Historical accuracies and inaccuracies revealed

Fascination within the film

I not only chose this film because I missed out on the Pocahontas fun, but every history class I've had has played this movie and each time I get a bigger kick out of it. There's something about Nicolas Cage that constantly cracks me up. I also enjoy the passion for history that characters Ben and Abigail portray throughout the film; the passion drives them to do crazy things because they love it so much and they want more.


In a nut shell, 'National Treasure' is about the Gates family who has a conspiracy theory about some treasure, and will do everything to find a clue. The main character "Ben" Gates finds a clue on a ship, that leads to another clue on the Declaration of Independence, which then leads to another clue at the liberty bell. Between telling the museum of a potential theft to occur and actually driving away with the document, two other main characters are introduced, Riley and Abigail. The three battle for the next clue to the treasure throughout the movie against some other people that are trying to steal the Gates's "family fortune" for bad intentions (family fortune as in generations and generations of the Gates family has been after the treasure). The movie ends with Ben, Riley and Abigail finding the treasure, with Ben's dad and some bad guys... But the three main characters are the lucky finders and Ben donates some of the treasure to the museum, because he loves history.

Accuracy Rating: 3

'National Treasure' is mildly somewhat-accurate. There are many facts of the past, but many of the facts are twisted and turned.

One of the first scenes shows Charles Carroll going to the white house and describes him as the last signatory of the Declaration of Independence, which is a fact. But then the narrator goes on to say that Carroll was a mason, which is inaccurate; historians of masonry have no evidence of Carroll being a fraternity member.

The story line goes on to bring up the ship Charlotte. It is true that there is a missing ship named Charlotte that could be found in the Arctic Circle, but how they unburied the ship is out of proportion. When the characters find the ship they have a baby ice axe to uncover the entire thing from packed snow. To be factual, Charlotte would of been covered by solid, thick ice needing more than just a couple of ice axes.

Another scene in 'National Treasure' shows Ben Gates purchasing a replica Declaration of Independence for $35.00 plus tax; replicas are purchasable, but in reality they are $16.99.


Some highlighted errors in 'National Treasure' include bare hands touching historical items. A first mistake was Dr. Chase receiving the campaign button as a gift from Ben; she picks it up and rubs her thumb across it! Any expect collector, like her character was intended to be, would know the acid of her fingers can corrode the metal damaging the value and design. Another error in handling historic material is towards the middle of the movie when Ben, Riley and Abigail unravel the Declaration with their naked hands to use the newly found bifocals. Ben and Abigail, being the die-heart history characters they are, should know they need gloves because the oils on their hands could easily crumble the sacred document they possess.


"National Treasure Movie Mistakes, Goofs and Bloopers." Movie Mistakes. Web. 17 May


Sorren, Martha. "How Much of 'National Treasure' Is True? Less Than You Might Think."

Bustle. 19 Nov. 2014. Web. 17 May 2016.

Burns, Ashley. "The Fact And Fiction Of ‘National Treasure’ On The 10th Anniversary Of

Its Release." UPROXX RSS. 2014. Web. 17 May 2016.