- National Treasure (film)
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jon Turteltaub
Jerry Bruckheimer (uncredited)
Produced by Jerry Bruckheimer
Written by Screenplay:
Starring Nicolas Cage
Music by Trevor Rabin Cinematography Caleb Deschanel Editing by William Goldenberg Studio Jerry Bruckheimer Films
Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures Release date(s) November 19, 2004 Running time 131 mins. Language English Budget $100 million Box office $347,451,894
National Treasure is a 2004 mystery adventure heist film from the Walt Disney Studios under Walt Disney Pictures. It was written by Jim Kouf, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Cormac Wibberley, and Marianne Wibberley, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, and directed by Jon Turteltaub. It is the first film in the National Treasure franchise and stars Nicolas Cage, Diane Kruger, Justin Bartha, Sean Bean, Jon Voight, Harvey Keitel, and Christopher Plummer. Cage plays Benjamin Gates, a historian and amateur cryptologist searching for a lost treasure, once protected by the Knights Templar and hidden by the Freemasons during the early years of the United States. A coded map on the back of the Declaration of Independence points to the location of the "national treasure", but Gates is not alone in his quest. Whoever can steal the Declaration and decode it first will find the greatest treasure in history.
Benjamin Gates (Nicolas Cage) is a historian and amateur cryptologist, and the youngest descendant of a long line of treasure hunters. Though Ben's father, Patrick Gates (Jon Voight), tries to discourage Ben from following in the family line, as he had spent over 20 years looking for it and never found a thing, young Ben (Hunter Gomez) is encouraged on by a clue from his grandfather (Christopher Plummer) that could lead to a fabled treasure hidden by the [[Founding Fathers of the United States] to protect his family name.
With an expedition funded and led by Ian Howe (Sean Bean), Ben and his friend and computer expert Riley Poole (Justin Bartha) track down a Colonial ship, the Charlotte, trapped in the ice in the Arctic. Aboard the ship they discover a meerschaum pipe engraved with a riddle that Ben connects to the Declaration of Independence. When Ian reveals he will go to any lengths to find this treasure including stealing the Declaration, Ben takes a stand against him. A fight ensues, during which spilled gunpowder is ignited. Ian escapes the ship, leaving it to explode before departing with his team. Ben and Riley are trapped inside but survive the explosion by hiding in a smugglers hold, and return to the United States determined to stop Ian.
When Ben tries to tell various authorities, including Agent Peter Sadusky (Harvey Keitel) of the FBI, and Dr. Abigail Chase (Diane Kruger) at the National Archives, they dismiss his claims, considering the Declaration impossible to steal. Ben and Riley concoct their own plan to steal the document during a gala event, and execute it just before Ian and his own team arrive. Abigail, suspicious of Ben's presence at the gala, becomes caught up with Ben and Riley as they escape from Ian and the authorities. Ben's identity is tracked to the theft, and they are forced to go to his father's home, much to Patrick's surprise and dismay. Ben and Abigail find an Ottendorf cipher on the back of the Declaration which, using the riddle from the pipe on the Charlotte, they connect to the Silence Dogood letters, written by Benjamin Franklin, at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. Decoding the message, they then head to Independence Hall where the trio find a pair of spectacles with multiple coloured lenses created by Franklin that reveal additional clues on the back on the Declaration. The group is caught by Ian, and even though they split up, Riley and Abigail and the Declaration are caught by Ian, while Agent Sadusky captures Ben, still with the glasses.
Ian, under the guise of a prisoner exchange, lures the FBI into a trap aboard the USS Intrepid, allowing them to grab Ben. Holding Riley, Abigail, and Patrick hostage, Ian forces Ben to use the bifocals and find the next clue, which leads the group to Trinity Church in New York City. Beneath the church they find an enormous shaft with an elevator system. At the bottom of the shaft, they find a room lit only by a lantern, which Ben and Patrick trick Ian into thinking that it refers to Paul Revere's ride, and indicates the treasure to be at the Old North Church in Boston. Ian and his men strand Ben, Riley, Abigail, and Patrick as they ascend to the surface, unaware that Ben has purposely tricked them. Ben uses the pipe from the Charlotte to open a secret door that reveals the vast treasure stash he has been searching for, as well as a route to the surface.
When the four ascend, they are met by Agent Sadusky, who reveals he is part of the Freemasons. Ben and Sadusky arrange a deal. With the safe return of the Declaration and identifying where Ian and his men can be found, Sadusky will clear all of their names; and the treasure will be distributed among museums throughout the world. Ian is captured by the FBI at the Old North Church and charged with kidnapping, attempted murder, and trespassing.
The film ends showing that Ben chose to accept from the US government only a 1% finder's fee for himself and his team. That is still enough to make him and his friends quite wealthy, given that Ben's estimated value of the find is US$10,000,000,000. In addition, Ben has begun a romantic relationship with Abigail.
- Nicolas Cage as Benjamin Gates, a historian who is fascinated with ancient treasures
- Harvey Keitel as FBI Special Agent Peter Sadusky
- Jon Voight as Patrick Gates, Ben's father
- Diane Kruger as Abigail Chase, Ben's romantic interest.
- Sean Bean as Ian Howe, Ben's financier and primary antagonist of the film.
- Justin Bartha as Riley Poole, one of Ben's colleagues.
- Christopher Plummer as John Gates, Ben's grandfather
- Yves Michel-Beneche as Museum Boy
- Jason Earles as Thomas Gates
- David Dayan Fisher as Shaw, one of Ian's men.
