National Treasure

Factual error: As Ben is clinging to the staircase while it is falling apart, there is a close-up of a nail being pulled out of the wood. This nail is round-headed, rather than square as it would have been over 200 years ago. It's also shiny instead of rusty, which indicates that it's galvanized. Galvanization as an industrial, metal-preservation process was not patented until 1837, and was not used in building materials until well into the late-1800s. Since the film states the staircase was made by "the Founding Fathers, " and there was no galvanization of iron nails in any industrialized nation in 1780s-1830's, this is a huge anachronism.


Factual error: During the heist preparation scene, Riley enters the National Archives Metro station to record surveillance camera footage. Surveillance camera feeds for the National Archives would never be accessible within a Metro station due to both security concerns and the fact that the feeds are not needed outside of the National Archives building. (00:32:00)

Factual error: When Ben and the rest of the group start to climb under the church, Ben moves some spider webs out of the way with his torch. The dust on the spider webs would have burst into flames when he did this, but instead they just fall to the side.

Factual error: When Dr. Chase receives the Washington campaign button from Ben Gates, she immediately picks it up with her bare fingers and rubs it with her thumb. An expert collector would *never* handle metal objects with their bare hands like this, as the acid on the fingers will corrode the metal. Cleaning the coin afterwards is also not an option, as this presents an even higher damage risk. See for more details.


Factual error: The sun's location horizontally changes throughout the year. Because of this, Ben, Abigail, and Riley shouldn't know where the shadow is falling, horizontally.

National Treasure mistake picture

Continuity mistake: The actor who plays Ben as a child has brown eyes, but Nicholas Cage has blue eyes.

Continuity mistake: When Ben and Riley go down the smuggler's hold in Charlotte, Riley's bag gets set on fire, the flap side. But in any of the following shots where we see his bag, it is not burnt.

Sheri Hartman

Continuity mistake: As Ben is grabbing Abigail from Ian's vehicle, we see Shaw shoot at Ben and Riley's red van. He hits the top right corner of the sliding side door. When we see the side, sliding door again, there are no bullet holes, scratches, etc.

Sheri Hartman

Continuity mistake: When Ben walks in to the bathroom to remove his overalls, he slams the tool belt up in the corner of the counter next to side panel wall and tile wall. When Ben unzips the overalls, the tool belt is now behind the last sink's faucet with part of the belt and fastener in the middle sink. None of the tool belt is next to the side panel wall. We next see a shot where the tool belt is almost entirely in the last sink, then back to being behind the faucet.

Sheri Hartman

Continuity mistake: When Ben ducks into the Gift Store, there is a blonde lady in a black dress standing at the counter between Ben and the door. She steps forward out of the picture as Abigail goes by. Then as Ben starts to turn to leave the store you see her arm come back into the picture. But as Ben walks by that part of the store and the clerk says to Ben, "Are you trying to steal that?" the lady has disappeared.

Sheri Hartman

Continuity mistake: When Ben puts his tool belt on the conveyor belt to go through the X-ray machine, we see the gloves are on the left and pointed down while the red, rubber encased plyer handles are approx. in middle leaning slightly to the right and no space between the plyer handles. As we watch the tool belt go through the X-ray machine, the gloves are on the right side with the plyer handles almost directly above the gloves, both handles visible and the rest of the belt all to the left.

Sheri Hartman

Continuity mistake: When Ben is first confronted at his father's car by the FBI, you can see Chase and Riley in the background standing there and then turning around and leaving. Then as they arrest Ben against the car, you can see Chase and Riley just turning the corner, noticing Ben being arrested, and leaving.

Factual error: When Ben finds Charlotte buried in the ice, he would have encountered solid, thick ice. The small pick-ax he uses seems to easily break through the ice. Also, he seems to be digging through packed snow, rather than thick ice, which is indicative to the Arctic ice shelves.

Continuity mistake: After Ben And Riley climb down into the smuggler's hole and are scrambling to get away, Ben grabs Riley and throws him through a hatchway. Riley lands in the snow with a wall next to him, on the screen's left side. Right before the blast, Ben dives (is thrown) facedown in the snow next to Riley but the screen is a mirror image of the previous one because the wall is now on the right of the screen and so is Riley.

Sheri Hartman

Factual error: The security to get into Independence Hall is very strict, since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Security would not have allowed Ben to keep his pocket knife when he entered it. This should not be confused with his disguising as a janitor, as this happened at a different location (National Archives) earlier in the film.

