The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1943) Script

Music GEORG HAENTZSCHEL Cinematography WERNER KRIEN Special Effects KONSTANTIN IRMEN-TSCHET Production Design EMIL HASLER and OTTO GÜLSTORFF Baron Münchhausen HANS ALBERS


Produced by EBERHARD SCHMIDT

Directed by JOSEF von BAKY IN CELEBRATION OF UFA'S 25TH ANNIVERSARY


Delightful!

I had no idea my fiancée could dance so beautifully.

I didn't even know myself.

Then there's only one explanation, Sophie... your partner.

Follow my glowing example, Herr von Hartenfeld.

Dance on, and don't look back. But you were about to tell me...

Later, my friend.

You should be dancing too, Baroness.

Birthday girls at my age can pass if they like.

But it's nice that old ladies get to be girls again once a year.

Birthday girls.

An enchanting man, this baron.

I thought you would like him, too.

Sophie, what is it?

I don't know, Fritz.

Don't make such a stupid face.

As your fiancé, I really...

Not even a fiancé may make such a face.

A husband barely has that right.

If I'm not mistaken, that was a rehearsal for a domestic squabble.

Seems that way to me, too, Alvensleben.

Unfortunately, I don't have the slightest idea why.

You've been sent over here... and now you're thinking in that little ivory brain of yours...

"There's the target." Wrong, my friend.

You were only sent here so that... by this circuitous route, you will finally hit the ball... that you were so close to at the very beginning.

So much for the meaning of life. Have a nice trip!

There is, however, one difference:

If one fails at billiards, one can keep trying until one succeeds.

I'm the red ball.

I win!

What's all this about? Me.

And you.

You stand there like Eve with the apple.

But I'd be wary of biting into billiard balls.

Come, my child. I'm not a child.

Come, young lady.

I don't want to go back in the hall.

It was a game played by three.

Is it my fault I met him... before I met you?

Up until today, I've never refused to make girls who wanted to be happy... unhappy.

Do you mean as of today you've lost your resolve?

You little vixen.

Yes, as of today.

Where are you going?

Away. Home.

What about Baron von Hartenfeld?

Please turn on the light.

Till we meet again. Absolutely!


Johann.

Have you ever seen a man who was completely grown up?

I don't remember, Baron. Neither do I.

Perhaps one day we will.


It was an enchanting party, Baroness. I'm so glad.

Strangers' birthdays are always nice.

But nicest ofall... is having a Münchhausen back at Bodenwerder Castle.

To good neighbours.

It must be a nice feeling to return to the castle of your forefathers.

A very nice feeling.

You're already familiar with the gallery of miniatures?

Oh, yes! Even as a little boy, I was fascinated with the ladies on the wall.

I had to climb up on a chair.

It must have been this one.

The old Münchhausen was my childhood dream.

I grew up a half hour's walk from here.

I had to bribe the old groundskeeper to let me in.

As I grew, so did my passion for Münchhausen.

Perusing the history of Northern Germany...

I have conclusively proven... that this charming lady is a French singer... by the name of Louise La Tour.

Now all that's missing is a master's thesis on poor Münchhausen.

I'm sorry to say that's impossible. Too little is known about him.

There wouldn't be enough for a thesis.

What a pity.

Baron, you mentioned you had one of your ancestor's diaries.

Had.

But I'm sure you must still remember a thing or two.

Most everything.

I'll tell you sometime. Now!

No, your fiancée isn't here. Of course.

Where are you going? To get my fiancée.

Miss von Riedesel has already gone home. At a time like this!

You should inquire at Steding whether your fiancée arrived home safely.

Of course, Baroness.

And the story? I'll tell you another time.

Tomorrow? Sometime soon.

The day after tomorrow? Sometime soon.

This was wonderful.

A Münchhausen scholar.

You shouldn't tell him the story.

And don't tell her, either.

I will tell the story.

"The Fantastic Voyages and Adventures of Baron von Münchhausen"

Everyone knows about him riding the cannonball... and the horse hanging from the church tower... and the steed sliced in two at the well, and so on.

Some even know that the man really lived... that he was born in this very castle... that he was a page in Wolfenbüttel and a cavalryman in Brunswick... and that he later served as an officer in Russia.

Everybody knows about him, but no one really knows him.

No one can answer the question: What kind of man was Münchhausen?

And you know?

He was a man like Copernicus.

Copernicus?

We learn in school that this lovely Earth of ours is round.

We learn it and we know it.

But we don't feel it.

Furthermore we learned... that the Earth moves through space, spinning around and circling the sun.

We learn it and we know it.

But do we really know it? No.

The intellect knows it.

But our hearts don't know it at all.

Only someone who feels it in his bones when he rides in the woods... or battles an enemy... or embraces a woman... or plucks a delicate flower... only he who feels deep within that everything here... is taking place on one little star out of countless millions... on a tiny, eternally orbiting globe... on a carousel ride around a glowing sun... through the beautiful seasons and the dreadful centuries... only someone who senses this at every moment... is truly human.

The rest are just mammals walking around on two legs.

Münchhausen was such a man.

The Earth was too small for him. How could Brunswick be big enough?

Hewas driven on, as if lashed by a whip.

With his trusted servant Kuchenreutter he trotted the globe.

And sometimes, after exciting adventures in strange lands... he came back to Bodenwerder, this little town in Lower Saxony.


