Categories
Period

1980-1989

THE EIGHTIES

Rough Cut (1980)

Black Jack (1980)

City of the Walking Dead/ Nightmare City (1980)

The Martian Chronicles (1980)

Reborn (1980)

Reds (1981)

Mystery on Monster Island (1981)

Clash of the Titans (1981)

Coming at Ya (1981)

Evil Under the Sun (1982)

Conan the Barbarian (1982)

Triumphs of a Man Called Horse (1982)

Black Commando (1982)

Pieces (1982)

Dragon Blood (1982)

Never Say Never Again (1983)

Krull (1983)

The Curse of the Pink Panther (1983)

The Treasure of the Four Crowns (1983)

Escape from El Diablo (1983)

Exterminators in the Year 3000 (1983)

The Keep (1983)

Scalps (1983)

Scarab (1983)

Hundra (1983)

Best Revenge (1984)

Bolero (1984)

The Hit (1984)

Yellow Hair and the Fortress of Gold (1984)

Eleni (1984)

Neverending Story (1984)

The Ibiza Connection (1984)

Lace (1984)

The Sun also Rises (1984)

Meals on Wheels (1984)

Monster Dog (1984)

Killing Machine (1984)

Black Arrow (1985)

Hydra-Monster of the Deep (1985)

Flesh and Blood (1985)

Rustlers’ Rhapsody (1985)

Bad Medicine (1985)

Enemy Mine (1985)

Dust (1985)

Lace 2 (1985)

Star Knight (1985)

Christopher Columbus (1985)

Alien Predator (1985)

Solarbabies (1986)

Gunbus/ Sky Pirates (1986)

Crystal Heart (1986)

Instant Justice (1986)

Eliminators (1986)

 Harem (1986)

Strong Medicine (1986)

Scorpion (1986)

Banter (1986)

The Empire of the Sun (1987)

Monsignor Quixote (1987)

Siesta (1987)

Good Morning Babylon (1987)

Straight to Hell (1987)

Dark Tower (1987)

The Trouble with Spies (1987)

Crystalstone (1987)

The Living Daylights (1987)

Neat and Tidy (1987)

Beaks (The Movie) (1987)

Anguish (1987)

Rest in Pieces (1987)

Scalps (1987)

The Adventures of Baron Von Munchausen (1988)

Rowing in the Wind (1988)

Slugs (1988)

A Time of Destiny (1988)

Counterforce (1988)

Iguana (1988)

The Most dangerous Man in the World (1988)

Onassis: The Richest Man in the World (1988)

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

The Return of the Musketeers (1989)

Fine Gold (1989)

Blood and Sand (1989)

Time to Kill (1989)

The Man in the Brown Suit (1989)

Twisted Obsession (1989)

The White Room (1989)

Esmeralda Bay (1989)

A Man of Passion (1989)

The Shell Seekers (1989)

Hot Blood (1989)

1980s

Rough Cut (1980)

Burt Reynolds and David Niven star in a heist film, with Niven this time as the policeman rather than the sophisticated thief; or is he?

The inevitable happy ending, when all is revealed, takes place on a yacht in unspecified, sunny Spanish waters. The drearier planning and robbery were shot in the UK and the Netherlands.

Black Jack (1980)

Since its inauguration in 1916 the Gran Casino Sardinero in Santander, Cantabria has had its ups and downs, with the authorities closing it down and opening it up according to the political climate of the time.

One of the highlights of its existence was the making of ‘Black Jack’ starring Peter Cushing.

The action begins with a phone call in Marbella, Málaga, and a particularly violent armed robbery of a van.

We then move to London, where debonair thief Peter Cushing explains why he prefers to rob the casino at Santander and not Marbella: “Marbella is all costume jewellery, fake Arabs and washed out playboys.”

Then on to a street scene of Madrid to meet Inspector Cardenas before we see Santander airport where singer and stooge Dynamite Duck arrives.

Next a police roadblock on a country road, supposedly in Sevilla, but it could be anywhere, where a thief is detained.

The thief is released and followed to Santander, where the police officer arrives and is taken to the casino.

The rest of the action takes place between the casino and the Gran Hotel Sardinero nearby.

The story ends with some scenes at the port and with Cushing’s yacht escaping past the Faro De La Isla De Mouro.

City of the Walking Dead/ Nightmare City (1980)

Yet another Italian production, briefly saved from eternal oblivion by Mel Ferrer, playing a General trying not too successfully to defeat an army of zombies.

Among the locations are the district of Chamartín, Madrid and Parque de Atracciones (Fairground) of Madrid, as it looked back in the 80s with the quaint old Mississippi riverboat.

After a while the throat cutting and blood drinking becomes so tiresome that you find yourself wishing they’d just finish off the human race and be done with it.

An anti-nuclear message thinly disguised as an excuse to de-robe nubile beauties before stabbing them.

The Martian Chronicles (1980)

Ray Bradbury’s classic was filmed on the island of Lanzarote in the Canary Islands, where the Martian landscape, a relic of its volcanic past, has served as a location for many films in search of barren beauty.

Rock Hudson was one of the stars.

Reborn (1980)

A collaboration between TV evangelist Dennis Hopper and Spanish director Bigas Luna about a girl with a stigmata, filmed in the US and in Barcelona.

Character actor (ugly) Francisco Rabal plays second villain in a film where not much is clear until the end of the film, and then some.

Reds (1981)

Carlos Jiménez worked in the transport business when Reds arrived at the village of Villacañas, Toledo to shoot some scenes, and Carlos was responsible for ferrying the equipment from the station to the filming locations back in the USSR.