Continuity mistake: When we first see Dr. Chase's desk there is a Rolodex on the upper left hand side (as she is looking out over her desk). Then when Dr. Chase confirms that the FBI is right, that nobody could steal the Declaration of Independence, we see the Rolodex in the shot between her and Ben. It then disappears until Dr. Chase says, "You're treasure hunters,aren't you?" where it reappears between her and Ben. It not on her desk as Riley says "...owned by Freemasons." but reappears as Dr. Chase says, "Did Bigfoot steal it?"

Sheri Hartman

Continuity mistake: When Abigail runs down the aisle trying to find a hiding place from Shaw and Viktor, she jumps over a small space between some meat display coolers. In that shot the "butcher lady" can be seen behind a large roll of brown paper to the right of the scene. To the left of the space, behind a roll of white paper, is a second butcher. This second butcher is right next to where Abigail lands and is sitting when the first butcher lady says: "If you're not a steak, you don't belong here." But there is no one near Abigail when the camera show her sitting there, talking to the butcher lady.

Sheri Hartman

Continuity mistake: When Gates takes out the champagne glass after making the fingerprints visible, the time on his watch changes from 9:11 to half past something. (00:38:45)

Ronnie Bischof

Factual error: The National Archives room with the Declaration of Independence is actually darker than portrayed in the movie. The lack of light is for the protection of the documents, so that the writing doesn't fade away.

National Treasure mistake picture

Continuity mistake: In the treasure vault Riley stands in front of that emerald statue, and on its chest you can see a part which is not covered in dust. In the next shot the whole chest is covered in dust. The clean area coincides with the later placement of Riley's cheek, which means the first shot was actually taken after the embracing and implemented before. (01:50:45)

Ronnie Bischof

Continuity mistake: When Gates enters the password he has hit the keyboard 4 times "V A (actually the "Caps lock-key, as explained elsewhere) L L" but when we see the screen with the access code, there are only 2 stars hiding the letters. (00:42:35)

Ronnie Bischof
National Treasure mistake picture

Revealing mistake: When Ben and Ian get the two different fingerprints from two different people, Mr. Ferguson [random security guard] and Abigail Chase, they are the exact same fingerprints. This can be confirmed on the DVD with pause and zoom. Moreover, the two scans show exactly the same emphasis/pressure on different regions within the print, with more light and detail on the left side and little in the center. (00:39:15)

Continuity mistake: After the Independence Hall chase, Ben tells Abigail & Riley to meet him at the car. When Ben arrives he is confronted by the detective, then placed under arrest, and in the background behind the detective you see Abigail & Riley standing on the sidewalk. In the following shots the positions of Abigail & Riley keep changing.

Continuity mistake: When Riley and Abigail are running through the tunnel, trying to get away from Shaw and Viktor, we see Riley running into people and getting knocked around and held up. We see a lady in a red suit go by and then there are two men in suits, the one closest to the camera has a medium brown suit on, over the collar salt and pepper hair and glasses whilst the man farthest from the camera has a medium gray/blue suit on and very short brown hair. The next shot shows Riley trying to go between these two men only now, the one nearest the camera has a very dark charcoal suit on, short white hair and no glasses whilst the other man is wearing a black suit, has greyish brown hair and is much older than before.

Sheri Hartman

Continuity mistake: This has to do with Ben getting Abigail's fingerprints off the champagne glass. When he hands her the champagne glass, her fingers are positioned on the lower half of the glass. Later, when Ben "takes" her thumbprint off the glass, he takes it from a much higher part of the glass.

National Treasure mistake picture

Factual error: In the scene when Ben, Abigail and Riley are on the tower of Independence Hall, they look at the shadow marking the secret place where the glasses are hidden. It is 3:20. The shadow of the cross is in the second third of the pillar. When Ian is on the tower the shadow has already moved to the top of the wall. As the others have left Independence Hall at 3:28 the shadow must have traveled the distance in about 4 minutes. This is far too quickly. (01:12:20)

Ronnie Bischof

Continuity mistake: Ben stirs a solution to make the campaign button fluorescent and tests the solution. He dips two fingers into the solution, rubs them against his thumb, then draws a smiley face on the tabletop. When he shines the UV light on the tabletop, there's a small, compact smiley face. But if you watch Ben very closely as he is making the smiley face, he draws the eyes much farther apart and he starts the mouth of the face between the eyes. The one he actually draws is not the one that is shown.