Greetings, Father.

You could have waited until I was dead to return... and spared me all this agitation. Come!

So many new faces.

Keep your hands off the new faces!

With pleasure!

Praise God with fifes and drums! Back home at last!

Kuchenreutter, how skinny you are!

One, two, three, four.

Who's this?

Amalie Friederike Kuchenreutter.

Amalie Friederike?

A little souvenir of your last visit.

How time flies.

In the Palais Royal, I broke the bank twice... once playing roulette and again at faro.

You must be a rich man.

Well, there should still be 100 louis d'or hidden in the saddle bags... if I haven't spent it.

I'm sure you have.

In Versailles your son was introduced to the king... and even to Madame Pompadour. Where is she?

Is that Pompadour?

No, that's a memory from Fontainebleau.

A very lovely memory.

At least until the tears started.

What can you do when love departs as quickly as it comes?

Not a thing, my boy.

There are just too many beautiful women.

It's their own fault.

All done, Christian.

Done?

If my family wants to stroke my cheek, they'll scratch their hands.

Rosenmeyer, do you know Jean Boiteil? Who?

The most famous hairdresser in Paris. He invented a fine ointment.

Rub it in... and in the wink of an eye your hair grows at least two inches.

You lie like the baron.


You won't find a sharper razor, not even in Paris.

Ernst August!

That's all well and good... but it's up to you to keep the family name alive.

Have you ever thought about that?

Constantly. Day and night.

If it's any solace, especially at night.

You do have a magnificent collection of grandchildren.

It's just that none of the rascals is named Münchhausen.

What's that?

Mangy cur!

This is one of Christian's inventions.

It can shoot over 100 miles.

And hit the mark? Of course.

He just nailed the throat of a sparrow perched on the Strasbourg cathedral.

Unbelievable.

Baron. What is it, Christian?

Nero the dog has gone mad. My jacket is in shreds.

Beware of the dog that has not yet bitten you.

Yes, I would not be so repairable. You think not?

This tops it all!

That's one hell of a fire stick.

I can even see a rider across the river.

A courier from the court at Brunswick.

Kuchenreutter, tell me how in the world you invented this cannon.

It was all out of laziness, wasn't it?

Laziness is the mother of invention.

Others who want to hunt have to go into the woods.

I stand at an open window in the comfort of my home... and aim toward the forest.

A stag!

And your gamekeeper hiding behind a tree.

He's lifting his gun.

Shoot!

He was more than a bit surprised. Did you really hit it?

Easily, Baron. Easily, my eye.

It'll be a cold day in hell before I hunt that way.

The whole wardrobe has rabies!

Get your guns!


A letter from Prince Anton Ulrich for Baron von Münchhausen.

Thank you.

My greetings to the prince. I ride in five minutes.

Sorry, Father. I have to go to Brunswick.

The prince urgently requests my presence.

Don't delay, my boy.

You've already been home a full three hours.

Poor Christian.

You surely wanted to greet your wife properly tonight.

Orders are orders. Exactly.

Follow me tomorrow morning. I'll ride alone.

Hey! You there!

Greetings, Louise. Hieronymus.

What are you doing in Brunswick, of all people?

I was too successful in Brussels, though not in the opera.

But on the stage of life, of course.

How many duels took place in your honor?

If you would only visit me, one could easily be arranged.

Pity I have so little time.

For a duel... or for me?

Don't look!

You'll catch cold.

Coachman, drive on.

What an ice-cold minx!

Where other women have a heart, she has only cleavage. Right, Iosens?

Now, off to the prince.

Finally, Baron.

I came as quickly as I could, my prince.

The czarina has offered me the Preobashevsky regiment.

Congratulations. Thank you.

So why waste time? I ride tomorrow.

Like to come along, Baron? I'll get you a captain's commission.

I hoped to spend some time with my father.

Of course. Pity. How is he?

One more thing: I need your help.

There is a lady whom I'd like to take to St. Petersburg.

That wouldn't be Louise La Tour? Why, yes. Do you know her?

I knew her.

Prince, that is no woman for you.

I know. She's a terrible person.

And I love her.

But I have to go to St. Petersburg and she must come with me.

Is the baron satisfied?

Fabulous.

Yesterday we were not taken care of so well.

Excuse me. More guests.

Does that creepy scoundrel always have to cross our path?

Leave him be. How could the suckers of the world get by without him?

He lends them great imagination.

At exorbitant rates, of course.

Anyway, he's not really a nobleman.

You have a low opinion of me, Baron.

No, I wasn't listening in, blockhead.

And if you ever call me a scoundrel again...

Leave us alone.

Well?


I heard yesterday you were off to Russia.

I got in my sleigh and chased after you.

Why go to such lengths, Count Cagliostro?

That's a long story.

The wolves were going wild.

Snow is the best thing for frostbite.

I thought maybe some music would calm them.

I grabbed my horn and blew, but only one note came out.

Maybe the notes got frozen in the horn.

They'll certainly thaw out by the stove.

Quiet!


Biron's son wants to marry a certain lady... just to hang on to the throne.

I know her and her lovely daughters.

You should beat him to it.

Relations are always good for business.

Why not become the Duke ofCourland yourself?

It would never work.

My face is so well-known from wanted posters throughout all of Europe... that no one would ever stamp it on coins.

Your profile would be much more suitable.

