National Treasure: Book of Secrets
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A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDbs Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for National Treasure: Book of Secrets can be found here.

Historian Ben Gates (Nicolas Cage) learns from treasure hunter Mitch Wilkinson (Ed Harris) that a missing page from the diary of John Wilkes Booth implicates Ben's great-great grandfather Thomas as a co-conspirator in the 1865 murder of Abraham Lincoln. Ben sets out to clear the Gates' name by following clues that take him to Cibola (the City of Gold), Buckingham Palace, and the Oval Office of the President of the United States.

National Treasure: Book of Secrets is the sequel to National Treasure (2004), a Disney Production that was co-written by numerous screenwriters, including American screenwriting team Marianne and Cormac Wibberley. The Wibberleys also wrote the screeplay for NT: Book of Secrets. National Treasure 3 is currently in development with no release date known.

The Book of Secrets refers to a book kept by the President of the United States and, in turn, handed down to each succeeding President. It contains secrets known only to the Presidents, e.g., the truth about Area 51 and the assassination of President Kennedy.

The first clue leads to a replica of the Statue of Liberty that sits on the Ile aux Cygnes near the Grenelle Bridge in Paris, France. On the statue is written (in French): 'Across the sea, these twins stand resolute to preserve what we are looking for. 1876'. Ben interprets that second clue to refer to two desks made from the timbers of the Resolute, a British ship trapped in ice during an Arctic exploration. One of the desks now sits in the Queen's study at Buckingham Palace, London. The other is the desk of the President of the United States sitting in the Oval Office at the White House.

Ben's referring to the fact that, when the Queen of England is not in residence at Buckingham Palace, the Union Jack is displayed. When the Queen is in residence, her royal flag is displayed. Since the Queen wasn't in residence, her royal flag was not flying.

What is the third clue?

Emily deciphers the carved wooden plank found in the Queen's Resolute desk as Olmec writing meaning 'Find the noble bird, let him take you by the hand and give you passage to the sacred temple.' She concludes that the reference is to Cibola, the City of Gold. But the reference is incomplete without the plank from the President's desk. Unfortunately, that plank was found by President Calvin Coolidge [1872-1933] and destroyed. The only clue to its message lies in the 'Book of Secrets'.

This is from a book that Ben reads aloud: 'In 1527, a Spanish ship wrecked on the Florida coast. There were only four survivors. One was a slave named Esteban who saved a local tribe's dying chief. As a reward, he was taken to their sacred city, a city built from solid gold. Later, when Esteban tried to find the city again, he never could. But the legend grew, and every explorer came to the new world in search of it. When General Custer's search for gold ended at his last stand at Little Big Horn, it became clear none would ever find it.'

Ben believes that, if the cipher on the diary page leads to Cibola, the City of Gold, this would prove that Thomas Gates threw the page into the fire to prevent the Confederates from finding the gold (a treasure that might have changed the outcome of the Civil War), not to coverup the names of the conspirators in the Lincoln assassination.

The President (Bruce Greenwood) mentions that he was an Architecture History major at Yale, so secret passageways (especially under such a historical site as Mount Vernon) would be of extraordinary interest to him. Coupled with this is the fact that Ben was famous (based on the previous movie) for exploring old buildings, national treasures, and such. In light of this, Ben would be the closest thing to an expert. Therefore, the President would probably feel safe with him. Besides, it was only a little jaunt into the cellar, and the President's guard was behind him the whole time.

How does the movie end?

Ben and Mitch finally meet up at Mount Rushmore and agree to work together to find the treasure. Ben finds the 'islands of stone' and Mitch adds the last clue: 'The answer will only be revealed under a cloudless rain. Sprinkling the rocks with their water bottles, they uncover the figure of an eagle. The final clue, possessed by Mitch, say to 'surrender your hand to the heart of the warrior.' Ben sticks his hand in the hole in the middle of the eagle, pulls a lever, and a rock doorway opens. Ben and Mitch, accompanied by Abigail (Diane Kruger), Riley (Justin Bartha), Patrick (Jon Voight), and Emily (Helen Mirren), make their way into the cave, encountering several traps along the way. Patrick and Emily get separated, but they all end up at the same place -- Cibola, the City of Gold. Mitch apologizes for smearing the name of Thomas Gates and explains that it was the only way he could get Ben to join in the search. Suddenly water starts seeping into the city, threatening to block their way out. Noticing that the water seems to be draining, they follow it to a drainage tunnel beneath the city. One person will have to stay behind, however, in order to hold open the stone door. Mitch demands to go first by holding a knife to Abigail's neck, so Ben agrees to stay behind. Everyone gets out except for Mitch and Ben, who become trapped because of the current. Ben is stuck in the door, and Mitch is the only one who can open it. Mitch decides to open the door, letting the current push Ben through but asks Ben to let the world know that it was he (Mitch) who found Cibola. Ben is immediately taken into custody by FBI special agent Sandusky (Harvey Keitel), but the President exonerates him by explaining that Ben did not kidnap him but actually saved his life when the door accidentally closed in the secret tunnel they were exploring. He shows Ben an article for tomorrow's newspaper that names Thomas Gates a national hero and asks him whether he read page 47 on the Book of Secrets. Ben nods and replies, 'It's life altering.' Everyone, including Mitch Wilkinson, is given credit for finding the City of Gold, Emily can be seen later cataloging the treasures, and Ben and Abigail get back together. In the final scene, Riley sees his red Ferrari bearing a note from the President saying 'Tax free.' He jumps in, starts up the engine, and backs into the car behind him.

What was on page 47?

It is never made clear in the movie what was on page 47, and some speculate that it exists as a cliffhanger solely to set up another sequel. On the DVD commentary, director Jon Turteltaub thrice says something about the contents of page 47, but his microphone fails mysteriously all three times. He also rebuffs the sequel theory, saying that the references to page 47 exist to show how much the President began to trust Ben Gates and to establish a closeness between the characters.

Mitch wanted to be acclaimed for finding Cibola, but he knew that tricking Ben into find it for him would be much easier, especially if there were any brushes with the law.

There were two aircraft in the hangar, both A-3 Skywarriors. The plane was versatile, filling the roles of both bomber and tanker during the Vietnam War and as a spy plane during the Cold War. It was retired from service in 1991.

Page last updated by bj_kuehl, 2 months ago
Top 5 Contributors: larscg, bj_kuehl, matadorbid, charlief-6, Stars-9

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