[[caption-width-right:350:I will destroy you with my fantastical and science-fictional movies!]]
->''"The problem with movies is that you're in with the most bizarre group of people."''
-->-- as quoted in ''Losing the Light: Terry Gilliam and the Munchausen Saga''

Terrence Vance Gilliam (born November 22, 1940) is a cartoonist, animator and film director, best remembered as the token American member of Creator/MontyPython (although he renounced his American citizenship years later and became a full British citizen) and the surrealist cut-out animations he created for ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus''. As the series progressed, he also did many small roles the other actors didn't want to perform for various reasons, and had very few speaking parts, if you forget his voice acting during the animated segments (one of his most notable lines is "I want more beans!"; he was also Cardinal Fang of the Spanish Inquisition). He wrote a number of the sketches, and from there co-wrote the troupe's three films based on original material with the rest of the troupe, on which he also played much more parts than he usually would in the series. He co-directed ''Film/MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail'' and directed the opening segment of ''Film/MontyPythonsTheMeaningOfLife'', "The Crimson Permanent Assurance".

From there, Gilliam moved into writing and directing non-Python films, though some of his fellow troupers have appeared in and/or co-wrote them. His specialties are fantasy and science fiction films, often laced with dark humor: one could construe his worldview as "We're all doomed! Isn't that hilarious?" He was Creator/JKRowling's choice of director for the ''Film/HarryPotter'' movies -- however, Creator/WarnerBros decided against it.

This is understandable, given that few directors in the history of film have been so prone to ExecutiveMeddling, production delays and budget overruns, and just plain '''bad luck''' as Terry Gilliam. After ''Film/{{Jabberwocky}}'' (1977) and the hit ''Film/TimeBandits'' (1981), the first great tale of his struggles came with 1985's ''Film/{{Brazil}}''. It put him at odds with Universal Pictures when executives attempted to recut the movie, especially its ending; the subsequent book ''The Battle of Brazil'' tells the tale. His next film, 1988's ''Film/TheAdventuresOfBaronMunchausen'', went wildly over budget and then bombed in the U.S. thanks to Columbia Pictures undergoing a regime change that kept it from getting proper release and promotion.

In the 1990s, things were looking up with ''Film/TheFisherKing'' (1991), ''Film/TwelveMonkeys'' (1995), and ''Film/FearAndLoathingInLasVegas'' (1998). Then at the TurnOfTheMillennium, his films became a parade of bad situations behind the scenes. ''Film/TheManWhoKilledDonQuixote'' took '''nineteen years''' of on-and-off production to complete thanks to trials and tribulations covered in the documentary ''Film/LostInLaMancha''. ''Film/TheBrothersGrimm'' (2005) was beset by ExecutiveMeddling, this time via Bob and Harvey Weinstein. ''Film/{{Tideland}}'' (also 2005) made it to theaters, but was overlooked and shunned for its focus on pedophilia (plus it was set in, and filmed in a desert, but it ''just kept raining'' during filming). And finally, perhaps saddest of all, ''Film/TheImaginariumOfDoctorParnassus'' (2009) became Creator/HeathLedger's final film when [[AuthorExistenceFailure he died before completing his role]].

Bad luck simply doesn't cut it: the man's '''''cursed'''''.

