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Brazil (1985)

aka Brazil

"It's only a state of mind."

Directed By: 
Details: 132 mins · English · UK: 15


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Small Sam Lowry
Small Archibald “Harry” Tuttle
Small Mrs. Ida Lowry
Small Mr. M. Kurtzmann
Small Spoor
Small Jack Lint
Small Mr. Warrenn
Small Mr. Helpmann
No_movie_poster Jill Layton
Small Dr. Jaffe
Small Smoking Man (uncredited)
No_movie_poster Spiro
No_movie_poster Dowser
No_movie_poster Harvey Lime
No_movie_poster Mrs. Buttle


Small Terry Gilliam Director
No_movie_poster Roger Pratt Director of Photography
Small Tom Stoppard Screenplay
No_movie_poster Charles McKeown Screenplay
No_movie_poster Arnon Milchan Producer
No_movie_poster Patrick Cassavetti Producer
No_movie_poster Irene Lamb Casting
No_movie_poster Norman Garwood Production Design
No_movie_poster Rodney Glenn Sound Editor
No_movie_poster Bob Doyle Production Sound Mixer
No_movie_poster Julian Doyle Editor


"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.

Release Dates:

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