Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Brazil (1985)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Brazil (1985, UK)

In Terry Gilliam's eccentric, offbeat, satirical ultra-dark comedy - it was a hybrid work, combining science-fiction, despairing ultra-black comedy and fantasy. It was part of a three-film "Trilogy of Imagination," including Time Bandits (1981) and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1989). Brazil was also the first installment of another Gilliam trilogy of dystopian satires, followed by 12 Monkeys (1995) and The Zero Theorem (2013).

The highly-rated cult film told about an austere, oppressive and repressive, polluted, decaying future dystopian world of conformity, bureaucracy and Big Brother totalitarianism in a terrorist-threatened Londonesque metropolis. One typical drone worker was harried by inefficiency, malfunctioning machines, corruption, automation, and bureaucratic mistakes. The film brutally satirized technology, bureaucracy, and authoritarian societies controlled by state corporatism. The film's poster tagline described:

It's all about flights of fantasy. And the nightmare of reality. Terrorist bombings. And late night shopping. True love. And creative plumbing. It's only a state of mind.

There were many visually-imaginative references to Kafka's The Trial (and Orson Welles' The Trial (1962)), Orwell's 1949 novel 1984 (and Michael Radford's 1984 (1984)), and Anthony Burgess' 1962 A Clockwork Orange (and Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange (1971)). It had other similarities to Fritz Lang's mechanized society in Metropolis (1927), Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove: (1964), and the 'book-burning' of Fahrenheit 451 (1966).

Gilliam's Orwellian fantasy film, with two Oscar nominations (Best Original Screenplay and Best Art Direction) was made on a budget of $15 million, and grossed only $9.9 million. A controversy over its dark ending had forced director Gilliam to cut about twelve minutes from the 144 minute European theatrical version before its general US release in 1986. Severe editing cuts proposed by the studio, that emphasized the film's romantic themes and provided a happy ending, threatened to change the message and tone of the entire film. However, Gilliam was finally able to open his own 132 minute cut of Brazil in late 1985 (the American release version).

  • the film's inventive opening scene (Title Card: "Somewhere in the 20th Century") envisioned a stylized world of an alternative, authoritarian future in a nameless European country
  • society was characterized by Central Services ductworks that were advertised on television by a slick business salesman (John Flanagan) and a chorus: ("Central Services. We do the work, you do the pleasure. Hi, there. I want to talk to you about ducts. Do your ducts seem old-fashioned, out-of-date? Central Services' new duct designs are now available in hundreds of different colors to suit your individual tastes. Hurry now, while stocks last, to your nearest Central Services showroom. Designer colors to suit your demanding taste") - the advertisement about ducts (that connected the centralized bureaucracy with the lives of the oppressed people) was interrupted by a violent explosion inside a department store (the TV was displayed inside the store's window)
  • the society was often plagued by terrorist attacks and bombings, thought to be waged by enemies of the state (although they could have been orchestrated by the state itself as a scapegoat for authoritarian control of the people)
  • in one of the Ministry of Information (MOI) government offices, a flying beetle-shaped insect was swatted at, causing it to fall into an office teletype printer where it was squashed in the machine (it was a literal "bug" in the system) - and a typographical print-out name-error was created on an arrest record; it unjustly identified an innocent citizen (shoe repairman Mr. Buttle) as the detention and arrest target, instead of the real, suspected terrorist Archibald "Harry" Tuttle (Robert De Niro) - an illegal, renegade ("free-lance") maintenance man; it was a perfect example of technological-automation gone wacky and oppressive bureaucratic muddling in the society's bureaucracy
  • on Christmas Eve, the innocent Archibald and Veronica Buttle family (Brian Miller and Sheila Reid) [Note: Archie and Veronica were the main characters in the Archie Comics] was in their Shangri La Towers apartment with their two children; in the tenant's apartment above them, a tough butch-female truck driver named Jill Layton (Kim Greist) was taking a bath in dirty water; she noticed that a group of armed policemen and stormtroopers used a saw to cut a circular hole in the Buttle family's ceiling (through Jill's floor), to "drop in" and invade the apartment below, to falsely accuse and brutally assault the husband; due to mistaken identity, the unsuspecting Mr. Archibald Buttle was placed in a canvas strait-jacket with a hood, straps, and buckles, and taken away as a subject for detention and interview by the security troops of the MOI
Mr. Archibald Buttle Mistakenly Arrested, Strait-Jacketed, and Taken Away - Mrs. Buttle Signed Multiple Forms
  • the madness and indignity was further exemplified by an exchange with the dazed and panic-stricken Mrs. Buttle who was required to sign multiple forms: ("That is your receipt for your husband, thank you, and this is my receipt for your receipt"); Archibald Buttle was wrongly arrested due to the mix-up and taken away - soon after, he died from heart issues
  • in the dull regulatory Ministry of Information (MOI) in the Department of Records, the narrow work area was jammed with paperwork and filled with endless pneumatic tubes and ill-functioning equipment; supervising boss Mr. Kurtzmann (Ian Holm) [meaning "short man"] was upset that Mrs. Buttle's compensation check was not being properly recorded or accepted into the system; he attempted to summon one of his bureaucratic civil servants, Everyman Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce) - a technocratic statistician was stuck in a tedious, mind-numbing civil servant job
  • Kurtzmann called out to locate Lowry in the bustling office to inquire about the problem; Sam was still asleep in bed in his apartment (and late for work); he was experiencing the first of many dream fantasies when his phone awakened him; Sam was having recurring dreams of soaring as a superhero with metal mechanical wings in the clouds [Note: a reference to Brewster McCloud (1970)] toward a mysterious, long blonde-haired fantasy dream-girl doppelganger (also Kim Greist) - revealed later to be similar in looks to a real-life trucker named Jill Layton
Sam's First Recurring Dream of Saving A Blonde Dream-Girl

