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Calamity Jane
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« on: September 20, 2008, 12:25:45 AM »

What GBU movie sets still exist today that are now tourist attractions?

If Sad Hill was just a movie set, couldn't they have at least left it after  the film was done being shot?  If not, how come?  I'm not familiar with Spanish laws (if they affected Sad Hill Cemetary remaining as a tourist attraction), so feel free to fill me in.  I think it would have been fantastic if they had been able to leave it alone after the movie was done being filmed, considering it was the backdrop to the biggest climax in the movie!  What are your thoughts on these two questions?   Wink

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Ramon
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« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2008, 02:06:17 AM »

These days Sad Hill is a cattle grazing area, its still possible to see the grave mounds particulary when looking down from the side of the valley. After filming  all of the grave markers were removed in fact according to the locals some real cemetery markers were borrowed from a real cemetery in Burgos. The POW camp is a short distance to the East and perched up on a plateau, the large trenches still exist, again this is farmland, likewise the civil war river scene has been returned to farmland. The only indication that these sites were used in GBU are some wooden signs put up by the local tourist board.

The set at Colmenjar Viejo used for the Angel Eyes gang shootout no longer exists, a few piles of bricks and some foundations can be found but that's about it. Since filming in the 1960s a military helicopter base has been built in the area which I believe partially covers some of the old set area.

You have to go South to Almeria to find the main town set, you wil probably noticed that what was the Few Dollar More El Paso set is used as several different towns in GBU, 2nd Tuco hanging scene, Maria arrival, Tuco gun shop scene, Blondie hanging scene. This set still exists as a tourist attraction, until recently it was known as Miini Hollywood, now called The Oasis.

The first Tuco hanging scene was filmed in Rome, that set no longer exists.

As for leaving these places as tourist attractions, I guess it comes down to economics, I wonder how many tourists would have visited Sad Hill over the years, probably not nearly enough to compensate the farmer for the loss of cattle business.

Personally speaking I prefer not to visit the sets these days (Mini Hollywood and Sweetwater as they are just too touristy and have lost their character).  For me places like Sad Hill area, San Antonio mission, GBU opening scene, Toscana trail area up in the hills above Mini Hollywood, Stevens farmhouse although they weren't sets they still have a lot of atmosophere.



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Ramon

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Calamity Jane
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« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2008, 08:49:36 PM »

Wow, thanks Ramone, for all the info.  It's quite sad to know that very few GBU sites still exist; too bad Sad Hill Cemetary couldn't have been left the way it was, but as you said, the farmers wouldn't get enough compensation for their loss of cattle business.

What about the monastery where 'Father Ramirez/Tuco's brother' resided?  Is that still there? 

Thanks again for the info - very interesting -  Afro

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Ramon
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« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2008, 03:50:42 AM »

Yes, the Ramirez mission (Cortijo de Fraile, in Almeria, used to be a Friary, Fraile is Spanish for Friar)  just about exists although no maintenance has been done for years and the place is  a death trap with collapsed walls and ceilings.

The pictures below were taken in June this year.

Exterior showing extent of decay.


Interior, you may recoginse from Agua Caliente night scene Few Dollars More when Manco sneaks out whilst Indio's gang are dreaming sweetly.


The collapsed ramp where Indio guns down Cuchillo after accusing him of killing Slim.


Back to GBU, the interior  Ramirez mission scenes were filmed at a monestery in the North of Spain very close to the Civil War battle scene, Blondie's room no longer exists. The building visible through Blondie's window is still visible in the background.



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in these parts a man's life can depend on a mere scrap of information.

Ramon

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Clinton
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« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2008, 04:14:56 AM »

Yes, the Ramirez mission (Cortijo de Fraile, in Almeria, used to be a Friary, Fraile is Spanish for Friar)  just about exists although no maintenance has been done for years and the place is  a death trap with collapsed walls and ceilings.

The pictures below were taken in June this year.

Exterior showing extent of decay.


Interior, you may recoginse from Agua Caliente night scene Few Dollars More when Manco sneaks out whilst Indio's gang are dreaming sweetly.


The collapsed ramp where Indio guns down Cuchillo after accusing him of killing Slim.


Back to GBU, the interior  Ramirez mission scenes were filmed at a monestery in the North of Spain very close to the Civil War battle scene, Blondie's room no longer exists. The building visible through Blondie's window is still visible in the background.




Hi Ramon. I'm very sad to see a gapping hole in El cortijo del Fraile (!), and I suspect that the destruction will soon be beyond the point of return. By the way, the GBU book is shaping up very nicely - I'm glad that I visited the GBU shooting locations a few years ago. Good work on the FDM locations video!

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Ramon
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« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2008, 05:48:38 AM »


Apparently there was something in the Almeria press recently about some kind of rescue package for the Fraile but I'll believe it when it happens. I suspect if nothing happens soon the while chapel will collapse, there are  huge cracks in the ceiling and the bell tower is beginning to lean too.


Good news re the book, BTW did you receive my email regarding the GBU locomotive a while back, you can see the loco at Los Barrios (Cadiz)  in my YouTube videos?


Hi Ramon. I'm very sad to see a gapping hole in El cortijo del Fraile (!), and I suspect that the destruction will soon be beyond the point of return. By the way, the GBU book is shaping up very nicely - I'm glad that I visited the GBU shooting locations a few years ago. Good work on the FDM locations video!

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in these parts a man's life can depend on a mere scrap of information.

Ramon

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Calamity Jane
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« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2008, 02:01:22 PM »

Wow - GREAT pics!  It saddens me to see the monestary in such rapid decay and neglect  Cry   I only wish they would do something to restore it and, I suspect that, if nothing is done VERY soon to at least try to save some of it, it'll all deteriorate and crumble to the ground - that's very sad that no effort was put forth after so many years since the movie was made, to save the monestary - very sad!  Thanks for the pics, Ramone - and best of luck with the book - you KNOW I'm going to buy a copy   Afro Wink

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