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The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1943)

Münchhausen (original title)
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.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Wilhelm Bendow ...
Der Mondmann
Brigitte Horney ...
Michael Bohnen ...
Herzog Karl von Braunschweig
...
...
Freiherr von Hartenfeld
Hermann Speelmans ...
Christian Kuchenreutter
Marina von Ditmar ...
Sophie von Riedesel
Andrews Engelmann ...
Fürst Potemkin
Käthe Haack ...
Waldemar Leitgeb ...
Walter Lieck ...
Der Läufer
Hubert von Meyerinck ...
Prinz Anton Ulrich
Jaspar von Oertzen ...
Graf Lanskoi
Werner Scharf ...
Prinz Francesco d'Este
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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


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Details

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Release Date:

6 August 1943 (Hungary)  »

Also Known As:

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(restored) | (premiere)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Agfacolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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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 »

Connections

Version of The Fabulous Baron Munchausen (1962) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fascist Fantasy
19 November 2005 | by (Forest Ranch, CA) – See 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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