The Hilarious Ad Terry Gilliam Took Out In Variety To Protest The Re-editing Of Brazil

Illustration for article titled The Hilarious Ad Terry Gilliam Took Out In Variety To Protest The Re-editing Of Brazil

In 1985, Universal Studios bigwig Sid Sheinberg decided that director Terry Gilliam's cut of Brazil wasn't going to be marketable in America. Sheinberg and a group of editors therefore attempted to make the film more commercially palatable — the fruits of their labor was the cheerier, 94-minute "Love Conquers All" cut of the film.


The only problem? Gilliam had refused to sign on for this radical rejiggering. (Indeed, he ran over the pre-agreed run time with Universal, a move that culminated in this mass chopping.)

At his wits' end, the Python took out an entire page in Variety to protest the recut of Brazil. It was only after Gilliam's cut garnered critical accolades that Brazil received its non-pared-down release. Moral of the story: buying full-page ads in Variety will solve most (if not all) of your problems.

[Via Letters of Note]



And, the problem with this is that Gilliam had a contract to deliver a 2 hour, 5 minute movie. That's the contract he signed, the movie he said he would deliver as his creative vision. He had Final Cut. If he had delivered the movie to length, the studio would contractually have had to release it without any of the fuss and grandstanding. Gilliam forfeited that right when he *failed* to live up to his part of that contract.

Now, I love Brazil. It is one of my 2 favourite movies ever, hands-down. But he blew this one fair and square, he had a great deal with the studio to be able to deliver whatever story he was telling as long as he kept it to 2 hours 5. And his refusal to do so led to the stalemate and was what even gave the studio heads the chance to do the re-cut film in the first place.

This is not a 1-sided story, "Hey big bad man, why will you not put my movie out?". This was *2* colossal egos butting heads.

Remember kid, we're all in it together.