Brazil (1985)

What editions are available?

  • “Love Conquers All” version (94 min.)
  • Theatrical (131 min.)
  • Director’s Cut (142 min.)

In 1985 director Terry Gilliam took out an ad in the entertainment trade magazine Variety that simply stated: “Dear Sid Sheinberg. When are you going to release my film, ‘BRAZIL’? -Terry Gilliam”. Not many knew what the full page ad was about but Gilliam and executives at Universal knew.

Universal was dragging its feet on releasing the dystopian sci-fi film Brazil in 1985 and when it was premiered they had it re-edited, much to Gilliams displeasure. Gilliam took things into his own hands and held his own private screenings of the film for friends and local critics. In December 1985 when the Los Angeles Film Critics Association chose Brazil as the year’s best picture, over the Universal produced front runner Out of Africa, executives at Universal knew they made a mistake. Gilliam had screened the complete film for the members of LAFCA and the rest is film history. Universal gave in and decided to release a compromised version of the film that Gilliam supervised.

Three version of Brazil are available on DVD and Blu-ray. The excellent Criterion Collection package has both the happy-ending version dubbed “Love Conquers All” and the Terry Gilliams Director’s Cut. The compromised theatrical cut is also available on Blu-ray from Universal in the US.

The director’s preferred edition: Director’s Cut