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The Monuments Men

Directed by George Clooney. 118 minutes. Blu-Ray/DVD, May 20. $30.99.

Based on Robert Edsel’s book (see “The Monuments Men Man,” January/February 2014) about the efforts to recover and protect Nazilooted art across Europe, this high-profile Hollywood flick opened to mostly negative reviews but managed to gross $77 million in the United States, and that much again worldwide. The all-star ensemble cast, including George Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, and Bill Murray, does its work well, though their characters, despite being mostly intellectual, aging, and decidedly unmilitary, don’t veer too far from genre types.

The Blu-ray Combo Pak offers four add-on featurettes. “George Clooney’s Mission” centers on interviews with the director and cast about the film’s making. In “Marshalling the Cast,” the actors discuss the people they portrayed. “In Their Own Words” looks at the historical Monuments Men via interviews with a veteran and letters and documents. Finally, “A Woman Amongst the Monuments Men” features Blanchett’s take on a character modeled after Rose Valland, the famed Parisian curator who risked her life to keep records of what the Nazis plundered.


Originally published in the August 2014 issue of World War II. To subscribe, click here.