National Treasure

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Loved it.

This is exactly the kind of film I like--a treasure hunt, based in history for a treasure hidden by the Masons. Clue left all over lead the protagonist finally to. . . well, now, that would be telling wouldn't it.

It is this premise that made The DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons entertaining and interesting. No, I wasn't interested in the characters. No, the theology was rotten to the core. But it was the challenge of unravelling one after another a series of hidden clues that would reveal when all followed to their conclusion some amazing end result. (Now the end result in The DaVinci Code was idiotic and ill-conceived. As we all know, Mary Magdalene is not the Son of God, and the whole notion of her "divinity" in the book is a silly rip-off of earlier, ill-conceived speculations on divinity.)

But National Treasure (except for its fondness for Masons) has nothing of like alienating potential. The story is literally and figuratively a treasure hunt in which the founding fathers have left a trail of clues as to the location of a fabulous treasure rescued during the first Crusade by those who would become the Knights Templar. Most intruguing is the idea that the first clues to this treasure are encoded on the back of the original Declaration of Independence. (The only problem being that the original was a printed copy, not the manuscirpt copy in the hand of Thomas Jefferson with all of the strikeouts etc. And the "original" was one of multiple printings at the same time. But I suppose we needn't trouble ourselves over that because the Fathers, after they had determined which one would be preserved as the original could easily have done all that is suggested.

Anyway--a fun, fast-paced, exciting film. Recommended.

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I liked this one too, Steven. Have you ever read "Landscape of Lies"? IT was written by Peter Watson, an art fraud expert from London. It is by far the best "treasure hunt" novel I've read. Also an excellent introduction to the symbolism in medieval paintings! (yes, that's a clue).

My one quibble with this entertaining and silly movie -- which we saw Friday night on DVD -- was that Charles Carroll was not a Mason.

Having attended a Catholic grade school in suburban Philadelphia through the bicentennial year 1976, I was told more than once that "Charles Carroll of Carrollton" was the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence. As such, nohow noway was he a Mason.

Of course, since he was the last signer to die, the movie's conceit required him to be a Mason, and I gather there was a rumor to that effect prior to the movie coming out, so I can forgive the scriptwriters. Still, there it is.

Dear Talmida,

A million thanks! I will seek it out.



We thoroughly enjoyed this one as well. Just great popcorn fun!

Did they actually say that Charles Carroll was a Mason? I thought they just said that he was the last surviving signer, and that he didn't know what the Charlotte clue meant. So you could just leave it at that, especially as his being a Mason was in no way integral to the story.

A much bigger problem for Catholics, it seems to me, was the claim that the Knights Templar were the progenitors of the Freemasons...



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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on June 6, 2005 7:27 AM.

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