Dream Girl Jill Layton (Kim Greist)
Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce) as a Winged Super Hero
  • Sam rushed to the MOI building, and passed through the lobby where a gigantic, winged male statue was outstretched over a nude female figure; the stone sculpture was labeled: THE TRUTH SHALL MAKE YOU FREE, and a lobby sign read: INFORMATION - THE KEY TO PROSPERITY
The Ministry of Information - ("Information - The Key to Prosperity")
  • as Sam entered, he shared a few words with an old married friend, Jack Lint (Michael Palin), who enviably told how he had recently been promoted to a higher-level job; as they talked, Sam briefly noticed a person who resembled his "dream-girl" on a bank of security TV monitors in the MOI lobby with a concerned look - there to report a "wrongful arrest" to the uniformed porter at the Information Desk, but was frustratingly given the bureaucratic run-around, by being told to visit the Information Adjustments department for a proper stamp
  • in Kurtzmann's office, Sam learned about the Buttle/Tuttle mistake due to mismatching personnel code numbers (attributable to Information Retrieval), and that the reknowned terrorist (and heating engineer) named Tuttle should have been detained instead; Kurtzmann reminded Sam, due to his mother's connections, that he had been promoted to Information Retrieval, but Sam had remained resistant to the change
  • Sam's vain and narcissistic mother Ida Lowry (Katherine Helmond) was under the care of cosmetic surgeon Dr. Louis Jaffe (Jim Broadbent), and had become obsessively addicted to plastic surgery to rejuvenate her face, and was undergoing a grotesque procedure; Sam visited his mother to protest his promotion: "I'm happy where I am," but she was pushing for him to advance himself
  • Sam joined his newly-transformed red-haired mother in an upscale restaurant to have lunch with her idle rich friend - a face-disfigured, bandaged client Mrs. Alma Terrain (Barbara Hicks) suffering from "complications"
  • in a scene that poked fun at posh restaurants, they ordered from numbered selections on a huge menu that displayed full color photographs of the various dishes; when the food was delivered, the silver covers on trays were lifted ceremoniously by the foreign-accented words of the Maitre-D Spiro (Bryan Pringle) as he showily announced the identical-looking orders - pastel-colored ice cream scoops accompanied by identifying photographs:
    • Numero huite (8) - braised veal in a wine sauce (for Mrs.Ida Lowry)
    • Numero deux (2) - duck a l'orange (for Mrs. Alma Terrain)
    • Numero une (1) - crevettes a la mayonnaise (for socially-inept daughter Shirley Terrain (Kathryn Pogson))
    • Numero trois! (3) - steak (for Sam)
      After serving everyone, Spiro wished everyone "Bon appetit."