Once we have Courland, we'll pluck Poland.

Poniatovsky, who calls himself Stanislaus II, is ripe for the plucking.

Then we shall be king.

Hieronymus the First. Cheers!

There's one point on which you and I will never agree: and that is the central point:

You want to rule, and I want to live.

Adventure, war, foreign lands, beautiful women...

I need all that and use it.

But you abuse it.

Mittau.

Courland.

Poland.

St. Petersburg.


They're bringing him.


My dear, who's the wild man?

That's Pugachev, Captain. Who's he?

The Yaik Cossacks staged an uprising... because they were ordered to shave off their beards.

He's their leader.

They defeated our armies and conquered Orenburg... and now they're headed for Moscow.

Pugachev even claimed to be Czar Peter!

Even though Catherine had her dear husband murdered by the Orlovs.

That's just gossip.

A castle.

A pair of castles!

Keep a steady hand with the young fillies.

Take me away from here, Captain.

Gladly, my dear.

May I ask where?

May I ask where?

"Always, your Louise."

And you think that La Tour is coming because of you?

She doesn't know a soul in St. Petersburg.

She'll remedy that in a hurry.

Sometimes you must even trust the woman you love.

Now put on your dress uniform, and hurry.

Why?

The czarina asked me to invite you to dinner at the Hermitage.

I'm afraid I can't go, Prince. What?

No time for me yesterday, and no time today, even for an empress?

Not even for an empress.

Tell Her Majesty I have the mumps.

Isn't there a waiter in this hotel?

I didn't mean to... What?

The waiters needn't know you'll be dining in your bed chamber.

It's a bit late to start worrying about my reputation now.

They don't know us yet in St. Petersburg.

A note. The messenger is waiting. Thank you.

"I can't come this evening.

You come to me instead. The messenger will lead you.

Love, Cathy. "

Tell the messenger to wait. I'm coming.

A shame about the fine dinner.

Christian, I hereby order you to dine with the little lady.

Yes, sir.

Don't forget: They don't know us yet in St. Petersburg.


I know there are complaints in the government about my extravagance.

But this alleged extravagance is actually thriftiness.

It all stays within my borders and comes back to me sooner or later.

I will order our finance minister to come to St. Petersburg... to take lessons from Your Majesty.

And what will Your Majesty do about the Swedish affair?

I hope there will not be a war.

But when it comes to blows, it is better to give than to receive.

Imperial words, Your Majesty.

I will forward them via London to Stockholm.

They do Your Majesty injustice by calling you czarina.

They should call you czar instead.

Do you know where she was last night?

The aide-de-camp told me she wasn't back until 6:00 this morning.

She's seeking a little variety... and finding it.

Gentlemen, I would not speak so ill ofthe empress.

Count Lanskoy, you have every reason to be jealous.

But preaching morality to us is going too far.

There's cake yet to come.


Are you sure you weren't mistaken about the address?


Those around us should be happy to relieve us ofthat burden.

Hurry, gentlemen, or else my Russians... will eat the whole cake out from under your noses.


Aren't you going to bow?

Lower! On your knees!

There you go, Captain.

The Prince of Brunswick led me to believe...

You can get up now. that you had more important things to do than wait upon an empress.

I expressed that unforgivable opinion... before I had met the empress of Russia.

Liar!

But even empresses are curious:

Am I keeping you from a tryst with a beautiful woman?

Yes, the most beautiful ofwomen.

I am inconsolable.

How can I make it up to you?

Who is that rogue?

That rogue is my friend, Baron Münchhausen.

I, Prince Potemkin, will personally beat him until he flees the castle!

Sit down! Am I a child, or an animal?

How different people are! Their hearts are as dissimilar as their noses.

Ah, dessert!

I'm still missing an emerald. It can't be bigger than a pigeon's egg.

Now my necklace for Marie Taglioni will be complete.

My word! Help yourself, Prince.

A gem for every guest. Aids the digestion.

Catherine is great in giving and in taking.

It's easier to kiss farm girls, Your Majesty.

You don't like me as the empress?

I like the empress better than her robes of office.

That can be arranged, Captain.

Come help me.

Have a seat.

Martha!

Bravo. Well done.

First appetizers, then the main course.

Prince Orlov seems to have put Potemkin's eye out.

I spoiled both ofthem. Now it's gone to their heads.

I don't wish to be disturbed anymore today.

Of course not, Matushka. The first night...

Don't be so impudent.

Besides, it's the second night.

Oh, Cathy!

First we must speak rationally with each other.

Rationally? Do we have to? Listen to me.

If you wish, I will appoint you to be my general aide-de-camp.

Then you will move into the room below this one.

Very practical.

An empress has less time than other women for her heart... but she wants to be just as happy... or happier.

Will you stay? How long, Cathy?

Until one of us wants their freedom again.

Fine. I'll stay.

Have we been rational long enough?

I think it's high time we lose our heads.

Now what's happening in Russia?

The prime minister must speak with Your Majesty immediately.

The Swedish emissary has sent a draft ofa treaty.

Can't they come back next week? No, you stay seated.

Bring the gentlemen in. Am I to help you rule as well?

No, that I can handle alone.

Then why am I here? You'll see.

Cathy, I'm sinking fast!

We'll speak with each other later. Irrationally!

Don't rule too long!


Do you love me, you fool? No, we've known each other too long.