''Website/TheOnion'' once joked that if Terry Gilliam were to have a barbecue, [[https://politics.theonion.com/terry-gilliam-barbecue-plagued-by-production-delays-1819567508 it would be beset by production delays]]. But his perilous productions have resulted in a portfolio of fascinating, if not always successful, films.
!! Terry Gilliam's works on the wiki:
* ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'' (1969-74) -- Did many memorable animations for the series, and occasionally wrote and acted in others.
* ''Film/MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail'' (1975) -- Acted, co-directed, co-wrote and provided animations.
* ''Film/MontyPythonsLifeOfBrian'' (1979) -- Acted in, co-wrote & animated.
* ''Film/{{Jabberwocky}}'' (1977) -- Directed and co-written.
* ''Film/TimeBandits'' (1981) -- Directed and co-written.
* ''Film/MontyPythonsTheMeaningOfLife'' (1983) -- Co-directed and co-written (Primarily the ''Crimson Permanent Assurance'' segment).
* ''Film/{{Brazil}}'' (1985) -- Directed and co-written (UsefulNotes/AcademyAward nomination for Best Original Screenplay).
* ''Film/TheAdventuresOfBaronMunchausen'' (1988) -- Directed and co-written.
* ''Film/TheFisherKing'' (1991) -- Directed.
* ''Film/TwelveMonkeys'' (1995) -- Directed.
* ''Film/FearAndLoathingInLasVegas'' (1998) -- Directed and co-written.
* ''Film/TheBrothersGrimm'' (2005) -- Directed.
* ''Film/{{Tideland}}'' (2005) -- Directed and co-written.
* ''Film/TheImaginariumOfDoctorParnassus'' (2009) -- Directed and co-written.
* ''Film/TheZeroTheorem'' (2014) -- Directed.
* ''Film/TheManWhoKilledDonQuixote'' (2018) -- Directed and co-written.
!!Common tropes found in the films of Terry Gilliam:
%% Zero context examples have been commented out. Please provide context before uncommenting.
%%* BlackComedy: Oh, defiantly so.
%%* ButtMonkey: Most of his characters.
%%* CrapsackWorld: Several of his films involved depraved or outright crumbled societies.
%%* DerangedAnimation: It doesn't come more deranged than [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVgAzbuKjZY&feature=fvw that]]. %%Weblinks are not examples
* DownerEnding: Most of his films have this. On the DVD Commentary of ''Film/TheBrothersGrimm'', he says that he hates happy endings.
* TheDungAges: Along with the other Pythons, popularized the trope with ''Film/MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail''; as a solo director, this appears in ''Film/{{Jabberwocky}}''. In general, his period settings are not particularly tidy.
%%* DutchAngle: Uses it moderately in some of his films.
* LifeImitatesArt: One of the great artistic ironies of the modern age, many Gilliam fans have noted, is the story of how in his [[DevelopmentHell never-ending quest]] to finish ''The Man Who Killed Don Quixote'', Gilliam has become perhaps the quintessential Hollywood WindmillCrusader. Until he [[MomentOfAwesome finished it.]]
* ObstructiveBureaucrat: His entire career has been about flights of fancy, so naturally his films tend to rail against iron-fisted bureaucracies and the narrow-minded jobsworths who staff them. Probably the pinnacle of this trope was the beginning of ''Baron Munchausen'', when city administrator Creator/JonathanPryce -- graduating from playing a BeleagueredBureaucrat in {{Film/Brazil}} -- orders the execution of a soldier[[labelnote:*]]''{{Music/Sting}}, in a cameo''[[/labelnote]]. The offense? The soldier was ''so good at his job he made everybody else look bad''. A title card reveals this as "The Age of Reason".
* OutOfGenreExperience: Aside from the movies and DerangedAnimation, he's also directed a few {{Opera}}s.
* ReCut: The Criterion releases of ''Brazil'' on home video include three different versions, his original cut, a slightly shorter version that Universal ultimately released in the US, along with a drastically shorter and drastically altered version Universal almost released instead (see ExecutiveMeddling).
* SavedFromDevelopmentHell: The Gilliam curse appears to have been broken, as it was reported in June 2017 that had ''[[HeroicResolve finally]]'' finished ''Don Quixote'' after ''eight'' unsuccesful attempts over the course of '''nineteen years.'''
* SceneryPorn: His films have a very distinct look (highly detailed sets shot with very wide lenses), to the point where cinematographers often call a 14mm lens "the Gilliam lens". Granted, what he's actually shooting [[SceneryGorn isn't always that pretty]].
* SelfInflictedHell: The DevelopmentHell of ''Film/TheManWhoKilledDonQuixote'', caused in no small part by Gilliam stubbornly clinging to his artistic vision in the face of a just as stubbornly adverse reality:
** The successive castings of archetypical actors to play Don Quixote, all over 70-80 years old, [[LostInImitation despite the book character being canonically in his early fifties]], who end up injured because they cannot handle the physicality of the character or are diagnosed with age-related health problems before they can shoot the movie, inevitably putting filming on hold again.
** Filming in Spain, [[YourCostumeNeedsWork but not in La Mancha because it isn't picturesque enough]]. Gilliam's choice of filming in Navarre's Las Bárdenas Reales resulted in the sound being ruined by planes exercising in a nearby NATO base and was ultimately ended by a freak storm that completely changed the landscape (LBR's unique look is caused by its rapid rate of erosion in the first place).
** Ultimately ended as Gilliam [[https://www.facebook.com/Terry.Gilliam/photos/a.256735074385314.62810.256730041052484/1421392574586219/?type=3&theater wrote about production finally wrapping]] after a decades-long battle to get it made.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVsCynicism: Range all over the place. Brazil and Twelve Monkey's is more cynical but Time Bandits and The Fisher King are more on the idealistic end, while Baron and Docter Parnassus might be in the middle.
* SurrealHumor: When he does comedy, it usually falls under this. Being a Python might have something to do with it.
* ThematicSeries: He considers ''Time Bandits'', ''Brazil'', and ''The Adventures of Baron Munchausen'' to be his "Imagination Trilogy". The movies themselves are not connected by continuity but they share similar themes.
** Gilliam has also said that ''Brazil'', ''12 Monkeys'', and ''The Zero Theorem'' make up his [[Creator/GeorgeOrwell Orwellian]] triptych.
** He also made another trilogy, consisting of ''Film/TheFisherKing'', ''Film/TwelveMonkeys'', and ''Film/FearAndLoathingInLasVegas'', being his ''Trilogy of Americana.''
* TricksterArchetype: Baron von Munchausen and Mr. Nick in ''The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus''.
''[[Film/MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail And suddenly, the editor suffered a fatal heart attack]]''
-->'''[[HollywoodHeartAttack URK!]]'''
''[[Film/MontyPythonAndTheHolyGrail The trope description was no more. The quest for more tropes could continue.]]''