Sunday, February 16, 2014

Is The Monuments Men Movie an Actual Account of Events?

For historical value this movie doesn't portray the actual events, but what it does is bring to light that historical pieces of art were stolen by the Nazis from their rightful owners during WWII.  It lets us know that a young woman kept track of the paintings and sculptures and who the owners were - this is true and this is why I liked this movie. 

The Monuments Men movie has drawn attention to something that happened during WWII that most people didn't know about.  There were actual people involved (many more than depicted in the movie) in going to Europe to save historical buildings (saving the art was not the job they were sent to do, but a by-product).

The names of some of the characters in the movie were changed from the actual figures that were involved.  There were also some characters added who didn't participate in saving the buildings.

Here are some things I do know and didn't know before is that the Madonna of Bruges sculpture by Michelangelo and the Ghent Altapiece by Flemish artist, Jan Van Eyck's were recovered from the Altaussee mines in Austria.  Works by da Vinci, Rembrandt and Vermeer were recovered and 5 million stolen items were eventually returned to their owners.  However, thousands more and even millions more still have not been found.

Madonna of Bruges

Ghent Altapiece by Flemish artist Jan Van Eyck's



 Below are sites where you can find factual information about this enterprise:

Also, read The Monuments Men:  Allied Heroes by Robert M. Edsel, which was used to help write the screen script for the movie.

I'm not a movie critic, and I'm not going to slam a movie for taking liberties with the facts.  After all, they are in the business of movie making and want to sell tickets.  I enjoyed the movie, and I was glad to be made aware of some of the things going on near the end of the war having nothing to do with war.  These people were still in danger and two did die, and maybe even more we don't know about. 

Seeing the movie will not hurt anyone, unless they believe it's totally factual, but I still believe people should see it. After seeing it I recommend reading the book by Edsel and the sites above for the facts. 

Happy President's Day!  See you next Sunday!

Sandra K. Marshall  


K.T. Bishop said...

I'm glad to see a movie about historical events. A lot of people don't know and appreciate our impact in World War I and World War II.

Melissa Keir said...

There was a segment on CBS Sunday Morning today about this event and the people behind it. I hadn't heard about it before but I did know that the Nazi's were using propganda and pornography to encite and push their agenda.

Very informative! Thanks for sharing!

Kari Rogers Miller said...

Thanks Sandy for your thoughts regarding this movie....I haven't seen it yet...though I plan to. I, too saw the CBS Sunday Morning and I am grateful this data is now being addressed.

Cara Marsi said...

Thanks, Sandy. I do want to see this movie. It looks good, although the reviews haven't been good. I may wait until I can get it from Netflix. It's an interesting and sad chapter in our history.

Sandy said...

Thank you,K.T.

Thank you, Melissa. Even though the movie didn't tell the whole story we needed to know this part of our history.

Sandy said...

Kari, thanks for stopping by. I thought the movie was good, but not entirely factual. I heard museum curators didn't know about this.

Sandy said...

You're welcome, Cara. I'm sure a lot of people will wait for the movie to hit Netflix.

Sandy said...

I want to remind everyone you need to read the book by Robert M. Edsel, and, or the sites I provided to get a clear picture of what happened.

Carol Ericson said...

Sandy, my husband saw this movie because he thought it was a great story; unfortunately, he said the execution of the movie and the character development were bad. Still a great story though!

Sandy said...

I see what he means about the character development, Carol. Yes, I think it's a great story, and I think they were concerned with getting it out to the public. Many curators at our huge national museums didn't even know this story.