The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988)

UK, West Germany, Italy,
125m
35mm film, 70mm film, Eastmancolor, 1.66:1
Dolby SR 70mm 6-Track (70mm prints), English

A British/German/Italian fantasy film directed by Terry Gilliam.

Plot Summary

spins a fantastic story of how he, a group of unlikely associates and a young girl get caught up in the defence of a town from the Turkish army. He claims to have been swallowed by a giant sea-monster, taken a trip to where he meets the lunar ruler, danced with Venus and had a narrow escape from the Grim Reaper. But how reliable is the Baron's account – just how much of it is true and how much is fantasy?

Credits

* = uncredited

Crew
Director: Terry Gilliam
© 1987 Columbia Pictures
A Prominent Features & Laura-Film production. A Terry Gilliam film. A Columbia Pictures release and presentation
Executive Producers: Jake Eberts, Alyssa Cartegena *
Supervising Producer: Stratton Leopold
Producer: Thomas Schühly
Co-producers: Ray Cooper, Ilya Salkind *
Line Producer: David Tomblin
Script: Terry Gilliam, Charles McKeown
Stories: Erich Raspe
Director of Photography: Giuseppe Rotunno
Editor: Peter Hollywood
Music: Michael Kamen
Sound: Frank Jahn
Costume Designer: Gabriella Pescucci
Make Up Supervisor: Fabrizio Sforza *
Make Up Designer: Maggie Weston
Hair Supervisor (Italy): Iole Cecchini
Special Effects Supervisor: Richard Conway
Visual Effects Supervisors: Adriano Pischiutta, Antonio Parra, Brian Mann, Kent Houston, Richard Conway
Visual Effects: Peerless Camera Co Ltd
Animatronics Model Designers: Ian Whittaker, Jamie Courtier, Stephen Onions
Production Designer: Dante Ferretti

Cast
John Neville (Baron Munchausen)
Sarah Polley (Sally Salt)
Jonathan Pryce (Horatio Jackson)
Oliver Reed (Vulcan)
Winston Dennis (Albrecht/Bill)
Eric Idle (Berthold/Desmond)
Charles McKeown (Adolphus/Rupert)
Jack Purvis (Gustavus/Jeremy)
Uma Thurman (Venus/Rose)
Ray D. Tutto [real name: Robin Williams] (King of the Moon)
Valentina Cortese (Queen Ariadne/Violet)
Bill Paterson (Henry Salt)
Peter Jeffrey (the sultan)
Sting (heroic officer)
Alison Steadman (Daisy)
Ray Cooper (functionary)
Don Henderson (commander)
Andrew MacLachlan (colonel)
Mohamed Badrsalem (executioner)
Kiran Shah (executioners assistant)
Ettore Martini (1st general)
José Lifante (Dr )
Franco Adducci (treasurer)
Antonio Pistillo (2nd general)
Michael Polley, Tony Smart (gunners)
Terry Gilliam [irritating singer – uncredited]

Alternative Titles

Die Abenteuer des Baron von Münchhausen – German title
Las aventuras del barón Munchausen – Spanish title
Les Aventures du baron de Munchausen – French title
Le avventure del Barone di Munchausen – Italian title
Baron Münchhausens äventyr – Swedish title
Münchausen báró kalandjai – Hungarian title
Paroni von Münchhausenin seikkailut – Finnish title
Przygody barona Munchausena – Polish title

Press

1993
Cinefex no.54 (May 1993) pp.93-94
[A] beautiful example of how inventive art direction can help create an intriguing fantasy world. Gilliam's script and the design of his film are filled with classic images from both art and mythology that expand the original Munchausen story and allow the director to create an environment as strong as the characters and the folklore. In a rather strange commingling of and German epic fantasy, Munchausen evolved into a fairy tale of impressive proportions and daunting logistics. – from an illustrated review (Laserdisc revolution: Tall tales and epic lore) by David C. Fein

2000
Empire no.127 (January 2000) p.148 (UK)
Terry Gilliam's splendid grand folly looks spectacular in this widescreen format, the film's outrageous baroque imagery captured in all its glory. […] It's a noisy, sometimes uneven movie, but as rich in imagination and ambition as anything Gilliam's ever done. – from an illustrated video review by BM [Bob McCabe]

References

Periodicals

  • Cinefantastique July 1989 pp.44-45, 59- illustrated article
  • Cinefex no.54 (May 1993) pp.93-94- illustrated review (Laserdisc revolution: Tall tales and epic lore by David C. Fein)
  • Empire no.127 (January 2000) p.148- illustrated video review (by BM [Bob McCabe])
  • Fear March/April 1989 p.37- review
  • Flickers ‘n' Frames no.6 p.3- review
  • Interzone no.30 (July/August 1989) p.35 – review (by Nick Lowe)
  • Network Video no.8 p.6- review
  • Interzone no.216 (June 2008) p.63 – review (by Tony Lee)
  • New Musical Express 18 March 1989 p.25- review
  • Photoplay March 1989 pp.16-19- review
  • Première March 1989 p.17- review (by Thierry Decourcelle)
  • Radio Times 11-17 March 1989 p.21 – illustrated note (Hot air and fantasy by Derek Winnert)
  • Strange Adventures Summer Special 1989- review
  • Studio March 1989 p.14- review (by Christophe D'Yvoire)
  • TV Guide 25 March 1989 p.50- credits

Books

  • The A-Z of Science Fiction and Fantasy Films by Howard Maxford p.11 – credits, review
  • The Adventures of Baron Munchausen: The Screenplay by Charles McKeown and Terry Gilliam – script
  • Creature Features Movie Guide Strikes Again by John Stanley p.12 – credits, review
  • Elliot's Guide to Films on Video by John Elliot p.6 – credits, review
  • Elliot's Guide to Home Entertainment (4th Edition) by John Elliot p.5 – credits, review
  • The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Film p.4 – credits
  • The Films of Oliver Reed by Susan D. Cowie and Tom Johnson pp.230-232 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • The Films of the Eighties by Robert A. Nowlan and Gwendolyn Wright Nowlan p.2 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Hoffman's Guide to SF, Horror and Fantasy Movies 1991-1992 pp.15-16 – credits, review
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films IV by Donald C. Willis pp.3-4 – credits
  • Looking for a New England: Action, Time, Vision: Music, Film and TV 1975-1986 by Simon Matthews pp.97, 145
  • Losing the Light: Terry Gilliam and The Munchausen Saga by Andrew Yule – production notes
  • Psychotronic Video Guide p.5 – credits, review
  • Shock Xpress Book 1 pp.125, 166 – review
  • The Stop-motion Filmography by Neil Pettigrew pp.31-32 – credits, review
  • Variety Science-Fiction Movies by Julian Brown (ed.) pp.8-9 – credits, review
  • Video Source Book 13th Edition (1992) Volume 1 p.27 – credits
  • Virgin Film Yearbook 8 pp.16-17, 23-25 – credits, review
  • What Fresh Lunacy Is This? The Authorized Biography of Oliver Reed – by Robert Sellers pp.412-414; 489 – notes; credits

Other sources

  • BFI Southbank Guide August 2009 p.23 – illustrated listing
  • BFI Southbank Guide March 2018 p.18 – illustrated listing