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Brazil

4.4 out of 5 stars 477 customer reviews

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(Mar 31, 1998)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Jonathan Pryce, Robert De Niro. Filled with Terry Gilliam's trademark humor and visual inventiveness, Brazil takes place in a futuristic world where individualism is revoked by a controlling state. In spite of it all, a civil servant dreams of overcoming the bureaucracy, winning over the woman he loves and reinstating true justice. A satirical, imaginative and ambitious film. 1985/color/131 min/NR/widescreen.

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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. Although the DVD (at a fraction of the price) doesn't include that set's many extras, it's still a bargain. --Jim Emerson


Special features

  • Production Notes
  • Cast and Filmmakers
  • Trailer

  • Product details

    • Actors: Jonathan Pryce, Robert De Niro, Michael Palin, Katherine Helmond, Ian Holm
    • Directors: Terry Gilliam
    • Writers: Terry Gilliam, Tom Stoppard, Charles McKeown
    • Producers: Arnon Milchan
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Letterboxed, NTSC, Widescreen
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
    • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
    • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated:
      NR
      Not Rated
    • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
    • DVD Release Date: March 31, 1998
    • Run Time: 143 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 477 customer reviews
    • ASIN: 0783225903
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,414 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
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    • Learn more about "Brazil" on IMDb

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