Scenes of the Campus

University policies require review of film and television productions before approval is given to film on campus.

Some film and television productions (not including in-house Princeton productions) that include scenes of the campus are:

  • The lost silent film "Varsity" (1928) was partly filmed on campus; its negative depiction of undergraduate life is said to have caused the University to demand that the film be withdrawn.
  • The biopic "Wilson" (1944) dramatizes the life of Woodrow Wilson, Class of 1879 and president of the University from 1902 to 1910, and includes images of the campus in the portion that describes his political beginnings.
  • "People Will Talk" (1951) uses the Princeton campus to represent a fictitious university.
  • A sequel to "Summer of '42," the movie "Class of '44" (1973) includes images of the campus.
  • "Last Embrace" (1979) includes Princeton as a setting where John Glover plays a professor and a bell tower becomes reminiscent of the one in Hitchcock's "Vertigo."
  • Jadwin Gymnasium is the setting for a scene in the basketball documentary "Hoop Dreams" (1994).
  • The 1994 comedy about Albert Einstein, "IQ," includes some scenes shot on campus as well as in the town and neighboring areas.
  • Screenwriter Robert "Bo" Goldman, Class of 1953, included shots of his alma mater in "Scent of a Woman" (1992), using Princeton's Holder Hall as a stand-in for a prep school.
  • Presenters in "Princeton: Images of a University" (1996) include President Bill Clinton (an honorary member of the Class of 1996) and Princeton professors Toni Morrison and Cornel West.
  • "One True Thing" (1998) uses the campus as one of the New Jersey settings for a story about an English professor and his family.
  • "A Beautiful Mind" (2001) made use of some Princeton buildings, but was also filmed at other campuses.
  • "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" (2009) includes some action scenes filmed on campus.
  • The TV series "House M.D." (2004–12), set in the fictitious "Princeton-Plainsboro Hospital," briefly shows images of Frist Campus Center and Fine Hall.
  • The documentary "Extreme Visions" (2012) explores the concepts, planning and construction of two contrasting additions to the campus: the modernist Lewis Library, designed by Frank Gehry, and the Collegiate Gothic-inspired Whitman College, designed by Demetri Porphyrios, GS '80.
  • "Admission" (2013) tells the fictional story of a Princeton admission officer, with some scenes filmed on campus.
  • Thriller "Runner Runner" (2013) follows a Princeton University graduate student (Justin Timberlake) to Costa Rica where he confronts a gambling tycoon (Ben Affleck). Though none of the scenes that made it to the final cut were actually filmed on campus, an aerial shot of the Graduate College is seen in the trailer.

Not all depictions of the campus are really filmed at Princeton. For example, despite an abundance of Princeton-themed props, the campus scenes in the HBO series "Boardwalk Empire" were shot elsewhere.