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Baron Munchausen Stars Reunite, Recall Its ‘Life-Threatening’ Shoot

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Filmmaker Sarah Polley, star of 1988’s The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, reunites with co-star Eric Idle and recalls the trauma of their experience.


Sarah Polley, who starred in the 1988 cult classic film The Adventures of Baron Munchausen as a child actor, reunited with her co-star Eric Idle to look back on the traumatic experience of shooting the movie.


Polley, writer and director of the drama film Women Talking, received an award at the Palm Springs Film Awards on Thursday, as reported by THR. The prize was presented to her by British actor and comedian Idle, known for his work in Monty Python’s Flying Circus, who was quoted as saying, “About 34 years ago, I was on the set of a movie in Rome and I said farewell to a little girl of 8 who starred in the movie.” He made it clear that making the film has not been easy on either of them: “We had all been scarred on this movie … going on nine months before we’d been able to escape.”

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The Adventures of Baron Munchausen is a family adventure movie, directed by Terry Gilliam of Monty Python and Brazil fame. It tells the outlandish story of the titular Hieronymus Karl Frederick Baron von Munchausen, played by John Neville, who claims to have accomplished unbelievable feats, traveled beyond the known world and met mythological figures. Polley played the Baron’s young companion Sally, while Idle was his amnesiac friend Berthold, also known as Desmond.

The film also featured appearances from the likes of Sting, Uma Thurman as the goddess Venus, and Robin Williams as the King of the Moon, credited under the pseudonym Ray D. Tutto.

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Baron Munchausen’s Dark History

While Baron Munchausen was enjoyed as a quirky cinematic romp by several generations, the terrible experiences that the cast endured while filming it eventually came to light. Idle referred to some of the scenes as “life-threatening,” while Polley had previously described some of her memories in her autobiographical book Run Towards the Danger. “It didn’t seem possible that this could have been the plan, that things hadn’t just gone terribly wrong,” she said when recounting a scene where she was forced to run through a field of explosions. “But they hadn’t. This was the plan.”

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen is available to rent on Apple TV+.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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