National Treasure (film) A patriotic, third-generation treasure-hunter, Benjamin Franklin Gates, has spent his life searching for a great treasure that no one believed existed. Hidden by our Founding Fathers, they left clues to the treasure’s location right before our eyes—from our nation’s birthplace, to the nation’s Capitol, to clues buried within the symbols on the dollar bill. Gates’s journey takes him to the last place anyone thought to look, on the back of the Declaration of Independence. But what he thought was the final clue is only the beginning. Joining with two friends, he realizes that in order to protect the legendary treasure, he must now do the unthinkable: steal the most revered, best-guarded document in American history before it falls into the wrong hands. In a race against time, Gates must elude the FBI, stay one step ahead of a ruthless adversary, decipher the remaining clues, and unlock the mystery behind our greatest national treasure. A Jerry Bruckheimer Films production. Released on November 19, 2004. Directed by Jon Turteltaub. Stars Nicolas Cage (Benjamin Franklin Gates), Jon Voight (Patrick Gates), Justin Bartha (Riley Poole), Diane Kruger (Abigail Chase), Sean Bean (Ian Howe), Harvey Keitel (Sadusky), Christopher Plummer (John Adams Gates). 131 min. Filmed in Super 35-Scope by award-winning cinematographer Caleb Deschanel. Filming took place at many of the countriy’s most hallowed historical sites, including the Library of Congress, Lincoln Memorial, and DAR Building in Washington, and Independence Hall, The Franklin Institute, the Reading Terminal Market, Philadelphia City Hall, and Pine Street Church Cemetery in Philadelphia. Because of ongoing renovations at the National Archives, the filmmakers had to build extensive sets based on reality. Released on video in 2005.