Sheri Hartman

Factual error: To reveal the invisible ink on the back of the Declaration, Ben and Dr. Chase use pure lemon juice before warming the surface. This is best seen when Chase first test it out on the corner, where the Mason symbol is placed. Lemon juice is in fact also used as invisible ink (that you have to heat to make visible), and this procedure would have ruined anything written on the back of the document.

National Treasure mistake picture

Other mistake: When Gates writes down the numbers from the back of the Declaration of Independence he forgets one number. On the document there are the following numbers: 11-6-6, 12-18-7, 14-3-7. Ben however only writes down 11-6-6, 14-3-7 and then keeps on. (01:01:10)

Ronnie Bischof

Continuity mistake: When Ian abducts Abigail, you see some one shoot at Ben and hit the hood of his van twice, but in another shot you do not see any bullet holes.

Continuity mistake: In the scene where Ben and Riley meet Abigail for the first time, Abigail's assistant ushers them into the office and the camera shows her walking out of the office. In the next shot you see the camera on Abigail talking to the two men. When the camera pans back to them, you see the assistant leaving the room again. (00:22:20)

Factual error: Early in the movie, Charles Carroll, identified as the last survivor of the 55 patriots who signed the Declaration of Independence, is portrayed as a Freemason. Charles Carroll of Maryland was not a member of the Fraternity.

Leonard Hassen

Other mistake: When Abigail keys in her password to the preservation room, she only presses the keyboard 9 times including the return key. If "Valley Forge" was the password, she would have had to have used at least 12 keystrokes (including the return key.) And she never goes near the "L". (00:33:20)

Continuity mistake: When Ben and Ian stand at the corner of Broadway and Wall Street, while they are talking to each other, you can see people in the background passing Ben, but they never pass Ian. And, when Ian asks Ben where the treasure is, you can see a black guy wearing a blue shirt passing Ben in the background. 10 seconds later you can see the same guy pass Ben again. (01:31:00)

Factual error: When Ben, Abigail, and Riley are discussing the correct time to be at Independence Hall, they would need to know the exact date, not only the time, of the painting to be sure to see the correct shadow.

Factual error: In the scene under the Trinity Church in New York, on the wall are two metal support beams in the shape of an X. There are bolts and washers securing the beams. Judging by the elevators that are operated by pulleys, there should be wood with square nails in the time period which the underground passage was built. Seeing the total state of disrepair in the underground elevator shaft, it is extremely unlikely that any updates/repairs were made significantly later than the time it was originally built.

Continuity mistake: When Ben is taking the screws out of the case that holds the Declaration of Independence, the first screw we see him removing is the one in the little "compartment" with an extra little rod across. There are three little compartments with this extra rod across and he is removing the screw from the left-most compartment. Next we see him removing the screw from the compartment just to the left of the previous compartment, but that screw is now back in place. The next time we see him removing a screw, it is again, one compartment to the left and again, the compartment to the right, the one he just removed the screw from, is back in place.

Sheri Hartman
National Treasure mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When Gates and Dr. Chase are in the store to buy new clothes, Abigail is coming out of the changing cubicle. She opens the door wing while having both hands on the edge, when the shot changes, she leans on the edge with both forearms. (01:07:50)

Ronnie Bischof

Revealing mistake: When the two vans are driving away from the Archives, Dr. Chase tries to open the door to escape. As the camera pans from her face to the door handle, you can see by the way her hair moves that the quarter-second sequence is run in reverse. (00:48:55)

Factual error: When Ben and Abigail and Riley separate at Independence park Abigail and Riley could not possibly have exited the park and run right into the Reading Terminal Market. Independence park (where the liberty bell is housed) is between 5th and 7th and Walnut Streets, and Reading Terminal Market (where Abigail hides from the bald man) is at 12th and Arch street. At least 15 blocks apart.


Deliberate mistake: In the scene near the beginning of the movie where Ben finds the pipe and finds the message by rolling the pipe on the paper, the message is long and has symbols, but it is impossible for all of that to fit in the pipe. (00:12:00)

Revealing mistake: When Ben, Abigail, and Riley are fleeing the National Archives, the window on the driver's side has been shattered by a gunshot. Although they are driving at high speeds, no wind seems to be entering the van to mess up their hair.

