Nicolas Cage: 'No One Knows How Beautiful the Black Hills Are' | Black Hills Travel Blog

Nicolas Cage: 'No One Knows How Beautiful the Black Hills Are'

Tuesday, August 21, 2018
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Screenshot of National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets Black Hills video on IMDB.

Merci beaucoup to my friend Mason for finding this clip, which may be the most inspiring video I've ever seen about the Black Hills. You know, in that completely un-hokey kind of way. Seriously, I was a bit surprised this didn't turn out cheesy, but it's actually quite good.

Up on the IMDB under the National Treasure: Book of Secrets entry, there's a video clip that looks like it might have come from the DVD's special features. It's only about 90 seconds long, but it's all about how the cast and crew of the movie were utterly thrilled with the Black Hills and western South Dakota.

" really represents the souls of these guys," Jon Voight says about the presidential sculpture on Mount Rushmore, and particularly the quality of Gutzon Borglum's work.

"There was something about that place," Justin Murtha continues, noting that he'd never been to Rushmore before, and that it was a real special experience for him.

Okay. Kind words, one and all, but certainly nothing new. Most visitors to Rushmore say the exact same thing. But then Helen Mirren comes up on screen.

"It's a really extraordinary part of the world," she says in her lovely English accent. "I mean, Mount Rushmore was fine. You know, it's an amazing man-made achievement. But the power of the natural world around Mount Rushmore I found much more effective."

As an epic flyover of the Badlands switches to some aerial shots of The Needles, Nicolas Cage starts to talk.

"The Black Hills were unique to me," the actor says. "They were very, very special, because it's a sacred area, and still something of a secret. I don't think people realize how beautiful that is, in our own backyard."

As if that wasn't enough of a glowing endorsement, director Jon Turtletaub cuts in and starts talking about the history and culture of the Black Hills, and particularly the American Indian aspects. He finishes with this:

"Everybody who went to Paris or London said, 'Wow, this is great, I'd love to come back here, visit,'" Turtletaub said. "We were looking at houses in South Dakota."

So are a handful of other movie stars. An anonymous friend of the blog reports that Julia Roberts has constructed a comfy pad away from it all near Sheridan Lake, while Kevin Costner - who owns property in the Black Hills - flies into the Deadwood-Spearfish airport with some frequency.

Aside from the natural beauty, history, culture and spiritual appeal, the Black Hills are pretty attractive to celebrities because they're relatively isolated. As Nicolas Cage said, they're still a bit of a secret. That doesn't mean we don't have a couple of shopping malls, great restaurants, broadband cellular coverage and all the trappings of civilization. It just means that the wider world usually doesn't pay much attention to us, which can be a huge advantage if you've got paparazzi hounding you. For unfamous types like the rest of us, that translates into another bonus: lower land costs. The Black Hills are far less expensive than 'discovered' places like Aspen, Colorado and Jackson, Wyoming.

For now, anyway.

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