I’d to share my thought about the movie Monuments Men which I have recently watched at my local Cineplex. The movie is based on The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History, by Robert M. Edsel. The book, as well as the movie, are based on the true story of the Allies attempt to recover art that was stolen by the Nazis.
The movie stars George Clooney (Lt. Frank Stokes), Matt Damon (Lt. James Granger), Bill Murray (Sgt. Richard Campbell), John Goodman (Sgt. Walter Garfield), Jean Dujardin (Lt. Jean Claude Clermont), Bob Balaban (Pvt. Preston Savitz), Hugh Bonneville (Lt. Donald Jeffries), Cate Blanchett (Claire Simone), Sam Hazeldine (Colonel Langton), and Dimitri Leonidas (Sam Epstein.) The movie is directed, and co-produced by George Clooney, who also co-wrote the screenplay.
The movie starts out and finishes with Frank Stokes speaking with the President (Franklin D. Roosevelt at the start, Harry S. Truman at the end) first in 1943 about the importance of the Allies reserving Europe’s art which is at risk of being destroyed, and then a debriefing at the end outlining the overall success of the mission.
The movie takes us through the timeline of the real life Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program as they try to find all the artwork the Nazis have purchased or stolen throughout Europe and Hitler’s plan for a ‘Führer’s Museum’. The men involved would find the artefacts with the plan to return the property to their rightful owners.
Although two men lost their lives along the way (first Donald Jeffries as he tries to stop the Nazis from stealing the sculpture Madonna of Bruges, and secondly Jean Claude Clermont after he and Walter Garfield are caught in crossfire), Stokes argues at the end of the movie that their deaths were worthwhile. In the end most of the artwork was found and returned. The sculpture was found near the end of the movie with time running out before the Soviets arrived to take over the sector.
I found the movie enjoyable from start to finish. Perhaps because I enjoy non-fiction work, but I disagree with most that this movie is really a very enjoyable movie as it was captivating and there was never a dull moment. You simply never knew exactly what was going to happen.
The movie deserves to have won some awards, and it certainly worth seeing if you get the chance.
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