Continuity mistake: Right after the scene where the FBI break into Ben's apartment, Ian is puzzling over the clue from the Charlotte. He circles the phrase "in silence" but when he holds the notepad up to his friends, only the word "silence" is circled.

Other mistake: When Gates enters the password to enter the preservation room he accidentally hits the Caps Lock key instead of the "a" key. (00:42:35)

Ronnie Bischof

Factual error: In the scene in the Charlotte, the black powder would not burn without creating enormous amounts of thick grey smoke. And the barrels would never have exploded like that. Maybe one or two but never to that degree. More like a succession of explosions.

National Treasure mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When Ben finds the glasses at Independence Hall, it is 3:20 because of daytime savings time. However when the bad guys chase Abigail and Riley in the market they pass a large clock showing the time to be 2:37. (01:12:15 - 01:17:10)

Continuity mistake: When Riley starts down the smugglers' hold his bag is on his left side but when it shows him landing, his bag is now on the right.

Sheri Hartman

Continuity mistake: When Ian and Ben are sitting on a couple of barrels discussing what the riddle means, there are a couple of balls hanging from chains very close to Ian's head. A scene or two later, there are a couple of oblong, round, flat bottomed things hanging down next to Ian's head that actually brush against the fur on his hood. Next scene, nothing is close to his head and then the balls come back and then nothing again.

Sheri Hartman

Continuity mistake: When we see Ian's men pull up over the grate that they are going to go down through to get to the National Archive, we see the street wet so it had to have rained, been hosed down, etc. But when one of Ian's men drops a large bag down, it whirls up a huge cloud of dust when it lands. This shouldn't have happened because there was nothing over the tunnel but a grate and some water would have gone down the tunnel, wetting the dust.

Sheri Hartman

Continuity mistake: As Viktor is driving the catering van while Abigail is still in the back, we see the windshield get cracked near the bottom left. It gets hit by at least two more things but the next time we see a full shot of the windshield, it is perfect.

Sheri Hartman

Continuity mistake: Near the beginning of the movie when Ben, Ian and Riley are in snow CATS and we see Riley's computer screen, viewed a little from the left, and there is a jiggling hula dancer, supposedly mounted on his keyboard surface. In the background, a window has popped up showing the location and route of the two CATS. Then we hear alarm go off and we see almost the same shot but a little closer in on the computer screen. The hula girl is missing. The difference in angle and "zoom level" could not account for not seeing the hula girl in the second shot.

Sheri Hartman

Continuity mistake: Ben dipped the George Washington button in a liquid solution. But, when he puts it into the gift box, it is considerably larger than before he dips it.

Lynette Carrington

Character mistake: Nick states that Wall Street was originally a wall (correct) built to defend against the British (incorrect.) The original wall was a wooden palisade built in the 16th Century to defend the colonists against invading natives and to prevent livestock from wandering uptown.

Continuity mistake: As Ian watches our heroes leave Independence Hall the clock in the tower reads 3:27. That gave Ben only five minutes to climb down the tower, dig out the brick, meet up downstairs, unroll the Declaration and decipher it, realize they're being followed, plan their escape and leave. It took me longer to write all of that.


Factual error: Ben uses SuperGlue to show up the fingerprints on the glass that Abigail was holding. Once the fumes develop the prints they appear as being black, but this is incorrect. SuperGlue would actually make them white.


Factual error: Ben, Riley, and Abigail are driving into Philadelphia at sunrise to go to the Franklin Institute. They are shown driving west on the Ben Franklin Bridge. The sun is actually setting in the west behind Philadelphia, not rising. (01:07:00)

Continuity mistake: When they get ready to climb into the tunnel left by removing the coffin, Ian says, "McGregor, Phil. You stay here." When you see the people coming through the tunnel, it's not Viktor and Shaw as you would expect but Shaw and McGregor. Don't know if Sean blew his line, the writers got the characters mixed up or the actors blew it, but something went amiss.

Sheri Hartman

Continuity mistake: When Gates is arrested by the FBI you see Riley and Chase coming around the corner twice. (01:21:50)

Ronnie Bischof

Continuity mistake: When Riley is sitting in the car waiting for Ben, the window is gone and shards of glass can be seen in the window frame, but there has been no shooting yet. Later, the window is back and then it gets hit by a bullet and shatters.