# Numero huite (8)

# Numero deux (2)

# Numero une (1)

# Numero trois! (3)
  • during the serving of the dishes, Mrs. Terrain bragged about her switch of cosmetic surgeons, leaving Dr. Jaffe ("the knife man" according to Mrs. Terrain) and transferring to Dr. Chapman, a rival doctor with "revolutionary" techniques; both women were in a futile attempt to escape the "ravages of time" and stay young
Sam's Lunch in a Fancy Restaurant With His Red-Haired Mother and Her Bandaged-Faced Friend Mrs. Terrain (Barbara Hicks)
  • suddenly, an enormous blast from the area of the restaurant's kitchen was evidence of another terrorist attack; those who were unharmed resumed their conversations in the midst of the mangled bodies, and the string quartet (with blackened faces) started playing again
  • Sam experienced the second of his daydreams of his floating, idealized dream girl (in a swirling cloth veil); his view of her was cut off by a series of rectangular monoliths or pillars that broke through and erupted from the country's landscape; he abruptly awoke from his nightmare, and realized his malfunctioning room thermostat caused smoke to pour out of a vent in his living room; he phoned government-sponsored Central Services for repairs to his AC system, but received a dismissive recorded announcement
Sam's 2nd Dream of Flight - Interrupted by Uplifted Monoliths in Countryside
  • unexpectedly, notorious Heating Engineer repairman Harry Tuttle, armed and dressed in black like a Ninja-warrior/terrorist, was there to fix Sam's complex network of AC ducts; he announced that he was performing a free-lance (and illegal) repair on Sam's heating/AC unit; he explained how he had previously worked for the government's Dept. of Central Services, but had become exasperated by their repetitive forms and time-wasting, crippling paperwork, and had quit to become a free-lancer: ("I couldn't stand the paperwork. Listen, this whole system of yours could be on fire, and I couldn't even turn on a kitchen tap without filling out a 27B/6. Bloody paperwork... I came into this game for the action, the excitement. Go anywhere, travel light. Get in, get out, wherever there's trouble. A man alone. Now, they've got the whole country sectioned off. Can't make a move without a form")
  • as Tuttle recommended fixing Sam's repair issue by bypassing the problem duct area, two authorized, government-employed, nasty and inept Central Services workers Spoor (Bob Hoskins) and Dowser (Derrick O'Connor) also arrived to fix the AC; Sam helped Tuttle to avoid detection and get away by stalling the two red-hatted buffoons, and insisting first on seeing their proper paperwork permission, claiming he was "a stickler for paperwork"; he then learned that Archibald Tuttle was wanted by the "big boys" at Information Retrieval; as the renegade Tuttle left, he exhorted Sam: "Listen, kid, we're all in it together"
  • back at Sam's day job, Kurtzmann continued to be distraught over having a "refund" check issued for the Buttles; when it couldn't be automatically deposited to the Buttles due to their lack of a bank account, Sam volunteered to visit Mrs. Buttle in her apartment to have her personally sign the check and cash it at the corner sweetshop; on the motorway, Sam drove a tiny, three-wheeled Messerschmidt automobile with a bubble top to the Shangri La Towers housing complex, and parked in an underground garage
  • during his visit with the grieving and hysterical Mrs. Buttle, all she could say was: "What have you done with his body?..."; Sam met the Buttle's blonde upstairs neighbor Jill Layton who peered down at him from the hole in the ceiling; Sam called out to Jill ("It's you!") - the embodiment of his dream girl, but she disappeared from sight and he watched as she drove off in a massive Coleman Pursuit Tractor; he also found his burned-out car destroyed by vandals
  • Sam realized that Jill resembled the subject of his many daydream fantasies, when he often imagined himself as a lone heroic, silver-winged warrior knight-savior combating the technological threats of the Machine Age; he was unaware that she had also become involved and frustrated as she tried to report the grievous 'mistaken identity' error to the inept, bureaucratic authorities
  • upon his return to work, Sam searched for information on Jill Layton, but was blocked from the "CLASSIFIED" information on her; it dawned on him that information about Jill would be available if he accepted his mother's promotion efforts to allow security clearance and access into the Ministry of Information; in a third daydream sequence, Sam fantasized in an alley that he was heroically saving and rescuing Jill, by battling good and evil, in the form of dark-hooded mutants with rotting baby-doll faces who were pulling ropes and dragging Jill in a floating cage
Sam's Third Daydream of Saving Jill in Alleyway from Baby-Faced Mutants
  • after returning to his apartment, Sam discovered that the two Central Services AC workers had returned (with the proper "27B/6" form) and ripped out and tangled his duct works; they had also discovered Tuttle's unorthodox bypass solution, regarding it as an act of sabotage; to spite Sam, they left Sam's apartment in disrepair
  • a fourth dream sequence commenced (a continuation of the previous one), with the appearance of a giant 12-foot tall Samurai Warrior (Winston Dennis); it was the first of two separate sequences with the Samurai warrior - a symbol of the autocratic government; the warrior's suit was comprised of electronic tech components (i.e., resistors and volume knobs); Sam sliced through the ropes holding the cage that imprisoned his dream-girl; the dream ended shortly after the giant metal Samurai struck the tip of one of Sam's wings with a battle-axe and Sam lost his wings, but was able to fight back
