Sheinberg Edit, never released but prepared for syndicated television, makes many significant changes. Several lines of dialogue were changed, using many alternative and unused shots. The movie was edited down to 94 minutes, removing many major scenes, placing more emphasis on Tuttle's character and Sam's relationship with Jill.
  • The opening Central Services advertisement for ducts stops just before the shop window explodes. It then cuts straight to the restaurant explosion scene, with none of the dialogue leading up to it, beginning only with Shirley offering Sam the salt and the following explosion. The title "Brazil" then appears and the scene ends.
  • During the prologue in which the fly falls in the typewriter, the scene cuts back and forth to text on a computer screen explaining the plot premise, including a voice over reading it aloud.
  • All the fantasy sequences are missing, except the scene of Sam flying through clouds - which is shortened and has a glowing effect applied to indicate it is a dream.
  • Extended dialogue in the scenes where Sam meets Jack at Information Retrieval, before he is distracted by Jill on the TV screens. The screens change to show Jill as she appears in Sam's dreams.
  • It is never stated that Mr Buttle is dead, only asked by his wife.
  • When Sam goes to visit Mrs Buttle at Shangri-La Towers, instead of morosely screaming "What have you done with his body?" she begins hitting Sam with paper with the line "Lousy bastard" dubbed over.
  • Lots of the swearing was dubbed over with tamer dialogue, often very badly. Several of Sam's swears are replaced with "Judas!".
  • Alternative dialogue in the scene in Jack's office. In this version, Sam puts on the suit earlier before having a conversation with Jack about Tuttle, and Jack's daughter is never shown on screen.
  • A cut of Casablanca featuring the line "Here's lookin' at you, kid." Right after Sam leaves Kurtzmann's office.
  • Extended dialogue between Jill and Sam in the truck.
  • You don't see the guard on fire when the Police vehicle crashes after the truck chase.
  • When armed guards manhandle Jill after the apartment store explosion, Sam simply picks up a plastic arm from a shop dummy and prepares to fight. The giant samurai warrior is not seen at all in this version.
  • Extended, more romantic dialogue between Sam and Jill after Tuttle switches the pipes at Sam's flat. Jill explains to Sam that she "looked him up" to find out where he lived.
  • After Sam is arrested, it cuts straight to the torture chamber scene, as in the US theatrical cut. However, Jack's mask is never explicitly shown and a different, close-up shot is used when Jack confronts Sam in the chair.
  • After the ministry building is blown up, a 'deleted' form ordering the arrest of Harry Tuttle is shown on screen. The following scene of Tuttle being attacked by paper is then taken out of context, implying the Ministry is eliminating him using supernatural powers (it is not revealed to be a dream in this version).
  • After Tuttle's disappearance, it cuts immediately to Sam and Jill driving in the truck, with no explanation for how they escaped arrest. There is then a sequence set in the countryside showing Jill on a farm. Sam is shown asleep in bed (re-using a shot from earlier the film). The camera zooms to show a picture on the wall of a winged Sam, before cutting to a dream shot of Sam carrying Jill and flying up into the clouds.
  • The credits are displayed on a background of clouds. However, the image of Sam sitting in the torture chair is still visible superimposed over it, as seen in the US theatrical cut.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Film Geek (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Flying Messenger
(uncredited)
Music by Oliver Armstrong (i.e. Graham Whettam)
De Wolfe Music
(music for the western movie)
See more »

User Reviews

 
Perhaps the greatest of all films
18 October 2002 | by JackLintSee all my reviews

I have read a lot of understandably negative reviews of the movie 'Brazil.' Brazil(in its proper form) is a long film at well over two hours, it has many cutaways to dream sequences that are only loosely related to the rest of the film, and the narrative story is not always the driving force of the film which many people find confusing. With all these things going against it, Brazil is clearly not a film for everyone.

All that being said, Brazil is my very favorite movie. Those things previously described as reasons that some people will dislike the movie are the very reasons I love it. The story is both simple and complex depending on how you look at it, and this kind of paradox is what makes for great art. There, I did it! I used the 'A' word, and not lightly. Brazil is an art film, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Sam Lowry(Jonathan Pryce) is our hero, an unambitious bureaucrat within the ranks of the Ministry of Information. The only place he is willing to be more than a drone is in his dreams where he is some sort of angelic knight fighting to save his dream girl. While running an errand for work, Sam comes face to face with a woman who is the very image of the dream girl, and his life is forever changed when he surrenders his tranquil unambitious life in the attempt to pursue the woman.

This movie is less about the story than it is about the atmosphere in my opinion. Terry Gilliam is a visual genius, and this movie marks his peak(so far) in producing a visually stunning film, with due apologies to Adventures of Baron Munchausen and 12 Monkeys which are beautiful in their own rights. The oppression of the bureaucratic life is felt by anyone who watches this film, and the freedom experienced in the dreams is a fantastic counterpoint. This film does a wonderful job of evoking emotional responses for me, and I suspect for most of the fans of the film as well.

The film can be viewed at many different levels of complexity, from fairly simple to fully allegorical. The simple view would be that the movie is about the dreams we create to escape our dull lives, and the potentially disastrous results of pursuing them in waking life. Symbolically the film can be interpreted as a vicious attack on the status quo as an impersonal, consumer/beauty oriented beast that is upheld by a draconian adherence to regulations and invasive public policy. There are many other ways to see it, most of which are probably unintended, but certainly completely valid.

The best part about Brazil is that it is absolutely hilarious. Jonathan Pryce shows remarkable aptitude for physical comedy. The dialogue is as funny as any movie you'll ever see, though the humor is very dry, and often so subtle that you might not get a joke until a minute after it has passed. There are the occasional tidbits of out loud guffaws one would expect from a script that was partly written by Tom Stoppard, but there is not a constant barrage of this material.

Brazil is a very cerebral film, so if you are thinking, "What does cerebral mean?" you can probably skip it. Anyone who expects to have a story clearly spelled out for them, and done so in a concise manner with little background interference will hate Brazil. Brazil is a film for those who want texture, emotional involvement and some sort of deeper meaning.

Brazil is my favorite movie, but it is clearly not for everyone!


686 of 827 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 590 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 December 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Brazil See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$30,099, 22 December 1985

Gross USA:

$9,929,135

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$9,949,953
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (edited) | (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page



Recently Viewed