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THE CLASSROOM — Ah, beautiful, beautiful autumn. Is there anything better than the smell of freshly sharpened pencils or that first glimpse of a meticulously groomed football field? It's back to school time for students, college football season for sports fans and favorite-campus-hoody weather for the rest of the country.
And what better way is there to celebrate Mother Nature's season of bluer skies and sepia toned trees than bundling up indoors for a string of movies set on your favorite college campus? I mean, besides lazy walks through a leaf covered park or adding pumpkin spice to everything edible? That's right, nothing. And, as always, we have a few ideas to get your movie marathon started.
'High School Musical 2' — University of Utah
While the beautiful state of Utah has been generously depicted throughout classic and contemporary cinema, almost no love is given to its places of higher learning. One exception to this unfortunate trend however is the University of Utah's appearance in Disney's uber-trendy "High School Musical 2." Fans of the phenomenon will remember the Jon M. Huntsman Center doing its part to promote communication through song and random though perfectly synced explosions of high energy choreography.
'Beautiful Mind' — Princeton University
Ron Howard's "A Beautiful Mind" captures Princeton University, well, beautifully. The film, which tells the story of John Forbes Nash Jr., uses many iconic locations of the campus, including Holder Courtyard and the Firestone Common Room. One interesting side story told about production mentions that winter scenes were actually shot during spring, which meant film crews needed to cover parts of the campus with fake snow. Princeton's own website noted, "Imagine the surprise of Holder Hall residents who awoke one warm May morning to find snow piled up outside their windows!"
'Forrest Gump' — University of Southern California
For obvious reasons, seeing movie cameras around UCLA or USC campuses is nothing to write home about. As noted in the heading, "Forrest Gump" was filmed at USC, taking up shop around the school's Hancock Building. Other USC attendees include, "Frost/Nixon,""Die Hard 4.0,""The Social Network,""Matilda,""Million Dollar Arm" and "Young Frankenstein." For UCLA, "Legally Blonde""Erin Brockovich,""Back to School" and "Old School" make up just a few of the movies that called the Bruins' campus home.
'Real Genius' — Occidental
Before he was Ice Man, Val Kilmer was working on chemical lasers at Pacific Tech University. The fictional school was mostly captured at California's Occidental College, with a few additional scenes shot at Pomona College. Look for Weingardt Hall on Bird Road or Johnson Student Center if you're ever in town. There's even a website dedicated to Google mapping each location of the film at '80s film locations.
'Ghostbusters' — Columbia University
You know that scene shortly after the Ghostbusters get fired from their university jobs and Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd are sitting on those steps discussing what to do next? It's that scene where Murray says: "For whatever reasons, Ray. Call it fate. Call it luck. Call it karma. I believe that everything happens for a reason. I believe that we were destined to get thrown out of this dump." Well, that moment takes place at Columbia University. Which means, if you think about it, Columbia University is the birthplace of the original "Ghostbusters."
'Rudy' — Notre Dame
There is no movie that celebrates a single university quite like that classic stand-up-and-cheer underdog story, "Rudy."
At the time of its release, "Rudy" was one of only two movies ever allowed to be filmed on the Notre Dame campus. The other, also based on a notable Notre Dame football player, was "Knute Rockne All American." Many of the college's famous landmarks can be seen throughout the movie, including the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, but Rudy's most famous scene was filmed during halftime of the 1992 game against Boston College. Notre Dame has also detailed many of "Rudy's" behind-the-scene moments on its website.
Travis Poppleton has been covering movie news, film reviews and live events for Deseret News and KSL.com since 2010 and co-hosts the FlixJunkies podcast. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.