In his unique treatment of the famous book by Gottfried August Bürger, Zeman was inspired by the engravings of one of the most important illustrators of the 19th century, Gustave Doré. Filming the action in black and white, the director then used heavy tinting with different colours to symbolise the changing moods and surprising twists of the story. The fantastical adventure of Baron Munchausen brings his fabulous tales to life, intertwined with the love story of a modern adventurer, Tony, who becomes the Baron's rival in love. This film won many international prizes, in Cannes and Locarno as well as at many other festivals. The American director Terry Gilliam is on record as saying that Zeman's film was the initial inspiration for his own version of the story, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988).

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