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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.


Josef von Báky

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1 nomination. See more awards »


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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


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


Not Rated | See all certifications »






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


(restored) | (premiere)

Sound Mix:



Color (Agfacolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


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 »


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 »


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

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User Reviews

MUNCHHAUSEN {The 2004 Restored Edition} (Josef von Baky, 1943) ***
18 December 2006 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

I first watched this in the early 1990s on Italian TV; back then, I didn't even know it existed and, in all probability, the version I watched was trimmed - since the full-blown restoration wasn't carried out until 2004! Anyway, I remember the film with affection and I thoroughly enjoyed rewatching it on DVD (even if this version is still several minutes shy of its 134-minute original length!).

For being made right in the middle of WWII, this is an obscenely expensive - circa $35 million in today's currency - spectacle (given pretty much carte blanche, the producers went overschedule and overbudget) commissioned by the Nazis - but scripted, ironically, by a Jew - on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Germany's foremost film unit, UFA, it was also seen as a direct response to such foreign-made extravaganzas as Hollywood's THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939) and Britain's THE THIEF OF BAGDAD (1940)! The character of the tale-spinning Baron Munchausen originated in a book by 18th century author Gottfried August Burger which, along the years, has inspired 4 feature-film adaptations (as well as a Silent short by pioneering wizard Georges Melies and an animated short that was thankfully included on the Kino DVD and which will be discussed separately). Despite the stature accorded the 1988 Terry Gilliam version THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN (which I watched only once several years ago and recall being a somewhat hit-or-miss affair), the 1943 film emerges as perhaps the most satisfying cinematic rendition overall.

The film is book-ended by scenes with a contemporary i.e. 1940s setting, in which the Baron (played as a dashing yet cunning womanizer rather than the Quixotic fool envisioned by Terry Gilliam) recounts some of his adventures - in the third person - to a naïve young couple (the female member of which had fallen under his spell at a fancy-dress ball). The rest is an episodic fantasia in which Munchausen - usually driven by the promise of a romance and accompanied by his faithful sidekick - journeys from one country to the other (meeting along the way historical historical figures like Czarina Catherine The Great, Giacomo Casanova and the magician Cagliostro, who endows him with both immortality and the power of invisibility, as well as purely invented characters such as the self-proclaimed "world's fastest runner") until he ends up on the moon itself. Quality varies but the end result, as a whole, is a delight and a veritable feast for the eyes (thanks, in no small measure to the highly pleasing Agfacolor, the splendid production design and the charmingly primitive special effects).

Still, one thing that bothered me about the DVD was the fact that the subtitles barely allowed one time to read them (in all fairness, this had a lot to do with the virtually uninterrupted flurry of the film's dialogue itself - hence, something other than a thin white font should have been adopted)! The extras were more extensive than I had anticipated and up to Kino's standards for a "Special Edition" release - the best, however, was the 17-minute interview with the head of the German archival company that handled the current restoration, which goes into some detail about this as well as the production of the film itself.

DIE ABENTEUER DES BARON MUNCHHAUSEN - EINE WINTERREISE (Hans Held, 1944) **1/2 {6/10}: A pleasant animated short from Germany about the popular title character, made in color but containing no dialogue; it came hot on the heels of the 1943 epic film version - though the latter, apparently, left no recognizable impression on it (as the Baron here looked and acted nothing like the part as played by Hans Albers, nor was the plot 'lifted' from some particular sketch in the episodic film). In fact, the short presents only a couple of incidents (presumably taken from the book which inspired the film version in the first place, and several others made before and after it): one in which the Baron's horse ends up dangling in the air from the façade of a building (seen in the front-cover illustration of the book from which Albers reads during the modern sequences in the film, though the episode itself is not re-enacted) and then when the two of them are chased by a hungry wolf in the snow, with the latter proceeding to swallow the horse in one gulp and replaces it in leading the Baron's sled!

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