A hugely talented but socially isolated computer operator is tasked by Management to prove the Zero Theorem: that the universe ends as nothing, rendering life meaningless. But meaning is what he already craves.
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 <email@example.com>
The dream scenes that ended up in the movie were initially meant to be one long opening sequence. Another dream sequence was scripted and filmed in which Sam flies over a field of eyes, which then start slowly moving to follow his descent on a pillar. The eyes were made of snooker balls with false irises added. The eye symbol is also seen in other Terry Gilliam movies, including 12 Monkeys (1995). However, the makers agreed that although the idea was good, it didn't work for the movie, so the decision was later made to divide the opening dream sequences over the movie, to fill the "empty" spaces between chapters. See more »
When Kurtzman is trying to find information about Buttle/Tuttle on his computer, he removes his glasses and sets them on his desk. He then punches a key to spy on his workers. A shot of the employees shows they are watching movies rather than tending to their work. The next shot shows Kurtzman with his glasses back on his face as he angrily takes them off again. See more »
[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 »
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 »
In the European or director's version, when Sam goes back to the MOI building after taking Jill to his mother's apartment, action between his conversation with Dawson in the lobby and his walk down the stairs is missing, so we don't see his mode of action and we miss a revealing near-encounter with Harvey Lime. See more »
Brazil is a mad, paperwork obsessed, duct filled, shopping crazy world. In fact, Brazil is today, minus the ducts. Everyone is obsessed with shopping and in order to get anything done within the world of government, there is paperwork to be filled out, and filled out and on and on. Terry Gilliam's Orwellian nightmare is like a merging of Metropolis and his own mad drawings and cut outs the linked the sketches in Monty Python's Flying Circus. Bureaucrats abound in Gilliam's vision, and they run the place. Anyone with free will and imagination is thought to be dangerous. Visually, the film is a marvel of art direction and miniatures flawlessly edited together. So, be like Harry Tuttle. Go out, become a freelance guerilla plumber and try not to get consumed by paperwork. One last item. If you can, get the Criterion version of Brazil. It's the film that Terry Gilliam intended you to see.
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