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'The Monuments Men' trailer gives a peek into the WWII drama (+ video)

'Monuments' stars George Clooney, Matt Damon, and many others as a group who try to save culturally significant artwork, buildings, and more from the Nazis.

By Staff Writer / January 21, 2014

'The Monuments Men' stars (from l.) Dimitri Leonidas, John Goodman, George Clooney, Matt Damon, and Bob Balaban.

Claudette Barius/Sony, Columbia Pictures/AP

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The film “The Monuments Men,”  the story of a group trying to save works of art and culture from the Nazis during World War II, is set to arrive in theaters on Feb. 7. The movie is based on a nonfiction book of the same name by Robert M. Edsel

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'The Monuments Men' trailer

“Monuments” is directed by George Clooney and stars Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, “Downton Abbey” actor Hugh Bonneville, Cate Blanchett, “The Artist” actor Jean Dujardin, John Goodman, and “Moonrise Kingdom” actor Bob Balaban.  

The book by Edsel was first released in 2009 and the film adaptation changes the names of the people involved. “We’re not doing a documentary, and we wanted to be able to give these guys flaws,” Clooney told Entertainment Weekly. “They were real people, and you don’t want to give real people flaws. So we changed the names so we could mess with them a little bit.”

The movie was originally set to be released this past December but was moved to its current release date.

One trailer for the upcoming film shows Clooney, who plays Frank Stokes, gathering the group to save valuable works of art.

“I’m to put a team together together and do our best to protect buildings, bridges, and art before the Nazis destroy everything,” he tells Damon.

Later, Clooney describes the importance of their mission.

“If you destroy an entire generation of people’s culture, it’s as if they never existed,” he says. “That’s what Hitler wants and it’s the one thing we can’t allow.”

In his interview with EW, Clooney said he tried for a mix of serious issues and humor in the film.

“There was a lot of important stuff to talk about, but we wanted it to be fun and entertaining,” he said. “You want to be able to laugh at a lot of the stuff, too.”

Check out the full trailer.

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