Night at the Museum

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Night at the Museum

Promotional poster
Directed by Shawn Levy
Produced by Michael Barnathan, Steven Brown, Chris Columbus, Thomas M. Hammel, Shawn Levy, Josh McLaglen, Lorne Orleans, Mark Radcliffe, Ira Shuman, Ellen Somers
Written by Novel:
Milan Trenc
Robert Ben Garant
Thomas Lennon
Starring Ben Stiller
Carla Gugino
Dick Van Dyke
Mickey Rooney
Ricky Gervais
Robin Williams
Steve Coogan
Owen Wilson
Music by Alan Silvestri
Cinematography Guillermo Navarro
Edited by Don Zimmerman
Distributed by Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
Release Dates 26 December 2006
22 December 2006
Running Time 108 min.
Language English
Budget $110 million
IMDB Profile

Night At The Museum is a 2006 American adventure comedy film. It is based on a 1993 children's book by Milan Trenc. It follows a divorced father trying to settle down, impress his son, and find his destiny. He applies for a job as a night watchman at New York City's American Museum of Natural History and subsequently discovers that the exhibits, animated by a magical Egyptian artifact, come to life at night.

Released on December 22, 2006 by 20th Century Fox, the film was written by Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon of Comedy Central's Reno 911! and MTV's The State and directed by Shawn Levy. The cast includes Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney, Bill Cobbs, Brad Garrett, Ricky Gervais, Carla Gugino, Steve Coogan, and Owen Wilson.



Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) is a divorced father who is unable to keep a stable job, the bulk of them being failed business ventures. He is desperate to win the support of his son Nick (Jake Cherry), whom he fears is beginning to look up to his more successful soon-to-be stepfather, Don (Paul Rudd), a bond trader on Wall Street. After being fired from his last job, he applies for a job at the Museum of Natural History, and is assigned as a night guard.

The three elder (soon to be unemployed) night guards, Cecil (Dick Van Dyke), Gus (Mickey Rooney), and Reginald (Bill Cobbs), give him a quick tour, advise him to leave some of the lights on, and warn him not to let anything "in...or out", which Larry meets with humorous skepticism. They also leave some odd instructions for him.

Ricky Gervais as Dr. McPhee

Once night comes, Larry discovers that the museum exhibits come to life. Larry barely manages to survive through the night. First, he discovers a Tyrannosaurus rex drinking from a water fountain; Larry distracts it by throwing a bone it has ripped from its own skeleton. Then, despite a narrow escape in the wildlife exhibits, Larry manages to lock up the lions. Finally, he double-checks his belt, only to discover that a lovable capuchin monkey named Dexter has in fact filched the aforementioned keys. And, when Dexter rips the instruction manual to shreds, Larry is forced into monkey-style humiliation. Eventually Larry is rescued from an odd feud pitting a Wild West buckaroo named Jedediah (Owen Wilson) against a Roman General named Octavius (Steve Coogan) by a wax model of Theodore Roosevelt (Robin Williams), who later explains that ever since an Egyptian tablet — the Tablet of Akmenrah — was brought to the museum in 1952 after the Nile expedition, everything comes to life each night. However, if the exhibits are outside of the museum by sunrise, they turn to dust. Roosevelt proceeds to help Larry by restoring order but insists that it will be the last time he shall ever do so.

While initially unnerved, Larry decides to stick it out. On Cecil's advice, Larry begins to study the history of the events and people in the exhibits to prepare himself better. He meets Rebecca Hutman (Carla Gugino), who is writing a dissertation on the life and times of Sacagawea (Mizuo Peck), and learns much of the history of the various exhibits from her.

The next night, Larry uses what he's learned to better control the exhibits, but it once again goes bad. One of the Neanderthals sets fire to their display, which Larry extinguishes with a nearby fire extinguisher, while another escapes out a window and turns to dust when the sun rises. Larry barely manages to keep his job after the Museum's emotionless director, Dr. McPhee (Ricky Gervais), discovers the mess. Larry tries to tell Rebecca about what happens every night, even offering to let her meet Sacagawea to help with her dissertation, but Rebecca thinks that Larry is mocking her and leaves the museum visibly upset.

