Brazil (Criterion Collection)

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Product Overview

A bureaucrat in a retro-future world tries to correct an administrative error and himself becomes an enemy of the state.


Studio Criterion Collection
SKU 202784355
UPC 715515018128
UPC 14 00715515018128
Format DVD
Release Date 9/5/2006
Black Comedy
Cult Film
Essential Cinema
Love Story
Theatrical Release
Editors Note
Note BRAZIL is Terry Gilliam's masterpiece. Cowritten by Gilliam, playwright Tom Stoppard, and Charles McKeown, the cult-favorite film is set in a futuristic society laden with red tape and bureaucracy. When a bug (literally) gets in the system, an innocent man is killed, leading mild-mannered Sam Lowry (an excellent Jonathan Pryce) to reexamine what he wants out of life. He decides to fight the totalitarian system in his search for freedom--and the woman he loves. The terrific, offbeat cast features Robert De Niro as a renegade heating engineer; Katherine Helmond as Sam's ever-younger mother; Michael Palin as a government-sanctioned torturer with a distaste for upsetting the status quo; Bob Hoskins as a vengeful Central Services employee; Jim Broadbent as a wacko plastic surgeon; the wonderful Ian Holm as Sam's nerve-ridden, pitiful boss, afraid of his own signature; and Kim Greist as the rebel Sam falls for. ^The look of BRAZIL is relentless, overwhelming, and outrageously spectacular. Giant monoliths rise from the street; government offices are a network of computers, pneumatic tubes, and narrow hallways built with Nazi-like precision; and apartment complexes are a maze of washed-out grays and numbers, all frighteningly uniform. The terrorist explosions actually bring color into this dull, monochramatic world. BRAZIL is a nightmare vision of the future, yet also hysterically funny and incisive, one of the most inventive, influential, and important films of the 1980s.
Plot Summary
Summary In this darkly comic view of the coming future, bureaucratic cog Sam Lowry dreams of escaping the totalitarian machine that society has become. He fantasizes about joining a beautiful woman flying through the clouds, far away from this world. One day he glimpses a female truck driver who resembles his fantasy and he attempts to win her love--but he ends up being dragged into the underworld of antigovernment terrorists and radicals. Terry Gilliam's vision, both expensive and expansive, resulted in a battle with studio executives over the lack of commercial potential of the darkly humorous, but often grim, material that was reedited for theatrical release without the director's approval.
Memorable Quotes
Quote "Have a nice day. This has not been a recording."--Central Services phone operator to Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce)
Quote "You can't make a move without a form."--Harry Tuttle (Robert De Niro) to Sam
Rolling Stone "...Gilliam creates this dehumanizing universe with demented wit, sane anger and the most eye-popping visuals since METROPOLIS..." 12/14/1998 [/23
Entertainment Weekly "...Landmark retro-future tragicomedy..." -- Rating: A 11/15/1996 p.85,"Gilliam's belief in the evil of banality is on full display here, made all the more dazzling by Norman Garwood and Maggie Gray's Oscar-nominated art direction." -- Grade: B 07/08/2011
New York Times "...BRAZIL, a jaunty, wittily observed vision of an extremely bleak future, is a superb example of the power of comedy to underscore serious ideas, even solemn ones....Ambitious visual style..." 12/18/1985 p.C22
Los Angeles Times "...It's a knockout..." 06/10/1992 p.F7
Total Film "...It's rich in irony, steeped in surrealism and touched with genius....Easily one of the greatest movies of the '80s..." 07/01/2003 p.129
Sight and Sound "...Hugely inventive..." 08/01/2003 p.66
Terry Gilliam
Jonathan Pryce
Robert De Niro
Michael Palin
Cast & Crew
Arnon Milchan - Producer
Ian Holm - Actor
Jonathan Pryce - Actor
Julian Doyle - Editor
Katherine Helmond - Actor
Michael Kamen, et. al. - Original Music By
Robert De Niro - Actor
Roger Pratt - Cinematographer
Terry Gilliam - Director
Terry Gilliam, et. al. - Screenplay
"Michael Kamen, et. al." - Original Music By
"Terry Gilliam, et. al." - Screenplay
Technical Info
Original Release Date 1985
Catalog ID 1631
UPC 00715515018128
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 142 minutes
Color Color
Original Language English
Available Subtitles English
Available Audio Tracks English
Aspect Ratio
Anamorphic Widescreen  1.85:1
Winner (1986) British Academy Awards, Norman Garwood, Best Production Design,British Academy Awards, George Gibbs, Richard Conway, Best Special Visual Effects
Nominee (1986) Oscar, Norman Garwood, et. al., Best Art Direction-Set Decoration,Oscar, Terry Gilliam, et. al., Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen
ReviewSource DVD Verdict
Review "Brazil is nothing less than a magnum opus, one that speaks from the screen, and from its place in the history of cinema. Never before have so many professional lives been touched, talked about, and taunted than with Terry Gilliam's personal artistic tantrum. When removed from its controversy and boiled down to its basics, Brazil is a film unlike any other, an original vision of the world, albeit one filled with paranoia, pathos, and dread. The acting is stellar, each role here filled by talented individuals completely in tune with the director's vision. It's a shame that Jonathan Pryce didn't catapult into superstardom on the power from his performance."
Reviewer Bill Gibron
ReviewRating 10
Review "The film is awash in special effects, fascinating imagery, and brilliant moments. For me, however, Brazil is so crowded and chaotic that it's difficult to engage with. Instead of being interested in Sam Lowry's predicament or horrified at the Kafkaesque world he inhabits, I find myself admiring the amazing tangle of ducts and tubes that dangle from Lowry's ceiling when the electricity in his apartment goes on the fritz, or checking out the various slogans that pop up on walls or on televisions throughout the film. The film's fans claim that these elements are what make Brazil great. For me, however, the film remains an undisciplined hodgepodge with moments of greatness."
Reviewer Rod Armstrong
ReviewRating 9
DVD, Widescreen
Product Attributes
Actor Gilliam,Terry
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD
Janet Maslin, The New York Times ...a remarkable accomplishment...satirical and cautionary impulses work beautifully together.
Ted Prigge, Rec.Arts.Movies. Reviews Contains some of the most clever lines ever.
The Village Voice A stunning achievement!
"Janet Maslin, The New York Times" ...a remarkable accomplishment...satirical and cautionary impulses work beautifully together.
"Ted Prigge, Rec.Arts.Movies. Reviews" Contains some of the most clever lines ever.

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