The Monuments Men (2014) Script

Claude.

Put these clothes on.


Take only the back roads.

The Germans are coming from the east, so head south to Brussels.

Yes, Father. God be with you, Claude.


Champagne... very nice.

You must join me, Doctor Stahl.

Get another glass. With pleasure.

Claire?

We need another champagne glass.


It's for Stahl.

This one... and this one... to Carinhall.

And this will be a present for the Fuhrer in Berchtesgaden.

What else, Doctor Stahl?


This is da Vinci's Last Supper.

The British bombers leveled three walls and a roof.

This is Monte Cassino, founded in 529 by Saint Benedict.

This is in February.

This is Monte Cassino in March, after we dropped 20 tons of explosives on it.

Mr. President, the simple fact is that we are at a point in this war that is most dangerous to the greatest historical achievements known to man.

But, Professor Stokes, understand that this is war.

And that lives are lost, and with them, oftentimes, their greatest achievements.

Yes, sir. There's something more.

This is the Ghent Altarpiece.

It is the defining monument of the Catholic Church.

We now know that the Nazis have stolen it.

Now, while we must and we will, sir, win this war, we should also remember the high price that will be paid if the very foundation of modern society is destroyed.

Let's look at where we are now.

The Russians are here.

The Allies are here and here.

In the next few months, God willing, we are all going to end up in Berlin.

Meaning that we will have blasted our way west, through Poland, through Hungary, through Austria, north through Rome and Florence, and east through Paris.

Then the question must be asked:

Who would make sure that the Statue of David is still standing, or that Mona Lisa's still smiling?

Who would be their protectors?

Well, professor, it's a very compelling argument.

What would you suggest?

I suggest you pull together young art scholars to get over there and identify the great works.

Our young art scholars are already over there fighting.

You have a family?

I have a wife and a young son.

I might be asking a great deal of you, then.

I'll do my best, sir.

There's a Michelangelo joke to be made.

You're just the man to make it.

You hungry?

You buying?

Uncle Sam is.

- How's Penny? She's swell.

I do question her taste. So does she.

How's the ticker?

Still ticking.

Want to get in the war?

"The Monuments Men."

Signed by Roosevelt. I see that.

I'm to put a team together and try to protect what's left, and find what's missing.

Aren't you a little old for that? Yes.

You want to go into a war zone and tell our boys what they can and cannot blow up. That's the idea.

Okay. How many men? For now, six.

Jesus. Mm.

With you, that's seven. That's much better.

We'll go through basic in Shrivenham, England, then wait for orders.

Basic? Mm-hm.

Basic training. Us?

Oh, boy.

You're gonna need a point man in England.

Yeah, Donald Jeffries. He's a drunk.

You're a drunk. That's true. Pass me that.

But isn't Donald Jeffries in jail? No, he didn't go to jail.

His father paid the money back. Mm.

How about his wife? Did she stick it out?

No, nobody stuck it out.

So when do we start?


Good to see you! Frank. James. Donald.

The chaps are all very anxious to get started.

You're a lieutenant? They are getting desperate.

Don't let Churchill hear that. James, how's your lovely wife?

Fine. She told me to send you a kiss, which I won't deliver.

I'll just shake. You usually do.

Not anymore. I'm on the wagon.

Since when? Nine this morning.

Congratulations.

Thank you, private.

This is Private Epstein, from New Jersey.

You don't say. Whereabouts?

Newark. But really the north side.

Of Newark? Yes, sir. The north side.

That's what I thought. Indeed.

I was born in Germany. The north side.

How are the fellas making out? Like Olympians.

Yes, sir.

We have your architect from Chicago, Sergeant Richard Campbell.

And we have a Frenchman, Lieutenant Jean-Claude Clermont, director of design at the Chalet School of Fine Arts before the war.

Is Preston here? Private Preston Savitz.

Private? That won't sit well with him.

It doesn't.

Finally we have your sculptor, Sergeant Walter Garfield.

He's a good egg. I worked with him on the World War I memorial in St. Louis. Uh-huh.

Hey, Stokes!

How are you, old boy?

Hey, Walter. How are they treating you?

Been taking it pretty easy on us. I think they feel sorry for us old guys.

I don't much fancy an obstacle course.

It's not so bad.

You're just crawling on your belly while teenagers shoot blanks over your head.

Well, yes and no.

How's that? Yes, they are teenagers.

And no? They're not blanks.

We're meeting up after mess. Let the other chaps know, will you?

Try not to get shot in the meantime.

I'm guessing you have all gotten to know each other by now.

Basic training will do that.

You've been selected by myself and Lieutenant Jeffries because we need your knowledge and skill.

We have been tasked to find and protect buildings, monuments, and art.

Private, will you get those lights?

Did you know they were shooting at us with real bullets?

Yes.

Everyone's favorite dictator.

Age 19, and before his romantic novel Mein Kampf, he was a failed art student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna.

Hitler painted that? It's not bad.

Eh, it's not good. This photograph has been obtained by the OSS.