Other mistake: When Ben, Riley, and Abigail show up at Ben's fathers house, the screen shows a title stating they are now in Philadelphia, PA. However, when Ben's father confesses that he donated the Silence letters, he says "I donated them to the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia." Normally when you tell someone where something is, you don't include the city if you are located in that city at the time. (Not to mention that I'm sure Ben knows exactly where that museum is anyway). This coincides with the next scene where you see sky shots of downtown Philadelphia and the Ben Franklin Bridge, implying they are driving into the downtown area. That means they would be coming in from New Jersey. Maybe Ben's father is supposed to be living in Jersey somewhere, and not in Philadelphia.

Other mistake: When Ian is breaking in to take the Declaration of Independence his team uses a plasma cutter to cut through some metal. A plasma cutter of that size (fairly small and portable, but able to cut through metal of that thickness) requires a 220v power supply and a compressed air supply. I doubt there was a 220v power plug in that area, and I didn't see them carrying around any kind of compressed air tank.


Continuity mistake: The school boy is counting letters on the Dogood letters and runs out to give them to Riley. As he crosses the street, he passes a cab and a Taurus station wagon. On his second trip out, he passes the same two cars again.

Other mistake: When Nicolas Cage puts on the thumb cover, he lightly dabs it in that purple stuff so he can pull Abigail's thumbprint off the glass. The very next shot is a close-up of the thumb cover, which is now somehow covered in that purple stuff - even on the back of his thumb.

Continuity mistake: When Ben is trying to grab Abigail from Ian's vehicle, we see a bus coming. There is a car on the right side of the bus (Riley's left side) in that shot. We then see Viktor stepping on the brake and Riley start pulling to the left of the bus; when Riley swing around to that side to miss the bus, the car has disappeared.

Sheri Hartman

Continuity mistake: When Gates and Riley are talking in front of the Lincoln Memorial, the clouds in the background change. It would be possible that they change so quickly during the shots, but only if there was a gale and not sunny weather as it is in the movie. (00:27:00)

Ronnie Bischof

Continuity mistake: When Riley is first looking at the special glasses the lengths of the stems of the glasses change from shot to shot. Sometimes they are halfway extended and sometimes they are fully extended.


Continuity mistake: When Riley is in the Subway to install the video feed, he places his laptop on a table. On its left side there is a little antenna. When the laptop is on the ground, the antenna is horizontal. In the next shot, the antenna is already folded out in a 45° angle. (00:30:05)

Ronnie Bischof

Continuity mistake: When they blow the back of the Declaration with the hairdryer, Ben writes down the numbers. When he explains to Reilly how an Ottendorf cipher works we see that there are 2 columns with 17 lines each. This leaves us with a possible 34 letters. However the riddle that they decipher from the Dogood letters have 89 letters in it. After Ben writes down the last letters Abigail switches off the dryer and we can also see that it was the end of the page so there is no way that there was more space to get more letters.

Continuity mistake: When the FBI storms into Ben Gates' apartment, an agent is researching the Silence Dogood letters on his Hewlett Packard laptop. However, the web browser displayed on his laptop is the Mac Safari browser. HP laptops don't run Mac software so the "photoshopped" shot of the web browser on the laptop was done on an Apple Mac. (00:57:20)

Factual error: On the back of the Declaration of Independence when the Masonic square and compass are revealed, there is a "G" in the center. This "G" was not used until the period of the Civil War. Confederate Masons refused to use the "G" as they considered it a Yankee trick. Even today the Grand Lodge of England does not use the "G." For these reasons it would be unlikely that the Masonic symbol displayed on the Declaration would have included a "G."

Continuity mistake: At the Charlotte down in the cargo hold when Ben has just figured out that the riddle refers to the Declaration of Independence, Ian's stocking hat keeps changing between scenes. He's got a two-toned hat with a jagged edge between the two colors. Sometimes, the edge is turned up so far you can't even see this design. At other times, the edge is barely turned up and crooked and the jagged edge between the colors is very prominent.

Sheri Hartman

Factual error: When Ben, Riley, and Abigail are in Independence Hall in Philadelphia and roll out the Declaration of Independence to inspect with Ben Franklin's special "ocular device" that Ben had just found, Ben pauses to take in the moment. When asked what was the matter, Ben says "It's just that...the last time this was here (in Independence Hall)...It was being signed." However, according to, "In 1876 the Declaration traveled to Philadelphia, where it was on exhibit for the Centennial National Exposition from May to October. Philadelphia's Mayor William S. Stokley was entrusted by President Ulysses S. Grant with temporary custody of the Declaration. The Public Ledger for May 8, 1876, noted that it was in Independence Hall "framed and glazed for protection, and... Deposited in a fireproof safe especially designed for both preservation and convenient display." Sorry Ben.

