Baron Munchhausen (1943)

Article #827 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 6-20-2003
Posting Date: 11-17-2003
Directed by Josef von Baky
Featuring Hans Albers, Wilhelm Bendow, Brigitte Horney

A recounting of the the adventures of the greatest of all liars, Baron Heironymus Munchhausen

Title check: Well, what else would you call it?

Baron Munchhausen is such a colorful character that he should make a natural choice for the subject of a movie. However, I can’t help but feeling a little disappointed by this one; despite the fact that a lot of care and effort went into it, I found it a bit sluggishly paced at times, and not quite as wild as the story should be. It’s not for kids; there’s some nudity in the film, and Munchhausen definitely shouldn’t be considered a role model, no matter what his charms are. It really turns into a full-blown fantasy near the end, when he finally makes it to the moon, and it’s also here that the movie becomes unexpectedly moving as he comes to realize the price of eternal youth (which he gains during the course of the story). Up to that point, the fantasy elements seem slightly out of place with the basic period adventure format of the rest of the story. Overall, it’s interesting, ambitious, sometimes surprising, but not quite up to the level that it should be.


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