Film, Comedy
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Fortunately the story of an alternative future is realised with such visual imagination and sparky humour that it's only half way through that the plot's weaknesses become apparent. Like 1984, it looks forward from the '40s to a vast urban society ruled by an oppressive bureaucracy that has developed primitive valve computers. Pryce plays a worker in the all-powerful Ministry of Information, and the best moments arise when his flat's central heating system becomes a kind of spiritual battleground between guerrilla engineer De Niro and his state opposite number Hoskins. Here Gilliam fuses terror and comedy with real brilliance; elsewhere the plot's gaping holes reduce the film to a glittering novelty.

Release details

Rated: 15
Duration: 142 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Terry Gilliam
Screenwriter: Charles McKeown, Tom Stoppard, Terry Gilliam
Cast: Katherine Helmond
Michael Palin
Jonathan Pryce
Ian Richardson
Robert De Niro
Ian Holm
Bob Hoskins