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Many movies have been produced (in part) on Columbia's campuses. Unfortuately, few of them ever explicitly reference the university's name, thanks to the anality of the Office of General Counsel.

Movies filmed on campus

  • A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy
  • Altered States: William Hurt plays a Columbia professor. Several scenes shot on The Steps.
  • Anger Management
Lerner Hall's exterior was used to depict a hospital in Boston
  • Awakenings
  • Black and White
  • Casino Royale (2006), Lerner Hall ramps
  • Crimes and Misdemeanors
  • The Detective: Lee Remick plays a Columbia professor; Frank Sinatra in the title role sees her as she's entering Low Library for a dance, follows her, and cuts in.
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
The Columbia Bookstore filled in for a Long Island Barnes & Noble
  • Everyone Says I Love You: Drew Barrymore sings a song on College Walk.
  • Extreme Measures: In the final scene, Columbia plays NYU.
  • Ghostbusters
Legend has it that royalties from the filming of this movie pay for the frequent reseeding of South Lawn
  • Ghostbusters II
  • Gossip Girl: Columbia played Yale.
  • The Graduate
There's controversy over whether this was set at Columbia, filmed at Columbia, or whether it has nothing to do with Columbia at all.
  • Hannah and Her Sisters
In one scene, Woody Allen's character takes a ponderous walk past The Thinker. In another, one of the characters meets her new boyfriend, a Columbia professor, while strolling to class up The Steps
  • Hitch
Will Smith's character meets a girl after tripping on The Steps
  • K-PAX
  • Kinsey
Partly filmed in Havemeyer 309
  • The Mirror Has Two Faces: Barbra Streisand plays a Columbia English professor.
  • Malcolm X
  • Manhattan
  • Marathon Man
  • The Mirror Has Two Faces
One scene was filmed at an organ recital at St. Paul's Chapel
  • Mona Lisa Smile
Havemeyer 309 is used to depict a lecture hall at Wellesley
  • New York Minute
The Olsen Twins race across New York to reach Columbia in the nick of time. During filming, a giant clock was hung on the facade of Low Library. Side note: at time of filming, Ashley Olsen was the girlfriend of Columbia football player.
  • Porn 'n Chicken
Columbia's unfortunate whoring of itself for this production was the source of much controversy. The book was actually set at Yale.
  • Premium Rush
Starring ex-GSer Joseph Gordon-Levitt
  • The Producers: The Movie Musical
  • P.S.
The main character is a School of the Arts admissions officer who has an affair with an applicant because he reminds her of her dead high school crush.
  • Simon
  • Spider-Man
Low Library plays host to an advanced research lab, where Peter Parker is bitten by a radioactive spider
  • Spider-Man 2
Peter Parker takes a physics class in Hamilton Hall
  • Stay: Ewan McGregor rides a bike through Lerner Hall.
  • The Nanny Diaries
Scarlet Johannsen's character sits on one of the fountains on Low Plaza after applying to the Columbia graduate program in Anthropology
  • Thirteen Conversations About One Thing
One of the characters is a Columbia math professor who spends time watching students at play on Low Plaza and drives one of his students to suicide.

Movies referring to Columbia

  • Igby Goes Down
Igby says his brother Oliver is "majoring in neofascism at Columbia". His brother tartly replies that he's actually studying economics.
  • Old School
The student council president is trying to get into Columbia law school. The dean bribes her by saying he has connections at Columbia if she uses her student council power to get rid of Vince Vaughn's frat.
  • Annie Hall
While waiting on line to see a movie, a man annoys Alvy Singer (Woody Allen's character) with his pseudo-intellectualism, then claims "to teach a class at Columbia called 'TV, Media and Culture'" only to have his opinions ridiculed by Marshall McLuhan in a memorable cameo.

Top filming locations

Montage by Double Exposure

Student film journal Double Exposure produced this montage of memorable Columbia cameos in film: <videoflash>JlYUWIZq4qQ</videoflash>