a bureaucrat in a retro-future world tries to correct an administrative error and himself becomes an enemy of the state.
dir.: terry gilliam (fear and loathing, monty python)
robert de niro as some kind of anti-system-plumber that looks like nintendo’s mario
-early title for brazil was “1984 and a 1/2”, an ode to federico fellini, but the film nineteen eighty-four (1984) was released and the idea was scrapped.
-the very first sound in the film is the telecaster of famous guitarist amos garrett.
-terry gilliam had trouble with studio producers over the black ending he wanted on the film. the producers wanted a “happy hollywood” film which eliminated the final transition and a critical line of dialogue which reveals the fate of jill. these changes were made, and this “butchered” version was shown on television at least once. gilliam threatened to disown the film, and consequently the cinematic release and all videotape versions show the film essentially as he intended it to be seen.
-when mr. helpman spells out the code that sam’s father used to get to helpman’s floor on the elevator, the letters are “ere i am jh”. when you rearrange those letters it spells “jeremiah”, sam’s father’s name.
-the technician who, right at the start of the film, swats the fly which falls into the printer causing the fatal misprint is ray cooper, the percussionist who, among other things, accompanied elton john on his famous russian concerts in 1979.
-director cameo: the smoker in the shangri-la tower who bumps into sam.
-during the climactic shootout at information retrieval, the janitor is killed and her vacuum cleaner rolls down the steps as the storm troopers walk and fire their weapons in a skirmish line formation. This is a reference to sergei m. eisenstein’s film, bronenosets potyomkin (1925), when the cossacks march down the steps of the port of odessa, firing away as a baby carriage rolls by. also seen in “the untouchables”.
-during his trouble with a studio, terry gilliam asked daily variety for a full page ad, which cost around $1,500 at the time. he had it bordered like a funeral invitation and it said: “dear sid sheinberg, when are you going to release my film? signed: terry gilliam.”
-mrs. buttle never blinks during the extended monologue sam gives when he comes over to her apartment.
-the mask used by the torturer also appears used by several extras in the 1994 music video “basket case” by green day.