It's a model of his planned Fuhrer Museum, to be built in his hometown of Linz in Austria.

Fuhrer Museum? It'd be one of the biggest in the world.

Gonna take a lot of art to fill that up.

Exactly right.

We already know he's stealing art from Amsterdam, Warsaw, and from Paris.

The French are hiding it, the Germans are finding and taking it.

This is why Hitler didn't bomb Paris.

He bombed London.

Yes, I know.

Have they started building?

No. That's the point.

They're stealing the art and hiding it somewhere.

We think they're hiding it in homes in this area and towards the east.

Our boys are in Normandy giving them hell, so that means it's our turn next, over the Channel and into France.

When?

Soon. We're gonna start with James.

He has a friend in Paris, director of the National Museum.

If he's still alive. If he's alive, he'll have some idea where the French art has been hidden. We need that information.

Lieutenant, you'll cross the Channel to Deauville.

A contact named Emile will get you into Paris.

Well, it's a good thing I'm fluent in French.

Do we get to kill anybody?

I don't know about you guys, but I'd like to kill somebody.

You want to shoot Hitler, private? I wouldn't mind it.

And Richard, if you call me "private" again, I will take a shot at you.

Okay, so that's it.

We'll ship out in the next few days.

Although the war is coming to an end, it isn't any less dangerous.

So walk carefully, take no undue chances.

And remember that your lives are more important than a piece of art.


Sarge, can you tell us where to find command and control?

Just got here? Yeah.

Top brass command post is about a quarter-mile that way, past K.P.

Thanks!

What?

If you'd read the orders... I don't give a shit.

The orders say, "Don't knock out old buildings..."

To be fair... Do not interrupt me!

If you think I'll write home to some kid's mom saying her boy's dead because we couldn't take out a church tower, I will not.

So have at it.

Anything else?

No, sir.

I think that went well.

Looks like we're walking.


Don't stand there.

Come in.

What are you doing here?

Looking for you.

Sit down.

Do you know why I'm here?

Mm. You have a brother. Peter, yes?

Yes, you do.

Are you close?

He's my brother.

Why didn't you tell me he fought for the Resistance?

He doesn't.

He doesn't now. He was shot this morning.

He was trying to steal a truck.

A truck filled with artwork going to Germany.

And he was shot dead.

How do you think he knew about that truck?

You see, Claire, because you know the museum, all the collectors, the art, you have a value to me.

And yet I have no doubt that if I were to search this apartment, I'd find things that would make our working together impossible.

Shall I?

Do as you wish.

I will.

If I find you interfering, you won't be fired.

You'll be handed over to the SS. Is that clear to you?

I want his body. Then swim to the bottom of the Seine.


Granger?

Worried was me for minute.

I thought maybe Vichy were you or I was wrong spot.

You speak English?

Yes. Speak English.

Okay.

Is there a chance of getting a ride into Lisieux?

Not a chance, lieutenant.

Any luck finding some radios? No, sir.

You got Lucky Strikes, hash, a pair of boots, size 11.

What size are you? Nine.

Hey, Sam!

Hey, Sam! Epstein, hey!

Hey! Hey, lieutenant!

Hey, you are a sight for sore eyes. What are you driving?

Nazis were in hurry, left a few things. I'm glad you didn't get left on the beach.

I got pulled when they found I spoke German.

What are you, a translator? No, I'm nothing till we get to Germany.

That's too bad.

Who's your CO?


Hey, private?

I'm looking for Major Feilding. Yes, sir. Just over here.

Major Feilding, sir! Stokes.

Hey, John, how are you? I wasn't sure we'd find you.

I had to hitch a ride. What have you got?

Look at this. I think this fellow's a Monet.

That's a Vermeer. That's why I asked for you.

We took a convoy of Germans hotfooting it out of Vernon. A dozen crates filled with these.

A dozen paintings? A dozen crates.

Sometimes 30 paintings inside.

Can I talk to those Germans?

I don't know. Can you?

Ask them where they got the paintings.

Are there any more trucks like these?

Ask them again.


Take care. Good luck.

He said they were going to a town called Siegen.

Five truckloads were taken from this area.

Five truckloads.

Did he say that? No, he said it.

He is their commander. They switch uniforms.

Goddamn.

When I see Hitler, I'll be sure to give him your best...

Captain.

My family were home builders... my father, his father.

I wanted a simpler life.

Yeah.

It is noble when work in dirt.

You know, James, your French is not good.

Where did you learn it?

Here and there.

I studied in Canada for a while. Canada?

Montreal. Oh, no, no.


I see you, Stahl!

Where will you hide?

I see you!


Hey, fellas. Look what we found.

You remember Sam from Newark. Hey, sport.

We got ourselves a translator.

I think he wanted my car.

Where's Campbell? Savitz shot him.

So now we know it's not random, it's systematic.

Every one of those paintings is a masterpiece.

They're all headed to the town of Siegen in Germany.

The Nazis are on the run, but they've taken everything with them, so we have to get as close to the front as we can.

