The Adventures of Baron Munchausen

New this month Question: When Baron Munchausen and his cohorts clean out the Sultan's vault, the Sultan's horrified Treasurer crosses himself in the Catholic fashion. But, in this film, the Sultan is head of the Ottoman Empire (a Muslim empire), and the closest members of his court (such as his Treasurer) would surely be Muslim. So the treasurer's Christian gesture stands out as unlikely, at best. This seems to be a character error, but was it intended as a deliberate joke? If so, what was the joke?

Charles Austin Miller

New this month Answer: The Baron is a teller of tall tales and massively exaggerated stories, so it is all from his limited point of view. The Ottomans did have Christian members of staff, especially doctors and such but the treasurer would never be a non-Muslim.

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Trivia

This film was actually the third installment in director Terry Gilliam's "Trilogy of Imagination," all dealing with fantasy escapism at different ages in life. The first film of the trilogy was 1981's "Time Bandits," a surreal fantasy seen through the eyes of a child; the second film was 1985's "Brazil," another surreal fantasy seen through the eyes of a middle-aged man; 1988's "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen" was yet another surreal fantasy seen through the eyes of an elderly gentleman.

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