Munchhausen | Chicago Reader


Commissioned by Joseph Goebbels to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Ufa, the German state film studios, Joseph von Baky's 1943 film is an immense, entertaining, and ultimately disturbing epic fantasy. Hans Albers, the most popular actor of the Nazi period, stars as the legendary Baron Munchhausen, an 18th-century rogue whose adventures take him through some wildly stylized studio representations of Moscow, Constantinople, Venice, and the moon—all registered in radiant Agfacolor. The film contains no overt propaganda—it doesn't have to, because the ideology of the genre is already a perfect match for Goebbels's ends. Raiders of the Lost Ark is only a hairbreadth away. In German with subtitles. 134 min.

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