New Haven, Connecticut - Culture and Notable Features - Miscellaneous - Popular Culture References

Popular Culture References

New Haven has been depicted in a number of movies. Scenes in the film All About Eve (1950) are set at the Taft Hotel (now Taft Apartments) on the corner of College and Chapel streets, and the history of New Haven theaters as Broadway "tryouts" is depicted in the Fred Astaire film The Band Wagon (1953). The city was fictionally portrayed in the Steven Spielberg movie Amistad (1997) concerning the events around the mutiny trial of that ship's rebelling captives. New Haven was also fictionalized in the movie The Skulls (2000), which focused on conspiracy theories surrounding the real-life Skull and Bones secret society which is located in New Haven.

Several recent movies have been filmed in New Haven, including Mona Lisa Smile (2003), with Julia Roberts, The Life Before Her Eyes (2007), with Uma Thurman, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Harrison Ford, Cate Blanchett and Shia LaBeouf. The filming of Crystal Skull involved an extensive chase sequence through the streets of New Haven. Several downtown streets were closed to traffic and received a "makeover" to look like streets of 1957, when the film is set. 500 locals were cast as extras for the film. In Everybody's Fine (2009), Robert De Niro has a close encounter in what is supposed to be the Denver train station; the scene was filmed in New Haven's Union Station.

New Haven is repeatedly referenced by Nick Carraway in F. Scott Fitzgerald's literary classic The Great Gatsby, as well as by fellow fictional Yale alumnus C. Montgomery Burns, a character from The Simpsons television show. A fictional native of New Haven is Alex Welch from the novella, The Odd Saga of the American and a Curious Icelandic Flock. The TV show Gilmore Girls is set (but not filmed) in New Haven and at Yale University, as are scenes in the film The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (2008).

New Haven was the location of one of Jim Morrison's infamous arrests while he fronted the rock group The Doors. The near-riotous concert and arrest in 1967 at the New Haven Arena was commemorated by Morrison in the lyrics to "Peace Frog" which include the line "...blood in the streets in the town of New Haven..." This was the first time a rock star had ever been arrested in concert. This event is portrayed in the movie The Doors (1991), starring Val Kilmer as Morrison, with a concert hall in Los Angeles used to depict the New Haven Arena.

Pat Benatar released a DVD entitled Live in New Haven which shows a 1983 live concert performed at the New Haven Coliseum. Van Halen also has a DVD, Live Without a Net, which was filmed at the Coliseum in 1986. New Haven and Louis' Lunch are depicted in the documentary Hamburger America (2004).

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