Brazil (1985)

131m (USA), 142m (UK – director's cut)
35mm film, Technicolor, 1.85:1
Dolby, English

An American/British science fiction film directed by Terry Gilliam.

Plot Summary

In a a near future drowning in and inefficiency, civil servant Sam Lowry of a better life away from the technology that makes his life unbearable. He gets involved in the wrongful arrest of shoe repairman Harry Buttle instead of the illegal freelance heating engineer Harry Tuttle. While trying to rectify the mistake, he meets Jill Layton, a woman he's never met before but who keeps appearing in his dreams. But the authorities wrongfully suspect Sam of perpetrating a spate of terrorist bombings, and both he and Jill are soon on the run.


Director: Terry Gilliam
Embassy, Universal
Producer: Arnon Milchan
Co-Producer: Patrick Cassavetti
Script: Terry Gilliam, Tom Stoppard, Charles Mckeown
Director of Photography: Roger Pratt
Editor: Julian Doyle
Music: Michael Kamen
Sound Recordist: Bob Doyle
Costume Designer: James Acheson
Hair & Make-Up Designer: Maggie Weston
Prosthetic Make-Up: Aaron Sherman
Special Effects Supervisor: George Gibbs
Production Designer: Norman Garwood

Jonathan Pryce (Sam Lowry)
Robert Deniro (Archibald ‘Harry' Tuttle)
Katherine Helmond (Mrs Ida Lowry)
Ian Holm (Mr Kurtzman)
Bob Hoskins (Spoor)
Michael Palin (Jack Lint)
Ian Richardson (Mr Warren)
Peter Vaughan (Mr Helpman)
Kim Greist (Jill Layton)
Jim Broadbent (Dr Jaffe)
Charles Mckeown (Lime)
Barbara Hicks (Mrs Terrain)
Derrick O'conner (Dowser)
Kathryn Pogson (Shirley)
Bryan Pringle (Spiro)
Sheila Reid (Mrs Buttle)
John Flanagan (TV interviewer/salesman)
Ray Cooper (technician)
Brian Miller (Mr Buttle)
Simon Nash (boy Buttle)

Alternative Titles

1984½ – early title

Extracts included in
Dreams: The Birth of Brazil (1988)

See also
Back to the Future (1985)
The Fifth Element (1997)
Fight Club (1999)
The Fisher King (1991)
Gattaca (1997)
Heavy Metal (1981)
The Hudsucker Proxy (1994)
M (1931)
The Matrix (1999)
Millennium (1989)
Mouse Hunt (1997)
Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984)
Le Proces (1963)
Runaway Brain (1995)
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947)
Star Trek: Insurrection (1998)
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Twelve Monkeys (1995)
You Only Live Twice (1967)



  • Blitz no.29 p.21 – review
  • Cineaste vol.24 no.4 pp.48-49 – review
  • L'Écran Fantastique no.52 (January 1985) p.11 – illustrated note (Les prochaines sorties)
  • New Musical Express 23 February 1985 p.18 – review
  • Premiere February 1985 p.15 – review (by Jean-Paul Chaillet)
  • Radio Times 2-8 April 1988 pp.3, 26 – review
  • Sounds 23 March 1985 p.12 – review


  • Daily Express 24 October 1985 p.17 – review
  • Daily Mail 22 February 1985 p.24 – review
  • Daily Mirror 22 February 1985 p.24 – review
  • Mail on Sunday 17 February 1985 p.39 – review
  • Southampton Evening Echo 16 March 1985 p.20 – review
  • The Star 5 September 1985 p.9 – review


  • 500 Essential Cult Movies: The Ultimate Guide by Jennifer Eiss with J.P. Rutter and Steve White p.135 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Science Fiction by Phil Hardy (ed) p.391-392 – illustrated credits, review
  • The Battle of Brazil by Jack Matthew (New York: Crown (1987)) – article
  • BFI Screen Guides: 100 Science Fiction Films by Barry Keith Grant pp.25-26 – illustrated credits, review
  • Film Review 1985-1986 by F. Maurice Speed pp.44-45 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • The Film's of the Eighties by Robert A. Nowlan and Gwendolyn Wright Nowlan p.67 – credits, synopsis
  • Hoffman's Guide to Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Movies 1991-1992 pp.55-56 – credits, review
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films IV by Donald C. Willis p.62

Other sources

  • BFI Southbank Guide August 2009 p.22 – illustrated listing
  • BFI Southbank Guide July 2017 p.38 – illustrated listing