Terry Gilliam faced a problem in 1985: Although it had been released without a hitch by distributors outside the US, his final cut of Brazil was deemed unfit for release in North America by executives at Universal. Faced with Gilliam’s stern refusal to re-edit his work and craft a more commercial movie as proposed, a team at Universal — headed by Sidney Sheinberg — took on the job themselves and began to reshape the film. In October, with hands tied, Gilliam went public, and responded by way of a very brief open letter to Sheinberg.
Despite never being published in the paper, the following brief letter — sent to the offices of The Times in 1946 by the famously eccentric Lt. Col. Alfred Daniel Wintle — was so adored by staff, it has apparently been preserved ever since. It’s easy to see why.