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Did you know these five movies were shot in Oxford?

Upham Hall today, seen left, has barely changed since its 1991 appearance in "Little Man Tate," seen right.
Upham Hall today, seen left, has barely changed since its 1991 appearance in "Little Man Tate," seen right.

In a recent episode of The Miami Student’s political podcast, “People and Policies,” Oxford City Councilor Glenn Ellerbe mentioned that multiple studios have come to Oxford to shoot some of their movie scenes.

Besides what Miami University’s film students make, many movies have used Oxford as the backdrops for their features. Here’s where to find these cinematic locations.

‘The Ides of March’

Photo by "The Ides of March" | and Luke Macy The Miami Student
(Top) Without set dressing, Hall Auditorium looks like a regular auditorium. (Bottom) When George Clooney came to Oxford to shoot "The Ides of March," his crew changed Oxford's look to resemble a political debate.

This George Clooney-directed 2011 film follows a political staffer played by Ryan Gosling as he works a dirty campaign in Ohio.

While shooting the film, Clooney brought the cast to Miami’s campus to record scenes in Hall Auditorium and the Farmer School of Business. Students and professors got to be extras, with some even skipping out on Green Beer Day to be caught on camera.

Although the buildings have barely changed, Hall and Farmer may look a little different due to the set dressings, which included items like NBC podiums. 

‘Little Man Tate’

Another of Miami’s starring roles was in Jodie Foster’s directorial feature film debut, 1991’s “Little Man Tate.”

The film is about a single mother raising a child prodigy. The prodigy finds himself on a college campus, and some bullies throw a globe at his head. This all takes place right in front of the famous Upham Arch.

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In another scene, the prodigy and his psychologist walk into Alumni Hall, recognizable by its George Washington statue in the center.

‘A Reason to Believe’

Before director Douglas Tirola documented National Lampoon’s history with “Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead,” he made the film “A Reason to Believe,” which was released in 1995. The film is about a popular girl who experiences an unwanted sexual encounter after attending a party.

Careful viewers will notice Skippers Pub and Bagel and Deli Shop as one character walks to talk to another in front of what’s now the Den.

‘The Natural History of the Chicken’

In 2000, PBS investigated the role of chickens in American life and ended up in Oxford for an interesting reason.

Bobby Wayne Webb was living in Oxford and was raising roosters for cockfighting. As a segment of the documentary, Webb and his neighbors were interviewed about this pastime, and Webb even gained national attention from it. Neighbors weren’t so happy and filed a nuisance lawsuit.

Sites of Oxford can be seen as B-roll. Parts of town like the civil war cannon look much different. Newspaper clippings from Journal-News are also shown onscreen.

'Turtles All the Way Down'

Photo by Luke Macy | The Miami Student
One user on social media said they spotted "Turtles All the Way Down" filming near King Library in May 2022.

One of the in-production projects for the Max streaming service, “Turtles All the Way Down” is an upcoming film adaptation of a John Green novel. The book is a romantic-drama about a 16-year-old who has OCD and investigates a billionaire’s disappearance.

The cast and crew found their way to Miami’s campus in May 2022. Although no trailers or production stills have been released showing what parts of Miami are included, one user shared in a Reddit post that the crew was shooting the film around King Library.