Carlos showed me where some of the train scenes were shot on an old line, which is now a cycle path, halfway between Villacañas and Don Fadrique on the CM 410 road opposite a sign for Viveros Rodelgo.

Gaudix also played an important part, for the scenes of Reed’s train journey to the Caucasus with a group of Bolsheviks, fighting off White Army ambushes and burning effigies of American capitalists, all filmed on the tracks between Guadix-Baza and La Calahorra stations, Granada.

The main purpose of the train journey is to take Communism to the east, and we see Trotsky lecturing the eastern masses in Los Reales Alcázares in Sevilla.

The triumphant return, after wear and tear, to Moscow and into the arms of Diane Keaton, took place at the Delicias station/museum in Madrid.

In Segovia province the royal palace at Riofrio, a big favourite with film makers, was employed, according to palace employee Miguel Angel Sancristan, who helped us with our enquiries.

The train used was once again the Babwil 140.

Mystery on Monster Island (1981)

It wasn’t such a small island considering they travelled all over Spain to make this film starring Peter Cushing (replacing the original choice of James Stewart, who fell ill) and Terence Stamp.

The Canary Islands for the volcano and jungle scenes, Madrid, for elegant San Francisco, and the beaches of Otur, Cadavedo and Queruas for all the comings and goings on the island, all near Luarca, in Asturias were some of the locations for a Jules Verne story of giant slugs and monsters. Verne even gets an oral cameo when the professor mentions him.

Also used were the waterfalls at the spa known as the Monastery of Stone (Monasterio de Piedra) in Zaragoza province, where Stamp would return in the Stephen Frears thriller ‘The Hit’ in 1984.

The waterfalls serve to connect the scenes, when Jeff and the professor arrive at the island after their wholly believable ship is attacked by wholly believable monsters; they then move away from the beach and inland.

As they settle in to life with the monkey, they return there to bathe. Later, after rescuing their very own Man Friday, they walk past again, as they do once more after escaping from the cave of slugs, and then again after meeting the French girl, and then as the turban-headed natives (as opposed to the cannibal natives) head towards her cave as they dance, and then as they escape from them, and just after sighting the uncle’s ship

The writer and co-director for this film was the Valencian Juan Piquer Simón.

Clash of the Titans (1981)

A strange film to find Sir Laurence Olivier in; perhaps he believed the title referred to thespian disputes, or perhaps he couldn’t resist the opportunity to play Zeus.

The film begins on the coast of Cornwall with some good, old fashioned parenting of the ‘cast the naughty daughter and her child adrift in a coffin’ variety.

 The Spanish section was shot at El Torcal de Antequera, Málaga, a natural area of soaring rock formations which was the location for the scenes of the journey across the desert to the Stygian Witches’ cave.

Perseus visits the cave not to lend them a hand with the cooking (the pot already has a hand in it) but to discover how to defeat the Kraken. The simple solution offered is to visit the Medusa for a takeaway.

La Calahorra and Guadix in Granada province also got a brief look in, representing the scenes at the ‘Wells of the Moon,’ where Perseus goes to capture the winged horse Pegasus. This takes place in the Rambla de Paulencia with the Sierra Nevada clearly visible in the background.

The film confirms that the Gods were a petty, vindictive rabble, as if we didn’t know.

Coming at Ya (1981)

Forget ‘Avatar’ and other Smurf derivatives; this 3D spaghetti western was spilling the beans in your hand when James Cameron was dreaming of being the King of the world. And not only beans…..everything on hand is tossed at the camera just so that you don’t forget this is 3D, and you don’t realise that this is a really bad film, despite the glorious presence of Victoria Abril.

Beans, coins, cards, nuts, knives, a yo yo, darts, spears, bats, rats and even a baby’s bottom; all are shoved into the camera in slo mo as the action unfolds.

Filmed at the Daganzo Studios and the multi-purpose River Alberche site at Aldea del Fresno, as well as Nuevo Baztán and Talamanca de Jarama (where the fatter of the two evil brothers meets his end), all near Madrid, and also, and this is very weird, the castle of Manzanares El Real, supposedly typical of Mexican architecture perhaps, where the captured girls are to be auctioned off during a banquet.

Manzanares El Real. Photo Courtesy Mark Yareham

In Almería, there are some nice scenes of the beach at Mónsul, with petticoated girls being chased through the surf by the baddies.

Monsúl Beach

Victoria gets dragged through the surf; she is after all the hero’s wife, and he was dragged from the altar, although merely shot in an arm and a leg and then left to live to ensure that the film didn’t end after only five minutes.

The town scenes were shot at Fort Bravo, Almería.

Fort Bravo

Evil Under the Sun (1982)

The film was shot at Lee International Studios in Wembley, London, and on location in Mallorca, where director Guy Hamilton was living.

The actual island used was Sa Dragonera, but only for aerial shots; five of them in fact throughout the film, in which we are supposed to believe that we are in the country of Tyrania, and that the hotel was a present to Maggie Smith for ‘services’ rendered to its Prince.

 Specific locations used were the Formentor Beach and headland, which stands in for the South of France, and Cala d’en Monjo for Daphne’s Cove and beach. Cala d’en Monjo can be reached by going to Cala Fornells and then walking a kilometre along a well marked forest path. It is remarkably unspoilt, in contrast to the intensely developed coves nearby. In fact, when we went we were alone except for a German lady and her dog.

Cala d’en Monjo

The cove where they embark in order to sail for the island was in reality Cala de Deía, a very popular location in Mallorca. Indeed, when we were there in August 2012, Sir Bob Geldorf was to be found admiring an unusually rough sea in one of the two classic beach bars.

Gull Cove was a cove on the Formentor Peninsula and Ladder Bay was filmed near Camp De Mar, three kilometres south of Port d’Andratx.

The other hotel exterior shots were filmed at the Raixa Estate, north of Palma.

The estate’s staircase is put to good use, and the pond is the scenario of Poirot’s interrogation of Roddy McDowell in his convincing sailor outfit.

Despite the pleasant scenery, the film is a standard Agatha Christie story in which we know that whoever has the best alibi must be the killer.

Conan the Barbarian (1982)

‘Barbaric’ is a word that many would associate with Arnold Swartzenneger, mostly because of his mutilation of the English language, endearing him to those who connive to supplant English as an international language.

Conan was filmed all over Spain by director John Milius, who had already filmed here with Sean Connery and Candice Bergen in ‘The Wind and the Lion.’

The filming was originally intended for Yugoslavia, but the political situation there caused them to shut down after a few months work.

Victor Matellano, author of various books about the history of the cinema in Spain, among them ‘Espartaco’ (Spartacus), pointed out that Colmenar Viejo was the location of Swartzenneger’s first day’s filming and specifically the scene where Conan enters a cave pursued by wolves and emerges with a sword, cutting his chains at a nearby rock, which can be found near the road between Colmenar Viejo and Cerceda, close to a medieval bridge.

Although Swartzenneger’s contribution began at Colmenar Viejo, Madrid in December 1980, the film itself opens in the snow in the Valsaín mountains near Segovia, where Conan’s village was built in a zone known locally as El Puente (‘Bridge’) del Minguete. As director Milius commented: “there’s nothing like a village being wiped out to open a movie.”

However, the local foresters were more concerned about their forests being wiped out and raised objections until they discovered that special effects man Ron Cobb had also done the effects for ‘Alien,’ which for some bizarre reason quietened their fears.

The actor who played Conan as a child was in fact Jorge Sanz, who is now a well-known actor in Spain. Apparently Arnold and Jorge used the upstairs room of  Valsaín’s Restaurante Hilaria as their changing room.

The scenes where Arnold grows to manhood while turning the ‘wheel of pain’ were filmed in Ávila province, specifically near the village of Hija de Dios (a great name, if somewhat heretical, meaning ‘The Daughter of God’.

I stopped in this tiny, sleepy village one early summer’s morning, but only the dogs ran up to greet me and so I’ll probably never know if their ancestors smelt Arnold’s hand.

The most striking use of Spanish scenery must surely be that of ‘La Cuidad Encantada,’ an eerie natural rock formation in the province of Cuenca.

This is the part of the film where Arnold makes love to a Wolf-Witch, who tells him he must go to ‘Zamora’ to resolve his quest, before he tosses her casually onto a fire.

The Alcazaba of Almería appears the day (or so it seems) after Conan meets and unchains Subotai in the Ciudad Encantada.

After running through the deserts of Almería, with not a cowboy in sight, they enter the Alcazaba and stumble across a market with elephants, pigs and donkeys.

Conan, a country boy at heart, asks of his first city: “does it always smell like this?” and they run back into the desert, arriving at another, similar town (perhaps because it is also the Alcazaba, but from another angle), where we encounter a llama, and a camel, which Conan decides to punch, possibly going off script just a bit.

At Navacerrada, currently a skiing resort near Madrid, Conan’s sword was forged in one of the first scenes shot, at night and at below zero temperatures, while the tavern scene took place in the attic of La Cartuja de Talamanca del Jarama, also near Madrid. Nearby, the scene where he is dragged behind a cart with oxen was shot at Manzanares El Real.

In Almería, Swartzenneger is crucified among the sand dunes of Cabo de Gata, and also meets a travelling family there, while his ride along the coast was filmed at the Punta Entinas-Sabinar Nature Reserve.

The Thulsa Doom palace, where Conan’s revenge is finally enacted, was built in the sierra de Gádor near El Ejido on the slope of a mountain called Peñon de Bernal in a zone known as Santa María del Águila.

The script was probably adapted to Arnold’s vocal range (he practically never speaks) although he does use a wide range of gestures while cutting limbs from enemies who, in the time honoured-tradition of Hollywood, approach him one at a time for his, and our, convenience.

Triumphs of a Man Called Horse (1982)

Richard Harris milks this pony dry in the last of the series in which it is his son who takes up arms against the thieving white man.

According to local expert Julián de la Llana del Río filming took place in Soria province, one specific location being the bridge over the River Ebrillos near the Cuerda del Pozo reservoir.

Black Commando (1982)

Tony Curtis wasn’t needed for the scenes of ‘Spartacus’ shot in Spain, but he made it over for this modern version of ‘Othello,’ in which he plays a villain in a ridiculous black stetson.

The action takes place in Africa, although Madrid was the main Spanish location.

Pieces (1982)

Long before it became trendy for Spanish directors to make English language films in Spain, Valencian Juan Piquer was doing just that.

This ‘so bad that it’s good’ movie was set in Boston and shot both there and around Madrid, proving the point that it is dangerous to come between a boy and his jigsaw.

Nothing good can be expected of a cutting edge college campus that only ever has one unsuspecting young lady using its ample facilities at a time.

Dragon Blood (1982)

Martial arts expert John Liu from Hawaii directed and starred in this film set in Mexico but shot on the island of Tenerife, whose snow-capped Teide mountain is the highest in Spain, although the action begins among the rolling sand dunes of Maspalomas on Gran Canaria.

It may or may not be coincidence that Dragon’s Blood is also the name given to the sap of the Draco tree, indigenous to Tenerife, because it turns red on contact with the air.

During the film Liu is blinded, which gives him the opportunity to go beyond over-acting into the ‘footballer in the penalty area’ realm of ham.

Despite the lack of a plot and the fact that Liu has to fight the same four thugs over and over again, the sculptored lava fields of the Parque Nacional de Las Cañadas del Teide and the black, sandy beaches more than compensate.

Never Say Never Again (1983)

Connery returns ever ever again to the Bond role in a parody of the Bond of before, clinging to the standard formula.

Foreign politicians flap their arms in panic and practise their heavily accented English while the immovable British call for Bond and return to resolving the Times Crossword. When will Europe learn?

Randy beauty parlour receptionists and health clinic nurses lust after Bond, whose confident conquests have a touch of paedophilia about them given the age difference, as Bond continues to waltz his way into his enemies’ grasp so that he can gadget his way out again.

In the video game battle for world domination, Bond loses Spain to the villain, but fortunately its value is only set at 9,000 dollars.

When Bond rescues Bassinger and they fall from the castle walls into the sea, they make their splash near Los Palmerales in Cabo de Gata.

The original plan was to film in the Bahamas, but technical problems and bad weather forced them to settle for Almería.

The underwater sequences were filmed at Los Escullos at Palmer Beach, and the Arab well, into which Bond dives, was at nearby San José.

The oasis above Blofeld’s underground HQ was located at Las Salinas, Cabo de Gata.

The scene where Bond and Leiter don wetsuits was filmed near the 18th century Castillo of San Felipe, built by King Carlos III at the fossil beach at Punta del Esparto near Los Escullos.     

My thanks to Bond expert and author “Palau, Jaume Palau” for his help here.

Krull (1983)

A film that had to compete with ‘The Return of the Jedi’ on its release and which now is mainly remembered for the participation of a young Liam Neesen, who helps the King help the inhabitants of Krull to free themselves from the Beast and his beastly followers, the Slayers.

The Slayers are basically slugs dressed in armour who fight with laser guns that double up as swords. Unfortunately their master only gave them a shot apiece, and after they shoot their single shot they have to fight on less even terms, proving to be rather slow and clumsy (or dare I say sluggish?), which is fortunate for our heroes, who are thus able to die one at a time throughout their epic travels, instead of all in the first five minutes, as is the case of the previous King and his court, who are slaughtered like sardines in a tin can.

The Beast is a restless traveller, whose rocky castle changes places daily so as to make all that conquest and oppression less tiresome for him.

Most of the impressive scenery is from Abruzzi in Italy (the green bits mainly), although the Iron Desert features the spectacular volcanic scenery of Lanzarote.

The Curse of the Pink Panther (1983)

Ted Wass was Inspector Clouseau’s substitute, more or less, and inevitably he ‘wass’ awful, confusing ‘deadpan,’ at which Peter Sellers was a genius, with ‘still life.’

Filming took place in the city of Valencia, where we see the traditional Hotel Astoria, from which heroes and villains exit together. The quaint square in front of it with its fountain and shady trees, Plaza Rodrigo Botet, is the scene of some partying during the city’s world famous Fallas festival, held every year in mid-March to celebrate the beginning of spring or Saint Joseph and the carpenters if you prefer.

Hotel Astoria, Plaza Rodrigo Botet,

The heart of the Fallas is the Town Hall Square (Plaza del Ayuntamiento), which also appears in the film with crowds celebrating as one of the three rockets that are launched to mark the beginning of the daily firework display called the ‘Mascletá’ explodes.

Unfortunately the Fallas celebrations are confused with Carnival, as far as the costumes are concerned, and the traditional dancing seems more like post-modernist Punk pogo stick jumping.

Fallas is a noisy festival, and as one of the villains points out, it is an excellent place to assassinate somebody, as with all the fireworks nobody will notice a few extra shots.

The crew was received by Valencia’s Council, who collaborated with the project, and among the cast was Patricia Davis, daughter of President Reagan.

Filming also took place in Ibiza, where we see a villa among the mountains and a swimming pool full of naked people taking a mud bath.

Here we meet David Niven in his last film, and among his last words on screen were: “he took off for Valencia. It’s in Spain.” Not a classic quote but at least geographically accurate.

The Treasure of the Four Crowns (1983)

Set in Spain and with references to Spain’s history, the film is an attempt to take advantage of what was then the passing phase of 3D films.

It’s a film like Rembrandt without the art; it’s dark. In the opening scene, as the credits roll, a man stands before a castle, armed only with a cigarette and a pair of gloves.

The eerie music informs us that we are in the presence of evil, as our hero spends the next 20 minutes fighting off more fauna than Indiana Jones would have put up with, in the castle of Belmonte, Cuenca, which gets blown to pieces in the film.

Escape from El Diablo (1983)

El Diablo is a prison in Mexico, although it is in fact the Papa Luna castle of Peñiscola, Castellón. When two American boys go swimming, we see the town as El Cid (sorry, Charlton Heston) saw it from the beach.

The two young Americans visit a bar and get into a fight with some wardens. Frankly most people would probably side with the wardens as the boys are pretty repulsive. From then on it’s ‘Midnight Express’ all over as some trendy Californian stereotypes outwit some nasty, Mexican stereotypes in a film that will persuade nobody to visit Mexico, or even Peñiscola.

However, Peñiscola looks pretty good, despite the change of name, and there is a lovely moment when Jimmy meets Sundance (played by John Wayne’s son Ethan) on a terrace with a great view, and as he leaves we see that the bar specialises in that typical Mexican drink, Horchata.

Exterminators in the Year 3000 (1983)

Some researchers were duped into believing that one of the ‘Mad Max’ films was partly shot in Almería, and this movie was the reason.

It was an Italian production with filming all over the Almerian desert, including the mines of Rodalquilar, HQ of the last surviving representatives of decency and civilisation (the bores in other words) and at La Calahorra, Granada, where Crazy Bull, who occasionally quotes Shakespeare just to show that this is not completely mindless pap, and his men ambush a lorry convoy.

At Rambla El Búho the secret water plant is located.

The Keep (1983)

Nazis and Jews work together to fight a common enemy, a demon in a castle.

Some secondary scenes of Greece were filmed in Spain, and most of the rest in Wales.

Michael Mann directed Ian McKellan and Gabriel Byrne, as well as Scott Glen, who gives a glowing performance, aided and abetted by the Tangerine Dream soundtrack.

Scalps (1983)

A group of archeological students go digging in the desert and unwittingly release some angry ghosts, whose revenge can be guessed from the title.

Almería was the inevitable provider of desert scenery.

Scarab (1983)

Nazis raising Egyptian Gods from the dead? The kind of thing Spielberg might have thought of if he’d been faster, with locations including Madrid, Burgo de Osma and Gormaz, in the province of Soria.

The film begins with a mad professor raising an Egyptian God, and then, as the credits role we are treated to a drone-like visit to the Ciudad Encantada rock formations in Cuenca.

There follows a speech by some sort of priest promising to free man from tyranny by bringing back the dark ages, and then suddenly we see the royal palace of La Granja, Segovia, supposedly the summer home of the French PM.

After being attacked eccentricly on the streets of Madrid, the journalist crawls into a taxi then we follow another car, which arrives in Gormaz, whose castle towers above the village, to deliver gold to the mad priest.

When the reporter finally teams up with the nurse, they find a couple of corpses in a car and then ride into the monumental, arcaded town of Burgo de Osma, littered with dead bodies. They ride past the fountain in front of the cathedral.

The climax takes place in the castle lair of Gormaz, which we see in an aerial view as the credits role.

In Madrid the locations include the Casino, the offices of El Pais newspaper and Banco de Bilbao.

Hundra (1983)

Only two years after Conan, this self-confessed follow up offers a female version with almost identical plot and locations.

The forests of Valsaín, Segovia provide the initial massacre of Hundra’s family, like Conan’s, and then there is a lot of slaughter at La Pedriza, Manzanares, Madrid, as well as Texas Hollywood-Fort Bravo and the Condor fortress, both in Almeria.

Fort Bravo

Best Revenge (1984)

American tourists never seem to learn their lesson and cannot ‘do’ Europe without being kidnapped by drug smuggling rings.

The film is set in Spain and Morocco and the locations include the beach and port at Tarifa and Algeciras in the province of Cádiz, as well as Málaga and the town of Casares in the same province.

Casares

The Morrocan mountains of Ketama were substituted by the mountains of Pelayo between Algeciras and Tarifa.

The scene where a car flies into the water with someone inside was shot in Algeciras port, although it was supposed to be Tanger, and the elegant Hotel Reina Cristina of Algeciras was also used.

The film features Michael Ironside, and Levon Helm of ‘The Band’ and a soundtrack by Keith Emerson of ELP.

Bolero (1984)

Bolero is some typical 80s soft porn with a storyline tagged on, taking advantage of Bo Derek’s success in ‘10’ with Dudley Moore, where she is turned on by Ravel’s classic tune ‘Bolero’.

The film avoids clichés as Bo leaps into bed with unusual, original characters such as an Arab Sheik and a Spanish…..wait for it….bullfighter!

It is set in the roaring twenties and Bo, directed by her obviously unpossessive husband John, spent several weeks installed in Sevilla’s Alfonso XIII hotel, where part of ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ was filmed and, according to a reporter of the newspaper El Pais, spent her time walking in the gardens of Los Alcázares, suppering in La Barraca restaurant, dancing in El Coto discothèque, and chatting with locals in the emblematic Santa Cruz neighbourhood with its cobblestoned inhabitants.

Bo plays a rich tourist, determined to lose her virginity to somebody exotic, taking us on a journey around Sevilla, visiting such jewels as Triana, with its sherry bars, Archivo de Indias and Plaza Nueva.

In Puerto de Santa María in the Peralta family stables she learnt advanced riding techniques. Her riding technique in fact brought a whole new meaning to the concept of bareback riding.

In one scene she can be found riding along a beach at Oyambre near Comillas in Cantabria.

The main square of Pedraza, Segovia was used for the first of various scenes with horses and bulls, where Bo first catches sight of Angel, who sells wine and bulls but not horses, astride his horse before he ends up astride someone else.

Pedraza: Photo Courtesy Mark Yareham

Before that, when Bo enters an exotic nightclub in the Kasbah, the portal is in fact the main entrance to Pedraza castle. As Bo enters, a pianist plays ‘As Time Goes By,’ just to remind us that this is a quality movie.

Spanish actress Ana Obregon co-stars and chauffeur Burt Kennedy looks so bored most of the time that you keep expecting him to fall off his chair, until he does.

The Hit (1984)

A gangster turned informer, who thinks that he can enjoy his early retirement in Spain, is kidnapped and ‘escorted’ towards Paris to face his ex-colleagues.

The village where he is abducted is apparently called Santa Elena and is obviously in the deep south, and is identified by the director as being in Andalucía. I have heard that it is Almodóvar del Río in Córdoba, but cannot confirm.

John Hurt and Tim Roth play the villains and Terence Stamp the East End informer-gangster now turned philosopher. Fernando Rey startles as a Spanish police officer who always arrives just in time to mutter over the dead bodies.

On the way to France, after an obligatory stop at the windmills of Consuegra, Toledo, maintained mainly for Don Quijote enthusiasts, the kidnappers divert to Madrid and we see them enter the underground car park of Plaza de España, and from a flat above, they take a breather to bump off an inconvenient Australian.

On the way north it is often not very clear if they have reached the Pyrenees or are still on the dusty plains of central Spain, although the philosophical waterfall scene was filmed at the frequently-used Monasterio de Piedra, a spa located in the wilds of Zaragoza province.

The climax takes place at the abandoned Customs post on the Spanish-French border at Dancharinea, Navarra, in the days when people used to shop there.

The excellent music is by flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia, with an opening blues track by Eric Clapton.

The film begins and ends with John Hurt standing beside a makeshift cross on a hill at Roncesvalles, where the Spanish part of the Saint James’s Way (Camino de Santiago) pilgrim route begins, and where in a famous battle in 778 AD, one of the Emperor Charlemagne’s Captains, Roldan, died heroically blowing his horn. The significance of this place as a journey’s end and beginning wouldn’t be lost on director Stephen Frears, or on Terence Stamp as he muses upon his own death during his final pilgrimage.

Yellow Hair and the Fortress of Gold (1984)

A film that really needn’t be put on your list of ‘things to do before I die’, especially as you are liable to expire from boredom while watching it.

Shot in and around Fort Bravo, Texas Hollywood at Tabernas, Almería, it’s just another story of cowboys, Indians and lost treasure, highlighting the antics of its lead couple Yellow Hair and the Pecos Kid.

Fort Bravo

Typical Almerian locations used were Cabo de Gata and the Mónsul Beach, the Rodalquilar mines and the Molineta cave.

Eleni (1984)

A true story about communist atrocities in Greece after World War II. Among the Spanish locations posing as Greece was Tarifa in Cádiz province, where the popular street known as La Calzada in the old town became a typical Greek street.

An old bakery called La Moderna in calle San Roque, Estepona, Málaga, was used for the scene where John Malkovitch talks to an old childhood friend, trying to find his mother’s killer.

The mountain village was built at Algatocín, Málaga, among whose inhabitants was a young Linda Hunt.

Neverending Story (1984)

Scenery from Almería and Huelva was used, noticeably in the scenes where Atreyu gallops into action on his horse before…sob…the quicksand….sob, sob…swallows him…….triple sob.

In Almería, some galloping took place at Cautivo, El Búho and on the beach at Mónsul, although with a lot of special effects. Some aerial views of the Cabo de Gata dunes also appear.

Wolfgang Petersen directed just after making his ‘Das Boot’ classic, which also had scenes shot in Spain.

The Ibiza Connection (1984)

An action film within a film with lots of shooting, driving and the beautiful backdrop of Ibiza’s idyllic scenery.

Lace (1984)

An interesting cast, including Angela Lansbury, Brooke Adams, Anthony Quayle, Honor Blackman and arch-villain Herbert Lom.

The story is supposed to be about a girl trying to find out who her mother is, and among the locations is Granada, whose La Calahorra castle is once again the star as the Prince’s palace, with some odds and sods of the Alhambra thrown in.

La Calahorra

The Sun Also Rises (1984)

A remake of the 1950s classic based on Hemingway’s book, which starred Tyrone Power, Ava Gardner and Errol Flynn, only this time they actually made it in Pamplona, Navarra, instead of Mexico.

Filming also took place in Segovia and a little provincial town known as Paris, France.

This version features Leonard Nimoy as the aptly named Count Mippipopolous.

Meals on Wheels (1984)

When everybody else was obsessing about George Orwell, and before he became world famous, Jackie Chan made the first of two films that he shot in Barcelona.

The opening credits make it clear where we are with the image of Gaudí’s emblematic Sagrada Familia cathedral. We return there later among the cathedral’s towers for the scene where the English gentleman in his bowler hat finally meets the girl and is held upside down over the edge by Jackie and his cohort.

Sagrada Familia

Jackie and his friend sell food on the streets of the city, although the city is in reality the Poble Espanyol theme park on Montjuïc, where they sort out some villainous motorbike hoods, and where the girl is kidnapped for the first time.

Poble Espanyol

When we see Jackie skateboarding in a wide open space just after the girl starts working with him, we are in Parc Joan Miró with its statue Dona i Ocell (woman and bird) in clear evidence. The 22 metre high statue was one of three supposed to welcome visitors to Barcelona.

The mental asylum where Jackie’s uncle is lodged is the Finca Güell, also designed by Gaudí.

During a car chase we can see Plaza de España, the bullring of Barcelona, the Colon monument and the Arc de Triomphe, while on a more romantic note for a musical number, the fountains and greenery of the Cuitadella park predominate.

The climax of the film takes place at the Castillo de La Roca des Vallès, where they finally face the evil villain. The castle dates back to 1030.

Roca des Vallès

Monster Dog (1984)

None other than Alice Cooper, the man with the snake who sang the classic hit ‘School’s Out,’ appears here in an Italian horror film with a touch of werewolfism, scantily disguised as a rather long video clip.

Torrelodones in Madrid was the main location, and the Casino Gran Madrid was used for interiors while an estate called La Trenca was the house on the hill where our merry young group of video makers are slaughtered.

Alice apparently spent his free time playing golf on a nearby American Airforce base.

Killing Machine (1984)

Lee Van Cleef and Margaux Hemingway star in a film about conflicts among lorry drivers, where a man seeks revenge for the murder of his wife.

Filmed on the border between Spain and France, where lorry burning has a history.

