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The Monuments Men

Overview

Cowriter and director George Clooney adapts author Robert M. Edsel's book The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History to tell the incredible true story of the seven art historians and museum curators who went behind enemy lines during World War II on a mission to recover some of the world's greatest works of art. With war raging in Europe, the Nazis have managed to plunder some of the biggest art collections on the continent. As the Third Reich begins to topple, the ...
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Overview

Cowriter and director George Clooney adapts author Robert M. Edsel's book The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History to tell the incredible true story of the seven art historians and museum curators who went behind enemy lines during World War II on a mission to recover some of the world's greatest works of art. With war raging in Europe, the Nazis have managed to plunder some of the biggest art collections on the continent. As the Third Reich begins to topple, the German army receives explicit orders that in the event of Adolf Hitler's death, they are to destroy every work of art in their possession. Determined to prevent 1000 years of culture from going up in flames, American president Franklin D. Roosevelt approves a proposal by Frank Stokes Clooney to form a task force comprised entirely of art experts to enter Germany, recover the works of art, and ensure they are returned to their rightful owners. With little knowledge of modern weapons or warfare tactics, the ragtag squadron has their work cut out for them. Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, and Jean Dujardin also star.
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Special Features

George Clooney's mission; Marshalling the troops
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
Every once in a while, a filmmaker uncovers a forgotten chapter of history that simply begs to be adapted to the big screen. Set against the backdrop of the war that shook the entire globe, and containing compelling themes of artistic and cultural preservation, George Clooney's The Monuments Men serves up just such a story. With Clooney's unique penchant for exploring the past, his exceptional talent for delivering multilayered performances, and his ability to assemble a killer cast, it would seem that he hit a home run here before he even picked up the bat. Truth be told, while The Monuments Men is indeed a fine film with some genuinely inspired passages, there are some basic storytelling flaws that prevent it from cohering into a true classic -- at least for now. The plot centers on a team of Allied art historians and museum curators who go behind enemy lines during World War II to recover some of the world's greatest works of art after they are stolen by the Third Reich. With the war raging in Europe, the Nazis have managed to plunder some of the biggest art collections on the continent. As the Third Reich begins to topple, the German army receives explicit orders that, in the event of Adolf Hitler's death, they are to destroy every work of art in their possession. Determined to prevent centuries of culture from going up in flames, American president Franklin D. Roosevelt approves a proposal by art historian Lt. Frank Stokes (Clooney) to form a task force comprised entirely of art experts; the group will enter Germany, find the priceless paintings and sculptures, and ensure that the works are returned to their rightful owners. With little knowledge of modern weapons or warfare tactics, the ragtag squadron have their work cut out for them. Sometimes with movies, it becomes difficult to separate our expectations from the reality of what we're seeing. This is why, in some instances, it may be necessary to take in a repeat viewing or two before we begin to see a film for what it really is, rather than what we wish it could be. In the case of The Monuments Men, there are a few good reasons why audiences might purchase their tickets expecting something different from what Clooney and company actually deliver. First and foremost, there's the cast: By putting together an ensemble consisting largely of comedic performers, some may get the false impression that The Monuments Men is an upbeat men-on-a-mission farce (an impression that could be further bolstered by the presence of Clooney's Ocean's Eleven co-star Matt Damon). While the film does have a few welcome moments of levity, it's largely a somber, serious-minded meditation on the need to preserve cultural history in the face of tyranny and oppression. Likewise, with composer Alexandre Desplat's arrangements seeming to echo John Williams' iconic score from Raiders of the Lost Ark early on, it's easy to suspect that we're in for a rousing adventure though war-ravaged Europe. Yet, for better or worse, neither could be further from the truth; the deeper we're immersed into the plot, the clearer it becomes that screenwriters Clooney and frequent collaborator Grant Heslov aren't as interested in quickening our pulses or keeping us in stitches as they are showing us how this disparate team come together in their attempts to achieve a common goal. Had Clooney and Heslov managed to accomplish that feat in a manner that was actually cohesive, perhaps it would have been easier to embrace the film on its own, rather unique terms. Alas, the screenwriters stumble in their noble attempts to give this intriguing story the forward momentum it needs to hook us, and despite some commendable attempts at character development, most of the performances are so muted that they could have been played by virtually anyone. John Goodman and Bill Murray suffer the most in this respect, and while it may be going a bit too far to claim that they are "wasted" in their roles, The Monuments Men certainly could have benefitted from a bit more of their distinctive personalities being injected into the characters. Likewise, the lighthearted conflict between Murray and Bob Balaban's characters seems half-baked at best, although the tender relationship that develops between Damon and Cate Blanchett's initially combative characters feels genuinely earned since we have a good understanding of their backgrounds. The surprise of the bunch is Hugh Bonneville as the troubled member of the team, who sees this mission as his last chance for redemption. His performance is a highlight of the film, and the one that gives this historical tale a human component. Despite the unconventional structure of the screenplay, Clooney's direction displays a strong talent for creating and diffusing tension at precisely the moments when it's needed most. So while The Monuments Men may be flawed as a men-on-a-mission film, on a technical level it's near perfect, and there are passages within it that approach transcendence. For these reasons and many more, it pays to remember that few classics are recognized as such upon a first viewing. Right now, the movie's flaws appear to outweigh its strengths. But in cinema as in life, time has a curious way of balancing those things out. Given the fascinating nature of this story and the things that the filmmakers actually get right, it will be interesting to see the effect, if any, that age has on our perception of The Monuments Men.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/20/2014
  • UPC: 043396424883
  • Original Release: 2014
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Region Code: 2
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Subtitled / Dubbed
  • Sound: Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound
  • Time: 1:58:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 392