Don't be so fresh, Hieronymus.

How long have you been in my service, Baron?

163 days, Your Majesty.

That long?

And 163 nights.

Is that all?

I might have some time tonight.

I might, too.

Behave or I'll send you to Schlüsselburg!

The Prince of Brunswick looks ill, Baron.

Not ill. Much worse.

He's hurt.

Who dares to upset one of my guests? The Empress of Russia.

I, Baron? Ifhe had guessed... that the czarina would allow Prince Potemkin... to bring his mistress to court... he never would have come.

That woman here?

Ever since the prince lost one eye, he thinks I don't see well.

If I win any more ducats from you, I'll need a second coach to get home.

I bet my coach and five horses... and the coachman and two riders and...

Your lady wishes you to return to St. Petersburg immediately.

What? I do not wish that!

By order of the empress, Your Highness.

Get lost! Take my wagon.

And I'll kill this German baron!

Since I need my coach at the moment, we'll have to break off this game.

I'll need you as well, Count Lanskoy.

He's been at the Hotel Del'Europe sinceyesterday.

Does your Majesty have orders?

This Count Cagliostro better not stir up as much unrest in my empire... as he did in Courland.

Excuse me, Baron.

Do you know what a cuckoo duel is?

Don't ask such stupid questions, Your Highness.


Baron Münchhausen, you have the choice of sides.

Prince Potemkin has the first shot.

Stay outside the door, Count, and don't let anyone in... until... it's quiet.

Of course.

Out, and keep your mouth shut.

Gentlemen, we're ready.

Ready? One moment, Your Highness.

There's a fly on your nose.

Go,you fool!

Ready!

Cuckoo!

Can't you see, Your Highness?

Shut up!

No more cuckoos?

Stop this at once!

Open the door, Count Lanskoy!

I'll only open the door when there are no more shots.

Hieronymus!

It can't be!

You!

Pity I had to keep shooting with my left hand.

Come with me. I'll take you to Dr. Limonier.

Thanks, Cathy. Just get my wagon hitched.

I know a better doctor.

I thank you.

Any village barber could have taken the bullet out... and you knew that, Baron.

You only came to warn me.

You wanted to warn me even though you despise me.

That is more than an act of friendship.

You spoke frankly with me back in Courland.

I felt it was my turn.

Do you like her?

Very nice.

My warmest thanks.

But I like her better from the back. My feelings exactly.

My compliments, Cagliostro.

Do you like music? I especially like the violin.

A little trick.

We'll have to part in a few minutes.

The prime minister himself is making great efforts on my behalf.

Take good care of this ring.

When you put it on, you'll be invisible for one hour.

Choose that hour well.

Afterwards, it will lose its power... and be useful only as a toy to quiet a crying child.

Fantastic.

If you could wish for one thing beyond your wildest dreams... what would it be?

Power and money do not tempt you, I know.

So what would you wish for?

Quickly!

I would wish to remain as youthful as I am today... until I myself decide to grow old.

Your wish shall be fulfilled.

They're here.

Count Cagliostro, you're under arrest.

My greetings to Catherine the Great.

What's the meaning of this?

A marvellous century.

Johann, what's wrong with you?

There are a few details that would tend to prove the story false.

He thinks I'm a liar!

Johann, my good man... did America only exist after it was discovered?

Was the man a liar who said a thousand years ago that man could fly?

A man of great imagination forces the world... to become a richer place.

That's no lie and no magic.

And then what happened?

Did Münchhausen really stay as young as he was?

And did he live longer... than other people?

There are times when one only rarely looks in the mirror.

But I do believe... other people grew old while Münchhausen did not.

And Catherine?

Czarina Catherine looked in the mirror even during wartime.

And when the 20-year-old Mamanov became her general aide-de-camp... she appointed Münchhausen as commander ofthe Trolsk regiment... and sent him to the encampment... at the Ochakov Fortress.


Where is your baron?

On reconnaissance, Your Highness.

You let him ride alone?

On the contrary. He left me sitting here alone.

Whoa!

What's wrong, Iosens?

I can see why that would make you nervous.

Hard to believe.

Hey there!

Where have you come from? The Bender encampment.

A message from Marshall Sumarov for Prince Potemkin.

How long have you been underway? Surely two days at least.

I am the fastest runner there is, Colonel.

A day and a half, then?

No, 20 minutes.

Does that include breakfast? Yes.

You lie even quicker than you run.

You're telling this to Baron Münchhausen, of all people.

I've always wanted to get to know the baron.

No time for that, my boy.

Take your legs under your arms and hurry to Prince Potemkin.

I'm supposed to stay here at Ochakov. Does the baron have no use for me?

No, not really, but take some pocket money.

Speed like that is no magic trick!

The Capudan Pasha has left Bender with 3,000 Crimean Tartars and Seljuks... and is marching toward Ochakov.

If he risks a forced march... his army will be at our throat in three days.

Ochakov must fall before he arrives... or else it neverwill.

I'll have the 100-pounders loaded.

Leave me alone.

Take that! And you take that!

Sumarov is at Bender and doesn't attack.

Romanov lays siege to Chotin but he too doesn't attack.

And we're at Ochakov and we don't attack.

But there's a difference, my friend.

One hundred wagon loads of rock would make the marsh passable.

Of course!

We've laid siege to this fort for ten months.

In the last war, it only took Münnich three days.

