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In a departure from your prototypical World War II film, George Clooney‘s forthcoming The Monuments Men tells the real-life story of the eponymous crew. A group of seven museum directors, curators and art historians, the so-called “Monuments Men” were tasked by United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt with rescuing more than 1,000 years-worth of artistic masterpieces from behind enemy lines in Nazi Germany. Co-written, produced, and directed by Clooney and starring the multi-talented actor alongside Matt Damon and Cate Blanchett, the action-thriller is based on Robert M. Edsel’s book The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History and sees the unlikely allies in their race against time – made even more difficult by Hitler’s orders that the German army destroy everything as the Reich crumbled. The Monuments Men is due out December 18 via Sony Pictures.