read this book. Do
see the marvellous film, which I have watched so many times that I virtually know it by heart. Here are some of my favourite bits of dialogue:(Baron Munchausen meets the Right Ordinary Horatio Jackson, leader of the beseiged city)
JACKSON: You appear to have a rather weak grasp of reality.
MUNCHAUSEN: Your reality, sir, is lies and balderdash, and I am pleased to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever!(The Baron has persuaded the theatre company to build him a hot air ballon entirely constructed from women's underwear)
FIRST ACTOR: It's like the dawning of a new age! Of beautiful, intimate fings!
SECOND ACTOR: He's going to kill himself you know.
THIRD ACTOR: Yes, but what a way to go!(The Baron and his followers have tied a rope around one end of the moon, and are trying to lower themselves back down to Earth)
MUNCHAUSEN: This is just the kind of thing that no one ever believes!(The Baron has been introduced to the Goddess Venus, played by a radiant young Uma Thurman)
MUNCHAUSEN: Madame, I am overwhelmed! Your beauty surpasses even that of the late Catherine the Great of Russia, whose hand in marriage I once had the honour to decline.
VENUS: Baron, you flatter me!
MUNCHAUSEN: (Gazing at her décolletage)
Not one jot, Madame! Not one tittle
!(The Sultan is about to cut off the Baron's head)
SULTAN: Any famous last words?
MUNCHAUSEN: Not yet.
"Not yet"? Is that famous?(After an exceptionally confusing reversal of fantasy and reality)
MUNCHAUSEN: And that is merely one of the many times I have died! An experience I do not hesitate most heartily to recommend.
I was interested to discover this morning that the Baron's Incomparable Servants are in fact taken from the Brothers Grimm's
Sechse kommen durch die ganze Welt
. There can be no reasonable doubt about it: in particular, Berthold's race to Vienna and back, which ends up getting the Baron a free haircut, is directly adapted from the story.