STARRING: Jonathan Pryce, Robert De Niro, Michael Palin, Kim Greist, Katherine Helmond, Ian Holm

1984, 142 Minutes, Directed by: Terry Gilliam

Description: A bureaucratic nightmare-comedy about a meek governmental clerk named Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce) whose life is destroyed by a simple bug. Not a software bug, a real bug (no doubt related to Kafka's famous Metamorphosis insect) that gets smooshed in a printer and causes a typographical error unjustly identifying an innocent citizen, one Mr. Buttle, as suspected terrorist Harry Tuttle (Robert De Niro). When Sam becomes enmeshed in unraveling this bureaucratic glitch, he himself winds up labeled as a miscreant.  

Monty Python does Orwell's 1984. There is no other way to describe this anarchic, off-beat, irreverent black humored movie. Which comes as no surprise really since it is directed by ex-Monty Python animator Terry Gilliam who also directed off-beat classics such as 12 Monkeys and Time Bandits . . .

Grotesque, savage, Kafkaesque and sick are some of the other adjectives that spring to mind. In other words: great and not to be missed! One memorable scene has a female member of the nouveau riche amiably chatting away about her recent facial reconstructive surgery as bombs, set by terrorist groups opposed to the omniscient state, explodes all over the restaurant they are in, spewing bloodied corpses all over the place.

Another stunning scene has a man being enveloped by newspapers blowing about in the wind. Then the wind blows the newspapers away we find that he has completely disappeared . . .

Not in everybody's taste, but why risk missing one of the most brilliant science fiction movies ever made?


Sci-Fi Movie Page Pick:
Over-the-top, grotesque, sick, great . . . If you're a Monty Python fan then you'll know who Terry Gilliam is. Having made such off-beat films such as The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, The Fisher King and 12 Monkeys, Gilliam is one of the most original and singular talents haunting the Hollywood byroads. If you're not a Python fan, then that's no excuse to miss this wildly surreal movie about an Orwellian dystopia.


# 7
of the
Top 100 Sci-Fi Movies
of all time



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