  • Sam was able to spear the Samurai in the right arm and chest and topple him over onto the ground - dead; Sam approached and removed the Samurai's mask - he was shocked to see his own face was under the face covering [Note: The scene paid homage to a similar one in Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)]; he had become his own greatest enemy, due to his obedient complicity as a government functionary in the bureaucratic machinery
Sam's Fourth Dream Sequence of Battling Against a Giant Samurai To Save His Dream Girl In a Cage
  • the dream ended with Sam back in his apartment fighting with his own ductworks; Sam was interrupted by the arrival of a singing telegram girl (Diana Martin), dressed in a red bell-boy outfit, who invited him to a high-society party held to celebrate his mother Ida's recent cosmetic surgery; at the party, his red-haired mother looked more youthful after the facial surgery with Dr. Jaffe, although competing plastic surgeon - dwarfish Dr. Chapman (Jack Purvis) with a monocle, disagreed with Jaffe's technique; one of Chapman's recent patients, bandage-faced Mrs. Terrain shuffled over and explained: "There was a little com-pli-ca-tion. Dr. Chapman says it often happens with a delicate skin like mine. Nothing to worry about. He's promised me these bandages will be off in a jiffy"
  • in an effort to clear Jill's name, Sam maneuvered at the party to speak to wheelchair-bound Deputy Minister of Information Mr. Eugene Helpmann (Peter Vaughan), to "help" him and to confirm his promotion to the "Information Retrieval" Department; Sam's intent was to access Jill's classified records; Sam visited the 30th floor of the Information Retrieval department where he reported to his new boss Mr. Warrenn (Ian Richardson) - who was surrounded by a bustling group of cloned yes-men, known as Expediters, Sam was led to the door of his new cramped, half-sized tiny office (DZ-015)
  • in one of the film's most memorable and humorous scenes, Sam battled in a tug-of-war with his moving desk that he shared with his cubicle-mate Harvey Lime (Charles McKeown, the film's co-scriptwriter) on the other side of a partition
In His Cramped Office, Sam Battled in a Tug-of-War Against His Co-Worker (On the Other Side of the Cubicle Wall) For a Shared Desk
  • afterwards, he asked Lime in his next-door mini-office to help him research information on his dream girl on his computer console - Jill Layton; as he waited back in his own cubicle, Sam experienced another very short fifth dream sequence of attempting to rescue Jill (who was calling out to him) from the ascending cage by grabbing ahold of one of the cage's restraining ropes dangling down; two giant brick-and-mortar arms emerged from the cobblestone street and grabbed his ankles; the face of the creature - Mr. Kurtzmann's face - pleaded: "Sam, don't go, please"
Fifth Daydream - Another Attempt to Rescue Jill From an Ascending Cage - Symbolically Grabbed by Mr. Kurtzmann's Two Arms From the Cobblestone Street ("Sam, don't go, please!")
  • Sam's dream ended with Harvey's knocking on the cubicle wall - Sam was given a rudimentary print-out of Jill's profile; to learn more, he took the elevator to the 50th floor of the building to Room 5001 (on the hallway floor was a splotch of blood that he smeared with the sole of his shoe), to speak to Reference Officer 412/L -- friendly MOI official Jack Lint, who was wearing a blood-stained white coat and whose work consisted of interrogation [Note: A baby-face mask was hanging on a partition]; Sam was completely unaware that Jack was unscrupulously involved in torturing and interrogating government prisoners, including Buttle (who was subjected to electrical charges); and Sam was stunned to learn that Jack admitted that he was indirectly responsible for Buttle's death: "It wasn't my fault that Buttle's heart condition didn't appear on Tuttle's file"
  • Sam learned that Jill, after witnessing the embarrassing Buttle incident (and trying to help Mrs. Buttle sort out the error regarding the wrongful arrest), was now seen as a suspected terrorist and political dissident (and a possible associate of Tuttle); Sam was given Jill's dossier-file by a reluctant Lint after Sam volunteered to "deactivate" Jill, but was still implicitly warned about investigating too deeply
  • as Sam was returning to the floor of his office, the elevator malfunctioned, and he was taken down to the mezzanine level of the building, where he saw through the side of the glass elevator that Jill was at the front desk registering her complaint; with his new credentials, he was able to get to Jill and lead her safely from the massive building; outside while Sam had to turn back and pick up littered papers from Jill's dossier-file, Jill slipped away and entered her large truck; Sam followed and jumped on the running board and climbed into the passenger seat, but found himself delivered back to the front entrance of the Information Retrieval building, where he was ordered out of her truck ("Get out of my cab")
  • taking a risk, Sam attempted to warn Jill that she was a wanted suspect, but she thought he was a government agent; as guards approached, she finally drove off, as Sam confessed that he was in love with her - in his dreams; she tried to extricate him from the truck, while he kept insisting for her to trust him and that he loved her; when she slammed on the brakes, he survived by holding onto the truck's front grillework; clinging for his life, he whimpered: "You don't trust me, do you?"
Extended Truck Sequence

