In Bad Grund Filming “Monuments Men”

Marion Magura
By Marion Magura

On May 5, 2013, an acquaintance took me along to a set visit of George Clooney’s “The Monuments Men” in Bad Grund, the Harz Mountains in Germany. As my acquaintance is a so-called “Oscar blogger”, writing about films with high Oscar potential, he was actually invited and pampered, and, as his company, I was greatly taken care of as well.

After lunch, I stood by as the Oscar blogger was talking to the publicity person, when a guy clutching a plastic bag slowly approached us. He was dressed in an American World War II uniform, as most of the extras were. He came to stand opposite me and asked all around the group, “What are you giving to George today on his birthday?”

Only then did I realize it was Bill Murray, and we were all taken to shame, having forgotten that it was George Clooney’s birthday today. Bill Murray pulled out a wooden “Woodpecker” sort of bird he must have gotten at a yard sale. When pulling the string at the back, it would start pecking into the wood to which it was attached – Bill Murray’s gift to George on his birthday.

It was greatly appreciated, as 2 days later I saw pictures in a local paper how they partied the night away in an Asian restaurant in the tiny city of Wernigerode in Germany, where they were staying at the time.

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