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Fascinating reunion team-ups in 'Monuments Men'

Monuments Men


"The Monuments Men" tells one of the untold true stories of WWII in the style of a 1950s noir heist movie—only this time, the robbers are the good guys.

Monuments Men
Monuments Men
Publicity stills
George Clooney, directed and starred in "Monuments Men"
Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Longtime Studio City resident George Clooney directs this old-style heist film with a stellar cast as they show a bunch of non-soldier art historians, architects and curators trying to save the world's masterpieces from the Nazis during the last days of Hitler's regime.

It's not a war movie really, and it's not a romance film, but it's a buddy movie about some guys who are way out of their element who are trying to do something good. It's a cleaned-up version of "The Dirty Dozen," and that's how Clooney seems to direct it.

Like it or not, the film has some amazing casting choices, and that makes watching the movie all the more fun. The guys are brought together as one bunch, but then naturally have to go their separate ways to different parts of Europe to save the art. Those reunion team-ups are classic, and you may not be aware of them at first.

Here are some behind-the-scenes notes about the team-ups.

George Clooney and Matt Damon. They are together early in the film, and have collaborated six times in the past: Damon was in a small part in "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" which was the first time Clooney directed a film. They were also in the three "Oceans" movies: "Ocean's Eleven," "Ocean's 12" and "Oceans 13" as well as "Syriana" and Clooney produced "The Informant."

Matt Damon and Cate Blanchett. They have a very palpable connection in "Monuments Men" that maybe hints of a steamy past. Well, consider they were in "The Talented Mr. Ripley" together and also the animated adventure "Ponyo."

Bill Murray and Bob Balaban are put together mainly to irritate each other, and they do for a great deal of the movie. They've been together in "Cradle will Rock" and "Moonrise Kingdom" and will be in the upcoming "Grand Budapest Hotel" together.

John Goodman and George Clooney. John Goodman goes back to Clooney's early days when he was a semi-regular on "Roseanne" on TV, but then Clooney made movies and brought Goodman to "O Brother Where Art Thou" and "Argo" (which won Best Picture at the Academy Awards last year).

John Goodman and Jean Dujardin. For their section of the movie, Goodman is teamed up again with Jean Dujardin and their familiarity obviously comes from when they worked together in "The Artist" which won Best Picture and also landed the Frenchman a Best Actor Oscar. Goodman points out that he can understand the actor now, because in the mostly-silent film, Dujardin could barely speak English.

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