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Clooney assembles all star cast for "Monuments Men"

Wednesday, February 05, 2014 - 01:31

Feb 05 - George Clooney brings his ''Monuments Men'' to the big screen, just as a story of Nazi looted art makes international headlines. Bob Mezan reports.

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George Clooney's latest movie venture not only has him helming "The Monuments Men" as its lead star, but also is - according to him - his most ambitious directing project to date. SOUNDBITE: George Clooney saying (English): "I guess it's probably double the budget of any film I have ever worked on, and certainly in scope and size it is a lot bigger. I kind of like smaller films. When you're directing it's a lot easier to sort of understand and keep tabs on. So this one was a much trickier film." The movie assembles a top-shelf cast of actors - including Matt Damon and Cate Blanchett - who tell the true tale of art experts tasked with retrieving artistic treasure stolen by the Germans during World War Two. Clooney said, one of the toughest parts of making the movie was striking the right tone in a film that is part buddy story, part art heist, part history lesson. SOUNDBITE: George Clooney saying (English): "You don't want it to be a civics lesson. You want it to be entertaining, you want people to enjoy themselves, laugh at some of the stuff. But it is also a very serious subject matter because of what we're dealing with, so it was finding the right balance there which is a little bit of a juggling thing." The movie couldn't come at a more topical time: in November it was announced that an elderly German recluse, Cornelius Gurlitt, was discovered with more than 1,400 artworks stolen by the Nazis and valued at 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion). Clooney said he hopes his film will have an impact on the future of such stolen treasures. SOUNDBITE: George Clooney saying (English): "My hope is with the film is that it will at least create enough awareness that some of the places that have pieces of art that are in litigation about returning them will feel some pressure to actually return them, some of them are waiting for statute of limitations to wear out and things like that. I think it would be nice if they gave paintings back to the people who, fleeing for their life, gave them away. I think it would be a fair thing to do after 70 years." "Monuments Men" hits theaters on February 07.

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Clooney assembles all star cast for "Monuments Men"

Wednesday, February 05, 2014 - 01:31