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".

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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…

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Submitted by aviv on November 15, 2016

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    "Brazil" STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 3 Oct. 2022. <>.

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