Sam in the Passenger Seat Delivered Back To the Front of the Building by Truck Driver Jill

Sam's Confession to Jill: "I love you - in my dreams"

Sam Dislodged From the Cab and Peering Through the Cab's Rear Window

"Trust Me"

Scrawling "I LOVE YOU" Across Her Dirty Windshield

Clinging to the Front Grillework
  • when they finally arrived at her place of work - an industrial power plant, a pre-fabricated house was lowered onto the back of Jill's truck for delivery, and Jill was handed a brown package; Sam instantly suspected it was a terrorist bomb; with Sam's crazed urgings upon their return to the city, they crashed through a roadblock and were chased by armored pursuit vehicles, and eventually escaped when Sam released the truck's load - the prefabricated home, from the back-half of the truck into the other vehicles' path
  • the two entered a busy shopping mall and entered a lingerie store, where they both struggled for the parcel; they came upon a face- and hand-bandaged, mummy-like Mrs. Terrain (pushed in a wheel-chair) who described her latest surgical catastrophe: "My complication had a little complication. But Dr. Jaffe says I'll soon be up and bounding about like a young gazelle"; and then a devastating explosion rocked the department store; although many were injured and bloodied, the two were dirtied but unhurt, and when Sam accused Jill of being a terrorist bomber, she was dumbfounded and denounced him by showing him that the package contained a harmless Christmas present toy
  • a security guard was transformed, in Sam's daydreaming mind (his 6th), into the Samurai for Sam's second, final, and very brief dream sequence with the warrior; Sam was knocked unconscious from behind by a guard's gun-butt, and in the next scene, he had been detained by black-garbed and helmeted guards in the back of their Black Maria vehicle with other bagged prisoners on their way to the depot; when Sam ignored their warnings to not touch the prisoners (he was frantically looking for Jill), he was again knocked unconscious
  • when the bruised and bloodied Sam recovered consciousness, he had somehow found his way back to his Information Retrieval office, where he was being severely reprimanded and scolded by Mr. Warrenn for not keeping up with his work
Bruised Sam Back in His Office, and Severely Scolded by His Boss Mr. Warrenn
  • to attempt to clear Jill's innocent name, Sam again visited Lint's office on the 50th floor, but was unable to dissuade Lint from believing that Jill was a terrorist responsible for the destructive mall bombing, and that she was in league with Tuttle; he also stated that Sam was implicated: ("This whole Buttle/Tuttle confusion was obviously planned from the inside"); he then advised Sam to keep his distance and "stay away" from him
  • frustrated, Sam attempted to destroy part of the paper-clogged bureaucracy by blocking the pneumatic cylinder tubes and causing a minor explosion in the building; sheets of paper lyrically rained down from the busted ductwork outside in the corridor
  • upon his return to his apartment, he found Central Services engineers Spoor and Dowser dressed in transparent plastic suits (with life-support tubes connected to terminals) to protect them from ice-cold conditions that they had created in his place; they attempted to force Sam out of his place during repairs of the broken thermostat; Tuttle vengefully came to Sam's rescue by swapping the positioning of two duct tubes (the A/C and Sewage lines) and directing a flow of raw sewage through hoses into their suits until they drowned and exploded; before leaving, Tuttle again exclaimed: "We're all in it together, kid"