- Stewart Finlay-McLennan as Powell, Ian's Scottish right hand man.
- Oleg Taktarov as Victor
- Stephen A. Pope as Phil
- Matthew Li as Henry
- Hunter Gomez as Young Ben Gates
The film received a mixed reaction from critics, some of whom lauded it as a fun, straightforward family adventure, while others ridiculed its numerous implausibilities and unbelievable plot twists. Roger Ebert gave National Treasure two stars (out of four), calling it "so silly that the Monty Python version could use the same screenplay, line for line." Academic David Bordwell has expressed a liking for the film, placing it in the tradition of 1950s Disney children's adventure movies, and using it as the basis for an essay on scene transitions in classical Hollywood cinema.
Home video releases
Collector's Edition DVD
A special collector's edition, two-disc DVD set of the movie was released on December 18, 2007.
National Treasure Soundtrack album by Trevor Rabin Released November 16, 2004 Recorded 2004 Label Hollywood Producer Trevor Rabin
All songs written and composed by Trevor Rabin.
No. Title Length 1. "National Treasure Suite" 3:17 2. "Ben" 4:03 3. "Finding Charlotte" 1:04 4. "Library of Congress" 2:27 5. "Preparation Montage" 4:53 6. "Arrival at National Archives" 1:54 7. "The Chase" 4:22 8. "Declaration of Independence" 1:43 9. "Foot Chase" 3:34 10. "Spectacle Discovery" 3:18 11. "Interrogation" 4:30 12. "Treasure" 3:39
National Treasure: Book of Secrets
Although the DVD commentary stated that there were no plans for a sequel, the film's box office gross of an unexpected $347.5 million worldwide warranted a second film, which was given the green light in 2005. National Treasure: Book of Secrets, known the DVD as National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets, was released on December 21, 2007.
National Treasure 3
Director Jon Turteltaub said that the filmmaking team will take its time on another National Treasure sequel, but Disney has already registered the domains for NationalTreasure3DVD.com and NationalTreasure4DVD.com. Though the second film ended with the question about page 47 of the President's book of secrets, Turteltaub responded in a press interview that the idea was not set in stone as the basis for National Treasure 3.
IMDb reports that the film has a release date of 2014.
- United States Declaration of Independence
- National Archives and Records Administration
- Beale ciphers
- Arnold Cipher
- Baron Ottendorf
- National Treasure franchise
- ^ "Box office statistics for National Treasure (2004)". BoxOfficeMojo.com. Retrieved April 10, 2007.
- ^ "National Treasure". Chicago Sun-Times. http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20041118/REVIEWS/411180308/1023.
- ^ Bordwell, David (5 January 2008). "Your trash, my Treasure". http://www.davidbordwell.net/blog/?p=1781. Retrieved 30 January 2010.
- ^ Bordwell, David (January 2008). "The Hook: Scene Transitions in Classical Cinema". http://www.davidbordwell.net/essays/hook.php. Retrieved 30 January 2010.
- ^ http://uk.rottentomatoes.com/m/national_treasure/
- ^ "Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment Announces the Disney Blu-Ray Title Wave Coming 2008". High-Def Digest. August 17, 2007. http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/pressrelease_disney2008bluray.html. Retrieved 2007-09-27.
- ^ Bruce Kirkland (2008-05-30). "'National Treasure 3' in works". Jam!. http://jam.canoe.ca/Video/DVD_Column/2008/05/30/5721241-sun.html.
- ^ Peter Sciretta (2008-02-01). "Disney Plans For National Treasure 3 & 4". SlashFilm. http://www.slashfilm.com/2008/02/01/disney-plans-for-national-treasure-3-4/.
- ^ "National Treasure 3: Page 47". HitsUSA.com. 2007-12-22. http://hitsusa.com/blog/406/national-treasure-3-page-47/.
- National Treasure at the Internet Movie Database
- National Treasure at AllRovi
- National Treasure at Rotten Tomatoes
- National Treasure at Box Office Mojo
- The National Archives "Our National Treasure" website
- Secret Methods and Techniques - Intelligence letters - From the collections at Clements Library
National Treasure: Book of SecretsBook • Soundtrack National Treasure 3 Films directed by Jon Turteltaub 1990s 2000s 2010sThe Sorcerer's Apprentice (2010) Film and television media produced by Jerry Bruckheimer Films1970s1980s1990s2000sRemember the Titans (2000) · Coyote Ugly (2000) · Gone in Sixty Seconds (2000) · Black Hawk Down (2001) · Pearl Harbor (2001) · Bad Company (2002) · Bad Boys II (2003) · Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) · Veronica Guerin (2003) · Kangaroo Jack (2003) · National Treasure (2004) · King Arthur (2004) · Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006) · Déjà Vu (2006) · Glory Road (2006) · Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007) · National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007) · G-Force (2009) · Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009)2010sPrince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010) · The Sorcerer's Apprentice (2010) · Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011) Television1990s2000sCSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000–present) · The Amazing Race (2001–present) · Without a Trace (2002–2009) · CSI: Miami (2002–present) · Skin (2003) · Cold Case (2003–2010) · Fearless (2004) (co-producer) · CSI: NY (2004–present) · Just Legal (2005–2006) · E-Ring (2005–2006) · Close to Home (2005–2007) · Justice (2006) · Modern Men (2006) · Eleventh Hour (2008–2009) · The Forgotten (2009–2010) · Dark Blue (2009–2010)2010s
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