Josef von Baky's Münchhausen (1943), starring Hans Albers, has been restored by the F.W. Murnau Foundation with a running time of 111 minutes, still short of the original's 133 minutes, but also represents a lot more of the movie than has been seen in many decades. (At one point, it only existed in a version running somewhere around 80 minutes.) Kino International's American DVD release offers the movie in a gorgeous film-to-video transfer (full-screen, 1.33:1). This is one of the prettiest color films of the '40s, painstakingly restored on an almost frame-by-frame basis and is a delight to the eye. The film may also surprise many modern viewers as the product of the largest German film studio, Ufa, intended to celebrate its 25th anniversary, sponsored by the Hitler government for its lack of any overt political message. In point of fact, most of the movies made in Germany during the Hitler era were not ideological polemics, but lighthearted entertainment vehicles and even musicals. Münchhausen was perhaps the most elaborate of all of those, inspired by propaganda minister Josef Goebbels' admiration for (and jealousy of) Alexander Korda's Thief of Bagdad (1940) and utilizing a design and color range influenced by Gone With the Wind and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. This disc restores the movie to its full glory, with blazing color and stunning clarity. The restoration allows one to appreciate the distinctly different color schemes utilized in each section of the movie, including the whites and blues for the Russian sequence, red and gold in the Turkish scenes, and a lunar landscape made up of myriad colors. Kino's edition offers brighter, purer blues and reds in the opening credits than a rival European region 2 disc from Eureka Video, issued in 2003; however, the latter's seeming weakness could also be the result of the necessary PAL-to-NTSC conversion on an American monitor. The movie comes with a dozen chapter breaks and a brace of enjoyable special features. The most important of these is an introductory lecture by Friedemann Beyer, the head of the Murnau foundation, who explains and illustrates the work of his organization in restoring Münchhausen and other movies, and the history and origins of Münchhausen. His account of banned author Erich Kastner's involvement in writing the screenplay is fascinating, as is his explanation (supported by stills) of the creation of the movie's most famous scene, the cannonball ride by the Baron. Alas, Beyer's account is a little less entertaining than that provided by R. Dixon Smith on the region 2 version, but the rest of the supplementary section far outstrips the European release in terms of extras. These include collections of still-frame art from the movie, an original trailer, and a collection of Gustav Dore images inspired by the Münchhausen story. Additionally, there is a German-made cartoon short, Die Abenteur des Baron Münchhausen, which is surprisingly similar to the work of Max Fleischer in its tone and character and excerpts from an Agfacolor German film version of Die Fledermaus. One would like to see that complete, as well as the other object of restoration excerpted here, Frauen Sind doch Bessere Diplomaten.