  • outside his apartment, Jill suddenly reappeared to Sam; he deposited her at his mother Ida's unoccupied home (during Christmas) for safe-keeping; he gave her a long-awaited kiss before telling her to wait for him, as he proposed a way to "save" her ("Trust me"); he returned to Information Retrieval (after-hours) and via Mr. Helpmann's private basement elevator with a passcode: EREIAMJH, he was taken to Helpmann's empty office; there, he manipulated and deleted Jill's records on a computer console - he marked her with DELETE, so that she wouldn't be arrested as a suspected underground accomplice

Sam's Long-Awaited Kiss With Dream-Girl Jill in His Mother's Unoccupied Apartment

Jill Resembling His Mother - Wearing a Blonde Wig With Transparent Lingerie

Sam's Proof to Jill of Her Deletion From the Computer Files

Overhead Iris View - In Bed Together

Sam's Daydream Fulfilled

Jill (with Pink Bow Wrapping) to Sam: "Merry Christmas"
  • upon his return to Jill, he found her in his mother's bedroom wearing thinly-transparent lingerie - and transformed into the likeness of his dream girl by wearing one of his mother's blonde wigs; she was ready to have sex with him during an overnight stay, after hearing she had been deleted from the computer files: ("Care for a little necrophilia? Hmmm?"); in a 7th brief daydream as a winged mechanical bird, Sam soared upward into the blue sky with his angelic dream girl holding on
  • but then during a Buttle-styled attack through the ceiling and through other entry points in his mother's apartment, the two were seized at gunpoint, as they protested; the screen went black - and presumably off-screen, Jill was machine-gunned to death for resisting arrest
  • in the downbeat, disturbing and shocking conclusion, after being apprehended, Sam was taken prisoner, detained and bagged with a full-body straitjacket; his own vain efforts to clear Jill's name by using his position to change her records had caused him to be targeted, victimized as a terrorist and wrongly aligned with the rebellion by the totalitarian regime - and he lost his lover-dream girl forever; multiple charges were leveled against him, and he was urged to plead guilty to save money; the troublesome Sam was blamed for a string of terrorist bombings, and for treason against the state; he imagined the questioners to be baby-faced mutants
  • he was seated within a gigantic smokestack dome, with the canvas bag removed from his head; wheel-chaired Mr. Helpmann - wearing a Father Christmas costume - asked kindly: "Sam, what are we going to do with you?" Sam pleaded: "Where's Jill? I've got to find her"; Helpmann reluctantly admitted that Jill was deceased due to resisting arrest; and then Sam cryptically confessed to also being responsible for Jill's death: "I did that"; after Helpmann was wheeled off, Sam's canvas head covering was replaced
  • when the canvas bag was again removed, two brutal-looking guards placed a bicycle-style metal helmet on his head; Sam found himself strapped into a torturer's chair in the middle of a circular platform that was situated under a vast, dark dome; next to Sam was a tray of tools of torture and an instrument panel with dials to control the amount of electrical shock; Sam watched as a white-coated technician, a torture agent who was wearing a pock-marked, smiling baby mask, approached toward him on a long runway - paused for a moment after seeing him, and then continued; Sam asked: "Jack?" - recognizing him as his friend-turned-sinister Jack Lint
  • Sam realized he was going to be questioned and tortured by Lint and begged: "Jack, I'm innocent! Please help me...Jack, this is all a mistake! Please Jack, take that mask off"; Jack responded: "You stupid could you do this to me?", and then added: "This is a professional relationship"; after finding the right torture tool, Jack wielded it at Sam - and was suddenly shot in the forehead; Jack ripped off the mask, revealing his bloodied face, and fell dead

