Adventures of Baron Munchausen is a 1988 film directed by Terry Gilliam, starring John Neville (as the Baron), Sarah Polley, Eric Idle, Jonathan Pryce, Oliver Reed, Uma Thurman, and Robin Williams.

    The film is one of the most famous fiascos in film history. Coming in over budget (originally $23.5 million, but finishing at $46.63 million, it put a black mark on Gilliam's career from the studio's point of view. However, the film has gained cult favorite status over time, and Gilliam's career did not suffer substantially. (It should be noted that in the United States, the film was not widely released due to financial issues at Columbia Pictures, which was in the process of being sold at the time. It was reported to have done well with audiences in the places where it could actually be seen.

    Box office revenue was approximately $8 Million.

    Young star Sarah Polley, who was nine years old at the time of filming, has described it as a traumatic experience for her. ]t definitely left me with a few scars ... It was just so dangerous. There were so many explosions going off so close to me, which is traumatic for a kid whether it's dangerous or not. Being in freezing cold water for long periods of time and working endless hours. It was physically grueling and unsafe."

    Gilliam was left somewhat embittered by the experience and in interviews has often used Munchausen as a shorthand for a fiasco. Among Gilliam's films released on DVD, Munchausen is the only one without a director's commentary track (he did, however, record a commentary track for a laserdisc, which, as of June 2007, has not been re-released on DVD. However, in a commentary track on the DVD edition of Tideland, Gilliam now says that Munchausen is one of the films that his fans most often cite as a favorite (along with Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Brazil, 12 Monkeys and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas). Gilliam noted the irony of the situation, adding that an artist can never really tell what work they produce will actually endure.

    Baron Munchausen is a character from The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen (or Baron Münchhausen's Narrative of his Marvellous Travels) by Rudolf Erich Raspe — a collection of tall stories published in 1785, based on the German adventurer Karl Friedrich von Münchhausen, but with many debts to earlier works. The tales were adapted and re-published in German by Gottfried August Bürger in 1786 as Wunderbare Reisen zu Wasser und zu Lande, Feldzüge und lustige Abenteuer des Freyherrn von Münchhausen and became much more popular in this edition.

    The stories were also made into films in 1911 (Les Aventures de baron de Münchhausen), 1943 (Münchhausen, script by Erich Kästner), 1961 (Baron Prásil) and 1979 (Tot samyi Münchhausen by Russian director Mark Zakharov). Gilliam's film has many visual similarities to the 1943 version and the production company was legally obliged to add a disclaimer to the film's posters and closing titles to the effect that Gilliam's Munchausen was an original movie unconnected to the earlier version.