The Adventures of Baron Munchausen

( 12 )

Overview

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...
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Blu-ray (Anniversary Edition / Wide Screen)
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Overview

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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Special Features

Commentary with director Terry Gilliam & 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 & Charles McKeown; Deleted scenes; Marvelous world of Munchausen enchanced graphics & trivia track (blu-ray exclusive)
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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: 4/8/2008
  • UPC: 043396162198
  • Original Release: 1989
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Region Code: ABC
  • Presentation: Anniversary Edition / Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound
  • Language: Français
  • Time: 2:07:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 2,166

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
Franco Adducci Treasurer
Don Henderson Commander
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
Stratton Leopold Producer
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 Co-producer, Producer
Margery Simkin Casting
Tony Smart Stunts
Michele Soavi Asst. Director
David Tomblin Producer
Maggie Weston Makeup
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A one-of-a-kind adventure!!

    What an incredible viewing experience this film is! Created by Terry Gilliam (of Monty Python fame), this movie grabs you and sucks you in from the very start. Reality takes a back seat to fantasy in this adventure story, but only in the best sense of the phrase, and one quickly becomes completely immersed in it. Starring John Neville as the Baron, he leads the viewer through vignette after vignette, slowly adding characters and building the astonishing tale to a truly miraculous climax! Cameos from Robin Williams,Uma Thurman and others only add to the spectacle and the casting as a whole is nearly perfect throughout. While this is not exactly a children's tale due to some risque imagery, this film should appeal to anyone from 16 and up, as long as they have an open mind and are willing to suspend their disbelief long enough to enjoy an exceptional motion picture.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Slapstick Funny

    Hillarious. Any M Python fan will love this movie. Creative, adventurous, I laughed all the way through it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Horrible Movie!!!

    The Adventures of Baron Munchausen must be the worst film ever to disgrace itself upon teh silver screen. The plot is meaningless, the dialogue futile, and the acting nonexistant. Disgusting...

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted August 17, 2010

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    Posted April 9, 2010

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    Posted September 23, 2009

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    Posted September 11, 2010

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    Posted April 7, 2009

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews