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: Almeria Locations  ( 4709 )
El Mal
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« : July 10, 2007, 03:32:54 PM »

Hi everybody,

Just got back from a hectic 3 days in Almeria. I've got a lot of video and photos that need analysing but am being delayed by having had cards knicked from my wallet back here in Torrevieja, Costa Blanca!

Briefly, we first went to Los Albaricoques where, as previously reported, someone's building an apartment block overlooking the stone ring site. They have been built approx. in Clint's line of sight as he sites on the edge of the ring observing the shootout. The  original (or previous?) ring has been demolished and replaced by an obviously new version. The location appears to be the same but I need to check the photos I took last year to confirm. I'm not sure the diameter is right. The stone pile (well?) where Van Cleef stands after dismounting his horse wasn't there last year but they've built a new one. Near to this is another curved build of stones that looks like a BBQ area! The information plaque here and in 3 or 4 other sites around the village contain very generalised comments and add nothing of interest. An extraordinarily high wind on albeit a sunny day severely hampered my attempts to line up reference photos, even with a hefty tripod. Several pitiful, tick ridden dogs following us around for food didn't help any. Regretfully I have no real desire to return to this site, partucularly as the new apartments are blocking a view of the surrounding fields and mountains in one direction. I prefer the memories I have of last year when the site was in gentle decay.

At the restaurant on the junction of the A92 with the Tabernas N340 road we met a French Algerian called Pecos (real name Robert) who told us he had been in the area for 25 years and was a spaghetti western fanatic. He took us to a ruined film location near the Banos De Sierra  Alhamilla which he claimed Eastwood had filmed on but he couldn't confirm the name of any of the films. The location may have been a conversion from original farm or estate buildings as an avenue of mature trees is a feature there. A lot of partially ruined stone buildings are standing though some are obviously film "add ons" as they are only 2 sided. There are also wooden "add ons". A few paint balls were found on the ground. Access roads to the site are rough. If anybody has any info on the site I would be interested to hear before carrying out any research.

With the help of Pecos we also located the ruined set originally built for Chino (USA) 1973 or Valdez the Halfbreed (UK) starring Charles Bronson and later used by Alex Cox for his wacky film Straight To Hell (1987). This is not far from the restaurant on the A92, opposite Mini Hollywood, but a circuitous access takes a while. Several brick ruins are still standing. Only the church is just about recognisable. The A92 was built on a raised level probably 15 years after Alex Cox's film on the line of the original Almeria/Granada road which is visible in his film.

Having finally accepted that Western Leone spoils the memory for me of my favourite Leone film, OUATITW, I decided to go there (heck, it's right opposite the restaurant anyway) and view the house and also check out the cutting where the railway line was brought in for the closing scenes. The added buildings were not as bad as I expected assuming you're looking on it as a new western theme park and not a tribute to the aforementioned film. They are just putting the finishing touches to a white Mexican village to the back far left of the ranch house. There were very few visitors. The shootout in the "town square" was OK if unspectacular. We were particularly taken by the uncanny resemblance of one of the main "cowboys" on the site to Henry Fonda! The likeness is uncanny. We have heard rumours but I don't feel I can say anymore! I located the gully which was dug out for the train line. What a lot of work for a very brief scene. My prize of the day was finding one of the rusting metal plates which I presume was used in the laying of the track. It measures approx. 7" x 5" and has three holes in it. Any railway buffs out there who can confirm or advise on this item?

Finally (did I say this would be brief?) my brother was with me, in addition to my partner Jan, and he was travelling on to Granada, Seville and Cadiz in his camper van so I asked him to divert and take a look at the Flagstone set at La Calahorra.
He's not familiar with OUATITW etc., but he confirmed that the sheep farmer, presumably, has started building a low wall from, based on his telephoned description, the "Merchant Dentist" building to the Saloon. Again I would think these modifications are going to put a nail in the coffin as far as visualising the site as it once was.

I don't claim to be an expert on Leone matters, just very interested as I live a couple of hours away, so please feel free to correct me on any of the above or tell me you knew all about it anyway! If I still can't figure out how to post pics I'll put some on my web site instead - eventually (malcolmdrew.com)


El Mal

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« #1 : July 10, 2007, 06:18:57 PM »

we've heard the rumor of Henry Fonda fathering a son. ;)

Thanks for the update!


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El Mal
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« #2 : July 11, 2007, 02:06:26 PM »

The Fonda lookalike was leaning against a horse tie rail outside the restaurant when we got there (Western Leone) in full western gear, the gun, the lot. A few minutes later he was jotting down our menu in a notebook and serving us burgers with ketchup! It all seemed very surreal!

I've posted some comparison pictures of the stone circle restoration for 2006 and 2007 on my web site. malcolmdrew.com Click thru West in Spain/For a Few Dollars More/Goto Restoration...


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« #3 : July 12, 2007, 10:19:30 PM »

The Fonda lookalike was leaning against a horse tie rail outside the restaurant when we got there (Western Leone) in full western gear, the gun, the lot. A few minutes later he was jotting down our menu in a notebook and serving us burgers with ketchup! It all seemed very surreal!

I've posted some comparison pictures of the stone circle restoration for 2006 and 2007 on my web site. malcolmdrew.com Click thru West in Spain/For a Few Dollars More/Goto Restoration...



I typed in the web address but it won't come up... could you give us a link..??




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« #4 : July 16, 2007, 12:56:35 AM »

we've heard the rumor of Henry Fonda fathering a son. ;)

Thanks for the update!

Check this out, it's from an old post of mine. It seems it is actually Hank's son!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLGYfc4s3ac&mode=related&search=

 ;)

El Mal
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« #5 : July 16, 2007, 09:53:14 AM »

Thanks for the YouTube link to "Fonda" Leonardo. Great to have that confirmation. Now got to polish up my Spanish to follow the interview! Hi Sonny! - my site should be accessable at   http://www.malcolmdrew.com. Sorry, not sure how to link the actual page to the web board.

Following on from our recent visit to Western Leone (see "Fonda" correspondence above) I now realise that we were only a short distance away from the set (anything left?) for "El Condor" 1970 (Lee Van Cleef). So we hope to visit this next time we're there. Possibly in September. Just ordered from only source I could find of a copy of "El Condor" from USA (to Spain). VHS Tape 1.50, postage 12.29!!

El Mal.


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« #6 : July 16, 2007, 11:04:26 AM »

Hola El Mal,

El Condor is pretty run down these days. To get to it you need to follow the road that take you to the Sweetwater entrance but continue alongside the Autovia, after a couple of hundred yards you'll see a metal gate with 'El Condor' written on it. Then you leave the car, sneak around the gate and walk down the track to the El Condor set. I had a good rumage around a couple of years ago, I just wish I could find my photos from 1980 when it was still intact.

From 2005.



All the best
Ramon


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

Ramon

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