Character mistake: At the gala, Ben describes to Abigail how the Founding Fathers would have been hanged, beheaded, drawn and quartered, and had their entrails burned had they lost the war. However, only hanging and beheading were acceptable practices in Britain at the time; Ben's information is off by several decades.


Continuity mistake: When Ben is at the Keypad ready to enter the password. We hear him read out the letters that where pressed by Abigail earlier. He reads out the letter L, but earlier when we see Abigail type the security code onto the keypad, she never presses the letter L.


Continuity mistake: When Dr. Chase is entering her password she goes for the first letter on the keyboard. Her little finger is at the right end of the space bar and her index finger is hitting the key. When the shot changes to the close-up of her hand, the little finger is in the area of the CTRL key and the middle finger is the one which hits a key, in the area of the m or comma key. (00:33:15)

Ronnie Bischof

Deliberate mistake: The clock on the back of the $100 bill reads approximately 4:10 not 2:22. This is the design of both the current $100 bill and the bill used in the movie. The $100 bill will not be redesigned until 2006. (01:09:45)

shortdanzr Premium member

Other mistake: When Ben is threatening to throw the flare down into all the gunpowder, knowing what would happen when the fire strikes it, there are all kinds of sparks falling from the flare down into the fire anyway. Wouldn't one of those sparks would easily have set the powder off? (00:19:35)

Continuity mistake: When Ben is in the Men's restroom taking off the overalls to reveal his tuxedo, he is in front of the third or back sink. He turns, throws tool belt away, turns back toward mirror and grabs his drill and starts to leave with the red NO SMOKING sign on the mirror up to his left. Then he stops to look in the mirror again as Riley says "How do you look?" He is looking into the mirror straightening his tie and the red NO SMOKING sign is on his right. The next frames he is back in front of the third sink smoothing his hair back and the NO SMOKING sign on his left.

Sheri Hartman

Continuity mistake: The Declaration of Independence in the clear plastic cover keeps changing colors from brown to white and back. When Ben puts it in the very first time while in the elevator, it is brown. When Ian gets the case out of the street after Abigail loses it, it is white. It is back to brown in the church.

Sheri Hartman

Factual error: When Gates is talking to Ian under the Trinity Church, he says that Thomas Newton placed the lantern in the Old North Church to signal how the British were coming. However, it was the Church sexton, Robert Newman, who actually placed the lanterns. Even though Ian probably wouldn't know the difference, surely three historians (Patrick Gates, Ben Gates, and Dr. Chase) would have known the correct person in so important an event in American history. There was no reason to throw Ian off track by saying this, since he didn't even know how many lanterns were placed.

Zwn Annwn

Continuity mistake: When the guy is smashing Parkington Lane's headstone, the number, size, and location of the holes change from one shot to the next. (01:39:10)

shortdanzr Premium member

Continuity mistake: When Sadusky has Ben handcuffed across the desk from him, there is nothing on the desk directly between Sadusky and Ben except Sadusky's coffee mug, a gray thing that is about mid-way between Ben and Sadusky, and a white spiral notebook to the right of the coffee mug. Then Ben says, "Ian still ended up with the Declaration of Independence," and as the shot switches from Ben to Sadusky saying, "Because of you," we see the glasses Ben found at Independence Hall appear on the desk in front of Sadusky between the gray thing and himself. Then as Sadusky says, "Someone's got to go to prison, Ben," and Ben says, "Yeah," two short stacks of papers appear on the desk in front of Sadusky and the glasses changes position as well.

Sheri Hartman

Continuity mistake: This concerns National Treasure 1 and 2. In the first film, when Ben's grandfather tells Ben the story about the clue given to Thomas Gates, he says he was the grandfather's grandfather's, grandfather - Ben's Great, great, great, great grandfather. In the film, in 1832, he appears very young, maybe early 20s. But in the second film Thomas Gates, Ben's Great, great grandfather, appears to be 40-50 in 1865. A young man in 1832 can't have a middle aged grandson in 1865.

Other mistake: The signature on the copy of the Silence Dogood letter is different than the one on the original. They should be the same if it was truly a scan.


