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|Jonathan Pryce||Sam Lowry|
|Robert De Niro||Archibald “Harry” Tuttle|
|Katherine Helmond||Mrs. Ida Lowry|
|Ian Holm||Mr. M. Kurtzmann|
|Michael Palin||Jack Lint|
|Ian Richardson||Mr. Warrenn|
|Peter Vaughan||Mr. Helpmann|
|Kim Greist||Jill Layton|
|Jim Broadbent||Dr. Jaffe|
|Terry Gilliam||Smoking Man (uncredited)|
|Charles McKeown||Harvey Lime|
|Sheila Reid||Mrs. Buttle|
"It's only a state of mind."
"Have a laugh at the horror of things to come."
"It's about flights of fantasy. And the nightmare of reality. Terrorist bombings. And late night shopping. True Love. And creative plumbing."
"We're all in it together."
Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce) is a low-level government employee who has frequent daydreams of saving a damsel in distress. One day he is assigned the task of trying to rectify an error caused by a fly getting jammed in a printer, which caused it to misprint a file, resulting in the incarceration and death during interrogation of Mr. Archibald Buttle instead of the suspected "terrorist", Archibald Tuttle. When Sam visits Buttle's widow, he discovers Jill Layton (Kim Greist), the upstairs neighbour of the Buttles, and is astonished to see that she has the face of the woman from his recurring dreams. Jill is trying to help Mrs. Buttle find out what happened to her husband, but has become sick of dealing with the bureaucracy. Unbeknownst to her, she is now considered a terrorist friend of Tuttle for attempting to report the mistake of Buttle's arrest in Tuttle's place to a bureaucracy that would not admit such an error. When Sam tries to approach her, she is very cautious and avoids giving Sam full details, worried the government will track her down. During this time, Sam comes in contact with the real Tuttle (Robert De Niro), a renegade air conditioning specialist who once worked for the government but left due to his dislike of paperwork. Tuttle helps Sam deal with two Central Services workers, Spoor (Bob Hoskins) and Dowser (Derrick O'Connor), who later return to demolish Sam's ducts and seize his apartment under the guise of fixing the air conditioning.
Sam discovers that the only way to learn about Jill is to get transferred to Information Retrieval, where he would have access to her classified records. He requests the help of his mother, Ida (Katherine Helmond), vainly addicted to rejuvenating plastic surgery under the care of cosmetic surgeon Dr. Jaffe (Jim Broadbent), as she has connections to high-ranking officers and is able to help her son get the position. Delighted that her son has finally shown ambition – having previously turned down similar offers from her – Ida arranges for Sam's promotion. Sam eventually obtains Jill's records and tracks her down before she is arrested, then falsifies her records to make her appear deceased, allowing her to escape the bureaucracy. The two share a romantic night together, but they are quickly apprehended by the government at gunpoint.
Charged with treason for abusing his newly acquired position, Sam is restrained to a chair in a large, empty cylindrical room (the interior of a power station cooling tower), to be tortured by his old "friend", Jack Lint (Michael Palin), who is wearing a mask seen earlier in Sam's dreams and had previously renounced their friendship in favour of loyalty to the Ministry. Sam also learns that Jill had been killed resisting arrest. However, before Jack manages to begin the torture, Tuttle and other members of the resistance break into the Ministry. The resistance shoots Jack, rescues Sam, and blows up the Ministry building as they flee. Sam and Tuttle run off together, but Tuttle disappears amid a mass of scraps of paper from the destroyed Ministry. Sam runs to his mother attending a funeral for a friend who died of excessive cosmetic surgery. Finding his mother now looking like Jill and fawned over by a flock of juvenile admirers, Sam falls into the open casket, falling through an empty black void. He lands in a world from his daydreams, and attempts escape up a pile of flex-ducts from the police and imaginary monsters. He finds a door at the top of the pile and, passing through it, is surprised to find himself in a trailer driven by Jill. The two drive away from the city together.
However, this "happy ending" is all a product of Sam's delusions: Sam is still strapped to the chair and observed by Jack and Deputy Minister Mr. Helpmann (Peter Vaughan), who is portrayed along the film as a good "friend" of Sam's family. Realising that Sam has grown catatonic, with a smile on his face and humming "Brazil", the two declare Sam a lost cause, and exit the room as the film ends.
Theatrical : 1985-12-18 : United States of America
Theatrical : 1985-02-20 : France
Theatrical : 1985-02-22 : United Kingdom
Theatrical : 1985-03-15 : Sweden
Theatrical : 1985-04-06 : Spain
Theatrical : 1985-04-19 : Denmark
Theatrical : 1985-04-26 : West Germany
Theatrical : 1985-05-30 : Argentina
Theatrical : 1985-06-01 : Norway
Theatrical : 1985-06-12 : Portugal
Theatrical : 1985-08-16 : Finland
Theatrical : 1985-08-23 : Italy
Theatrical : 1985-09-12 : Australia
Theatrical : 1985-10-17 : Brazil
Theatrical : 1986-04-18 : Hong Kong
Theatrical : 1986-10-11 : Japan
Theatrical : 1988-05-05 : Hungary
Theatrical : 1997-06-28 : Japan
Theatrical : 1997-08-08 : Zürich
Theatrical : 2002-12-07 : Czech Republic
Theatrical : 2003-01-17 : Czech Republic
Theatrical : 2012-08-07 : Switzerland
DVD : 1998-03-31 : United States of America
1985-11-17 : Mexico