12 Facts You Won’t Believe About The Movie Brazil!

Brazil is one of the strangest and most unusual movie experiences you are ever likely to have. From the imagination of Terry Gilliam of Monty Python fame, the film is as twisted in its imagination as many of the animated sequences that Gilliam was famous for in his Python days.

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The film is bizarre from start to finish and is very difficult to determine which parts are supposed to be dreams, and which are supposed to be reality. In the end it is concluded with one of the most down-beat endings to any movie. However, which ever way you look at it the movie is a masterpiece and a work of genius!

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So without further ado, join us as we look back at the amazing film that is Brazil, with some facts about the movie that you probably didn’t know…

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1. The director was very pleased to have one actor on board

Terry Gilliam and the rest of the crew were very excited to have a major star like Robert De Niro on board. De Niro was well known at the time for his work on The Godfather Part II, Taxi Driver and The Deer Hunter among many others so was a real coup!

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2. The excitement didn’t last!

Robert De Niro showed that he had an obsession for detail and a need to research everything he did, and this ended up getting to the director and the crew who found the star increasingly difficult to work with. In the end Gilliam has even said he “wanted to strangle him”!

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3. De Niro was a diva!

Most of the cast were given 2 – 3 takes to do their scenes, whilst De Niro insisted on having twenty five to thirty takes for his scenes! Even then he got his lines wrong and his scenes ultimately took two weeks to film instead of the one week Terry Gilliam had assigned to them!

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4. De Niro saw things differently

In spite of Gilliam’s comments, De Niro has said that he thoroughly enjoyed working on Brazil and that he would gladly work with Gilliam again on future productions!

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5. It originally had a very different title

The film was originally to be called 1984 and 1/2 but this was made difficult by the release of the film 1984 and would have proved problematic with the estate of George Orwell.

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6. The film was plagued by issues

The studio involved with the film were very difficult as they had different visions to Gilliam for how the film should be and so the release was delayed and delayed as director’s cuts and studio cuts were created and no-one could agree on the final version of the film to release.

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7. Gilliam made his displeasure very public

In an interview on Good Morning America, Joan Lunden (the host) asked Gilliam “I hear you are having trouble with the studio, is this correct?” Gilliam’s response was “No I’m having trouble with Sid Seinberg (the studio head), here is an 8 X 10 photo of him” and proceeded to show a picture of the studio head to a nationwide audience!

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8. Gilliam used a film school to his advantage

Whilst the battle was ongoing for the release of Brazil, Gilliam was asked to hold a class at a film school at the University of Southern California and took with him an audio visual aid, which was his cut of the film!

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9. The students almost spoiled it!

The students advertised that there would be free screenings of the film two days before Gilliam was to appear there and when the studio got wind of this they insisted that this was not to happen and put a block on it!

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10. They allowed him to show a “clip” from the film

During his talk to the students, Gilliam still wanted to show his cut but was plagued by phone calls from the studio insisting that he didn’t. They eventually said he could show a short clip of the film, which Gilliam did… by showing the film in its entirety!

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11. This helped the film to success

Following this, Gilliam showed the film for two weeks and at one of the screenings Los Angeles film critics saw the movie and voted it Best Picture of the Year, which ultimately led to Gilliam’s version getting its release!

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12. The production affected Gilliam

The production and release of Brazil was so stressful for Terry Gilliam that he reportedly lost all feeling in his legs for a week at the height of the problems!

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Are you a fan of Brazil? Had you realised just how plagued by issues the film was and how much of a personal battle it was for Gilliam to get it released? Let us know all your thoughts in the comments as always!