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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.

Director:

Terry Gilliam

Writers:

Terry Gilliam (screenplay by), Tom Stoppard (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
1,843 ( 36)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 8 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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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 Kathryn Pogson ... Shirley
Bryan Pringle ... Spiro
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Suspicion breeds confidence. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some strong violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 December 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Brazil See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$30,099, 22 December 1985

Gross USA:

$9,929,135

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$9,947,816
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (edited) | (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tom Cruise was considered for the role of Sam Lowry, back when the character was meant to be younger, but he didn't want to test for it. See more »

Goofs

Sam sticks his head in his refrigerator to cool off when his air conditioning breaks. He leaves it open throughout Tuttle's visit, but just before Tuttle leaves the door is shut even though no one closed it. 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

The closing shot of Lowry incarcerated humming to himself provides the backdrop for the end credits. 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 South Park: Go God Go XII (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Brazil
Performed by Geoff Muldaur & Maria Muldaur
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records, Inc.
By arrangement with Warner Special Products
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 gogoschka-1See 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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