A Beautiful Mind | 2001
In the movies there’s no affliction, physical or mental, that can’t be overcome by sheer willpower and the lurve of a good woman. Ron Howard’s film puts the struggle of brilliant mathematician John Nash (Russell Crowe) through the Hollywood blender and – hey presto – nabs the Triumph over Adversity Oscars (Best Picture, Best Direction). And James Horner’s score raises the possibility that perhaps Princeton University is going to hit an iceberg.
Yes, it is Princeton University, New Jersey, where scenes were filmed at Holder Hall, County Road 571, during three separate visits, as the movie was shot largely in sequence.
The aerial shot of the Pentagon is real, but the ‘Pentagon’ office is Keating Hall, Fordham University, Rose Hill Campus, 441 East Fordham Road, in the Bronx.
‘Harvard University’ is Manhattan College, 4513 Manhattan College Parkway, Riverdale, New York, and Union Theological Seminary, 3041 Broadway, on New York’s Upper East Side, supplied further college scenes.
There is no ‘Wheeler Defense Laboratory’ at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) – and anyway, the film didn’t shoot in Cambridge. The lab exterior is a wing of the Center for Molecular Medicine, 520 Belleville Avenue, in BelleVille, north of Newark, New Jersey.
The famous ’Great Dome’ of ‘MIT’ is the Gould Memorial Library of Bronx Community College, 2155 Doctor Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard. The college was also used as the hospital.
The Governor’s ball was filmed in Lenfell Hall of Florham Mansion, Fairleigh Dickinson University, 285 Madison Avenue, in Madison, New Jersey.
The grand mansion, where Nash leaves his top secret code-breaking results, is Tara Circle Irish Cultural Center, Alder Manor, 1061 North Broadway, Grey Oaks, in Yonkers, about 20 miles from NYC, which was seen also in The Royal Tenenbaums, Mona Lisa Smile and, um, Flesh For The Beast (from the acclaimed director of The Sexy Sixth Sense and Lord Of The G-Strings).
John Nash finally receives his Nobel Prize in Prudential Hall, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, 1 Center Street, Newark, New Jersey.
Studio filming was at the Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor, formerly the Military Ocean Terminal, a military base off the east coast of Bayonne in New York Bay. Now being redeveloped, sets for Todd Haynes’ 2002 Far From Heaven were built here, and it’s also hosted filming for Steven Spielberg’s War Of The Worlds, Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind and The Bourne Ultimatum).