Baron Műnchhausen

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1961

Production year

1959—1961

Premiere

21 September 1962

Runtime

80 min

Director

Karel Zeman

Category

film

Genre

adventure, fantastic, special effects

Typology

featuretheatrical distributionlong

Original title

Baron Prášil

Czech title

Baron Prášil

English title

Baron Műnchhausen

Summary

It was German author Gottfried August Bürger’s 1786 literary work that inspired film director Karel Zeman to write the script for Baron Prášil (Baron Műnchhausen) together with poet Josef Kainar, before he turned to directing it. The science-fiction motif (featuring the landing of astronaut Toník on the Moon) of the poetic adventure film is, on the one hand, rather unusual for Zeman, but on the other it becomes diluted in the subsequent avalanche of the baron’s highly imaginative storytelling. The legendary Baron Prášil (gracefully depicted by Miloš Kopecký) takes the “Moon-dweller” on a tour of his world that involves countless romantic adventures, including the encountering of beautiful princess Bianca, played by Jana Brejchová. Zeman and his team drew much of their visual inspiration for Baron Műnchhausen from engravings by French printmaker, illustrator and sculptor Gustave Doré. The film remains popular with audiences not only for the brilliant and imaginative technical skill manifested throughout, but also thanks to a considerable list of popular actors in supporting roles.

Synopsis

On the Moon, cosmonaut Toník meets those who have visited this fellow-traveller of the Earth long before: Cyrano de Bergerac, Baron Münchhausen and Verne's cosmonauts Nicholl, Barbican and Ardan. They all consider Toník, clad in a space suit, to be a native of the Moon. Baron Münchhausen therefore invites him to visit the Earth. The mythical Pegasus carries them to Constantinople, where together they save the beautiful captive, Princess Bianca, and both fall in love with her. In their escape from the Sultan, they must overcome many dangers: jumping from a rock into the sea, fighting with the Dutch against the overwhelming superior forces of the Turkish flotilla, withstanding the innards of a whale which swallows them along with their boat. They are freed by the harpoon of a whale hunter, but the adventure is far from over. They still have to get away from an abandoned island, where Toník unsuccessfully attempts to build a steam boat. Eventually, a Dutch boat takes them to a besieged fortress. Münchhausen flies to the enemy on a cannon ball and acquires valuable information. Toník gets hold of the gun-powder which is to help them fly into outer space. He is arrested for the theft, but Princess Bianca, who loves him, sets him free. Then comes Münchhausen's turn - he throws a lit candle into the well full of gun-powder. The subsequent explosion flings the Baron, seated in an arm-chair, Toník and Bianca to the sky. They all happily get back to the Moon where they are welcomed by Cyrano and the rest of the gentlemen.

Note

The visual side of the film was inspired by the engravings of the French painter and graphic artist Gustav Doré which illustrated the original edition of Bürger's novel. In the National FIlm Archive unused shots survived in the form of duplicate negative Orwo (black and white, 2 626,8 m).

Cast

Miloš Kopecký

baron Prášil

Jana Brejchová

princezna Bianca di Castelo Negro

Rudolf Jelínek

astronaut Toník

Karel Höger

básník Cyrano z Bergeracu

Jan Werich

kapitán holandské lodi

Eduard Kohout

generál Elemele, velitel pevnosti

Karel Effa

důstojník pevnostní stráže

Naděžda Blažíčková

tanečnice ze sultánova harému

František Šlégr

španělský námořník

Josef Hlinomaz

harpunář-trosečník

Zdeněk Hodr

Voice by Josef Langmiler
kapitán Nicholl

Richard Záhorský

Impey Barbicane, předseda dělového klubu

Otto Šimánek

vzduchoplavec Michel Ardan

Jan Libíček

vrchní eunuch Hadži Baban

Jarka Pižla

námořník

Miloslav Holub

velitel nepřátelského vojska

Miroslav Homola

hráč šachů

Vítězslav Černý

hráč šachů

Ladislav Gzela

námořník na holandské lodi

Antonín Soukup

Voice by Oldřich Musil
voják v pevnosti

Commentary

Crew and creators

Director

Karel Zeman

Second Unit Director

Zdeněk Rozkopal, Jan Mimra

Screenstory

Karel Zeman

Based on

Gottfried Bürger (Baron Prášil /Baron Münchhausen/ – novela)

Screenplay

Karel Zeman, Josef Kainar (dialogy), Jiří Brdečka (vyprávění)

