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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
Reviews
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 »
Edit

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

Joseph Goebbels, Reichsminister of propaganda and also chief of the German UFA Studios, ordered this film to be made for the 25th anniversary of UFA. See more »

Goofs

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

Alternate Versions

The length of this film when submitted to the Film Review Office in March 1943, according to the Deutsches Filminstitut, was originally 134 minutes (or 3662 meters). This version was used for the premiere of the film at the Ufa-Palast am Zoo. Three months later, a second version (the general release version) was submitted, cut down to 118 minutes (3225 meters). After the war, the next version (December 1949) was 105 minutes, the 1954 version 101 minutes, the version for general audiences (shown that year) 88 minutes. In 1995, a first restoration was assembled by the F.W. Murnau Foundation, clocking in at 114 minutes. In 2017, a 35mm Agfacolor print was discovered at the Gosfilmofond of Russia. That print, which runs 131m (3590m), was restored and used for the 2019 Blu-ray release. See more »

Connections

Version of The Hallucinations of Baron Munchausen (1911) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fascist Fantasy
19 November 2005 | by Ron OliverSee all my reviews

The fabulous exploits of Baron MÜNCHHAUSEN include several wars, numerous plots and beautiful women without number.

At the height of World War Two, as the tide was beginning to turn against the Third Reich, Hitler's Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels commissioned this lavish motion picture as a commemoration of the 25th anniversary of Ufa, the government-run German film association. More importantly, it was also to be a rival of the great fantasy films which had come from the Allied nations, such as THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939) and THE THIEF OF BAGDAD (1940). In that it succeeds brilliantly and needs no comparison to any other film.

The film is a great, lighthearted romp as it follows the adventures of the Baron from Prussia to St. Petersburg, Constantinople, Venice and even the Moon. It is fascinating to see the high quality which the Germans were still able to lavish on the picture, even as their Empire was beginning to crumble around them. The production values are of a very high order and the Technicolor photography is sumptuous to the eye. Remarkably, there is no National Socialist propaganda in the film and the War is never mentioned.

In the title role, Hans Albers gives a surprisingly sensitive performance for such a robust production. He takes the legendary character and gives the viewer a portrait of a dashing, reflective, amorous, compassionate, resourceful man. Whether riding on a cannonball, ingratiating himself with the Ottoman Sultan, or examining the fantastic flora of the lunar planet, Albers always makes Münchhausen totally believable.

All the acting is of a high order, but especially worthy of mention are Ferdinand Marian as the mysterious Count Cagliostro, Brigitte Horney as a flirtatious Catherine the Great, and Gustav Waldau as an aging Casanova.

It should be mentioned that this is not a movie for children. Given its European origins it should come as no surprise that MÜNCHHAUSEN is a good deal more libidinous than the standard Hollywood fare of the time.

**************************

There was a real Baron Karl Friedrich Hieronymus von Münchhausen (1720-1797), a German adventurer and teller of tall tales, but he had nothing to do with the book of fictional exploits which borrowed his name, written by Rudolf Erich Raspe (1737-1794), upon which this film was based.


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