Potemkin doesn't attack because he's the commander-in-chief.

And the other two don't attack because they're not the commander-in-chief.

We could be in Ochakov by tomorrow.

With your talents, Münchhausen...

I dare say you could even be there today.


Look out!


That was incredible!

A thousand pardons for my rude intrusion.

It wasn't exactly planned.

It was supposed to be a little reconnaissance ride.

But my gunner, the rogue... out of love for the fatherland, aimed right at your precious fort.

So here I am. Salaam alaikum.

Seize him!

That's really not necessary.

You have quite a captivating personality... but this really is going too far, young man.

Just a minute. I'll come down.

Seize him!

Allow me to introduce myself.

My name is Hieronymus von Münchhausen.

Seize him!

Where is your hospitality?

A decent breakfast and a nice Turkish mocha would be far preferable.

You are my prisoner! What powers of observation!

I will give him to the sultan as a gift.

I'm certain his collection does not yet include... a slave who rides cannonballs!


The mutton was overcooked.

Give the cook 20 lashes on the soles ofhis feet.

Go ahead and laugh.

I'll never get it right.

I've been here over two months, Selim... and what I miss most is a real chair.

Surely other things make up for it. Like what?

You mean polygamy?

Tell me, how many wives does the sultan have in his harem?

Twelve wives and 307 concubines. Not bad.

Would you like to have that many?

Very gladly, but not all at once!

Today the sultan visits the princess for the first time.

She's weeping more than ever before.

Why do you always tell me about this Italian woman?

Hair that shines like ebony... eyes as blue as the Sea of Marmaris...

Lips like flower buds... hands and feet of ivory...

And her behind is made of marzipan, right?

For a eunuch, you seem to be quite in love.

It wasn't my heart that they clipped.

I didn't mean to upset you. I know.

But I didn't just tell you about her.

I also told her about you.

You know the ways of the world.

Perhaps you can help her.

Fifth window from the left?


Will you help the poor girl?

I have to help her, for my own sake.

If I come up with nothing better, I'll kill the sultan.

Who is screaming like that?

It must be your chef.

But why is the man howling like that?

He's getting 20 lashes.

Why is he getting 20... Oh, right.

Please proceed.

The princess's yacht was boarded by the crew of an Ottoman ship near Corfu.

The illustrious D'Este family, through the mediation of my signorina... offers a ransom of 1,000 ducats.

My second task regards Baron Münchhausen... who is held here as a slave.

The Empress of Russia also offers 1,000 pieces of gold for his release.

A beautiful girl and a most entertaining man... are not easily replaced with gold.


Baron! Christian!

Good old Christian. How good to see you here.

But this can't be!

I thought you were dead long ago.

How can you think so poorly of me? I'll live as long as I please.

Our baron has become a Turk. Of course.

And you, runner, let's have a look at you. Have they been force-feeding you?

Isn't it terrible?

They haven't given me a thing on this whole plodding march.

Everyone else got thinner, but I got fatter and fatter.

At least you're both here with me.

Report to the sultan. The sultan?

I'll see what I can do for you both.

That's my baron for you.

Leave us now.

Arise.

Sit down.

Turkey is a wonderful land, Your Imperial Highness...

right down to the way you sit.

You perch on chairs like stiff puppets.

We sit closer to the earth.

So, have you thought up some other fine thing for today?

Otherwise...

Imperial Highness... in Pera you have a lovely park filled with trees.

You ought to build a glass house there for your harem.

Glass walls, glass floors.

Tables, bathtubs, beds... everything made of glass.

The only thing in the house you couldn't see through... would be the great sultan and his wives.

Naturally they would not be made of glass, thank heavens!

From what I've heard in the seraglio, the objects of your affection... cannot afford to be too fragile.

I would be able to see them all the way from the street.

When I walk in the house, I see them in every room, all at once.

I see them walking, sitting, lying down.

Mustafa, behead the master builder!

Your idea is good. The glass house will be built.

But why behead the master builder?

Because he never thought ofthis.

I would like you to be my counsellor.

I will make you a military leader... then a pasha... perhaps even a grand vizier.

All you have to do is take on my faith.

I can't do that.

My religion is better!

Who can decide what's better when hardly anyone knows what is good?

A man from Bodenwerder cannot become a Turk.

We have only one homeland, just as we have only one mother.

Besides, dying of thirst would be a particularly horrible way to go.

Who demands that you die of thirst?

Muhammad, your prophet. He forbids the drinking of wine.

Water is a very tasty beverage.

Unfortunately, I wouldn't know.

Then what do you think water is for?

Why, for washing, Imperial Highness.

No more wine for you! Only water.

Then I'd rather die of thirst.

Even though the Prophet is always right... from time to time I do wrong.

Especially when no one is looking.

Pasha Rustan sent me this Tokay from Hungary.

It's the best I've ever had.

Yes, that's a very fine Tokay.

But I've had better. Better?

Pardon the interruption, my lord... but Pasha Yussuf is here.

He normally sends spoils and prisoners. What does he want in person?

During the night, after he had sent the caravan... the Russians filled up the Ochakov marsh with rocks... and the next day they took the fort.

Not a bad idea. It was, wasn't it?

Show Pasha Yussufin.

Whose fault is this? Mine, my lord, and mine alone.

Report to the chief executioner.

He is to impale your head on a pole so it can be seen from far away.

