National Treasure

Synopsis: Benjamin Franklin Gates descends from a family of treasure-seekers who've all hunted for the same thing: a war chest hidden by the Founding Fathers after the Revolutionary War. Ben's close to discovering its whereabouts, as is his competition, but the FBI is also hip to the hunt.
Director(s): Jon Turteltaub
Production: Buena Vista
  1 win & 9 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
131 min


(floorboard creaks)


You're not supposed to be up here,

looking at that.

I just wanted to know.

Well, you're old enough, I suppose.

You should know the story.

OK, here we go.

It was 1832.

On a night much like this.


Charles Carroll was the last surviving

signer of the Declaration of Independence.

He was also a member

of a secret society known as the Masons.

And he knew he was dying.

He woke up his stable boy

in the middle of the night

and ordered him to take him to

the White House to see Andrew Jackson.

Because it was urgent

that he speak to the president.

Did he talk to him?

No. He never got the chance.

The president wasn't there that night.

But Charles Carroll had a secret.

So he took into his confidence

the one person he could,

my grandfather's grandfather,

Thomas Gates.

What was the secret?

A treasure.

A treasure beyond all imagining.

A treasure that had been

fought over for centuries

by tyrants. Pharaohs.

Emperors. Warlords.

And every time it changed hands

it grew larger.

And then suddenly...

it vanished.

It didn't reappear

for more than a thousand years.

When knights from the First Crusade

discovered secret vaults

beneath the Temple of Solomon.

You see. The knights who found the vaults

believed that the treasure

was too great for any one man -

not even a king.

They brought the treasure back to Europe

and took the name "the Knights Templar."

Over the next century

they smuggled it out of Europe

and they formed a new brotherhood

called the Freemasons.

In honor of

the builders of the great temple.

War followed.

By the time of the American Revolution

the treasure had been hidden again.

By then the Masons included

George Washington.

Benjamin Franklin. Paul Revere.

They knew they had to make sure

the treasure would never fall

into the hands of the British.

So they devised a series of clues

and maps to its location.

Over time the clues were lost or forgotten,

until only one remained -

and that was the secret that Charles Carroll

entrusted to young Thomas Gates.


"The secret lies with Charlotte."

Who's Charlotte?

Oh... not even Mr. Carroll knew that.

Now look here, Ben.

The Freemasons

among our Founding Fathers left us clues.

Like these.

The unfinished pyramid.

The all-seeing eye.

Symbols of the Knights Templar,

guardians of the treasure.

- They're speaking to us through these.

- (man) You mean laughing at us.

You know what that dollar represents?

The entire Gates family fortune.

Six generations of fools...

chasing after fool's gold.

(Grandpa) It's not about the money,

Patrick. It's never been about the money.

Come on, son. Time to go.

You can... say your goodbyes.



Are we knights?


Do you want to be?

All right. Um... kneel.

Benjamin Franklin Gates,

you take upon yourself the duty

of the Templars, the Freemasons

and the family Gates.

Do you so swear?

I so swear.

(man) I was thinking about

Henson and Peary,

crossing this kind of terrain with nothing

more than dog sleds and on foot.

- Can you imagine?

- It's extraordinary.


We getting closer?

Assuming Ben's theory's correct

and my tracking model's accurate,

we should be getting very close.

But don't go by me -

I broke a shoelace this morning.

- It's... it's a bad omen.

- Shall we turn around and go home?

Or we could pull over

and just throw him out here.


Riley, you're not missing that little

windowless cubicle we found you in?

No, no. Absolutely not.

(continuous beep)

Why are we stopping?

I thought we were looking for a ship.

Rate this script:4.6 / 7 votes

Jim Kouf

Jim Kouf (born July 24, 1951) is an American screenwriter, director, and producer. He received the 1988 Edgar Award for Best Motion Picture Screenplay for his work on Stakeout (1987). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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