Commentary by

Jiří Brdečka

Shooting Script

Karel Zeman

Director of Photography

Jiří Tarantík

Second Unit Photography

Bohuslav Pikhart

Camera Operator

Arne Parduba, Emil Bártek, Miroslav Sinkule

Production Designer

Zdeněk Rozkopal

Assistent Production Designer

Leoš Karen, Bohumil Pokorný

Art Director

Karel Zeman

Set Designer

Josef Pavlík, Vilém Janlík, Marie Smržová

Costume Designer

Lída Novotná

Film Editor

Věra Kutilová

Animation

Arnošt Kupčík, Jindřich Liška, František Krčmář

Special Effects

Zdeněk Ostrčil (scény), Josef Zeman (scény), Jiří Tarantík (kamera), Bohuslav Pikhart (druhý kameraman), Antonín Buráň (asistent), Marie Smržová (asistentka), J. Čepel (asistent), V. Soukup (asistent), R. Wölfel (asistent), J. Čep (spolupráce), M. Jakubíček (spolupráce), O. Líbal (spolupráce), B. Smejkal (spolupráce)

Production Manager

Josef Ouzký

Unit Production Manager

Jiří Kutil

Background Painter

Ferdinand Martinásek (malíř pozadí)

Consultant

Jan Čep (2)

Cooperation

Jaroslav Skála (fotograf), Antonín Stránský (fotograf)

Music

Music Composed by

Zdeněk Liška

Music Performed by

FISYO (Music Conducted by František Belfín)

Choreographer

Jiří Němeček

Locations

Zlín /dříve Gottwaldov/, Kudlov (Zlín /dříve Gottwaldov/), přehrada Fryšták (Zlín /dříve Gottwaldov/), okolí (Zlín /dříve Gottwaldov/)

Production info

Original Title

Baron Prášil

Czech Title

Baron Prášil

English Title

Baron Műnchhausen

Category

film

Typology

featuretheatrical distribution

Genre

adventure, fantastic, special effects

Origin country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1961

Production Year

1959—1961

Production specifications

start of filming 1 September 1959
technical Screenplay approved 16 September 1959
end of filming 17 December 1961
projection approval 22 December 1961

Premiere

preview 31 August 1962 (kino Sevastopol /1 týden/, Praha)
premiere 7 September 1962 /suitable for youths/ (kina Lucerna /4 týdny/, Flora /1 týden od 21. 9./ a Dukla /1 týden od 28. 9./, Praha)
premiere 21 September 1962 /suitable for youths/ (celostátní)
renewed premiere 1 August 2016 /suitable for all ages without limit/

Copyright Holders

Národní filmový archiv

Distribution

Ústřední půjčovna filmů (původní 1962), Asociace českých filmových klubů (obnovená 2016; monopol do 31. 12. 2017)

Technical info

Duration typology

feature film

Duration in minutes

80 min

Original length in metres

2 279 meters

Distribution carrier

16mm, 35mm, DCP 2-D, BRD

Aspect ratio

1:1,37

Colour

colour

Sound

sound

Sound system/format

mono

Versions

Czech

Dialogue languages

Czech

Subtitles languages

without subtitles

Opening/End credits languages

Czech

Awards

Vítěz

Event: 4. mezinárodní setkání filmů pro mládež Cannes

1964
Cannes / France

Vítěz

Festival: 8. mezinárodní festival veseloherních filmů Bordighera

1963
Bordighera / Italy
Karel Zeman

Vítěz

Festival: 3. mezinárodní festival Boston

1963
Boston / United States of America

Vítěz

Exhibition: Mezinárodní filmový týden Vídeň

1962
Vídeň / Austria

Vítěz

Festival: 6. filmový festival Londýn

1962
Londýn / Great Britain

Vítěz

Festival: 4. festival českých a slovenských filmů Košice

1962
Košice / Czechoslovakia

Vítěz

Event: 3. mezinárodní soutěž o technickou filmovou cenu při zasedání V. mezinárodního kongresu Mezinárodní unie filmových technických sdružení Moskva

1962
Moskva / Russia

Vítěz

Exhibition: 5. světová přehlídka vítězných festivalových filmů Acapulco

1962
Acapulco / Mexico
Karel Zeman

Vítěz

Festival: 13. filmový festival pracujících

1962
25 měst / Czechoslovakia
Zdeněk Liška

Vítěz

Festival: 15. mezinárodní filmový festival Locarno

1962
Locarno / Switzerland

Vítěz

Festival: 13. filmový festival pracujících

1962
25 měst / Czechoslovakia
Karel Zeman