Preston, you and Campbell head towards Belgium.

Specifically, Ghent.

What's in Ghent? It used to be the Altarpiece.

They took the Ghent Altarpiece? I'll go with Garfield.

No, Garfield, you and Jean-Claude get as close to Germany as you can, to the city of Aachen.

We'll leave in the morning.

Why don't you take Sam from Newark with you, and I'll head up to my old stomping ground, Bruges?

There's a Madonna there I used to see when I was young.

Looks like we're gonna be together, buddy.

These are German, but they might fit.

That one will do just fine.

Watch this.

Any news of Granger?

Well, word is they liberated Paris, so we should know something soon.

Turn that knob right there.

Well, I'll be blowed. See, I'm not just a pretty face.

How's it going, Edison?

Would you take that radio over there to the boys?

Let's see if this damn thing works. You bet.

Frank, I wanted to say thanks.

For what?

For another chance.

Donnie, we've all screwed up on some level.

Yours was just...

Just at a high level.

You're here because you're the best man for the job.

Not charity?

Well, a little.

Monuments Men Radio is about to go live.

I hope we play music.

Calling London, calling London and all the ships at sea.

We read you loud and clear.

- How far will this thing reach? We'll find out tomorrow.

Roger that.

Are all the fellas there?

They are.

All right, listen up, fellas.

I think you should know the truth as I see it.

This mission was never designed to succeed.

It's, uh...

If they were honest, they would tell us that.

They'd tell us that with this many people dying, who cares about art?

They're wrong, because that's exactly what we're fighting for, for our culture and for our way of life.

You can wipe out a generation of people, you can burn their homes to the ground, and somehow they'll still come back.

But if you destroy their achievements and their history, then it's like they never existed.

Just ash floating.

That's what Hitler wants.

And it's the one thing we simply can't allow.

I'll see you in the morning.

Now I'm depressed.

I want to make a toast.

Uh-oh.

Um, I think you fellas are...

And I'm proud to be a Monuments Man.

When this all broke out, I wanted to be a flier pilot... A fighter pilot.

But I got bad eyes, my hearing is not good.

Right here is the only way I get into this war.

Now, I'm not some New York socialite, I haven't won any awards like all of you, but...

But I'm guessing you feel the same.

This is our time.

My country thanks you, and I thank you.

Screw the Germans.

Present company expected.

To the Monuments Men.

To the Monuments. To the Monuments Men.

You have children?

Two, yeah. A 12-year-old and a 9-year-old.

Boy and girl? Two girls.

Two girls, hmm. Heh-heh, I know.

I know.

I have a boy.

A 17-year-old boy. He's, uh...

He's with the Resistance up in the north.

In the north?

Yeah. Rough up there.

Yeah, it's rough.

Hard times.

Yeah, hard times.

You like to fly?


Paris!

Pareee!

Am I late?

By about four years. Ha-ha-ha.

How are you, James? Hello, René.

How much of the art did you save?

The national collection is safe.

But the private collections, they are all gone.

All the private collectors?

All the private Jewish collectors, by decree, are illegitimate.

Goering used this place to shop.

And take them where?

Germany. To their homes.

Well, René, the U.S. Army would like to help you get them back.

I'm happy to hear you say that.

Where do we start?

Claire Simone.

Claire Simone?

Hoping was I to speak about art... the stolen art.

Yeah?

I'd like to forcefully introduce myself. I am James Granger... and I'm the curator of Medieval art at the Met...

New York.

I know who you are.

Then you know I'd like to help.

I know nothing.

And will you stop speaking in French?

Or whatever language you are speaking.

Well, if it weren't for us, you'd be speaking German.

No. If it wasn't for you, I might be dead.

But I would still be speaking French.

Okay. So, how can I help you steal our stolen art? That's not why I'm here.

I'm here to help you get it back. Yes, to fill your museum.

I'm told you were at the Jeu de Paume during the occupation.

I was. I'm interested in what you saw there.

Goering came more than 20 times, you know, took whatever he wanted.

Where did they take them?

Who knows? I think you do know.

Ah.

You've been speaking with Rene.

Were you there the whole time?

Of course. I'm a collaborator. Haven't you heard?

I helped the Germans steal our art.

And that's why you're here?

What do you think?

I think you worked with the Resistance.

And I think I can convince them to let you out.

Why?

Do you know where the art was taken?

Who's asking? The curator of the Met?

We put all of the panels in a truck, sent it to Brussels with two priests. But the Germans found them and took them.

May I speak to the priests?

They were shot.

If we're gonna find it, we'll have to jump ahead of the Third Army into Germany.

Number one priority, Preston. You understand?

The Nazis can't keep it.

We'll find it.

I know you will.

- Keep your head down. Will do.

It says the Altarpiece is one of the most desired pieces of art.

How'd you read all that?

It's in English. Yeah, I know that.

I just wasn't actually aware you could read.

Psst!

Easy.

So, Sam, when did you leave Germany?

1938. Yeah, I was 13.

Did your family go with you? Yeah, my parents.

