Hollywood A-listers film at Duxford

(l to r) Matt Damon, Hugh Bonneville and George Clooney in Columbia Pictures' THE MONUMENTS MEN.
(l to r) Matt Damon, Hugh Bonneville and George Clooney in Columbia Pictures' THE MONUMENTS MEN.

Hollywood film The Monuments Men, which was partly filmed on location at IWM Duxford, opens to UK audiences on Friday (14).

Director George Clooney is joined on screen by an internationally acclaimed ensemble cast, many of whom were at IWM Duxford for the filming.

They include Matt Damon (Ocean’s Eleven, The Bourne Identity), Cate Blanchett (The Lord of the Rings, Elizabeth), Bill Murray (Lost in Translation, Ghostbusters), John Goodman (Argo, The Big Lebowski), Jean Dujardin (The Artist) and Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey).

A spokeswoman at IWM Duxford said filming was a large-scale operation, involving not only the leading actors, but also over 300 extras, over a nine day period.

She said: “Filming took place across the museum, including the North Side of the site, which is not open to the public, but houses IWM’s collections within historic buildings that made up the domestic side of the RAF fighter station.

“Second World War aircraft and vehicles were brought to the museum to act as props and set dressing for the scenes.”

IWM Duxford’s historic buildings, control tower and airfield significantly featured in the filming.

The film is billed as being based on the true story of the greatest treasure hunt in history/

The Monuments Men is an action drama focusing on a World War II platoon tasked to go into Germany to rescue art masterpieces from Nazi thieves and return them to their rightful owners.

Museum directors and curators had to go behind enemy lines as the German army was under orders to destroy everything as the Reich fell.

However, the film itself has come under fire for failing to include the story of the Cambridge academic Ronald Balfour who died in 1945 whilst saving medieval archives and buildings in Cleves. Instead, an English character who never existed is played by Hugh Bonneville.

And miners, ignored in the film, removed explosive charges from around treasures due to be blown up on Hitler’s orders.