Farewell, my lord.

Allah is great.

Get out!

What were we speaking of? The meaning of life.

Ah, right, a betterTokay. But where do we get it?

From Maria Theresia in Vienna.

It seems like only yesterday that the empress said to me...

"My dear Münchhausen"... She always called me that.

"This is an historic Tokay.

Vintage 1683... when the Viennese were liberated from the Turks.

If our commander, that reckless fool... hadn't had a few glasses too many... he would never have dared launch the attack that was to prove victorious.

But since his 3,000 men... seemed twice that number thanks to the Tokay... he saved our illustrious city. "

And my forefathers lost the Battle of Kahlenberg.

Is it really better? Much better.

Shall we make a wager? Very well. But how?

Very simple. My runner and my valet have arrived as prisoners.

I'll send my runner to Vienna to ask the empress for a bottle of herTokay.

How soon can he return from Vienna?

I can't promise too much. He's out of shape.

He's a little overweight, and we have to factor in the head wind.

Let's say one hour.

Don't talk such nonsense! What is our wager?

If he returns in one hour...

I'll grant you and your two servants your freedom.

Wonderful. And if the Viennese Tokay is better than yours?

Then you get one more wish.

Bring the clock.

What or whom do you wish?

Princess Isabella D'Este from your harem.

So be it.

But if you lose...

We have a bet.

41, 42, 43, 44, 43...

37, 38, 39...

12:11 p. m.

Make your arrangements. As soon as you leave this hall... our bet begins.

When my clock has counted 60 minutes more... then either I've lost the bet... Or I've lost my head.

Exalted Sultan... 22... I have a little fever... and therefore I'm... 23... running a little ahead.

Even better. Let me know when 30 minutes have passed.

I'll be in the harem.

Here's the letter. I hope she'll receive me.

Of course she will.

Next time you see me, I'll be thin as a reed.

Stop chattering and go.

Otherwise, in 60 minutes, I'll have no more head for a hat.

We've hardly said hello, Baron, and already the excitement begins.

You should have found yourself a different lord.

One who collects snuffboxes, and not adventures, like Münchhausen.

Five foot four. Bad teeth.

Bad teeth.

Good teeth.

Five foot three. Good teeth.

Open your mouth. I wouldn't think of it.

The new ones always cause problems.

I have to see your teeth. Open up.

The sultan is coming.

I won't put up with this treatment.

Ten strokes ofthe cane on the backside for this old bag.

Get dressed. Then we'll decide how to get rid ofher.

How much time has passed?

Thirty minutes, eight seconds, nine...

How about if we just sneak away?

No, let's not lose our heads before we have to.


It is a woman's enviable privilege to be loved... while ours is to love.


Ten minutes? Isn't it 20, my boy?

I don't understand where our runner could be.

There's Skopje.

Belgrade.

There lies the scoundrel! What? Lies?

On a road near Belgrade, sleeping under a fig tree.

Does he have the Tokay?

Shoot, Christian! I'm so upset, I'm afraid I'll miss.

You don't have to hit him. Just wake him up.

Don't talk so much. Drop a fig into his maw.

Almighty God. I hope I'm not too late.

See him yet? Notyet.

Three minutes left. Pity to lose such a wise head.

It's trembling already. But my knees are not.

Fifty-nine minutes.

One, two, three...

There!

It's about time, runner!

Greetings from Empress Maria Theresia to Baron von Münchhausen.

Thank you. Glad to see you made it.

Go!

You and your servants are free.

Now we'll see about the rest.

Get my things, go to the harbour and hire a fast ship. I'll follow.

This Tokay really is better.

Mustafa.

I get the wine and you get the princess.

I dared not hope we would see each other so soon.

Neither did I.

Louise.

Few men of honour keep their word as you do, Imperial Highness.

Keep your princess.

It's only a pity... the wine steward in Vienna didn't make a similar mistake... when he handed over the bottle.

Then you could be, with all due respect, sucking on vinegar!

What's wrong with him?

He's known me for 20 years.

How time flies.

Do you want to come along?

Freedom for me would not be a gift. When are you leaving?

At once.

Farewell, my contented, curious friend.

Tell your sultan to...

No, better not tell him anything.


Have no fear, Princess. It's me. Come quickly.


Just where are you, Baron?

Patience, runner. Don't always be in such a hurry.

You can reappear now. This isn't funny anymore.

First I have to change clothes.

He must be here.

You needn't turn away, Princess.

There.

I just need my dagger... and my hat.

Princess!

To what destination do you command us?

To the end of the world or... To Venice.


We should stop in at Madame Carriera's. Your portrait still isn't finished.

Is that my fault?

No, it's the day's fault for having only 24 hours.


Rosalba, who is this man?

I feel as if I know him.

Can't you sit still for one moment, Casanova?

Princess!

How foolish of the Inquisition to let you return to Venice.

But I'll tell you this:

You're not getting me to the gambling table again.

You have too much luck.

Aren't you the Münchhausen... whom I know from Lyons, Paris, Livorno and Madrid?

The one whom the Duchess ofChoiseul inadvertently hid in a closet... in which I had already been deposited?

One and the same.

Are you in league with the devil?

I've grown 20 years older, while you...

Staying young is an art.

Then I'm a mere amateur. I've grown tired.

I no longer enjoy charging through the world.