My grandfather stayed behind.

What city? Karlsruhe.

Yeah, you know, there's a famous museum there.

Had one of Rembrandt's self-portraits.

See? You were born to be a Monuments Man.

I've never seen that painting. No, me neither.

We weren't allowed.

My grandfather would tell me it was because we were too short.

And then war broke out, and all of Europe was too short for Hitler.

Have you heard from your grandfather?

No, not for four years.

He was taken away.

Away where? Dachau.

Hey, how does that work?

What's going on?

This seems to be a bit of a problem.

A bit.

Here's a thought.

We put down our guns.

You go your way.

We go our way.

No hard feelings.

He doesn't speak any English.

Not a word.

Okay.

You're just going to sit down?

Yeah, why don't we all just sit down for a sec?

Okay.

All right.

Shh, shh, shh.

Okay.


I don't smoke.

Take a cigarette. I don't smoke.

Take a goddamn cigarette.

Mm.


John Wayne.

John Wayne.

Shouldn't we have arrested him or something?

He's not going anywhere.

What was taken?

The bust of Charlemagne, the shrine holding the robe of Mary.

Okay. How far east?

I heard one commandant mention the town of Merkers.

Merkers? Sir, please... we have no quarrel with you.

And we have none with you. Let us have them back, don't keep them.

Father...

Look out!

Okay.

So one of us has to distract him, the other one takes him out.

Sounds like a good plan.

All right.

Okay, I'll take him out.

I'll take him out.

You have a family. So do you.

Okay, you go distract and I'll take care of business.

All right.

I've never shot anyone before.

It's easy. Have you?

I'm about to.

Okay, I'll shoot, you go.

Whoa, whoa, whoa!


Shit.

Maybe we keep this to ourselves. I think that's best.

Good evening. Where's your CO?

Colonel Langton, sir. I'll take you to him. Follow me.

I'm hoping to speak to Colonel Langton.

Langton here, lieutenant.

Donald Jeffries. How do you do? Do you have a moment?

Can I tempt you with a cognac?

You could easily tempt me, but no, thank you.

Are you bringing us bad news?

Not at all, sir, no. I was simply hoping to get into town.

What town, Bruges? Why? Bruges.

Colonel, my job is to protect art, so that when this war is over, there will still be some, you see.

In a cathedral in Bruges is Michelangelo's Madonna and Child, his only sculpture to leave Italy during his lifetime.

And if it can be helped, I'd like to see it still standing there tomorrow.

You do have an unusual job, lieutenant.

There is some good news. We're not going into Bruges.

We've made a deal with the mayor.

We won't attack the city and the Germans are leaving.

We'll resume fighting outside Bruges.

If we catch them. They're running at a fair clip.

Have you seen this, colonel?

The Germans destroyed Florence when they pulled out.

They'll do the same to Bruges.

No, lieutenant, they're not. This isn't Italy.

The war is ending. These Germans just want to get home.

They've not destroyed any French villages. They're on the run.

If you could let me have two guards... The Germans don't have the time.

They don't have the explosives, or even the damn tanks.

No, I will not risk a street-to-street battle. We will honor our agreement.

When we get to Bruges, you can finish your job in the cathedral. Understood?

I understand.

Is there anything else?

No, sir. Thank you.


Any of you speak English?

Are you Catholic, lieutenant?

I am tonight.

Dear Father.

Weep you might when you hear of my many adventures with these fine men.

It would remind you of our treasure hunts when I was a boy.

But rather than a whistle or a top, our prizes are Rembrandts and Rubens.

It feels odd that in a place with so much death, I've never felt more alive.

My thoughts soar with the tales these streets could tell of the Madonna's long journey to Paris and her triumphant return with the fall of Napoleon.

You can see her porcelain hand gently holding the small boy as if to guard him from a fate she knew would come.

I know in a time of war my endeavor must seem small, and perhaps it is.

But I remain diligent and resolute in my belief that great works of art can never belong to any one individual.

At least not in spirit.

The Madonna is as much mine as it was Napoleon's.

And her hand gently guards me from a fate I know will come.

Father, I know I've been a great disappointment.

In defense of the indefensible, my crimes were qualities I found in the bottom of a bottle, not actions bent on hurting you.


I long for the chance to be back on that pedestal you so proudly placed me.

Perhaps here I can make you proud again.

Here at the foot of our Madonna.

I am humbled and grateful, and longing for home and rest.

I'm in great need of rest.

I'll write when I can.

Cheers and Godspeed. Donald.

You'll see to it that his family gets these?

We will.

Thank you.

Lieutenant, I told him not to go, but he was hell-bent.

And they took the Madonna? That's right.

Well, I'd better get her back.

What have you got?

Yeah, the vicar gave us the town of Merkers.

They might've stored some pieces there.

- Merkers? Yeah.

- M-E-R-K-E-R-S. Merkers. Got it.

- Any word from Granger? Nothing yet.

All hell's breaking loose here. They won't let us through.