Two nights later, Larry brings Nick to the Museum. At first Nick isn't too convinced when nothing comes to life. Then, just as Larry barely convinces Nick to stick around, they become aware of shadows in the back of the security office. They immediately find Cecil, Gus, and Reginald stealing the Tablet of Akmenrah, amongst other artifacts. Cecil then reveals the truth to Larry: like the museum exhibits, the Tablet gives life to the three night guards. Now accustomed to this new-found vigor, they are unwilling to give it up and were planning on stealing the Tablet, along with various other Museum artifacts to fund their retirement. They had in fact hoped to frame Larry for the theft. Nick, after prompting from Larry, turns an out-of-place panel that reactivates the tablet's power and brings the exhibits to life once more. Cecil grabs the tablet back and locks Nick and Larry in the Egyptian room.

Larry calls for Theodore Roosevelt for help, but Roosevelt insists that Larry solve this problem on his own. The only thing left for Larry to do is release the mummy of King Akmenrah (Rami Malek) himself, the owner of the tablet. He speaks English, to which he replies (when Nick inquires) that he spent many years at Cambridge University (as an exhibit in the Egyptology Department). After Larry introduces himself and Nick, Akmenrah then asks them to bestow his Tablet upon him, so he can "claim his kingdom". Larry informs Ahkmenrah that the tablet has been stolen, forcing Ahkmenrah to order his Anubis statues to break down the gate. The three new friends then set out to reclaim the tablet. Larry discovers that the other exhibits are fighting with each other. Larry explains that their only chance is to stop fighting and start working together, because, in Larry's words, "Without that Tablet, all this — this whole coming-to-life-at-night thing — all goes away." Though the exhibits manage to capture Gus and Reginald, Cecil escapes with the tablet. But a vengeful Larry, aided by Nick, Akmenrah, Jed, Octavius and Attila, manages to capture Cecil, as well. But more than half of the animal and human exhibits are left outside, and the sun is just about ready to rise. Larry wastes no time in bestowing unto Ahkmenrah his Tablet, which he immediately uses to enforce its power that returns all the exhibits to the museum. Rebecca, in a taxicab, sees the exhibits crossing the road in front of her — and realizes that Larry really was telling the truth. Entering the museum, she is introduced by Larry to Sacagawea.

The next day, Dr. McPhee once again fires Larry despite his effort to clean up the museum, not to mention the vast media coverage resulting from the prior night's incident (believed by some to be either a kind of hoax or a publicity stunt), with even New York 1 News reporting the footage. But when that media coverage starts increasing the admissions and bringing in the visitors, the Doctor knows that he must rehire Larry, which he does. Later that same morning, Larry appears in Nick's classroom during Career Day. Later that night, Larry returns with Nick and there is a celebration.


  • Ben Stiller - Lawrence "Larry" Daley
  • Carla Gugino - Rebecca Hutman
  • Dick Van Dyke - Cecil Fredericks
  • Mickey Rooney - Gus
  • Bill Cobbs - Reginald
  • Jake Cherry - Nicholas "Nick" Daley
  • Robin Williams - Theodore Roosevelt
  • Owen Wilson - Jedediah Smith
  • Steve Coogan - Octavius Gaius
  • Ricky Gervais - Dr. McPhee
  • Kim Raver - Erica Daley
  • Patrick Gallagher - Attila the Hun
  • Mizuo Peck - Sacagawea
  • Rami Malek - Akhmenrah
  • Pierfrancesco Favino - Christopher Columbus
  • Brad Garrett - Easter Island Head (voice)
  • Crystal the Monkey - Dexter
  • Charlie Murphy - Taxi Driver
  • Paul Rudd - Don
  • Anne Meara - Debbie
  • Ian Campbell - Painter

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