It’s time to rewrite the book on Terry Gilliam’s “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.” This 1988 film has long been considered a footnote in Hollywood history, an extraordinary financial boondoggle that went millions over budget and was shut down by a bond company before landing with a resounding thud in the handful of theaters that showed it. If it’s remembered at all, it’s for Uma Thurman’s brief, nude appearance, rising from the sea as Venus on the half shell.
Now that it’s been released in a special 20th-anniversary DVD by Sony Pictures, it is clear that “Baron Munchausen” is one of the most visionary and accomplished movies of the 1980s. The third in Mr. Gilliam’s trilogy that covered childhood (“Time Bandits”), middle age (“Brazil”), and finally old age (“Munchausen”), it tells the story of a city under siege by invading Turks. In the midst of the bombardment, a troop of actors performs a stage version of “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen,” which is interrupted by the real Baron Munchausen, who insists that only he can end the war since he started it when he stole the Sultan’s treasury during a wager.
more from the NY Sun here.