We're to hold up in St. Vith.

We'll meet you there.

Hell of a thing about Donald.

It's a hell of a thing.

What is all this? People's lives.

What people?

Jews.


They're gone.

You get around.

I'm a spy, remember?

They're not coming back.

Well, Claire, my job is to find art and return it.

And this seems like a good place to start.


Attention, all personnel. The overdue resupply of additional winter overcoats...

♪ You always hurt the one you love ♪

♪ The one you shouldn't hurt at all ♪

♪ You always take ♪

♪ The sweetest rose ♪ Oh, that's good. That's really good.

♪ Till the petals fall ♪

♪ You always break ♪

Well, if that doesn't beat all.

Just because we're at war doesn't mean one can't eat well.

♪ Recall so ♪

♪ If I broke ♪ Mm!

What's that?

It's a message from home.

Hm.

We may have to confiscate a phonograph.

Okay.

♪ The one you love ♪

♪ The one you shouldn't hurt at all ♪

♪ You always take ♪

♪ The sweetest rose And crush it ♪

♪ Till the petals fall ♪ Doc! Sir.

Over here. We found him on the side of the road.

He took one in the chest. His leg's bleeding. We put a tourniquet on it.

Let's get this shirt off and see how bad it is.

You're gonna be fine, son. We're gonna get you some morphine.

Can we get some morphine over here?

What's his name? I don't know.

♪ It's because I love you most of all ♪♪

Hey, Papa. Merry Christmas.

I've got a couple of little monsters here who want to say hi.

Say, "Merry Christmas, Grandpa."

- Merry Christmas, Grandpa. Merry Christmas, Grandpa.

All right, ready? And...

♪ Have yourself A merry little Christmas ♪

♪ Let your heart be light ♪

♪ From now on Our troubles will be out of sight ♪

♪ Have yourself A merry little Christmas ♪ You can take that tourniquet off, lieutenant.

♪ Make the yuletide gay ♪

♪ From now on Our troubles will be miles away ♪ Is he gonna be okay? He's gonna be fine.

Can you get the chaplain? Joe, can I get that morphine?

I'll get the chaplain.

♪ Happy golden days of yore ♪

♪ Faithful friends who are dear to us ♪

♪ Gather near to us once more ♪

♪ Through the years We all will be together ♪

♪ If the fates allow ♪

♪ Hang a shining star ♪

♪ Upon the highest bough ♪

♪ And have yourself ♪

♪ A merry little Christmas now ♪♪

Well, what the hell is she afraid of?

She's afraid we'll keep it, like the Russians.

The Russians are keeping the art?

They lost 20 million people, Frank.

They've commissioned a trophy brigade to collect and keep all the stolen art. To make reparations.

"Trophy brigade." You gotta love a snappy nickname.

Like Monuments Men?

I got a letter from Donald's father.

Said I should be proud of helping Donald get his dignity back.

I don't feel very proud.

He asked if I found the Madonna. I don't even know where to look.

We need to know what Claire knows, James.

I'm close, Frank.

Okay.

And now we got the Russians.

Put the Germans in the truck.

Give them some bread.

Be careful with those paintings.

Touch only the frames.

The frames we can replace.

Do you know what this is?

No. It's a directive. The Nero Decree.

It is written by Hitler, signed by Hitler.

It says if he dies or if Germany falls, they're to destroy everything.

Everything.

Where did they take the art?

Germany.

You understand I'm here to help you?

I understand you are, but you are not in Germany.

My men are. I don't know your men.

You'll have to find somebody to trust.

Yes, James, you tell me who.

What's cooking?

Lice.

It's called the Nero Decree. What?

Granger took it off a train full of art headed for Germany.

It says if Hitler dies, they're to destroy bridges, train tracks, archives, art.

Jesus.

So we think most of the art went to Siegen?

We know it went through Siegen and Merkers.

Lot of art to hide in a couple towns. What are you eating?

Homemade jerky. Want some? No.

Garfield, let's say you and Jean-Claude make your way to Merkers.

And then we'll go to Siegen.

And we have to hope no one kills Hitler.

I never thought I'd say that.

We'll meet up in Nuremberg.

Oh. Oh, God.

Ow.

That looks really painful. It is.

Very painful, yeah.

So you're artists, heh?

No, we're collectors from New York. Yeah, this guy's an architect.

Oh, ha, ha.

I always wanted to see New York.

Greatest city in the world.

Have you ever seen Munich? No.

But we will soon.

What did he say? What's that?

He said not to make me angry.

Okay, okay. Let's go. Ow!

I... I have a nephew who studied art in Paris.

Yeah, he lives a few miles from here. He may be able to help you.

Is he a soldier?

He was a soldier, heh, heh, like you. But he's a good boy.

Oh. I'm sure you're all innocent.

Okay, okay, Say: Ah!


So how long were you in Paris?

You studied in Paris?

Yes, two years. My wife and I left Paris.

Hmm.

These are beautiful paintings. I wish. Just copies.

Cézanne. Renoir.

They're good.

