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The Fabulous Baron Munchausen

Czech DVD cover
Directed by Karel Zeman
Written by Screenplay:
Karel Zeman
Book:
Gottfried August Bürger
Music by Zdeněk Liška
Cinematography Jiří Tarantík
Release date(s) 21 September 1962
Running time 83 min.
Country Czechoslovakia
Language Czech

The Fabulous Baron Munchausen (Czech: Baron Prášil) is a 1961 tinted Czechoslovak romantic adventure film directed by Karel Zeman, based on the tales about Baron Münchhausen. The film combines animation with live-action and is heavily stylised.

Plot

The film begins with footsteps leading to a pond. The camera continually moves upwards to show the flight of butterflies, birds, and a progression of historical aircraft ending with a rocketship travelling through space and landing on the moon.

The astronaut/cosmonaut leaves his spacecraft and sights other footsteps on the moon leading him to an old phonograph, then a crashed rocket with a plaque reading Jules Verne's From the Earth to the Moon. Taken to a dinner table, the surprised space traveller meets the characters from Verne's book and Baron Münchhausen. Inviting him to their table, the characters believe that the cosmonaut is a man actually from the moon, and kindly treat him as a small child.

The Baron decides to take him to Earth in a fanciful airship held up by a herd of winged horses. The Baron dresses the spaceman, called "Joey" in the English dubbed version and "Tonik" in the original Czech, in 18th Century costume where they land in 18th Century Turkey. Speaking in an unintelligible voice that he calls the "language of diplomacy" the Baron presents Joey to the Sultan. However Joey's lack of knowledge of diplomatic protocal and his falling in love with Princess Bianca, a damsel in distress held prisoner by the Sultan leads to a series of romantic and fanciful adventures that transform the modern scientific space traveller into a hero rivalling the Baron.

Among the exciting and satiric adventures are sword and sea battles with the Turks, being swallowed by a giant fish, and ending the conflict between two warring kingdoms.

Cast

  • Miloš Kopecký as Baron Münchhausen
  • Rudolf Jelínek as Tonik
  • Jana Brejchová as Princess Bianca
  • Karel Höger as Cyrano de Bergerac
  • Naděžda Blažíčková as Court Dancer
  • Karel Effa as Adjutant
  • Josef Hlinomaz as Spanish General
  • Zdeněk Hodr as Nicole
  • Miroslav Holub as Enemy General
  • Miroslav Homola as Chess Player
  • Rudolf Hrušínský as The Sultan
  • Eduard Kohout as General Ellemerle
  • Otto Šimánek as Ardan
  • František Šlégr as Pirate Captain
  • Václav Trégl as Sailor
  • Jan Werich as Ship's Captain
  • Bohuš Záhorský as Admiral
  • Richard Zahorsky as Barbicain

External links

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