Synopsis: Low-level bureaucrat Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce) escapes the monotony of his day-to-day life through a recurring daydream of himself as a virtuous hero saving a beautiful damsel. Investigating a case that led to the wrongful arrest and eventual death of an innocent man instead of wanted terrorist Harry Tuttle (Robert De Niro), he meets the woman from his daydream (Kim Greist), and in trying to help her gets caught in a web of mistaken identities, mindless bureaucracy and lies.
Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi
Production: Universal Pictures
  Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 8 wins & 3 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
132 min


A beautiful golden sun is setting. The sky is on fire. The

CAMERA starts to move downwards. A large neon sign rises

into shot. It rests on top of a skyscraper and fills the

frame. The building is neither past nor future in design

but a bit of both.

Slowly we pan downwards revealing the city that spreads

below ... A glittering conglomeration of elevated

transport tubes, smaller square buildings which are merely

huge, with, here and there, the comparatively minuscule

relics of previous ages of architecture, pavement level

awnings suggesting restaurants and shops ... Transparent

tubes carry whizzing transport cages past us ... an

elevated highway carrying traffic composed primarily of

large transport lorries passes thru frame. As we descend,

the sunlight is blocked out and street lights & neon signs

take over as illumination. Eventually we reach the upper

levels of a plush shopping precinct.


Xmas decorations are everywhere. PEOPLE are busy buying,

ogling, discussing, choosing wisely from the goodies on

display. SHOPPERS are going by laden with superbly

packaged goods ... the shop windows are full of

elaborately boxed and be-ribboned who-knows-what. In one

window is a bank of TV sets - on the great majority of the

screens is the face of MR. HELPMANN - the Deputy Minister

of Information. He is being interviewed. No-one bothers to

listen to HELPMANN.


Deputy minister, what do you believe

is behind this recent increase in

terrorist bombings?


Bad sportsmanship. A ruthless

minority of people seems to have

forgotten certain good old fashioned

virtues. They just can't stand seeing

the other fellow win. If these people

would just play the game, instead of

standing on the touch line heckling -


In fact, killing people -


- In fact, killing people - they'd

get a lot more out of life.

We PULL AWAY from the shop to concentrate on the shoppers.

HELPMANN's voice carries over the rest of the scene.


Mr. HELPMANN, what would you say to

those critics who maintain that the

Ministry Of Information has become

too large and unwieldy ...?


David ... in a free society

information is the name of the game.

You can't win the game if you're a

man short.

Fur bedecked shoppers pass in front of what appears to be

banks of snow but as we pan along with them the "snow"

turns out to be fire-fighting foam. It oozes out of a shop

front that is a charred twisted mass of metal frames.

WORKMEN are busily sealing the opening with plywood

sheets, SHOPPERS pay no attention to this. Xmas carols are

being played by a Salvation Army style band calling

themselves Consumers For Christ. Santa Claus's grotto is

busy, all is well with the world.


And the cost of it all, Deputy

Minister? Seven percent of the gross

national produce ...


I understand this concern on behalf

of the tax-payers. People want value

for money and a cost-effective



CUT TO TV screen with HELPMANN still talking.


That is why we always insist on the

principle of Information Retrieval

Charges. These terrorists are not

pulling their weight, and it's

absolutely right and fair that those

found guilty should pay for their

periods of detention and the

Information Retrieval Procedures used

in their interrogation.

PULL BACK to reveal a rather clinical office. The TV rests

on a desk. A WHITE COATED TECHNICIAN is sorting out his in-

tray. Several Christmas cards are amongst he paperwork. He

comes upon a Christmassy package which he rips open, to

discover a shiny, metal "executive toy".

CUT TO the BEETLE droning up near the ceiling.

The TECHNICIAN is disturbed by the buzz of the BEETLE as

it whirrs around the fluorescent light. He rolls up some

paper and forms and gets up to swat the insect.

Scenes 4-12 Deleted.4-12 Deleted.


The TECHNICIAN gets up and balances a chair on top of his

desk. He climbs up onto it attempting to swat the BEETLE

still buzzing about the room just out of reach. Beneath

him an automatic type-writing machine rattles away

compiling a typed list of names under the heading

"Information Retrieval, Subjects For Detention &

Interview". The machine is being fed from a spool of paper

which is being rhythmically chopped by an automatic

guillotine which neatly leaves each name on a separate

sheet, with the title above each name, each sheet

following its predecessor into a holding basket. In CLOSE-

UP we see the names on the sheets of paper building up in

the holding basket: TONSTED, Simon ... TOPPER, Martin F.

... TROLLOPE, Benjamin G. ... TURB, William K. ... TURNER,

John D. ... Every name begins with T.


Do you think that the government is

winning the battle against



On yes. Our morale is much higher

than theirs, we're fielding all their

strokes, running a lot of them out,

and pretty consistently knocking them

for six. I'd say they're nearly out

of the game.

The TECHNICIAN is tottering on one leg on the chair on the

desk as he strains to swat the BEETLE. Swish, swash, oops,

WHAP! Gottcha!!


But the bombing campaign is now in

its thirteenth year ...


Beginner's luck.

The BEETLE's career comes to a halt ... squashed flat on

the brilliantly clean ceiling ... or has it? As the

TECHNICIAN clambers down from the rickety heights, the

BEETLE's carcass comes unstuck from the ceiling and drops

silently into the typewriting machine which hiccoughs,

hesitates and then types the letter "B" and hesitates and

then continues so that the next name is BUTTLE, Archibald.

Rate this script:5.0 / 1 vote

Terry Gilliam

Terrence Vance "Terry" Gilliam is an American-born British screenwriter, film director, animator, actor, comedian and member of the Monty Python comedy troupe. more…

All Terry Gilliam scripts | Terry Gilliam Scripts

0 fans

Submitted by aviv on November 15, 2016

Discuss this script with the community:



    Translate and read this script in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:


    "Brazil" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 25 Jun 2024. <>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!

    Watch the movie trailer



    The Studio:

    ScreenWriting Tool

    Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.