Pitting the imagination of common man Sam Lowry (the brilliantly befuddled Jonathan Pryce) against the oppressive storm troopers of the Ministry of Information, Terry Gilliam’s Brazil has come to be regarded as an anti-totalitarianism cautionary tale equal to the works of George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, and Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Gathering footage from both the European and American versions of this masterpiece, Gilliam has assembled the ultimate, 142-minute director’s cut of his most celebrated film.
Gilliam’s original cut of the film is 142 minutes long and ends on a dark note. This version was released internationally outside the US by 20th Century Fox.
US distribution was handled by Universal. Universal executives thought the ending tested poorly, and Universal chairman Sid Sheinberg insisted on dramatically re-editing the film to give it a happy ending, a decision that Gilliam resisted vigorously. As with the cult science fiction film Blade Runner (1982), which had been released three years earlier, a version of Brazil was created by the movie studio with a more consumer-friendly ending. After a lengthy delay with no sign of the film being released, Gilliam took out a full-page ad in the trade magazine Variety urging Sheinberg to release Brazil in its intended version. Eventually, after Gilliam conducted private screenings (without the studio’s approval), Brazil was awarded the Los Angeles Film Critics Association award for “Best Picture”, which prompted Universal to finally agree to release a modified 132-minute version supervised by Gilliam, in 1985.
Link To Feature Film:
What Is Brazil – Making Of: