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The Monuments Men (2014)

PG-13 | | Drama, War | 7 February 2014 (USA)
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An unlikely World War II platoon is tasked to rescue art masterpieces from Nazi thieves and return them to their owners.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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2,167 ( 269)
3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Sam Epstein
Justus von Dohnányi ...
Viktor Stahl
Holger Handtke ...
Colonel Wegner
Michael Hofland ...
Priest (Claude)
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Commander Elya (as Zahary Baharov)
Michael Brandner ...
Dentist
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Colonel Langton
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Storyline

Based on the true story of the greatest treasure hunt in history, The Monuments Men is an action drama focusing on an unlikely World War II platoon, tasked by FDR with going into Germany to rescue artistic masterpieces from Nazi thieves and returning them to their rightful owners. It would be an impossible mission: with the art trapped behind enemy lines, and with the German army under orders to destroy everything as the Reich fell, how could these guys - seven museum directors, curators, and art historians, all more familiar with Michelangelo than the M-1 - possibly hope to succeed? But as the Monuments Men, as they were called, found themselves in a race against time to avoid the destruction of 1000 years of culture, they would risk their lives to protect and defend mankind's greatest achievements. Written by Sony Pictures Entertainment

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It was the greatest art heist in history

Genres:

Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some images of war violence and historical smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

7 February 2014 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Operación Monumento  »

Box Office

Budget:

$70,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$22,003,433 (USA) (7 February 2014)

Gross:

$78,031,620 (USA) (16 May 2014)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The sculpture found in the Castles courtyard is The Burghers of Calais by Rodin.This piece is now on display in The Metropolitan Art Museum NYC. Matt Damon's character who first sees the piece is a former director of The Met. See more »

Goofs

The version of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" is sung with the lyrics "'Hang a shining star upon the highest bough.'' These lines were not added to the song until 1957. See more »

Quotes

Frank Stokes: You can wipe out an entire generation, you can burn their homes to the ground and somehow they'll still find their way back. But if you destroy their history, you destroy their achievements and it's as if they never existed. That's what Hitler wants and that's exactly what we are fighting for.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the beginning of the end credits there are black and white photos of the real Monuments Men with some of the art they saved. See more »

Connections

References The Rape of Europa (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
Written by Ralph Blane and Hugh Martin
Performed by Nora Sagal
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User Reviews

 
Convincing sleight-of-hand
8 February 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Actors are professional pretenders. Movies that depict real life events, or literary works,are successful if they present persuasive indications, hoping to capture the spark of reality on stage or screen.

George Clooney is a sentimental man who conceals his sentimentalism well. He makes movies whenever he can about topics, people, and issues he cares about.

Having read the book this film was based upon, I was looking for gestures, expressions, persuasive indications of a movement most people, including me until very recently, were not aware of.

A story in today's Wall Street Journal proclaimed that the desire to save, protect, salvage and restore, and allow the present and the future to continue to enjoy art - is ongoing - even in such places as Afghanistan and Iraq. That article also dramatized General Eisenhower's efforts to ensure that American soldiers were respectful and appreciative of other countries' cultures and their artistic and other achievements.

I thought that the exposition, the part of the movie that was slowest moving, where each character had to be introduced and developed, then inserted into the rather tense and nervous camaraderie, such as it was, was the weakest part of the film; but even this part had the feel of a recapturing of the mis en scene of 1944 global Armageddon in the world.

I often forget that many of the Chicago group that made Saturday Night famous: John Belushi, Bill Murray and many others, were classically trained actors. Bill Murray listening to a record while in the shower is a great moment in theater, in acting, in verisimilitude, the art of making the gesture, the moment, seem so real that the audience forgets it is only a movie.

The entire cast behaved as if they truly were the architects, curators, sculptors, and connoisseurs they were portraying, and I felt that the movie got stronger and stronger after the going got really tough in their mission.

Kate Blanchett plays a tough French woman smoldering with an inner burning anger, and she is convincing in every scene she was in. I thought that she inspired and uplifted Matt Damon's performance.

I think the quality of the writing is uneven, but that is true not only of art, but of life. Sometimes, ordinary people utter mundane statements; sometimes, we are inspired to be eloquent, elegant. I think that "The Monuments Men" captured that reality, too.

I would love to see it again, and I urge anyone who is interested in the idea of saving precious works of art from military and other predators, to read the book by Robert M. Edsel.


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