The Adventures of Baron Munchausen was a film released in 1988 and directed by former Monty Python star, Terry Gilliam. The film followed the titular Baron on his adventures and was a blast. At the time it wasn’t particularly well received but it’s gone on to garner something of a cult following.
The film had a great cast, and if you go back and watch it now you’ll see just how much imagination went in to this film and how enjoyable it is. Join us as we take a look back at the film with some facts you probably didn’t know…
1. It was the final part of an unofficial trilogy
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen is seen as the final part of an unofficial trilogy of films from director Terry Gilliam, the others being Time Bandits and Brazil.
2. The trilogy formed stages of life
The three films seemingly represent the three stages of man with youth, middle age and the elderly represented in each one.
3. One star even appeared in all three
As if to back up the fact that the films are interconnected in a way, one star appeared in all three with Jack Purvis playing starring as Wally, Sr. Chapman and Gustavus in the three films respectively.
4. This was one major star’s first role
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen saw Uma Thurman cast in her first role as Venus, the new star would go on to appear in some major productions including Kill Bill and Pulp Fiction.
5. It wasn’t the first time Thurman was seen though
In spite of this being Uma Thurman’s first role it was not the first time she was seen on screens as The adventures of Baron Munchausen was plagued by delays and so some of her other work hit screens first!
6. This was a different turn for the main star
The main star of the film, John Neville, was far more well known as a stage actor and so it was quite unusual to see him in a starring turn on film!
7. The director helped
One of the big reasons that John Neville agreed to the role was that he was a massive Monty Python fan and so with Terry Gilliam at the helm it was a sure-thing for him to accept when offered the role.
8. His make-up made things difficult
Part of the Baron Munchausen make-up was a large prosthetic nose, and this made things like reading and eating very difficult for John Neville when he was made up.
9. One star really struggled
The actress who played Sally Salt in the film, Sarah Polley, found the film very difficult to make and did not enjoy the production at all.
10. She found it very upsetting
Sarah Polley went on to say that the film left her with scars, and that the experience was traumatic as explosions were going off all over and she was left in freezing cold water for hours on end. Even if there is no danger, it sometimes feels like there is to a young child and that’s how she felt!
11. One major star did the studio a big favour
Robin Williams appears in the film as the King of the Moon and was a last-minute casting after the budget ran out, he agreed to do the role unpaid and uncredited!
12. That’s why the credits say what they do
In the credits, it says the King of the Moon was played by Ray D. Tutto which is the English translation of the Italian “Re di Tutto” which means “King of everything” which is how the character introduces himself to the Baron.
Are you a fan of The Adventures of Baron Munchausen and Terry Gilliam’s work in general? Or do you find the humour a little too bizarre to get to grips with? Let us know all of your thoughts in the comments as always!