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The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1943)

Münchhausen (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Adventure, Fantasy | 6 August 1943 (Hungary)
This lavish, impudent, adult fairy tale takes the viewer from 18th-century Braunschweig to St. Petersburg, Constantinople, Venice, and then to the moon using ingenious special effects, stunning location shooting.

Director:

Josef von Báky
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Hans Albers ... Baron Münchhausen
Wilhelm Bendow Wilhelm Bendow ... Der Mondmann
Michael Bohnen Michael Bohnen ... Herzog Karl von Braunschweig
Hans Brausewetter ... Freiherr von Hartenfeld
Marina von Ditmar ... Sophie von Riedesel
Andrews Engelmann ... Fürst Potemkin
Käthe Haack ... Baronin Münchhausen
Brigitte Horney ... Zarin Katharina II
Waldemar Leitgeb Waldemar Leitgeb ... Fürst Grigorij Orlow
Walter Lieck Walter Lieck ... Der Läufer
Ferdinand Marian ... Graf Cagliostro
Hubert von Meyerinck ... Prinz Anton Ulrich
Jaspar von Oertzen Jaspar von Oertzen ... Graf Lanskoi
Werner Scharf Werner Scharf ... Prinz Francesco d'Este
Armin Schweizer Armin Schweizer ... Johann
Edit

Storyline

This lavish, impudent, adult fairy tale takes the viewer from 18th-century Braunschweig to St. Petersburg, Constantinople, Venice, and then to the moon using ingenious special effects, stunning location shooting.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

6 August 1943 (Hungary) See more »

Also Known As:

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen See more »

Filming Locations:

Berlin, Germany See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universum Film (UFA) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(restored) | (premiere)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Agfacolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Josef von Báky later worked again with Erich Kästner on "Das doppelte Lottchen", which is based on Kästner's novel of the same name. Kästner also wrote the screenplay for the movie and was acting as the narrator. See more »

Goofs

Sophia's "beauty spots" disappear and reappear during the opening scenes of the film. See more »

Alternate Versions

The export version, with specifically shot alternate takes, runs approx. 116 minutes. See more »

Connections

Featured in Münchhausen: Ein mythos in Agfacolor (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
An interesting and somewhat disturbing movie
14 April 2013 | by pf9See all my reviews

I first saw "Münchhausen" in my native Romania as a child during the war (I mean WWII) and the scene of the baron's landing on the moon and having a conversation with the head, lying on the ground, of a woman who left the rest of her body in her lunar home, made such a powerful impression on me that to this day I remember it in all its funny details. It was also the first movie in color I had ever seen; yes, those were the days when movies, as a rule, were in black and white.

Revisiting the movie now, as a euphemistically labeled "senior citizen," I was surprised that it holds up quite well. It amuses, it surprises, it is well acted, the dialog is clever, written after all by the famous novelist Erich Kästner under a pseudonym to cover up the fact that the Nazis saw themselves forced to employ him after burning his books.

There is something quite disturbing in hindsight about this movie. Why was it made? It was released in the year between the Battle of Stalingrad and the Allied Normandy Invasion the two events that were to seal Germany's fate. Was it an attempt to sustain both at home and abroad the far-fetched illusion that the war was going so well that all the German people cared about was laughing at the Baron Münchhausen's lies? Or was it an attempt at showing that Babelsberg could produce a grand spectacle just as well as Hollywood? And if a spectacle was being offered, why, in a country in which mass murder and deception were the order of the day, was even the hero to be a liar?

I am asking these questions because much in this movie is disturbing for reasons related to them. Take the Baron himself, played in this movie by Hans Albers, the greatest star, the Clark Gable of German movies in those years, yet by the time of this movie a man in his fifties pretending to be irresistible to females. It is as if MGM had cast an aging Adolphe Menjou as Rhett Butler in "Gone With the Wind." Now Albers is a fine actor, but to enjoy the movie you definitely have to suspend disbelief and pretend that the aging actor riding the cannonball is not bothered by arthritic pain.

The sets look more like cheap nouveau-riche furnishings and the costumes are cut from wartime stock. Ilse Werner, as Princess Isabella d'Este, is as beautiful as ever, and as Count Cagliostro we get to see Ferdinand Marian, the actor who just a few years earlier had disgraced himself by playing the lead in "Jud Süss," the most disgusting anti-Semitic propaganda film ever made, a fact that ultimately led Marian to alcoholism and a DUI death at war's end, considered a suicide by many.

Now, one can say, let's just watch the film for what it is, and not in its historic context. But then, Marian's acting of Cagliostro, a swindler, is crafted with the same mannerisms he used in creating the Jew Süss. In short, the undeniable artistic qualities of this movie are infected with the severe moral deficiencies of its makers, and this surprisingly renders the movie more interesting than it has any right of being. This is what disturbs me.


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