Continuity mistake: When Riley is cutting into the pipe holding the cable for the National Archives, the hole he cuts changes shape after the shot showing him examining the wires. (00:31:35)

Factual error: In the scene under Trinity Church, Ben is holding on to the elevator and trying to get a grip to swing to safety (after Dr. Chase is already to safety). He grabs a board that falls off, then the last board pulls back an is shown to be held on with modern day nails. If it were built 200 years before, as the movie suggests, these would not likely be the kind of nails from the local hardware store as shown in the film.

Factual error: The ropes under Trinity Church are all shiny and new looking. These ropes would most likely be rotten and not able to hold up the massive chandelier or be supportive for the dumbwaiter system.

Continuity mistake: When Ben is trying to pay cash for the 'replica' of the Declaration of Independence in the Gift Shop, he lays his wallet down on the counter and starts counting out bills and change right next to his wallet on the counter. A few scenes later, when the FBI is reviewing surveillance tapes, one of the monitors shows Ben reaching in his pocket, pulling out his wallet and grabbing the money that is out on the counter. This happens when the over voice says, "Charge. Benjamin Gates."

Sheri Hartman

Continuity mistake: In the catacombs under Trinity Church, the lift Ben and Abigail are standing on falls. When it jerks to a stop, Abigail falls and Ben catches her. The lift is stationary at an angle. However, in the next shot, the lift is swinging forwards, allowing Ben to throw Abigail to safety. (01:40:00)


Factual error: When Riley is sitting outside the Franklin Institute and sees the ad on the side of the bus with the close up of the Liberty Bell, the SEPTA bus is labeled with the 108 Airport route. That bus route goes from the 69th Street Transportation Center to the Philadelphia International Airport and would not pass near the Franklin Institute.

Visible crew/equipment: Three times you can see lens flare as the camera is pointing towards the sun: the airborne-shot of the Jefferson Memorial (in this one you can even see a part of the airplane or something else in the lower left corner), the Philadelphia skyline as they drive into Philadelphia, and the view from the "target location" of the shadow of the cross (near the brick containing the glasses) towards the steeple with the bell.

Other mistake: In the scene where Ben, Riley, and Abigail arrive at Patrick's house, the location title at the bottom of the screen says, "Philadelphia, PA." Then, as the Declaration of Independence is being examined, Patrick says that he donated the Silence Dogood letters to "The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia." Finally, as the scene ends, Ben, Riley, and Abigail are in Patrick's car, driving through the night towards Philadelphia. (00:55:55 - 01:04:15)


Other mistake: When Ben enters the Gala dressed in overalls and tool belt, he enters a door across the street from where Riley is parked. There is a security guard outside that door who waves Ben on into the building. As Ben exits that same door, there is no security guard, which seems hard to believe with such a big event.

Sheri Hartman

Continuity mistake: After everyone gets off the elevator down under the church, Ben has the declaration of independence then Riley has it without Ben giving it to him.

Bowling255 Premium member

Revealing mistake: When Ben is pulling the dumbwaiter to the secret room with the rope, there is a shot showing the bottom of it. In this shot there is a somewhat visible black wire that is pulling the dumbwaiter, rather than the thick orange rope that is pulling it. (01:46:15)

Movie Mistake Man

Revealing mistake: When the stairs built on the walls of the dumbwaiter shaft start to collapse, Riley makes a jump onto a stable one. In the first shot of him jumping you can see a thick stunt wire attached to the back of his shirt. (01:43:35)

Continuity mistake: When Ian looks down to the shadow cast by the "House of Pass and Stow", the shadow isn't anywhere near to where it was when Ben looked down, although not very much time could have elapsed.

Continuity mistake: In the scene where the group are revealing the cipher on the back of the Declaration of Independence, in a wide shot, we can see glass on the corners of the Declaration to keep it in place. When Abigail rubs the Q tip on the right corner, the glass is gone.

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More for National Treasure


FBI: Here are your options. Door number one you go to prison for a very long time, door number two you help us get back the declaration from Ian, and you'll still go to prison for a very long time, but you'll feel good inside.
Ben Gates: Is there a door that doesn't lead to prision?
FBI: Someone's gotta go to prison, Ben.



When Ben is talking to Riley in front of the Lincoln Memorial, you see a long pool behind them. This pool is filled with computer generated water, because the pool was drained at the time of shooting.