Onscreen School Name: G.W. Carver High School
Actual School(s): Papillion-La Vista Senior High School, Omaha, Neb.
Extra Credit: Since the movie was shot in a real high school, adjacent classrooms had real class going on while some scenes for the movie were being done. In the soundtrack, some background noises come from real teachers and students. Director Alexander Payne decided to leave that in as to give the movie a more realistic sound. (IMDB)
Extra Extra Credit: Director Alexander Payne wanted to use Omaha North High School, an older, more traditional-looking school building, but the Omaha Public School's superintendent refused after reading the script and deeming it inappropriate. (IMDB)
My So-Called Life (1994-1995)
Onscreen School Name: Liberty High School
Actual School(s): University High School, Los Angeles
Extra Credit: The character Rickie Vasquez was the first openly gay teenager to appear on American network television.
Dazed and Confused (1993)
Onscreen School Name: Robert E. Lee High School
Actual School Name(s): Bedichek Middle School, Austin, Texas
Extra Credit: The soldier memorial statues that Michelle (Milla Jovovich) paints over with KISS makeup were originally supposed to play a bigger role in the film. The statues were to be stolen, before eventually being confiscated by the cops. Some of these scenes are included on Dazed and Confused’s DVD bonus features. KISS frontman Gene Simmons reportedly purchased the statues to add to his collection, and later sold them at Butterfield’s KISS auction in 2000 for $6,000. (IMDB)
Onscreen School Name: University of Notre Dame and Holy Cross College
Actual School(s): University of Notre Dame and Holy Cross College
Extra Credit: While visiting the radio broadcast booth during a Giants baseball game, Sean Astin noted that the poster photo of him as Rudy wearing the suit with the duffel bag was shot on the field at Stanford University. (IMDB)
Extra Extra Credit: One of only two movies shot on Notre Dame's campus. The other was “Knute Rockne All American” (1940). (IMDB)
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
Onscreen School Name: Ridgemont High School
Actual School(s): Van Nuys High School, Van Nuys, Calif.
Extra Credit: While a freelance writer for Rolling Stone, screenwriter Cameron Crowe spent a year secretly embedded at Clairemont High School in San Diego, California under an assumed name (and in cooperation with the school’s administration) to gather stories for a non-fiction book with the same title. Crowe’s book was published in 1981; a year later, it was adapted for the screen. (Mental Floss)
Revenge of the Nerds (1984)
Onscreen School Name: Adams College
Actual School: University of Arizona, Tuscon, Ariz.
Extra Credit: The original Nerds residence, from which they were ousted by the Alpha Betas, was actually Cochise Hall. Their subsequent residence was U of A's Bear Down Gymnasium. The original Alpha Beta fraternity house that is burned down was filmed at the Alpha Gamma Rho house and the Beta Theta Pi house (on University Boulevard). The Pi Delta Pi sorority house was actually the Phi Delta Theta fraternity house. (Wikipedia)
Welcome Back, Kotter (1975-1979)
Onscreen School Name: James Buchanan High
Actual School(s): New Utrecht High School in the Bensonhurst neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y.
Extra Credit: While “Welcome Back, Kotter” was shot entirely on a soundstage, writer and star Gabe Kaplan had the idea of using his own former high school for the exterior shot seen in the opening credits. (A Slice of Brooklyn Bus Tours)
Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
Onscreen School Name: Shermer High School
Actual School(s): Maine North High School (closed in 1981) for interior shots and Glenbrook North High School for the exteriors, both in Des Plaines, Ill.
Extra Credit: Glenbrook North was attended by writer/director John Hughes. (IMDB)
Friday Night Lights (2006-2011)
Onscreen School Name: Herrmann Field (home stadium for the Dillon Panthers)
Actual School(s): Kuempel Stadium, Pflugerville High School, Pflugerville, Texas
Extra Credit: The uniforms and some football footage were taken (mixed with the taped footage to create the game action) from the Pflugerville Panthers, with one real-life Pflugerville player claiming the show to be a "huge distraction" when he was interviewed during the first season. He also complained that a senior pep rally had to be canceled because of the show's shooting schedule. (IMDB)
Stranger Things (2016 - )
Onscreen School Names: Hawkins Middle School and Hawkins High School
Actual School(s): Patrick Henry High School (closed in 2015), Stockbridge, Ga.
Extra Credit: Emory University’s Briarcliff Campus (formerly the Georgia Mental Health Institute) in Atlanta is the stand-in for the sinister Hawkins National Laboratory in the show. (http://strangerthings.wikia.com)
A Different World (1987-1993)
Onscreen School Name: Hillman College
Actual School(s): Spelman College and Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta (exterior shots)
Extra Credit: Producer Debbie Allen was a graduate of Howard University and aimed to make "A Different World" more realistically reflect the historically black college experience. Throughout her tenure on the show, Allen took the writing staff on an annual “field trip” to Spelman and Morehouse Colleges in Atlanta. There they not only saw the latest in dorm furnishings and college fashions, they also chatted with students and administrators to find out what issues were hot topics that could be used in future episodes. (Mental Floss)
Dead Poets Society (1989)
Onscreen School Name: Welton Academy
Actual School(s): St. Andrew's School, Middletown, Del.
Extra Credit: Originally slated to be filmed at Berry College in Rome, Ga., the project was moved to Delaware because it would have been too expensive to create fake snow on the campus grounds. (IMDB)
Freaks and Geeks (1999-2000)
Onscreen School Name: William McKinley High School
Actual School(s): Ulysses S. Grant High School, Valley Glen, Calif.
Extra Credit: The pilot was filmed in an actual school, and after the show was picked up, school sets were built that matched the original school almost exactly, and the rest of the series was filmed on these sets. The hallway set was actually just one "T" section of hallway, and it was constantly redressed to make it appear as if more of the school was being shown. The extras walking down the hall would pile up at the end of the hallway after every shot, as there was literally nowhere for them to go. (IMDB)
The Breakfast Club (1985)
Onscreen School Name: Shermer High School
Actual School(s): Maine North High School (closed in 1981), Des Plaines, Ill.
Extra Credit: Shermer High School is the same fictional high school featured in director John Hughes’ other 80’s classics Sixteen Candles (1984), Weird Science (1985), and Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986). (IMDB)
Animal House (1978)
Onscreen School Name: Faber College
Actual School(s): University of Oregon, Eugene, Ore.
Extra Credit: The President of the University of Oregon only allowed this movie to be filmed on that campus because he decided he did not know how to read screenplays. In 1967, he had received the screenplay for a movie, but had denied it permission to film there. That movie was The Graduate (1967), and he liked that movie so much, that he decided he didn't want to miss another opportunity, so he allowed this film to be filmed on the University of Oregon campus. However, he insisted that the college's name not be listed in the film's credits. (IMDB)
Onscreen School Name: Rushmore Academy
Actual School(s): St. John's School, Houston, Texas
Extra Credit: St. John's School was writer/director Wes Anderson's former high school. He hired some of the students from the school to play extras and even some major speaking roles. (IMDB)