Real events and a book by Robert M. Edsel and Bret Witter
George Clooney, Grant Heslov
George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Hugh Bonneville, Bob Balaban, Miles Jupp
Towards the end of WWII it becomes apparent that the Nazis are collecting and transporting works of art back to Germany, and it is possible that they may be lost. In order to recover these important items an American academic persuades the White House to allow him to recruit a group of experts, who will become soldiers and move forward with the advancing troops carrying out the recovery work. But once on the European continent it becomes necessary for them to evaluate the value of life against the value of art.
Just a bit of getting the band together, followed by limited boot camp. Thereafter numerous scenes of the guys in military situations, with surprisingly elaborate set pieces involving military vehicles and troops, while they negotiate with the army who are just wanting to kill Germans. Some dramatic events, almost certainly made up for the script, just to liven things up a bit, and at times a lot of art. Almost continuous smoking and a bit of drinking – quite a bit of nudity in the works of art!
This is an earnest work, almost devoid of humour, and if I’m honest, drama, except for the bits shoe-horned in for effect. The critics did not really like it, maybe because to forward the plot the group are split up, preventing character development. Some critics have pointed out that the recovery was really carried out on behalf of private collectors, rather than for the world. So there we are; only a watch if you like that sort of thing.
It was obvious to me that some of the scenes were shot in UK rather than in Europe. You just can’t disguise late Victoria brickwork. But on the plus side someone has said that the exGerman vehicle used by the team is absolutely correct.