Sunday, January 02, 2011

Movie Idea: WW2 Treasures of Art Movie

It's been a while since I had a movie idea. After seeing the previews for terrible films at the recent showings I screened, the crazy ideas I come up with for movies would be superior to the schlock that studios are producing now. I'm kind of pulling an Ang Lee method with my movie ideas; I jump genre to genre. I've typed up counterterrorism, rom-com, Westerns, Steampunk and now a WW2 flick.

Flight Through France (I am accepting title suggestions)

This film is set in France in WW2 right after the initial outbreak in the fall of 1939. The movie would open with the a large presentation by some head honcho at the Louvre. The talk will be of evacuating pieces of art and preventign the wonders of Western Civ from falling into Nazi hands. During the presentation we'd be introduced to two men and one woman (one Brit, one American and a French woman). There's your core. We'd need a scene of packing and loading up, which would allow for these three to introduce their characters, begin the love triangle, and set up the 'what's in the box mystery'. Brit is young, very playful and cheeky with Frenchie. Yank is an older man (maybe 5 years) who left US in Great Depression for Europe after college. Frenchie is art lover, Paris girl, deeply in love with her country and art. This team of 3 would take their light truckload and be given a signal for when to scram if the Germans attack, and they also receive where they need to go (country-house in northwestern France).

Germans attack and steamroll the French, and when Paris is in disorder, the trio flees. Nice scene of them fighting to get together and then they flee. They stop at a safehouse in the country. Here bad news and hunker down. French surrender fast. They are warned the Nazis know of the Louvre's secret teams because of a traitor on the inside pre-war, and are looking for them. They also receive a warning that an insider has been placed in the Nazi program at the Louvre that the Germans don't know can read and speak German and will send information when she can. Following scene has main Nazi talking to his pre-war source. They know of the teams sent out with the treasures. Lead Nazi already talks of nabbing one team. He sends out Nazis to quietly look for them, keep physical confrontation to a minimum and be careful of the art. We'd cut to a scene of an older woman walking into work at the Louvre. We'd not see her face until she sat down and started thumbing through files. She'd snap something up, and the camera would reveal her face to show the Allies insider.

Chase scene from the first safehouse. I want a map like this on the screen with the red line showing them move. At safehouse Nazi motorcyclists come with civilian Nazi in sidecar. The American would have to drive. Nazis on motorcycles would stop them. One would flank, the other in front. Civilian Nazi steps out and does the "Get out zee caaaar, Dr. Smith" bit, and explains how he knows what they have. The Yank would gun it to destroy one bike and Nazi. It makes the civilian jump in the sidecar of the other cycle. The Trio dodge bullets, which the smart German stops the other from shooting for fear of destroying artwork in the truck. The Yank realizes this and knocks the Nazi scum off the road killing them. The Trio stop and look over the dead. The Yank grabs the guns, "Better off being prepared". Maybe "we need to fight fire with fire" or "I once ran rum over the Canadian border (chk-chk)".

The 2nd safehouse is a bit deeper into France. They phone a friend in Paris. Wait for word. Switch back to show the Allies' insider getting information and knowing the Nazis are on their trail. Recommends going north then west. Insider switches a report for the trio which sends Nazi squads looking south. Back to Trio in safehouse. Eat, drink wine, cute talk of art and their pasts. Quiet fireside stuff. Brit goes to bed. Yank and Frenchie stay up. Frenchie asks about responding to unwanted attraction. Yank explains he knows all about it, but you don't know until you go for it. Yank explains how Brit guy showed him Paris when he first arrived, they became friends, and Brit made pass at him (yeah this love triangle goes there). Yank did not reciprocate. Frenchie inquires about America (will it stay neutral), American women, home, etc. Yank has the nostalgia, homesick talk, and his fondness for France, food, art and its beauty, which leads to some fireside fireworks. Scene of them waking up and setting up camp with this farmhouse crew through winter. Need a montage of some art trios delivering their items to final destinations, and others of Nazis recovering some hidden artwork.

Scene at Nazi HQ some spring weekend night formal thing. Lead Nazi gloats over recovered items to some mucky muck like Goering (everyone loves casting a fat Goering in his blue uniform). Lead Nazi had been old art critic in Berlin before Nazi takeover. He is the everyday man who turns to evil. After tour, Lead Nazi notices how trails for squads leave certain paths completely open. Bad guys can be smart, and this one is. He sends secondary (soldier only) teams to empty valleys. Kill all they find, recover art. Allies' insider reads this the following Monday. Nazis have a 24 hour headstart. The information gets to lead trio through couriers/phonecalls/messangers.

The Trio strategize. Yank wants to blaze out, Frenchie discusses splitting up and separating art, and the Brit stops them with his idea. He likes Frenchie's idea, but wants to take it further. Split and deceive. Yank takes off with scarecrow in wig beside him. Brit assures him it's better than a threeway split, and the Yanks French isn't as good as his for the final leg. Frenchie kisses him goodbye, Yank slips Frenchie letter in her pocket. It kills him to say goodbye but eve moreso to never know what they protected. Brit and Frenchie wave him off. Brit asks her how was he.

Brit and Frenchie set up horsedrawn wagon with art boxes covered in manure and straw. They are going offroad to final destination. Yank is a big diversion. Yank has chase with Nazis. Some road runoffs, some shots cause gas spill, some Nazis die. The goon squad chases him to cliffs of France (use this as shot location). Gerries ask him to surrender. He thinks about it, then drives off the cliff, jumping from truck before it hits the water. Last scene is Brit and Frenchie making it to old country estate off roads, unpacking art. Frenchie reads letter with Yank voice over. It doesn't matter if he did not know what they saved nor if they see each other again because what they risked, loved and fought for was the idea that in the face of tyrants and aggressors there is beauty in this world. Need a final shot of Yank swimming up on beach, trudging up towards some fisherman (setting up potential sequel/other tie ins).

Cast
Brit - Outgoing English sort, handsome but more foppish looking than the footballer type. Worldy beyond his young age and appearance. You could cast any thin English young actor (early-mid 20s). Seriously, pluck one off of BBC programming or Brit films.
Frenchie - Elodie Bouchez - She was in one of the last seasons of Alias. I'd even go for a relative unknown French or French Canadian actress. Smart, serious, feminine. She's the lead contact for the team when they get news.
Yank - Smart, aggressive and approaches life with a slight melancholy. Grew up in Depression. Left US for opportunity in Europe. Older than the others, but more the risk taker. Sawyer from LOST would be a great fit for what I envision.
Allies' Insider - Stoneface who can be stern and meld into a file clerking environment. Someone we can imagine being gutsy enough to sneak into the lions den and fiddle with things. Older female. I'd love to cast an Emma Thompson or Kristin Scott Thomas, but this film wouldn't support their salaries.
Lead Nazi - Let's mess with the Internets here and cast the teh guy who plays Hitler in Downfall. No stache needed, just need that wonderful scheming German Nazi stern look he shows in Downfall.

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