Black Arrow (1985)

Based on a story by Robert Louis Stevenson, and with a cast including Oliver Reed, Donald Pleasance and the inevitable Fernando Rey as the Earl of Warwick, Spanish monuments such as the cathedral of Ávila, and the city walls representing York, transport us back to the bloody Wars of the Roses. The cathedral is used for the wedding scene and also the cloister scene where Pleasance betrays Reed to Rey.

The castle at Guadamur in Toledo province becomes the hangout of Oliver Reed. The castle is today owned by a Madrid businessman and is currently surrounded by a rather ugly wall to keep out the peasantry, who are only allowed in if they are conveying tithes, victuals or virgins.

Guadamur

Being a Disney film, the complexities of history are dealt with in a convincing way, which can be summarised as ‘red good, white bad’.

The story of Guadamur is a curious parallel to the Wars of the Roses in that it was built because of a conflict between two local noble families as a refuge when the other side was in power.

I was informed of the castle’s history by Pedro A Alonso, one of many local people who acted as extras in the film. (Pedro can be seen guarding the castle when one of Reed’s men returns peacocked to death with arrows.

Pedro recalled that the director got infuriated with the extras, who couldn’t help looking at the camera and waving to their friends.

Pedro

La Cartuja de Talamanca del Jarama near Madrid, scene of many films, has an old ‘bodega’ full of large earthenware urns that provide the ideal setting for tavern scenes, and this film took full advantage.

The forest of Valsaín in Segovia provided some necessary vegetation for the river scenes, and as a haven for Black Arrow himself, a kind of Robin Hood but without the tights, who builds up an appetite for breakfast by picking off Reed’s men.

Hydra-Monster of the Deep (1985)

Timothy Bottoms attempts to thwart the designs of a sea monster fed on radioactivity from a dumped nuclear bomb that threatens a Spanish coastal town in Galicia.

Ray Milland’s last film, directed by Galician Amando de Ossorio.

Flesh and Blood (1985)

At the beginning of the film we are told that this is Western Europe 1501, and indeed it could not be more westerly, as the whole film by Dutch director Paul Verhoeven was shot in Spain.

The opening scene shows a siege, and the familiar wall of Ávila is easily recognised as the mercenary troops imbibe religion and alcohol in preparation for the assault on the city gate called the Puerta del Carmen.

Once inside the castle however, they transfer to the long and winding stone streets of Cáceres in Extremadura.

Betrayed by their Lord, who is technically in breach of contract, and who turns the cannons on his victorious troops (or “scum”) as both he and the Duke of Wellington affectionately referred to them) the mercenaries are disarmed and retire to the abandoned village of El Merino near the town of El Fresno in Ávila province, which is where they recover after their expulsion, and where they discover the buried statue of Saint Martin, while a camp follower gives birth to a still-born child.

After attacking a wagon train, in good old western European style, they kidnap the rather slutty heroine, as it turns out, and move into the ever popular castle of Belmonte in Cuenca, used for the joust scene in ‘El Cid.’

The rest of the film takes place here, including all the castle interiors.

Locals are still a bit angry with Verhoeven, who in his quest for authenticity actually set fire to the keep.

The castle was built in 1546 by Don Juan Pacheco (Marqués de Villena) and stands on a hilltop known as Cerro de San Cristóbal. It currently belongs to ancestors of the Duchess of Alba.

Tattooed mercenaries, plague, revenge, costumes straight out of ‘Sergeant Pepper’ and a complicated love-hate triangle; it could almost be a contemporary film instead of one set in medieval times.

Multifaceted Spanish actor Simón Andreu plays a character called Miel (Honey).

Rustlers’ Rhapsody (1985)

Tom Berenger, looking like he just stepped offstage from a Flying Burrito Brothers concert, stars in this spoof on Spaghetti westerns, filmed largely where the spaghetti westerns were shot, around Tabernas (including the Fort Bravo, Texas Hollywood cowboy town) in Almería province and using the oft used railway station at Calahorra-Ferreira, Granada with its old Babwil engine.

Fort Bravo

Familiar old locations such as La Pedriza near Madrid also featured for the scenes where Tom makes his camp site.

Fernando Rey surprises nobody by appearing as an evil range boss in this film full of Sergio Leone leftovers and extras.

Bad Medicine (1985)

Starring Alan Arkin, and Steve Guttenberg as a would-be doctor who can’t get the grades to study medicine in the USA.

The film is similar to Guttenberg’s Police Academy films, and takes place in  Mexico, although the whole film was shot in and around Lorca and La Paca in the province of Murcia.

One scene, when the trainee doctors fill their stolen prescriptions at a Farmacia, was shot in Calle Musso Valiente in Lorca.

Simon Andreu plays the medicine school owner’s doctor.

Enemy Mine (1985)

The Timanfaya Volcano Park on Lanzarote Island in the Canaries and the well-known green lagoon at El Golfo, an unusual phenomenon where sea water has become trapped to form a lake, which has turned a striking green due to algae, feature in this Sci-Fi movie with Dennis Quaid, although with some serious digital work to transform a lanquid location into a hostile planet surface.

Space is the new battleground we’re cheerfully informed at the start of this version of Robinson Crusoe.

Once again the Dracs turn out to be far nicer than the Americans, although Quaid shows that people can change once they realise that the species they are trying to exterminate is superior to their own.

The lunar-like lava fields of Lanzarote are in fact far more hospitable than the film would have us believe; and the food is better too.

Dust (1985)

Trevor Howard and Jane Birkin star in the psychological drama set in South Africa and based on a book by Nobel Prize winner J.M. Coetzee.

The city of Almería is used for Cape Town, according to the Almería Tourist Office, as were nearby Níjar, Los Albaricoques and the Cortijo del Cura.

