The Adventures of Baron Munchausen

1988 film by Terry Gilliam

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen is a 1988 film about Baron Munchausen's supposed travels and fantastical experiences with his band of misfits.

Directed by Terry Gilliam. Written by Charles McKeown and Terry Gilliam.
Bull. He was full of it. (taglines)

Baron Munchausen

  • Reality? Your "reality", sir, is lies and balderdash, and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever.
  • And that was only one of the many occasions on which I met my death, an experience which I never hesitate strongly to recommend.
  • Trust me, madam. Your underwear is in good hands.
  • I have learned from experience that a modicum of snuff can be most efficacious.
  • Everyone who had a talent for it lived happily ever after.


  • The King of the Moon: Cogito ergo est. I think, therefore you is.
  • Berthold: Is there a doctor in the fish?


Horatio Jackson: Six enemy cannon and rescuing...
Functionary: Ten.
Horatio Jackson: Ten of our men held captive by The Turk.
Heroic Officer: Yes, sir.
Horatio Jackson: The officer about whom we've heard so much.
Heroic Officer: I suppose so, sir.
Horatio Jackson: Always taking risks far beyond the call of duty.
Heroic Officer: I only did my best, sir.
Horatio Jackson: Have him executed at once.
Soldier: Yes, sir. Come along.
Horatio Jackson: This sort of behavior is demoralizing for the ordinary soldiers and citizens who are trying to lead normal, simple, unexceptional lives. I think things are difficult enough as it is without these emotional people rocking the boat.

Baron Munchausen: The Sultan is going to cut off my head.
Adolphus: And?
Baron Muchausen: "And"?!

Horatio Jackson: We've discussed it. You surrender.
Sultan: But we're winning!
Horatio Jackson: We surrendered last time! Now, it's your turn.
Sultan: What about the virgins?
Horatio Jackson: Oh, please forget about the virgins. We're fresh out of virgins.

Sultan: Have you any famous last words?
Baron Munchausen: Not yet.
Sultan: "Not yet?" Is that so famous?

Baron Munchausen: I'm Baron Munchausen!
Berthold: That sounds nasty. Is it contagious?

Baron Munchausen: Come on, Berthold.
Baron Munchausen: You're coming with us.
Berthold: No chance!
Baron Munchausen: Why not?
Berthold: I can't remember.
Baron Munchausen: You're not frightened, are you?
Berthold: That's it!

Berthold: Hang on. Hang on! It's all coming back. I've-I've been stuck here for over twenty years, ever since you were last here on the moon. You abandoned me here! You swine! You toddled off with that old queen of tarts and left me to rot in that parrot cage, didn't you? And now you come back here, just because it suits you, after wasting half my life and expect me to follow you to the ends of the earth!
Baron Munchausen: Yes.
Berthold: All right.

Sally: Are you all right?
Baron Munchausen: Am I dead?
Sally: No.
Baron Munchausen: Blast!
Sally: Who are you really?
[Baron Munchausen groans]
Sally: Baron Munchausen isn't real, he's only in stories.
Baron Munchausen: Go away! I'm trying to die!
Sally: Why?
Baron Munchausen: Because I'm tired of the world and the world is evidently tired of me.
Sally: But why? Why?
Baron Munchausen: Why, why, why! Because it's all logic and reason now. Science, progress, laws of hydraulics, laws of social dynamics, laws of this, that, and the other. No place for three-legged cyclops in the South Seas. No place for cucumber trees and oceans of wine. No place for me.

Baron Munchausen: What's this?
Vulcan: Oh, this is our prototype. RX, uh, Intercontinental, radar-sneaky, multi-warheaded nuclear missile.
Baron Munchausen: Ah! What does it do?
Vulcan: Do? Kills the enemy.
Baron Munchausen: All the enemy?
Vulcan: Aye, all of them. All their wives, and all their children, and all their sheep, and all their cattle, and all their cats and dogs. All of them. All of them gone for good.
Sally: That's horrible.
Vulcan: Ahh. Well, you see, the advantage is you don't have to see one single one of them die. You just sit comfortably thousands of miles away from the battlefield and simply press the button.
Berthold: Well, where's the fun in that?

Horatio Jackson: [upon confronting the Baron and his reunited crew after he finishes his story] Stop this nonsense at once! You, sir, are under arrest for spreading your ridiculous tales at a time of great danger!

About The Adventures of Baron Munchausen

  • The negative stories about the shoot that were turning up in the Hollywood press were coming, we found out later, from a source at Film Finances – which was the completion bond company on the film. Their lawyer was a guy named Steve Ransohoff, whose father was Martin Ransohoff – who was Ray Stark's friend and partner. [...] I thought it was quite extraordinary, because the stories were doing two things – they were making me and the whole project look like it was completely out of control and all my fault, and that Film Finance, the completion guarantors, were the only thing holding it together – the people trying to bring control to it... the fact was, they were absolutely useless.
The ultimate fact was that when the film was ultimately released, there were only 117 prints made for America – so it was never really released. 117 prints! art film gets 400. We were ultimately the victim of Columbia Tri-Star being sold to Sony, because at that time all they were doing was trying to get the books looking as good as possible. We weren't the only film that suffered, but we were the most visible one. And what happened – to complete the story in a neat and tidy way – was that they were not spending any money on advertising to promote any of the movies started by the previous regime – by Putnam's regime. They were burying films left right and center by spending no money on them – and the books looked really good at the end of that.
The joke is, if you look back, we got the best reviews and we were doing the best business in the opening weeks of any film they had released since Last Emperor. We actually opened well in the big cities – we opened really well. A friend who had bought the video rights said he had never seen anything so weird – Columbia was spending their whole time looking at exit polls to prove the film would not work in the suburbs, and so it would be pointless to make any more prints. He said, "I've never seen anything like this." There it was. Then it becomes this kind of legend – which it deserves to be... even if it's the wrong legend
  • Terry Gilliam Plume, Kenneth (November 17, 2000). "Interview with Terry Gilliam (Part 3 of 4)". IGN.
  • The adults who should have been there to protect me were my parents, not you…[but] you can’t underestimate how in awe of you people like them can be. They didn’t want to be an annoyance or an inconvenience to anyone, and it must have been daunting to imagine holding up 100 people for your kid.


  • Remarkable. Unbelievable. Impossible. And true.
  • Adventure, Comedy, Romance. He was full of it.
  • A true story. We've got the film to prove it.
  • Bull. He was full of it.
  • From the director of "Time Bandits" and "Brazil" a new movie full of NOISE...FLYING OBJECTS...SEAFOOD...CELEBRITIES...COMPASSION...TRAVEL...HONOR...GRAVITY...BULL...he was full of it. The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.