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
George Clooney , Frank Stokes
Matt Damon , James Granger
Bill Murray , Richard Campbell
Cate Blanchett , Claire Simone
John Goodman Walter Garfield,
Jean Dujardin , Jean Claude Clermont
Bob Balaban Preston Savitz,
Hugh Bonneville Donald Jeffries,
Dimitri Leonidas Sam Epstein
Justus VonDohnanyi Viktor Stahl
Holger Handtke Colonel Wegner
Michael Hofland Priest (Claude)
Zachary Baharov Commander Elya
Michael Brandner Dentist
Sam Hazeldine Colonel Langton
Miles Jupp Major Feilding
Alexandre Desplat Emile, Conductor
Diarmaid Murtagh Captain Harpen
Serge Hazanavicius Rene Armand
Luc Feit Aachen Vicar
Emil vonSchoenfels Sniper Boy
Udo Kroschwald Hermann Goering
Aurelia Poirier Young French Girl
Grant Heslov Doctor
Matthew Maguire Young Dying Soldier
Mike Dalton President Roosevelt
Christian Rodska President Truman
Stefan Kolosko German Commander
Thomas Wingrich German 2nd in Command
Oliver Devoti Colonel at Caen
James Payton Hitler
Lucas Tavernier St. Bavo Priest
Oscar Copp French Truck Driver
Luciana Castellucci Nun
Declan Mills Siegen Private
Richard Crehan Brit Private
Corin Stuart Brit GI Translator
Andre Hinderlich German POW
Maximillian Seidel German POW
Marcel Mols Bruges Priest
Matt Rippy Colonel Gregg
John Dagleish ADSEC Sarge
Andrew Byron Supply Sargeant
Nicolas Heidrich Stahl's Child
Aidan Sharp Shahl's Child
Xavier Laurent French Armed Man
Ben-Ryan Davies Brit Private-Bruges
Nick Clooney Older Stokes
Joel Basman German Soldier at Ghent
Andrew Alexander Major Piper
Adrian Bouchet Sarge Near Altaussee
Claudia Geisler Stahl's Wife
Joe Reynolds Stokes' Son
Levi Strasser Stokes' Grandson
Piet Paes Priest In Truck
Audrey Marnay Jean Claude's Wife
Nora Sagal Voice of Campbell's Daughter
Avery June Jones Voice of Campbell's Granddaughter
James Audrey Jones Voice of Campbell's Granddaughter
Technical Credits
George Clooney Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Berto Camera Operator
Jim Bissell Production Designer
Alessandro Brambilla Camera Operator
Dominik Capodieci Set Decoration/Design
Chris Lowe Art Director
Alexandre Desplat Score Composer
Christoph Fisser Co-producer
Louise Frogley Costumes/Costume Designer
Barbara Hall Executive Producer
Grant Heslov Producer, Screenwriter
Michael Lieb Set Decoration/Design
Stephen Mirrione Editor
Henning Molfenter Co-producer
Gerd Nefzer Special Effects Supervisor
Cornelia Ott Art Director
Phedon Papamichael Cinematographer
St├ęphanie Rass Set Decoration/Design
P. Scott Sakamoto Camera Operator
David Scheunemann Art Director
Edward Tise Sound Mixer
David J. Webb Asst. Director
Joerg Widmer Camera Operator
Charlie Woebcken Co-producer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Monuments Men
1. Scene 1 [4:42]
2. Scene 2 [11:19]
3. Scene 3 [4:11]
4. Scene 4 [3:23]
5. Scene 5 [3:35]
6. Scene 6 [4:23]
7. Scene 7 [9:00]
8. Scene 8 [10:02]
9. Scene 9 [2:50]
10. Scene 10 [6:04]
11. Scene 11 [1:16]
12. Scene 12 [5:09]
13. Scene 13 [11:03]
14. Scene 14 [4:43]
15. Scene 15 [11:17]
16. Scene 16 [13:17]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- The Monuments Men
   Play Movie
   Languages
      Audio
         English
         English Audio Descriptive Service
         French
         French Audio Descriptive Service
      Subtitles
         English*
         French
         Spanish
         Subtitles: Off
   Scene Selections
   Special Features
      George Clooney's Mission
      Marshalling The Troops
      Previews
         American Hustle
         Pompeii
         Stalingrad
         Gambit
         A Fighting Man
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