The eyes grow sated... but the heart remains empty.

Life is short... and death chases us off before the game is over.

Why let it chase you off?

I'll only go when it amuses me to.

Venice during carnival is a good hiding place, Princess... but be careful just the same.

The Inquisition has 10,000 eyes and hands... and the power to mete out justice and injustice... however it likes.

Hopefully the doge has more important things on his mind... than tracking down a pair oflovers.

The wind is still unfavourable, Excellency. When it shifts, I'll be ready.

My assistants are keeping a constant fire under the balloon.

I'm very glad that Venice is your departure point, Monsieur Blanchard.

We serve science and amuse the people.

It is the art ofthe statesman to do one thing and achieve two goals.

I serve only science.

Never let anyone convince you otherwise. It's better for us both that way.

They're staying in the Palazzo Vendramin.

The republic is prepared to provide your family with the satisfaction... of stopping the foreign adventurer who has hidden your sister in our city.

But it is carnival... and we do not want any bloody scenes.

Does the Inquisition have any suggestions?

Absolutely, Excellency.

We could go to the St. Samuel Opera, or to a masked ball.

Or if you like, to a gaming table at the ridotto. You bring me luck.

And if we stay home instead?

You bring me luck everywhere, Isabella.

Luck.

As a child, I believed in it as children believe in fairy tales.

When I grew up, I was betrothed to a much older man.

He was a Visconti, and that meant a lot to my parents.

Then I was carried offto Istanbul.

Where did my childhood go, with its tales ofluck?

Then you saw me through the bars of your window.

When all seemed lost, just then triumph was complete.

Never forget, my love:

Fate does not bestow luck upon us.

It merely lends it to us.

At very high interest.

Sometimes it costs you your life.

What is it? Kuchenreutter!

He was attacked in the alley by the side entrance.

You mean he's back from Germany?

We've lured him out! Now's the time!


My own brother!

There's no point.

No, Baron, our runner is gone.

He was a decent man.

I couldn't wish for a finer end myself... but I'm in no hurry.

In life as in death... he was always in a hurry.

How is my father? He's no spring chicken anymore.

He gave me a letter, a few Braunschweiger sausages... and a cask of malt.


What can we do?

Nothing at all.


Do you feel like speaking with Casanova?

All Venice is talking of the misfortune that befell you last night.

Sit down, my friend. The poor princess.

They cut my runner's throat... and I fear the worst for Isabella as well.

But no! She is alive!

Alive? Where?

Listen, my friend.

The abbess of the Justinian cloister, an old friend of mine... sent me a secret message.

They took the princess to the cloister last night.

Thank you.

You won't be able to do much... but they should at least allow you to speak to your unfortunate lady.


Fate does not bestow luck upon us.

It merely lends it to us... and sometimes at very high interest.

Don't cry.

I will free you, just as I did before.

You won't manage it this time.

Let us bid farewell.

I will be less unhappy knowing you're far from here.

You're still in danger.

I will always love you.

Forget me.

Farewell.

Take off your mask!

Let me see the face of the rogue who would bury his sister alive.

Are you going to strike me?

If possible, before I give in to the urge to tear your head off.

Any gondolier will bring you to the little island in the lagoon... where we can converse with rapier in hand.

Wait here. No.

Only if you pay for the return trip in advance.

You might die in the duel.

Thank you. Now you may die in peace.

There's a good-natured fellow.

I'm sorry, Baron... but this island looks like a damned mousetrap.

See to it that no one cuts off our retreat.

Weapons, gentlemen.

You will permit me to keep my coat on?

No point taking it off for such a short time.

Ready?

Go!

How do you like my answer?

I came here to fight a duel... not give you fencing lessons.

Why not strap the blade to your hand?

You must go three rounds. The arrest warrant hasn't arrived yet.

I could kill you, of course, but I'll go one better:

I'll make you look ridiculous for the rest of your life.


That should do it.

I left you your pants for decency's sake.

I must shoot myself. That can wait.

He'll meet his maker first. To the boats!

Faster, gondolier! There's a sack of gold in it for you.


How many ropes are holding down Blanchard's balloon?

Four thick ropes. Shoot through two ofthem.

Where are you going? To find Monsieur Blanchard.

Leaving me here as a target?

Faster! They're heading for the balloon!

Scram or I'll shoot my initials in your backside.

Get in, Christian!

I've always wanted to fly, Baron. Hold on tight!

They're cutting the last lines!

Good-bye, Venice.

The heavens will do our work for us.

Now you can do what you need to.


This flying business is tremendous!

Are we still heading towards the moon?

Hopefully we'll land on the dark side.

It's always bothered me that the moon never favours us with us his rearview.

It's bad manners to turn your back.


Unbelievable!

Christian, isn't this fantastic?

Bass fiddles and trumpets hanging from trees don't amaze me.

But cherry trees just like at home... that's really something!

Think there's anything like people here?

Of course. Who else would eat the cherries when they're ripe?

That's true.

Baron. Strange... What is it?

Just before we landed, it was twilight.

And now there's a noonday sun.

Your hands have really started to shake recently.

Thanks to this restful life we lead.

What's wrong, Christian?

Since you started lathering me... you've grown at least two dozen new gray hairs.

It must be the change in atmosphere.

Do you have sleeping sickness?


Aren't you hungry? Here.

Ripe cherries?

Have I slept a full three months?