So where did you study art?

Harvard.

Society for Contemporary Art.

They're looking for artifacts. They want to protect the historic pieces. Huh?

It's an honorable thing in a time of war.

Well, we think the SS took the great pieces of art out through France and are hiding it.

Yeah, I told them you may be able to help, Hermann. Huh?

Well, I wasn't SS. I was a soldier, like you.

If I can help you in any way...

Do you know a collector named Rothschild?

Rothschild. Had one of the greatest art collections in the world. He's French?

Jewish. No. No, I don't know him.

Uh...

Does your wife speak English?

No, no.

Good.

The back of the Cézanne says Rothschild.

It was a gift.

And the Renoir too?


Heil Hitler.

Heil Hitler!

Heil Hitler.

Hey, private.

Where's Siegen? You're in it, lieutenant.

It should be this turn.

Who the hell knows?

It could have been the last one.

If we get to a bell tower, we've gone too far.

What do you think?

I don't think we should go any further down this road.

Stop, stop, stop. Wait, wait, stop, stop, stop.

Look at him.

He's a beauty.

He's a runner.

Hey, my friend.

I haven't got a thing for you.

Offer him a cigarette.

You want a cigarette?

I guess he doesn't smoke.


Jean-Claude?


Aah!

Goddamn it. Goddamn it.

I'm shot! Where am I hit?

Jesus Christ.

I'm bleeding like a son of a bitch.

Dumb-ass way to get killed.

Shit, merde!

Help! Help me!

Please!

When we first started this mission, there was some question as to whether we could really call ourselves soldiers.

Were we risking as much as these young men fighting and dying?

And I suppose it was fair to ask.

Garfield, hold onto this. My wife gave it to me.

I don't want to get blood on it.

Jean-Claude, you hang on to it right now.

We are no longer observers to war.

We're active participants, subject to the same heartache as the rest of these soldiers.

When we lost Donald Jeffries, we earned the right to wear the uniform.

And now we've lost our second man.

From the beginning, I told you that no piece of art was worth a man's life.

But these last months have proved me wrong.

This is our history, and it's not to be stolen or destroyed.

It's to be held up and admired, as are these brave men.

And now we owe it to them to finish the job.

Walter, head stateside, get some R&R.

We'll meet up with you later.

If it's all the same to you, I'd like to finish this.

That'd be fine.

All right, let's take a look at where we are.

Stokes? Yeah.

I got this off an SS officer. He was stationed in Paris. It's a map.

He had a farmhouse full of stolen art.

I don't understand. Siegen, Siegen.

We were there. There's nothing there. Merkers.

Merkers.

They're not train routes.

Are they airfields? No.

Bernterode, Salzburg.

Sir, that's not Salzburg.

Salz means "salt." It's a salt mine.

Kalium is "potassium."

Each town has a symbol next to it.

Bernterode is a potassium mine. Merkers, salt mine.

Altaussee, salt mine.

Siegen... Copper.

Ah.

There's a copper mine in Siegen.


Yesterday we found 16,000 pieces of stolen art buried in a German copper mine.

It seems the Nazis took better care of paintings than they did people.

There was no sign of the Madonna that cost Donnie his life, but maybe we'll have better luck in the next mine, in the town of Merkers.

Enclosed are your transfer orders.

We'll need you here, as we've lost both Jeffries and Jean-Claude.

Safe travels.


May I offer you a coffee?

Well, I'm not sure.

I almost didn't recognize you.

My hair?

No, I've just... I've never seen you smile.

Well, James, it's April in Paris. Haven't you heard?

They write songs about it. Ha, is that so?

Are you shopping for your wife?

For my wife? Every woman loves French perfume.

Even French women?

Especially French women.

Do you write to your wife every day?

No.

But I do write.

Are you a good husband?

I like to think so.

Paris at night finds a lot of good husbands out.

Well, it's war.

It's Paris, hm?

Sardines.

Crackers.

And some kind of potted meat.

Are you having a party? No.

No, stocking up.

My orders came through last night.

Mm. I'm heading east.

Germany?

Merkers. There's a mine there. That's where I'll meet the men.

I was just reading about your men.

They found art.

A lot of art.

And they returned it.

Well, what they could. We still don't know who a lot of it belongs to.

When do you leave?

I leave in the morning.

Then we should celebrate tonight.

This is my address.

You bring the potted meat. I'll bring the wine.

What's the attire?

Formal, of course.

Formal, of course. That's what I thought.


You weren't kidding.

Mm. I never kid.

This is the best I have.

Why don't you pour the wine?

I brought some things. I brought some cheese, some brie cheese and croissants.

Very French.

I cooked a hen.

A hen? Yes.

It should be ready soon.

Here, put this on.

You know, in France, if you are given an invitation to a formal party, you dress accordingly.

It matches my eyes.

Then you may keep it.

Rosenberg. Goering. Mmmm.

Lohse. Von Behr.

These are the key figures in the ERR.

The Staff for Special Purposes.

They started with the Jewish collectors in 1940.

