Scene from the film The Fabulous Baron Munchausen
Scene from the film The Fabulous Baron Munchausen
Scene from the film The Fabulous Baron Munchausen
Scene from the film The Fabulous Baron Munchausen
Scene from the film The Fabulous Baron Munchausen
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The Fabulous Baron Munchausen

  • Czech Republic
Audio Tracks 

In his unique treatment of the famous book by Gottfried August Bürger, Zeman was inspired by the engravings of one of the most important illustrators of the 19th century, Gustave Doré. Filming the action in black and white, the director then used heavy tinting with different colors to symbolize the changing moods and surprising twist of the story. The fantastical adventure of Baron Munchausen brings his fabulous tales to life, intertwined with the love story of a modern adventurer, Tony, who becomes the Baron’s rival in love. This film won many international prizes, in Cannes and Locarno, as well as at many other festivals. The American director Terry Gilliam in on record as saying that Zeman’s film was the initial inspiration for his own version of the story.

Tony, a modern astronaut, lands on the moon, where he meets a peculiar party of gentlemen. This includes Cyrano de Bergerac, the heroes of Jules Verne’s Voyage to the Moon, but above all the blustering Baron Munchausen. All warmly welcome him with a glass of wine and want to know if this “Moon-man” knows of the magic of life on Earth. Baron Munchausen then takes Tony with him back to Turkey, where they free the charming princess Bianca from the captivity of the malicious sultan. The boastful baron tries to charm her and thus plunges them into crazy adventures; they find themselves in the belly of a whale; he flies in the claws of a Roc, swims underwater on a seahorse, and is taken into the midst of battle riding on a cannon ball. In the course of these fantastic adventures Bianca becomes enchanted by the boldness of the dreamer Tony and together they end up back where the story began – on the pale Moon, which belongs not only to poets and fantasists, but also to lovers.

The film The Fabulous Baron Munchausen has been restored thanks to the project Čistíme svět fantazie / Restoring the World of Fantasy, which is a joint project of the Czech Film Foundation, the Karel Zeman Museum and Czech Television.

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  • Original title
    Baron Prášil
  • Direction
  • Screenplay
    Karel Zeman, Josef Kainar
  • Cast
    Miloš Kopecký, Jana Brejchová, Rudolf Jelínek, Karel Höger, Jan Werich, Rudolf Hrušínský a další
  • DOP
    Jiří Tarantík
  • Music
    Zdeněk Liška
  • Duration
    85 min (46-90 min.)
  • Year
  • Country
    • Czech Republic
  • Colour
    • Colour
  • Distribution
  • Awards
    • 15th IFF Locarno (1962) - Second Grand Prix, Silver Sail
    • Reseňa Mundial de los Festivales Cinematograficos a la Pelicula El Baron de la Castaňa Premiada en el Festival de Locarno (1962) (Acapulco, Mexico)
    • International Technical Competition Award at the UNIATEC International Technical Congress in Moscow (1962) - First Prize
    • International Film Week Vienna (1962) - FIPRESCI Honorary Diploma
    • London Film Festival (1962) - Honorary Diploma
    • 13th FFP - Individual Prize for the Director and Composer Zdeněk Liška (1962)
    • 4th Košice Festival of Czechoslovak films (1962)
    • 8th Bordighera International Film Festival (1963) - Golden Palm (Parmurelu d‘Oru)
    • 3rd Boston IFF - International Jury Prize (1963) - Silver Bowl by Paul Revers
    • 4th Cannes International Film Festival (1964) - Grand Prix in the category Film Feature is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

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