No, two hours at the most.

Either your watch is broken, or...

Or time itself. Time is broken.

When we landed, it was morning and the cherry trees were in bloom.

By midday, the blossoms had faded.

Now it's vespers, and the cherries are ripe.

Were ripe.

Night is falling.

You could even say autumn is falling.


We're lucky the balloonist thought of everything.

I would never have been able to cut up one ofthosewailing bass fiddles.

Make yourself comfortable.


Damn it! Now it's too warm.

This moon is a most exhausting star.

I've been thinking about it.

A year for us on Earth is a day here.

No, the other way around. A day for us is a year here.

Right? Correct.

On the moon, a day and a year have the same length.

Then in a year on the moon, one grows 363 years older.

Correct.

A year older every day.

We'll fly back to Earth today.

But Baron, I never get a chance to settle down a bit.

You always want to move on. No arguments.

We take off at noon. This star is not our lucky star.

This is unbelievable!

May I ask from which star the gentlemen hail?

From Earth. Welcome!

I'll be at your service in a moment.

Will you entertain the gentlemen in the meantime?

Of course.

Charmed, I'm sure.

The few Earthlings who have been here before have always been amazed... at how we separate our heads from our bodies.

It seems to be easier than I thought, dear lady.

And practical, above all.

While my head chats with you here... my hands are at home doing housework.

Excellent! Ourwomen could make use ofthat trick.

You see, we moon couples don't like being separated from each other.

Life is just too short.

May I be so bold as to ask how old you really are, dear lady?

You have to guess.

Look me in the eye.

Well, you'll have to turn me a little.

May I? Please.

In your case, it is particularly difficult.

My girlfriends think I'm 27, but you know how women are.

I'm really only 23 days and three hours old.

What? You're 23 days old? That's unbelievable.

I had you pegged for 17 days and not an hour more!

Pity I don't have my figure with me.

A true pity.

It makes me look even younger.

Isn't it dangerous to leave such a pretty figure all alone at home?

I locked it in.

Good idea.

Then at least if you lose your head, you won't do anything stupid.

How long do I have to wait to be born?

Quiet. Three more hours. You're not ripe yet.

A visitor to the moon lives no longer than we do.

And when he's dead and lying on the ground... he dissolves into smoke and disappears into space.

This law of yours does not affect me, but...

Is there anything else to eat here besides cherries?

Just vitamins.

Don't you at least know what a pig is?

There are no pigs here.

Saints alive! No wine, no swine.

Removable heads.

Babies growing on trees.

No, when I tell my Rieke about this...

Excuse me, please. Of course.

Don't be angry, Baron, if I cause you some inconvenience.

Don't talk such rubbish.

Here I am dying... just when I start to feel at home.

The old earthling is dying.

Carry me away.

This will be the first trip I take without you, Baron.

I'll miss you terribly.

I'd much rather stay with you.

Tell Rieke and the children not to be too angry... that I was away from home so often.

I'm sure they won't be angry.

You can count on that.

What would I have done without you?

I need at least one friend.

My dear Baron, may I...

May I call you by your first name just once?

Hieronymus, old boy!

Imagine the two of us as angels!

Follow me soon... but take your time.

I leave you my musket.


Man is but a wisp ofsmoke that rises and is carried away.

To Münchhausen, this manner of dying seemed more poetic and meaningful... than the earthlyway of disintegrating into dust.

Life, of course, was only worth living on Earth.

So he came back here... to new adventures... new travails and new fortune.

It's getting cool, Hieronymus.

Let's go inside.


Münchhausen returned to Paris just in time... to find them chopping offheads in the name ofvirtue and reason.

1789. The French Revolution.

Correct.

And it was in Paris... that he rode into the Tuileries... beside Marshall Blücher and Prince Schwarzenberg.

1814. But Baron, you must be mistaken.

Münchhausen died in 1797.

It's the encyclopedia that's mistaken.

The others aged while he remained the way he was.

The others died. He lived on.

He chose never to age because he loved excitement... but his heart could find no rest in his eternal youth.

Others eventually grew afraid ofhim.

He would hardly make a foreign land his home before he had to move on.

Because happiness, trust, and love... are only bestowed by mortals upon other mortals.

In 1848, he fought with Radetzky in Lombardy.

In Mexico, when Emperor Maximilian went to the firing squad, he was there.

1867?

So ifhe didn't die, he may still be alive today.

And so he is, my friend.

In 1900, he married a beautiful girl.

There she is.

And if he didn't die, then he's still alive today.

Take me home, Fritz. One moment, dear.

I'd like to ask the baron if...

I want to go home. Right away!

Please excuse our brusque departure. Of course. Don't keep her waiting.

Thank you foryour kindness. It was a most unique experience.

Good-bye.

Farewell.

Why did you frighten the girl?

You didn't have to tell the whole truth.

Go away from here.

Start a new life.

Don't think of me. It would only upset me.

I won't be lonely when you're gone.

No.

I no longer want time to forget me.

Time, that keeps accounts every day like a little bookkeeper... and marks the years off on your face.

I no longer want to be young if you are old.

I don't wish to go on living... if you must die.

That's how much I love you.

Of my own free will, I return this great gift to the hands of fate.

Eternal youth makes one half god... but also only half a man.

I demand the whole of it...

the rest of what awaits me.


THE END English subtitles adjusted by