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Brazil (The Criterion Collection 3-Disc Boxed Set) (1985)

Jonathan Pryce , Robert De Niro , Terry Gilliam  |  R |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (571 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jonathan Pryce, Robert De Niro, Katherine Helmond, Ian Holm, Bob Hoskins
  • Directors: Terry Gilliam
  • Format: Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Director's Cut, Dolby, Letterboxed, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: July 13, 1999
  • Run Time: 142 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (571 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0780022181
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,496 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Brazil (The Criterion Collection 3-Disc Boxed Set)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Interview with co-writer Tom Stoppard
  • Production and publicity stills
  • "The Production Notebook", screenwriters Tom Stoppard and Charles McKeown illuminate the script's development through 3 drafts and 3 treatments. Production designer Norman Garwood displays his design's for Brazil's unique sets. Costume designer 'James Acheson'  explores the couture of fashion, fantasy and fascism. Terry Gilliam's original dream sequences, in storyboards, include hundreds of shots that never made it to the screen. Composer Michael Kamen unveils the sources of his score. A study of the special effects includes footage of unused effects
  • "What Is Brazil?", Rob Hedden's rare 30 minute witty on-set documentary features Terry Gilliam and other key members of the cast and crew
  • "The Battle of Brazil: A Video History", Battle of "Brazil" author Jack Mathews reassembles the players in the famous battle of "Brazil"'s US Release in this original 1996 Criterion documentary. Terry Gilliam, producer Arnon Milchan, and several studio executives close the book on one of the noisiest, most unusual, and most instructive controversies in Hollywood history
  • "Brazil: The Love Conquers All Version", with audio annotation by 'David Morgan' , this 94 minute version of "Brazil", rearranged in the hope of making the film commercial, stands as a fascinating document of the power of editing to change a movie

Editorial Reviews

If Franz Kafka had been an animator and film director--oh, and a member of Monty Python's Flying Circus--this is the sort of outrageously dystopian satire one could easily imagine him making. However, Brazil was made by Terry Gilliam, who is all of the above except, of course, Franz Kafka. Be that as it may, Gilliam sure captures the paranoid-subversive spirit of Kafka's The Trial (along with his own Python animation) in this bureaucratic nightmare-comedy about a meek governmental clerk named Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce) whose life is destroyed by a simple bug. Not a software bug, a real bug (no doubt related to Kafka's famous Metamorphosis insect) that gets smooshed in a printer and causes a typographical error unjustly identifying an innocent citizen, one Mr. Buttle, as suspected terrorist Harry Tuttle (Robert De Niro). When Sam becomes enmeshed in unraveling this bureaucratic glitch, he himself winds up labeled as a miscreant.

The movie presents such an unrelentingly imaginative and savage vision of 20th-century bureaucracy that it almost became a victim of small-minded studio management itself--until Gilliam surreptitiously screened his cut for the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, who named it the best movie of 1985 and virtually embarrassed Universal into releasing it. This DVD version of Brazil is the special director's cut that first appeared in Criterion's comprehensive (and expensive) six-disc laser package in 1996. --Jim Emerson

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
157 of 170 people found the following review helpful
Terry Gilliam's classic satire returns to DVD in a spiffed up edition from Criterion. Featuring a high definition anamorphic remaster the picture looks great (and it has been enhanced for 16x9 TVs so it will fill the screen)the sound has been remastered as well. Is it worth picking up again? Absolutely if you're a fan of the film. The single disc edition is basically the same as the first disc in the three disc set--it includes Gilliam's commentary track as part of the package as well as the "Final Cut" version of the film that runs 142 minutes (vs. 131 for the regular DVD release).

The good news is that unlike the previous edition,"Brazil" has been digitally remastered with special attention paid to cleaning up the film so we don't have all the bits of dirt and debris that occasionally marred the original DVD transfer (which was essentially a DVD transfer of the original laserdisc version).

If you purchased the three disc set and want to upgrade you could just pick up this single disc edition as the extras are exactly the same as the previous edition (unless you want the remastered "Love Conquers All" 92 minute edit done by Universal to make it more commercial). Be aware though that the single disc edition doesn't have any of the material from the third disc of the boxed set. That disc documented the insanity that surrounded the film when Universal deemed it not commercial enough.

