Campus News

Bowdoin Goes to the Movies

Story posted February 24, 2000

Bowdoin is hot in Hollywood, with mentions in some of the biggest productions on the air and in the theaters.

First, an on-going story line in HBO’s "The Sopranos" deals with Tony Soprano’s daughter and her search for the perfect college. Last season, she traveled with her mobster father to visit Bowdoin, Bates and Colby. Bates didn’t cut it, and Colby is right out because Tony had to kill someone while he waited for his daughter to finish her interview in admissions. (Hey, the guy had killed some of Tony’s friends. What was he supposed to do?)

Bowdoin looked promising, with a contemplative scene outside the admissions office where a student explains to Tony who Nathaniel Hawthorne was.

On an episode that aired Feb. 20, Tony was chatting with a friend at a urinal about the college fair they were attending, and said the guy from Bowdoin seemed to be making sense. Later, when we see Tony threatening the same friend with some friendly violence if he doesn’t repay his gambling debt, the friend asks about Tony’s daughter and how things were going with Bowdoin.

And in "Cider House Rules," the main character played by Michael Caine graduated from Bowdoin. He produces a forged Bowdoin diploma so that the main character in the film, an orphan, can succeed him as orphanage physician. The movie, based on the John Irving novel by the same name, was just nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture.

Finally, in "Where the Heart Is," a movie scheduled to be released soon, the main character falls in love with a man who finds his bliss by studying library science at - you guessed it – Bowdoin. They are reunited at Bowdoin in the final scenes, with students in Bowdoin sweatshirts wandering around in the background.

The novel by Billie Letts, on which the movie is based, was chosen by Oprah Winfrey for her acclaimed book club. The story is about a woman, played in the movie by Natalie Portman, who is abandoned by her boyfriend and becomes famous by giving birth in an Oklahoma Wal-Mart.

Unlike "Man Without a Face," which had scenes filmed on campus but was not supposed to take place here, all of these references were shot someplace else but are meant to depict Bowdoin.

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