You see Stahl?

The SS farmer.

Farmer.

Here he is with Goering.

Inspecting art to be stolen and shipped to Germany.

Most of the pieces they would photograph, then take.

And they would send Hitler albums filled with the stolen artwork.

And the modern masters, you know, like Picasso, Klee, Yes. Max Ernst, were just burned in the yard.

Hundreds of paintings.

And you believe these paintings are in the mines?

No.

No, not these.

This is all I have, James.

This is my life.

I understand.

This is every piece of art that came through the Jeu de Paume.

Now, I have kept train manifests, receipts, letters for every single piece.

Who it belonged to, who took it, where they took it.

I kept a colored mark here for every piece, to match this ledger.

Jesus Christ.

I'm giving it to you.

It's your responsibility now.

I understand.

There's a castle in the Bavarian Alps, Neuschwanstein.

You should find most of the art there.

Thank you, Claire.

And you tell them Claire Simone says hello when you get there.

I'll do just that.

I am out of wine, but, uh, I have cognac.

I should go.

You could stay.

It's Paris, you know?


I do love my tie.


Say, fellas.

Well, hello!

Welcome back. Welcome back, sir.

Good to see you. How was vacation?

Ha. Where's Stokes?


She's not here, is she?

Who?

The Madonna.

Not here, not in Siegen.

She'll turn up.

I'm not so sure.

Donald was so proud of what we're doing here.

He was proud to be a part of it.

There will never be a thousand-year Reich.

No Fatherland.

No Fuhrer Museum.

If Jean-Claude and Donald had something to do with that, well, I guess it's okay.

I just have some unfinished business.

We'll find her.

Yeah.

He really wanted it all.

He wanted everything.

Private, what does that sign say? Uh, "storage."

See if there are any lanterns in there. Yes, sir.

You okay in there?

Sam?


Buried some 1200 feet below the ground in a salt mine in Merkers, Germany, our Gls discovered over 100 tons of gold bullion, the entirety of Germany's reserve.

A crushing blow to Hitler. Grand news indeed, and congratulations to generals Patton, Bradley and Eisenhower.

The Army may not care much about art, but they sure as shit care about gold.

General Patton, what are you gonna do with the gold?

Private, give me a hand. Yes, sir.

I don't think you've been properly introduced.

Sam, that's your neighbor, Mr. Rembrandt.

You tell your grandfather when you see him.

Nice to meet you.

Hey, got us a couple of trucks.

Do I want to know how?


A lot of files. Looks like they were burning records.

It's a bunch of junk. An old pot.

Hey, Stokes? Yeah?

Can you come in here for a minute? Yeah.

What have you got? Stop, stop.

Stop. I seem to have stepped on a land mine of some sort.

Why'd you do something like that? It was a slow day.

I wouldn't move. I'd like to at some point.

Campbell, Garfield, get in here! What'll they do?

They're architects. So they know explosives?

It's that or Savitz. What?

Boy, it is burned to heck in here.

Everybody just stay where they are.

Looks like the lieutenant here is standing on an unexploded mine.

Why would you do that?

I asked him the same thing. He did.

Well, you're going to have to... step off of it eventually. Well, eventually, yes.

And either the mine is so damaged from the fire that it's a dud...

How likely is that?

Most likely.

But if it's not, there will probably be a sizable explosion.

How much do you weigh? Uh, one-seventy-five.

Grad school, I was 175.

Now what?

Well, if we did this right, you just step off.

Okay, well, what say, uh, you fellas head to the exit?

I think we'll just hang around and keep you company.

That's not necessary, Frank.

I think it is. Fellas?

I'm not going anywhere.

I'll be fine right here.

Yeah, what the hell.

Okay, James, that's how it's gonna be.

Well... on the off-chance that this thing blows us sky high... been an honor serving with you all.

Same here. Agreed.

Okay, so I'll just count to three and step off.

Good. Take your time.

One...

Goddamn it. Shit.

What happened to two and three? I panicked.

Told you it was a dud.


Picasso.

Is that gold?

It's from teeth.


That's a Rodin.


Altaussee!

The Ghent Altarpiece is in the mine at Altaussee.

What?

It's right here. What did you find?

Sam, give us a hand! What is it?

It was stored there a year ago.

How do you know? It says nothing after that.

It's still there.

Want to go get it?

You give that Claire a big kiss.

She'd like that.

Hey, sarge, we're trying to get to Altaussee.

Keep going that way.

Where you fellas headed? Home.

Germany surrendered. War's over.

No kidding? Yeah.

Ain't there supposed to be a parade or something?

Probably not in Germany.

Yeah, right.

Jesus Christ, they blew the mine.

Any other openings? Two others, blown to shit.

They stored armaments here, then blew everything up.

Who gave the order? War's over. Ask him.

Caught a Kraut, Wegner, hiding in town.

Sam, Savitz, find some locals, get a diagram of the mine.

Walter and I can look at the entrances. Okay.

Come on. Captain, can I talk to that Kraut? Sure can.

