Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston Came to Portland, Maine, to Film an Oscar-Nominated Movie
Whether it’s Maines's historic buildings and quaint seaside towns, its mountainous ranges and peek views, or miles of forestland, our state provides beautiful scenery for a photogenic backdrop.
Our four seasons also provide stunning options for the backdrop of a movie set in any month. For this very reason, many movies have been filmed in Maine.
A Preacher’s Wife at Deering Oaks Park in Portland, Maine
As the trees start to bloom, the grass turns green, and the temperature rises, Deering Oaks Park starts to welcome runners, sunbathers, and even little ducklings here in Portland. But, the infamous park is also a hot destination in the winter.
During the colder months, the park’s pond freezes over and Mainers strap on their ice skates for a magical winter wonderland scene under the Pandora lights. Hence, the perfect backdrop for a romantic fantasy film.
Back in 1996, the Oscar-nominated film A Preacher’s Wife filmed an ice skating scene right at Deering Oaks Pond. The Oscar nomination isn’t even the best part... It’s the cast that came right here to our local streets: Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston.
The iconic and local legend Lee Nelson reported the historic moment in February of 1996.
As you can see, the grass was brown and green and the pond was filled with water, which is far from ideal for a magical ice skating scene. Ice trucks and face snow had to be brought to the park to create a fake snow scene to match what director Penny Marshall had envisioned for the film.
Here’s out it came out in the final scene:
The three-minute scene shows iconic actor Denzel Singer and award-winning singer Whitney Houston ice skating at Deering Oaks Pond with Whitney’s “My Heart is Calling” playing in the background. If you’re from Portland, you’ll recognize the buildings in the back as they hop into a taxi cab. If you didn’t have the inside scoop, you’d never know that ice and snow were fake.
Movies Filmed in Maine
A Preacher’s Wife is just one of many movies that boast a beautiful backdrop of Maine in one of its scenes. Among those on the list are Pet Cemetery (1989), The Man Without a Face with Mel Gibson in 1993, Forest Gump, and the original Jumanji in 1995.
Here’s a list of films that feature Maine scenes: