Films Shot in Prospect Park
Prospect Park’s 585 rolling acres make the perfect backdrop for films by some of our top filmmakers and actors. Some movies take advantage of the park’s iconic spaces and structures and some use the park as a stand-in for far-away destinations and landscapes.
Sophie’s Choice, the award-winning 1982 drama, saw more than one scene filmed in Prospect Park’s Vale of Cashmere. ''It's a pretty area, a little enclosed pond with a peninsula running into the middle,'' explained Celia Costas, the location manager for the movie, to The New York Times. ''That's where we filmed the picnic with Sophie, Nathan and Stingo, and where Nathan and Sophie waltzed alongside the water...it's a pretty area, a little enclosed pond with a peninsula running into the middle.”
Filmmaker Woody Allen frequently utilizes New York City's landmarks as backdrops in his movies, and 1994's Bullets Over Broadway staged a scene right in Brooklyn's Backyard. The flick, a 1920's mobster comedy, saw a scene between actors John Cusack and Dianne Wiest in front of Prospect Park's Lullwater Bridge.
The Wolf of Wall Street, Martin Scorsese’s 2013 film based on the true story of stock-broker-turned-criminal Jordan Belfort, starring Leonardo diCaprio, filmed a scene in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. You wouldn’t recognize the Park, however, in the film, as computer-generated imagery (CGI) was used to turn the location into London's Hyde Park for a scene with actress Joanna Lumley of "Absolutely Fabulous" fame.
Filmmaker and Brooklynite John Turturro staged numerous scenes of his 1998 film Illuminata in Prospect Park. Turturro directed the period drama about a theater repertory company attempting to stage a new production, with scenes set in Prospect Park as well as the nearby Montauk Club.
The Smurfs Movie from 2011, featured the evil wizard Gargamel chasing the tiny blue Smurfs from their magical world into New York City. Their journey—with appearances by actors Neil Patrick Harris and Sofia Vergara, to name a few—brought them to the historic Prospect Park Boathouse.
Prospect Park in the movies is not a new phenomenon. The Park was used as a setting for the Academy Award–winning Wonder Man (1945) starring Danny Kaye. In the film an exuberant nightclub entertainer is murdered by gangsters and his body is dumped in the Prospect Park Lake. He returns as a ghost to persuade his meek twin brother to help bring his killers to justice.