Burn your smokes? Yeah.

Thanks.

I'm told you speak English. I do.

Would you like a cigarette? Don't smoke.

I'd like to ask you a few questions.

So I assumed.

Why'd you blow the mine?

What was in the mine?

Salt, I think.

You know the war is over. Congratulations.

We believe there are pieces of art in that mine that we've been tasked to find.

Did you take them out?

What will you offer me for my answer?

As you say, the war is over.

I followed orders. I committed no crime.

According to the Geneva Conventions, I will be released and sent home.

I was told that before you were sent here, you ran one of those camps.

Who told you that? A little bird.

You're not Jewish, lieutenant? No.

Then you should thank me.

You know, I don't smoke either.

My first cigarette.

But, mm...

I want to remember this moment.

I'm gonna go home soon.

Got a nice apartment in New York on the Upper West Side.

There's a deli down the street called Sid's.

Every morning, I walk there and I get a cup of coffee and a bagel, and I read the newspaper.

I think about it every day here. It'll be the first place I go when I get stateside.

I'm gonna be sitting there, eating one of Sid Meldman's toasted onion bagels and reading a tiny article in The New York Times, page...

18... that says you, Colonel Wegner, were hanged for your crimes you committed during the war and you were buried in an unmarked grave.

And then I'll think about my cigarette... and I'll think about you sitting there with that stupid look on your face.

Then I'll finish my coffee, leave the paper for Sid to wrap fish in.

I'll never think of you again.

Sure you don't want that cigarette?

The Germans didn't blow it! The local miners did!

They found out the Nazis' plan, sealed the mine entrances to stop them.

We'll dig in. How long will that take?

A day or two if these miners help us.

Might wanna move quicker. We got orders to pull out tonight.

What orders? Top brass.

This territory goes to the Russians. They're moving south now.

Should be here tomorrow. Tomorrow?

Maybe sooner.

Do you have any explosives?

Here we go! Everybody down!

Maybe I should do this.

What do you know about explosives?

Nothing.

Okay.


We're short one. We're missing one.

You've gotta be kidding me. We're missing a goddamn panel.

We have to go, fellas, unless you speak Russian!

We've covered all this area.

We didn't look here.

We did. We didn't look here.

This is us right now. This is where we have to go.

This is this.

No, this is where we are now. And this is where we didn't look.

We were here, we went over here. Where didn't we go?

We didn't go here and we didn't go there.

Yeah, we gotta... This, this.

Give me a hand, will you? What?

You are going to miss me so much when this is over.

I doubt it.

Okay.

Right now you wish that German had shot you.

I do.

Get out of here now, I'm not kidding. I'm going after Stokes.

Be right behind you, captain!

Stokes!

Frank, we gotta go!

Stokes!

Stokes!


Let's get out of here.

Hey.

Hey, hey, we gotta go. Give me a hand.

No, no, Frank, we gotta go. Give me a hand.

Holy shit. Come on, give me a hand.

Holy shit. Stokes!

Granger!

Jesus.

We gotta get out of here. Give us a hand.

Holy shit! He just said that.

I did.

You can add this to the long list of Hitler's failures.

He tried to take something that could never be his.

The story of our lives painted on canvas or etched in stone.

With the Russians bearing down on us, we left Altaussee with some 3000 pieces, including the Ghent Altarpiece and the Bruges Madonna and Child.

We did leave something for our Russian friends to take back to Leningrad.

We headed northwest. Savitz and Campbell flew the Altarpiece to Belgium.

It was displayed in Brussels and then returned to the chapel in St. Bavo.

With Second Lieutenant James Granger, several trainloads of French art found in a castle in Bavaria were returned to Paris.

Thank you, James.

Everything from paintings to sculptures, tapestries, even jewelry, is being returned.

It is the greatest collection of private art in the history of the world.

We also found 5000 church bells, 300 trolley cars, 3 million books, and thousands of Torahs.

In all, the numbers are staggering.

There were over 5 million pieces recovered.

There are still, of course, many great works that have gone missing.

Raphael's Portrait of a Young Man, for instance.

And with your permission, I'd like to keep looking for him.

Well, lieutenant, let me have a talk with Secretary Stimson here and I'll give you an answer. Thank you, sir.

And you lost men on this mission, lieutenant?

Yes, sir, two men. A Frenchman named Jean-Claude Clermont

And a Brit named Donald Jeffries, who lost his life saving the Bruges Madonna and Child.

Lieutenant Stokes, I have one question.

You said the Madonna. Yes, sir, the Bruges Madonna.

Michelangelo made it, right? Yes, sir.

And you lost a man trying to save it. Donald Jeffries.

You think it was worth it, for a piece of art?

Do you think Jeffries would say it was worth it, if he could speak?

If he could speak...

I think he would.

All right then, how about you, lieutenant?

You were in charge, and this gets to the heart of the matter.

Do you think 30 years from now, anyone's going to remember that these men died for a piece of art?

Yeah.

You ready? Yeah.

Let's get out of here.