Why it took Criterion so long to get this new improved version to market is anyone's guess (and why it took them so long to adopt anamorphic transfers as well). This really is the way it should have been released in the first place. Either way this edition looks and sounds great. It has a terrific commentary track by director Gilliam, an essay but no other extras.
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359 of 399 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Yes, but what about this Criterion box set itself? January 6, 2004
There are a million different takes on the actual movie "Brazil," but what I hope to do in this review is actually rate the collection put together by Criterion.
The 3-DVD box set of "Brazil" starts off with the "final final" director's cut of the film, topping out at 142 minutes. (There are eight minutes of footage added to this release.) The film is presented in its original 1.85:1 dimensions. Fact is, the transfer of the movie is so-so.
For all the Criterion hoopla, the print here is flawed. The notes pay tribute to a few digital scratch removers, but I was truly surprised by the amount of garbage in the print (dirt, empty spots, and such) that litter the frames. One of Sam's initial dream flights has considerable gunk inhabiting the lower left corner, and any frame by frame analysis will reveal an endless parade of bits of stuff inhabiting every shot. To be honest, I expected a lot more here and if there is any criticism of this collection, it lies with this fault primarily. They could have cleaned everything up considerably more than they did. And that's a shame at this price.
Colors and contrast in the print look good, though, and the sound is fabulous. They pulled out a full stereo soundtrack and made it sing, so kudos there, too. The sound is clean and vibrant.
The booklet detailing the film is good, but not the best I've seen, even for a lesser boxset. The content listings for the other two DVDs are little more than a single overview sheets.
Director Terry Gilliam's commentary track on the first disc is priceless and fascinating, almost worthy of the cost for the set alone. As a film geek, I personally find all director commentaries to be interesting, so I may not be the best judge.
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216 of 239 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite possibly the reason DVD was invented November 27, 1999
Three discs? *Three* discs? That's what you're probably thinking if you're looking at this and *not* a fan of one of the finest films of our time. But this exquisite three-disc treatment is probably the best argument for DVD (and thankfully, for Criterion) that I can give you: Watch these discs, listen to the extensive audio commentary, compare Gilliam's brilliant vision with the Hollywood Studio "Love Conquers All" bastardization, er, sorry, recutting (how many directors would include a admittedly contradictory vision of his film on a DVD set just to *show* how Hollywood can drastically reshape a vision?), watch the'll come away from this boxed set experience understanding more about film and directing, and sadly, studio politics, than you'll ever get from reading "Variety" (certainly more than I got from filmmaking college courses!) At the heart of it all, though, the many extras and made-with-care package would add up to nothing if the original film itself weren't so bloody brilliant. There's very few modern *directors* who will pull me into the box office just to see a new film...Gilliam is one of them. Even his flops or misfires are more interesting than most. But when he hits on all cylinders (excuse the mixed metaphor) as in "Brazil"...the result is purely sublime. Bravo to Gilliam; bravo to Criterion for giving us the definitive home version of the film(s)--a version impossible on VHS. I love my DVD player!
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81 of 87 people found the following review helpful
This is the re-release of Brazil by Criterion, which stars Robert DeNiro, Jonathan Pryce, Katherine Helmond, Ian Holm, Bob Hoskins and many more, and directored by Terry Gilliam.... this is the ulitmate movie that all science fiction buffs must own...

So what is the difference between this release and the previous 3 disc collection???? Well primarily, it's for the new Anamorphic presentation of the film, it will otherwise be the same as the previous release......

For those who already own the previous release, my suggestion is to go for the single discer to replace the older non Anamorphic feature disc, but for those who don't have a copy... what are u waiting for ???? Get this boxset today!!!!This is the very defintion of what eXtras on a dvd collector's set should have..... Criterion accomplished the untinkiable!!!

For the benefit of those who do not have the previous release, this is the breakdown of all the dvd details....

142 minutes, Color,1.78:1 Aspect Ratio, Dolby Digital Stereo 2.0

Anamorphically enhanced, English.


All-new, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Terry Gilliam, with a remastered Dolby stereo surround soundtrack--NOW IN ANAMORPHIC!!

Audio commentary by Gilliam

Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing

PLUS: An essay by Jack Mathews


A treasure trove of Brazil-iana:

30-minute on-set documentary What Is Brazil?

Criterion's original exposé The Battle of "Brazil": A Video History, which reassembles players in the battle over the film's U.S.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Gilliam's best, in it's various forms it clearly shows how ...
One of Gilliam's best, in it's various forms it clearly shows how interference in a fine director's vision and intent for the cut can make or break a film of this quality.
Published 10 days ago by Thomas J Buhler
5.0 out of 5 stars ... has stood the test of time--it was delightful (I loved the...
It has stood the test of time--it was delightful (I loved the wonderful dark humor!) when it first came out. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Ron Pederson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great movie... every one of his films should be in your home
Published 13 days ago by James Latour
5.0 out of 5 stars Tut Tut Tuttle
Great Movie= watch it a lot
Published 16 days ago by Micropenguin
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 20 days ago by Keith Simpson
5.0 out of 5 stars Best film I've ever seen
Best film I've ever seen. A true delight in every way. If you have not seen this cinematic MASTERPIECE; I highly advise viewing. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Travis R. Crabtree
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Arnold Kleinmd
5.0 out of 5 stars phenomenal film
A really great movie.
Published 1 month ago by Levi dowdle
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brazil is one of my top-five favorite movies. It's a must-watch for anyone who likes movies in general.
Published 1 month ago by Eva
5.0 out of 5 stars Signature Terry Gilliam
No other movie, other than Labyrinth when I was young, had the ability to transport me to a completely different realm. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Charles Pinady
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Topic From this Discussion
anamorphic or not????
The original release of the Criterion 3 disc set was not anamorphic. Recently, Criterion reissued the set in anamorphic. At the same time they issued the one disc anamorphic edition.
Jan 8, 2007 by B. Saunders |  See all 10 posts
Which ending?
Both Criterion Collection versions have the Terry Gilliam ending, the real one. If you get the triple disc version of the Criterion Collection, then you get both the original version of the film and the 90 minute edited to hell version.
Jun 4, 2008 by William Hoffknecht |  See all 3 posts
Prognostications of our modern times Be the first to reply
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