- Directors: Terry Gilliam
- Producers: Arnon Milchan, Joseph P Grace
- Writers: Terry Gilliam, Tom Stoppard, Charles McKeown
- Genres: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
- Actors: Jonathan Pryce, Kim Greist, Michael Palin, Robert De Niro, Katherine Helmond, Bob Hoskins, Ian Holm
Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce) is a low-level government employee, often daydreaming of saving a beautiful maiden. One day he is assigned the task of trying to rectify an error created by a government mishap, causing the incarceration of a Mr. Harry Buttle instead of the suspected terrorist, Harry Tuttle. When Sam visits Mr. Buttle’s widow, he discovers Jill Layton (Kim Greist), the upstairs neighbor of the Buttles, is the same woman as in his dreams. Jill is trying to help Mrs. Buttle find out what happened to her husband, but has gotten sick of dealing with the bureaucracy. Unbeknownst to her, she is now considered a terrorist friend of Tuttle for trying to report the mistake of Buttle’s arrest in Tuttle’s place to bureaucrats that would not admit such a mistake. When Sam tries to approach her, she is very cautious and avoids giving Sam full details, worried the government will track her down. During this time, Sam comes in contact with the real Harry Tuttle (Robert De Niro), a renegade air conditioning specialist who once worked for the government but left due to the amount of paperwork. Tuttle helps Sam deal with two government workers who are taking their time fixing the broken air conditioning in Sam’s apartment.
However, it is quickly revealed this happy ending is all happening inside Sam’s head when in front of the idyllic scene, two faces come into view staring at the camera, that of Jack and of Mr. Helpmann (Peter Vaughan), who as Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Information is the system’s highest official we see in the film. What they are looking at, as they now realize, is Sam having become insane at Jack’s hands. Jack gives up trying to torture Sam, and Sam is left with a smile on his face, humming “Brazil” as Jack moves Mr. Helpmann in his wheelchair away from the scene.