Sam Seated With a Metal Helmet

Sam In the Middle of a Circular Platform Under a Dome

Tray of Torture Tools
Sam Recognized That His Friend Jack Lint Was Behind the Baby-Face Mask
  • suddenly Sam was triumphantly rescued by a band of armed commandos led by terrorist Tuttle ("Call me Harry") - the renegade (freelance) air-conditioning engineer, who descended on ropes from the top of the dome; after a gun battle with armed guards, Sam was led to his escape with other freedom fighters through Room 5001 (Lint's office with his transcribing secretary), and down the elevator to the lobby [Note: the sequence paid homage to the Odessa Steps sequence in Sergei Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin (1925)]; the fugitives eventually reached the outer door of the Ministry Building, raced outside, and sought cover before detonating explosives and blowing up the building

Papers Adhering to Tuttle's Body Before He Was Literally Consumed

Church Funeral Service for Mrs. Terrain

Sam's "Mother" Mrs. Lowry as "Dream-Girl" Surrounded by Young Admirers

Sam's Escape in Truck With Jill
Sam Next to Mrs. Terrain's Toppled Pink Casket
  • as they fled from police and sought refuge in the shopping mall, Tuttle's body became completely covered with littered strips of paperwork from the demolished building that adhered to his body and mummified him before he was literally consumed and disappeared; Sam fled and passed a billboard promoting: "HAPPINESS - we're all in it together!"; he found himself in a church at the funeral of his mother's close friend Mrs. Terrain who had died after botched "acid treatments" of her face by rival plastic-surgeon Dr. Chapman; in contrast, due to her repeated treatments, Sam's mother was transfigured into dream-girl Jill in her 20s, and ignored Sam due to the attention she was receiving from scores of young handsome male admirers; the funeral ceremony was disrupted by government agents about to arrest Sam, who crashed into the pink coffin and toppled it - spilling its decomposed-offal contents, and then fell into the black darkness of Mrs. Terrain's emptied and open casket
  • Sam emerged in the city's streets (with monolithic skyscrapers on either side) with the police and other monstrous creatures in pursuit; to escape, he climbed up an immense debris pile of used AC flex-ducts, opened a brick door, and found himself in the pre-fab house being pulled by Jill's tractor-trailer (a Scammell Commander); reunited with her, Jill and Sam drove away from the city to a pastoral setting where they created a homestead - a happy ending
  • however, his ideal perfect and illusory idyllic paradise free of societal restrictions was revealed to be a self-deluding fantasy of wishful thinking - his escape to set up a homestead with the pre-fab home in a pastoral backdrop was covered over by a close-up of the faces of two torture agents - Deputy MOI Helpmann and Jack Lint, who entered the frame from either side; Sam found himself back in a chair within the domed torture chamber; his left hand had a bloody puncture wound (or stigmata?)
- Mr. Helpmann: "He's got away from us, Jack"
- Jack Lint: "Afraid you're right, Mr. Helpmann. He's gone"
  • the film's final lines came at the moment of Sam's complete insanity; as the two agents peered into the face of the catatonic Sam (and the camera), they commiserated about Sam's untreatable condition: (Mr. Helpmann: "He's got away from us, Jack." Jack Lint: "Afraid you're right, Mr. Helpmann. He's gone")
  • the film's final image was of the half-smiling Sam, still in his torture chair in the center of the domed area at the end of the walkway, humming the film's spritely theme song to himself: (Ary Barroso's "Aquarela do Brasil" or "Brazil") - insanely lost in his own inner world: (Lyrics: "Then, tomorrow was another day. The morning found me miles away, With still a million things to say. Now, when twilight beams the sky above, Recalling thrills of our love, There's one thing I'm certain of, Return, I will, To old Brazil"); the image pulled back as the credits scrolled over the backdrop of the dome chamber accompanied by upbeat samba music

