National Treasure Hunt: One Step Short of Crazy
National Treasure Hunt: One Step Short of Crazy by Aubrey R. Paris & Emily M. Black —Copyright 2023 - Paperback, 194 pages - ISBN 9781959748007
“I’m going to steal the Declaration of Independence.” These eight treasonous words delivered with intense earnestness by Nicolas Cage would launch a pop culture phenomenon in National Treasure (2004) and its sequel, National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets (2007).
Years after the films were box office hits, quotes and sentiments from the two-part franchise are frequently referenced in response to both the most joyous and most scathing moments in recent history. But even so, the films have been heavily criticized for purportedly “crazy” storylines, forcing National Treasure enthusiasts to defend their fandom against those who think it merely a guilty pleasure.
But what if the majority of National Treasure’s plot points were inspired by real figures and events, its heists drew upon actual techniques in science and technology, and production choices were made with the hope that viewers would better remember both triumphs and failures of history?
In this book, franchise experts and hosts of the National Treasure Hunt podcast Aubrey Paris and Emily Black set the record straight, taking a scene-by-scene approach to prove that National Treasure, like protagonist Benjamin Franklin Gates, is not crazy, but rather one step short. Their analyses unearth lesser-known stories from history while considering the ethics of character decisions, assessing comparisons to similar film franchises, interpreting key deleted scenes, and revealing behind-the-scenes secrets from filming. The result is a more complete understanding of the franchise, one that might just turn National Treasure skeptics into begrudging admirers. In the end, don’t we all want to know what’s on page 47?