30 Jan, 2012 @ 17:17
1 min read

Made in Spain

WHAT do Doctor Zhivago, Kingdom of Heaven, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade have in common? Answer: They were all filmed in Spain.

Now a brand new website has been launched to shine a spotlight on the locations used in over 570 English-language films made wholly or partly in Spain.

Created by English teacher Bob Yareham and software developer Juan Jose Cermeño, www.silver-screen-spain.com reveals where and when different scenes were shot, where the stars stayed and what amusing anecdotes are still told by the thousands of Spanish extras who have made up the armies of Richard the Lionheart, Richard III or Oliver Cromwell.

“I don’t think people know that it is Spain a lot of the time,” said Yareham, who moved to Spain from London over 30 years ago.

“But just about every country in the world had been represented in a film by Spain at some time or another.

“The aim of the website is to give Spain the added tourist value needed to compete with other countries which also have attractive scenery, monuments and gastronomy.”

For more information visit: www.silver-screen-spain.com

Eloise Horsfield

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  1. Not only Spanish worked as extras. I came to Spain in 68 with a friend to work on Cromwell but it was delayed due to bad weather, so we decided to head to Andalucia instead of Navarro.

    We had long hair as did most northern Europeans, perfect for Cromwell but bad for WW11 films.

    Why was this relevant because Patton Lust for Glory was being filmed in Malaga and Almeria. We got our hair cut and worked a few days directly with George.C.Scott.

    I well remember asking the director if he was going to tell the truth about The Americans at Casserien Pass – the whole set went silent and no they did’nt they reversed the truth.

    Still it was great to sit at linen covered tables with excellant food served by proper waiters and a Berlin wall of red and white wine the length of the tables and plastic dustbins full of ice and San Miguel.

    Weearned the equivalent of £6 per day but had to pay the extra agent £1.50.

    We stayed at the only hotel that Almeria had then and ate at a restaurant long disappeared and the cost of living per day was 10s/50p – those were the days and I count myself lucky to have known the real Spain both north and south – a totally different place to the Spain of today.

  2. Hi Stuart, Thanks for your comments. I am doing a feature for the La Cultura section next issue picking out some of the films that have been made here. I would love to hear more about your time as an extra, also do you have any pictures of you and your friend on set? Please contact me at wendy@theolivepress.es, thanks Wendy

  3. Hi Wendy,
    I do have a few pics of my friend and I dressed as Lutheran pastors, talking with George who actually was even more dynamic in the flesh, where the pics are now I don’t know.

    I remember how crazy the Spanish army conscripts were and how they used to do really swift turns in the Panzer Mk11/111 tanks just like a skater and sent a shower of loose granite stones hurtling towards who ever they chose.

    Maybe someone can help me locate the small village up in the hills just to the south of Almeria where the filming took place. I am sure it was called Ixopo which supposedly had the best spring water in the region but I never found it but I could’nt find it when we visited in 2002.

    It was incredible to watch the very old owners of a tiny shop who were speechless when the whole film unit descended on it and literally bought everything it had – they just stood there as the money came over the counter, some of us thought they would have a heart attack – many financial Chrismas’s coming at once.

    My friend Brian and I walked outside and from all the houses came these very tiny little old ladies falling on their knees asking us to bless them – very embarrassing. An assistant director saw this and decided we should wear US army chaplains clothes instead.

    If you did’nt visit Spain at that time to see this generation of old people you would never realise just how small most peasant people were simply because of a very poor diet. It perhaps explains why the Andalucians of today eat far too much meat.

    Why make WW11 films in Spain – because the Spanish army still used German weapons from that period – tanks/machine guns and the classic German helmet.

    Anyone who now lives up in one of these villages knows just how much cleaner and clearer the air is compares to the coast.

    We never got to work on Cromwell in Spain because of the weather but did at Pinewood where I wound up Rick Harris in the bar making him think you get Guiness there, his resaponse was “I ought to thump you, you young bar steward.

    All my friends could’nt understand why I did’nt snap the stars – I could’nt see the point as I have total pictorial recall.

  4. I now live in Almerimar and was a musician on many many films , but I mainly remember being audited for flying and the converstion was about my life.
    Having said playing on the Raiders films, he came back , and said how interesting , I was flying the aircraft with the snake off the river , lots of fun, what a life

  5. I just remembered that when we first moved to Guadix from Galicia and being ardent walkers we strolled out to the neighbouring Benelua (de Guadix) and happened to stop at a local bar. Got talking to the farmers there and how I had worked on that film, whereupon most of the guys called out to the back and in came this diminuitive man.

    He puffed himself up and said in Andaluz “I am Pancho Villa” and indeed it transpired that he had been picked out from the crowd on a film set. Quite obviously it was his crowning acheivement of which he was very proud.

    We got permission from a neighbour to use an abandoned cave house for our 3 abandoned dogs in the wild land near Benelua known as the Tierras Malas/Bad Lands and lots of cowboy scenes were shot there.

    Just before we left for France someone decided to destroy it for a golf course – what else.

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