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Fordham is Famous: Movies Filmed Right Here on Campus


Published: Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Updated: Tuesday, September 29, 2009 23:09


Fordham University's 85 acres of Gothic architecture, cobblestone paths and expansive lawns is the perfect setting for our collegiate experience. For many students here, Fordham's scenic, tree-lined Rose Hill campus holds great appeal. Hollywood clearly agrees; over the years, a number of feature films have been shot on and around campus.
The Exorcist (1973)
Voted the top horror movie filmed on a college campus by College News, and topping countless other scary movie lists, William Friedkin's The Exorcist is one of the most notable and iconic movies ever filmed at Rose Hill.
This religiously themed horror movie centers on the story of actress Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn) and her 12-year old-daughter, Regan (Linda Blair). While living in the Georgetown neighborhood, Regan begins exhibiting strange and dangerous behavior.
After a series of medial and psychological tests, it becomes clear Regan's actions (including the murder of a film director) are of the supernatural nature. It turns out that Regan is possessed by Satan, and the only thing that can save her and those around her is an exorcism.
Pivotal scenes of The Exorcist were filmed on campus. Keating Hall was the site for the language lab scene, and the famous (or infamous) bedroom scene was filmed in Hughes Hall. Notably, the crucial character of Father Dyer was played by the Jesuit priest William O'Malley, an English and theology teacher at Fordham Prep.
 A Bronx Tale (1993)
It should not come as a surprise that Robert DeNiro's directorial debut, A Bronx Tale,was filmed in the Bronx. It is based on the one-man play of the same name, written by Chazz Palminteri, who grew up in the Belmont area.
Set in the turbulent 1960s, the movie centers around life on the corner of Belmont and 187th Street. Seventeen-year old Calogero Anello is torn between loyalty to his blue-collar, bus-driver dad (DeNiro) and the friendship of the local Mafia boss, Sonny (Palminteri). A subplot develops when Calogero tries to date a black girl, Jane, from his high school, exacerbating racial tensions between his friends and the community on Webster Avenue.
Although primarily shot in Queens and Brooklyn (since buildings in those boroughs more closely resembled the Bronx of the ‘60s), the City Island scene was in fact filmed here. A Bronx Tale is an intimate portrayal of the life and culture of our neighborhood.
A Beautiful Mind (2001)
Based on a true story, this film directed by Ron Howard focuses on the life of John Nash (Russell Crowe), a genius mathematician attending Princeton University as a graduate student.
Soon after arriving on campus, Nash begins to develop visual hallucinations. The hallucinations are caused by his paranoid schizophrenia, and eventually mature into delusional conspiracies.
Nash, unaware of his psychological issues, continues to be academically successful, becoming a professor at MIT. He eventually marries a former student. However, his domestic bliss is ruined by his illness. Nash, believing he works for the Central Intelligence Agency, is quickly wrapped up in a dangerous and completely fabricated plot against the Soviets.
A Beautiful Mind was filmed on location in Princeton University, Fairleigh Dickinson University and Fordham University. The Pentagon Office scenes were shot in the basement of Keating Hall.
Kinsey (2004)
This movie chronicles the life and work of famed sex researcher Alfred Kinsey (Liam Neeson). He broke the mold with his in-depth research about human sexuality and created major controversy in the late 1940s.
The film begins with his early work as a zoologist and his initial motivation to begin research on people's sexual behaviors and histories. For his research, Kinsey conducted thousands of face-to-face interviews with average Americans. Since his publishing of his work catapulted him to fame, the movie also focuses on fame's effect on his personal life. 
Although Kinsey worked at Indiana University, most of the exterior scenes were shot here at Fordham. Other scenes were also shot at Columbia University, in Morningside Heights.
Solitary Man (2009)
This movie, with an A-list cast of Michael Douglas, Danny DeVito, Susan Sarandon, Jenna Fischer ("The Office"), and Mary-Louise Parker ("Weeds"), has yet to be released in theaters. However, it premiered at the Toronto Film Festival this September.
Michael Douglas plays a self-made man, Ben Kaleman, whofalls +from grace because of his deceitful and flirtatious ways. He has one final opportunity to redeem himself: opening a new, successful car dealership.
Look for this new movie featuring Fordham's campus in theaters in the next coming months.

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