Opening Title Card

TV Advertisement for Ductworks From Central Services Before Terrorist Explosion

Bureaucratic Error: An Arrest Order for Buttle, not Tuttle

Upstairs Tenant Jill Layton (Kim Greist)

MOI Dept. of Records Boss Mr. Kurtzmann (Ian Holm)

Dept. of Records Lowly Employee Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce)

Sam's Old Friend Jack Lint (Michael Palin)

Jill Noticed on Security Monitors Inside the MOI

At the MOI - Jill Protesting Mr. Buttle's "Wrongful Arrest"

With Kurtzmann, Sam Confirming the Mistaken Identity Arrest of Buttle

Grotesque Plastic Surgery Procedures For Sam's Narcissistic, Socialite Mother Ida Lowry (Katherine Helmond)

The Chaos During the Restaurant's Terrorist Bombing

Real Terrorist "Harry" Tuttle (Robert De Niro) - a "Freelance" Maintenance Heating Engineer

Complaining About Paperwork When He Worked For Central Services

Central Services Workers (l to r): Dowser (Derrick O'Connor) and Spoor (Bob Hoskins)

Sam Visiting Grieving Mrs. Buttle to Deliver "Refund" Check

Sam Briefly Noticing His "Dream-Girl" In Upper Apartment Through Hole in Ceiling

Back at Work, Sam Was Blocked From Retrieving Information About Jill Layton

Central Services' Spoor "Repairing" Sam's Ductworks in His Apartment

Sam Removing the Mask From the Toppled Samurai - And Seeing His Own Face

Sam At His Mother's Party

Bandaged Friend Mrs. Terrain Explaining About Her Own Surgical "Little Complication" With Dr. Chapman

Sam Welcomed Into Information Retrieval by Deputy MOI Mr. Helpmann (Peter Vaughan)

Sam Following After His New Boss Mr. Warrenn (Ian Richardson) To His New Office-Cubicle

Sam Asking His Next-Door Office Cubicle-Mate Harvey Lime (Charles McKeown) to Use His Computer Console

Sam's Visit to the 50th Floor - Jack Lint's Office

The Blood Splotch on the Floor

Jack Lint (After Torturing Someone) with a Blood-Splattered White Tech Coat

Jill Briefly Seen by Sam at the Information Retrieval Front Desk Again Registering a Complaint About the Buttle Case

Sam Exiting the Information Retrieval Building with Jill

Jill Handed Suspicious Brown Package-Parcel

Sam Struggling with Jill For the Parcel in a Shopping Mall

Mrs. Terrain: "My complication had a little complication"

After the Bomb Explosion, Jill Was Dumbfounded that Sam Accused Her of Detonating the Bomb Package

Sam's Last Encounter with Samurai Warrior in the Bombed-Out Mall Store

Sam Causing an Explosion in the Information Retrieval Building By Clogging the Pneumatic Tubes

Spoor and Dowser Drowning In Their Sewage-Filled Plastic Suits

Jill and Sam Surrounded and Arrested Together In His Mother's Apartment - A Buttle-Styled Attack

Sam Arrested, Bagged, and Detained

Sam Imagining Interrogators to be Baby-Faced Mutants

Mr. Helpmann in a Father Christmas Costume: "Oh, Sam, what are we going to do with you?"

Sam Pleading and Asking About Jill, and Learning She Was Deceased

Jack Lint Reaching For Torture Implements as Sam Begged For Him to Stop

The Baby-Faced Torturer Shot in the Head

Jack Ripped Off the Baby-Mask and Fell Dead

Sam's Rescue by Tuttle and a Group of Freedom Fighters

Billboard: "HAPPINESS - we're all in it together!" Slogan to Keep the People Compliant

Sam and Jill's Pre-Fab Homestead Set in a Green Pastoral Valley After Their Escape

Sam Now Completely Catatonic and Lost in a Dream-World


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