Adventures of Baron Munchausen

Adventures of Baron Munchausen

4.5 12
Director: Terry Gilliam

Cast: John Neville, Eric Idle, Sarah Polley


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Director Terry Gilliam adroitly applies his Monty Python sensibilities upon the "career" of famed German prevaricator Baron von Munchausen. Played herein by John Neville, the baron is seen quelling a war that he himself started, flying into the stratosphere on the back of a cannonball, ballooning toSee more details below


Director Terry Gilliam adroitly applies his Monty Python sensibilities upon the "career" of famed German prevaricator Baron von Munchausen. Played herein by John Neville, the baron is seen quelling a war that he himself started, flying into the stratosphere on the back of a cannonball, ballooning to the moon, exploring the innards of a volcano, being swallowed by a whale....In short, all of Munchausen's fabulous lies are here presented as "truth," played out in full view of nonplussed witnesses Eric Idle, Charles McKeown, Jack Purvis, and Sarah Polley. Fringe benefits include several loving medium shots of jaybird-naked Uma Thurman as Boticelli's Venus and an extended unbilled cameo by Robin Williams -- that is, by the head of Robin Williams -- as the King of the Moon. Filmed under considerable duress on a budget eventually exceeding 45 million dollars, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen never quite caught on with moviegoers, though it has enjoyed a lucrative afterlife on videocassette.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Nathan Southern
The fabled Baron von Munchausen appeared in a number of live-action and animated screen incarnations prior to 1989, including Josef von Baky's 1943 UFA-funded, Goebbels-produced Munchausen. Yet Terry Gilliam bravely resisted the temptation to rework any of those prior screen versions. Instead, his film is twofold. On the most rudimentary level, he uses the Munchausen stories as a kind of loose framework on which to hang an assortment of the most audacious visual fireworks ever to illuminate the silver screen. And on that basis, the work is truly extraordinary, bringing to light effects unlike any created before or since in a Western feature, which defy all boundaries of form, dimension, and logic. Consequently, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen -- like Ray Harryhausen's 7th Voyage of Sinbad 30 years prior -- held captive the imaginations of those viewers who were fortunate enough to catch this film as children, during its initial theatrical run. From the "animated constellations" that swirl and gyrate through the celestial fabric, to the scythe-wielding Grim Reaper who bursts forth from an inert stone statue, sending stone shards flaying off omnidirectionally, to the glimpse of a white sand-filled sea of tranquility with the half-buried stone head of some obscure lunar monarch in the foreground, Gilliam plunges breathlessly and rapturously into a preadolescent visual dreamscape. If the film only functioned as a collection of visual pyrotechnics (as many assumed), it would indeed be disappointing; instead, Gilliam intuitively plunges deeper, and the film gains longevity from its thematic level. With Baron, Gilliam completed a planned screen trilogy on the theme of imagination as it triumphs over reason and logic. This thematic triumvirate began some eight years prior with Time Bandits, continued with 1985's sci-fi tragicomedy Brazil, and wraps with Baron. And that theme is the glue that holds this massively overscaled, freewheeling production together, ingeniously justifying every one of Gilliam's deliberate logical and temporal lapses (particularly in the confusing denouement). With -- as an added bonus -- the one-of-a-kind Pythonesque humor that flavors the majority of Gilliam's screen works providing much-needed lunacy and comic relief, the film earns its right to masterpiece status. Unfortunately, Western audiences did not agree. This outrageously expensive film (presumably greenlit during David Puttnam's tenure at Columbia) confounded many American viewers and slipped by others, bringing untold financial loss for the studio. Gilliam survived, however, rebounding to box-office gold two and a half years later, with the Christmas 1991 blockbuster The Fisher King.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Closed Caption; Commentary woth director Terry Gilliam and co-writer/actor Charles McKeown ; The Madness and Misadventures of Munchausen: an all-new 3-part documentary on the making of the film; Storyboard sequences with all-new vocal performances by Terry Gilliam and Charles McKeown; Deleted scenes

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Neville Baron Munchausen
Eric Idle Berthold
Sarah Polley Sally
Jonathan Pryce Horatio Jackson
Uma Thurman Venus/Rose
Oliver Reed Vulcan
Charles McKeown Rupert/Adolphus
Sting Heroic Officer
Robin Williams King of the Moon
Valentina Cortese Queen Ariadne/Violet
Winston Dennis Bill Albrecht
Jack Purvis Gustavus,Jeremy
Bill Paterson Henry Salt
Peter Jeffrey The Sultan
Alison Steadman Daisy
Ray Cooper Functionary
Andrew Maclachlan Colonel
Mohamed Salem Badr Executioner
Kiran Shah Executioner's Assistant
Ettore Martini First General
Jose Lifante Dr. Death
Don Henderson Commander
Franco Adducci Treasurer
Tony Smart Gunner

Technical Credits
Terry Gilliam Director,Screenwriter
Maria Teresa Barbasso Art Director
Lee Cleary Asst. Director
Richard Conway Special Effects
Ray Cooper Co-producer
Jake Eberts Executive Producer
Dante Ferretti Production Designer
Peter Hollywood Editor
Michael Kamen Score Composer
Irene Lamb Casting
Charles McKeown Screenwriter
Pino Penesse Choreography
Gabriella Pescucci Costumes/Costume Designer
Massimo Razzi Art Director
Giorgio Rossi Choreography
Giuseppe Rotunno Cinematographer
Francesca Lo Schiavo Set Decoration/Design
Thomas Schühly Producer
Margery Simkin Casting
Tony Smart Stunts
Michele Soavi Asst. Director
Maggie Weston Makeup

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Adventures of Baron Munchausen - Feature Film
1. Chapter 1 [3:19]
2. Chapter 2 [4:57]
3. Chapter 3 [7:05]
4. Chapter 4 [2:16]
5. Chapter 5 [2:58]
6. Chapter 6 [3:13]
7. Chapter 7 [3:07]
8. Chapter 8 [7:03]
9. Chapter 9 [5:55]
10. Chapter 10 [6:07]
11. Chapter 11 [4:10]
12. Chapter 12 [5:58]
13. Chapter 13 [5:42]
14. Chapter 14 [6:46]
15. Chapter 15 [5:44]
16. Chapter 16 [9:18]
17. Chapter 17 [1:43]
18. Chapter 18 [5:10]
19. Chapter 19 [3:35]
20. Chapter 20 [3:13]
21. Chapter 21 [2:10]
22. Chapter 22 [3:10]
23. Chapter 23 [3:14]
24. Chapter 24 [5:50]
25. Chapter 25 [3:04]
26. Chapter 26 [5:02]
27. Chapter 27 [1:14]
28. Chapter 28 [4:54]


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