Some scenes were shot in the Cortijo Romero, now a cinema and John Lennon museum.

Lace 2 (1985)

If Lace 1 gave us the classic line “which one of you bitches is my mother?” Lace 2 shows a definite maturity of dialogue: “which one of you bastards is my father?”

Among the locations was Granada, where the castle of La Calahorra is Lili’s destination when the Prince takes her there in his helicopter and whines about the poverty of his people while apparently doing nothing to resolve it apart from demonstrating his wide range of transportation.

La Calahorra

Star Knight (1985)

A Spanish production filmed in English with international stars Harvey Keitel and Klaus Kinski, two characters filled with angst among an angst-filled cast contrasting with the solid, sturdy presence of a castle, around which all the action takes place.

Medieval knights, dragons, spacemen; the only player missing is David Bowie, but Spain’s equivalent, singer Miguel Bosé, puts that right with an ethereal performance.

Kinski is an alchemist searching for the secret of eternal youth, while Kietel merely wishes to be made a knight, to slay a dragon and claim the Count’s daughter as his rightful prize. Spanish actor Fernando Rey plays the priest, opposed to everything except tithes and anxious that nobody else achieves their goals.

This is a film that has everything, even a Green Knight defending a bridge incompetently.

Filming locations include La Junquera, Girona, the last town on the Mediterranean border before France, where the Castle of Requesens gave some authenticity, perched upon Monte Neulós, along with the castle of Manzanares El Real near Madrid.

Requesens castle dates back to the IX century. In the XIX century it was rebuilt in a neo-medieval style. After the Spanish Civil War some modern constructions were added to the original structure.

The castle has had the privilege of having its own war, the War of Requesens. (1047-1072), which began when Count Ponce II of Ampurias took the castle, annoyed by his own cousin, Count Gausfredo II, who appeared to be getting too big for his boots.

The castle was unsuccessfully besieged by the French King Felip l’Ardit (the bold) as part of a Papal Crusade in 1285, and then conquered in 1288 by King Jaime II of Mallorca.

The reconstruction of the ruined castle was undertaken by the Earl of Peralada, Tomas de Rocaberti in 1893, but then seemed to fall victim to a jinx, as Tomás died.

On June 24th, 1899, Requesens Castle reopened with a big party, but five days later the Countess Joana Adelaida Rocaberti also died, also childless.

In the Civil War it was attacked by Republicans and after the war was a military post, set up to try to control the guerillas operating in the mountains after the defeat of the Republic.

Salvador Dalí failed in his attempt to acquire the castle.

The castle then changed owners repeatedly in 1913, 1924, 1942 and 1955, when the current owners, the Pijoan and Esteba families bought it.

After further years of neglect, in 2014, renovation of the castle took place and it is now open to visitors who are prepared to drive along the torturous track and brave the horseflies.

Requesens

Christopher Columbus (1985)

This six hour mini series starred Oliver Reed, Gabriel Byrne, Eli Wallach and Faye Dunaway among others.

Columbus goes to Granada to lay his plan before the Spanish monarchs as they conquer the city and the Alhambra chalks up another cameo appearance as they negotiate the terms of the New World deal with him.

Scenes were also filmed in Trujillo in Cáceres province, Extremadura, where Ridley Scott would also film part of his 1492 a decade later.

Trujillo

Alien Predator (1985)

Usually when people go on holiday to Spain, the last thing they want is to be pursued by alien predators; much better to take advantage of all the exciting adventure sports that Spain has to offer. Unless that is you actually like being eaten alive, in which case specialist travel agencies are available.

The cause of all the trouble is a Skylab craft which has crashed near a small Spanish village, although a nearby castle is a secret NASA base, as is often the case.

Possibly the worst film ever made with dashes of ‘Alien’ and just about every film where humans are possessed by aliens and turned into mincemeat.

They arrive at the village of Duarte, played, mostly in darkness, by Chinchón, Madrid, whose beautiful circular main square is not shown to its best advantage during unimpressive car chases.

Chinchón castle, just to the south of the town centre represents the NASA base, where Michael has to go to find an anti-alien serum. The impressive bridge over the moat appears various times, and a good shot of the whole castle is seen three minutes into the film among grazing cows and the ominous words ‘Five Years Later’.

Chinchón

Solar Babies (1986)

As the Earth is running dry, it seemed logical to make the film among the arid, sandy landscapes of Almería, although considering that the characters in the film all move on skates, maybe that wasn’t such a good idea!

The impressive mines of Rodalquilar were one of the main attractions of this film, with their decadent industrial landscapes. In the film the orphanage was situated there.

Also used is the Cueva de la Molineta, while the city of the cars was situated in Llano Trujillo and the power station at Carboneras was also employed.

Gunbus/ Sky Pirates (1986)

A wholly believable story about gunslingers who become World War One pilots intent on shooting down a Zeppelin.

Needless to say, the western scenes were shot in Almería. Among the locations were Texas-Hollywood and Mini Hollywood western townships and Las Salinillas and Cañon Negro, as well as transitional scenes at the Tabernas Aerodrome.

Crystal Heart (1986)

Based on a Spanish script, a rock star meets a boy in a bubble and it’s a question of how long before something bursts. Fortunately it isn’t the baby with the baboon heart.

The story is set in California and Spanish actor Simón Andreu plays the sleazy manager.

Instant Justice (1986)

A US Marine roots out the men who killed his sister in Spain, stirring up the Spanish capital, Madrid, in the process.

You would need to find a very deep forest in order to see such a superficial, wooden performance as this.

The only saving graces are a few shots (not including the ones with the Marine’s toy machine gun) at the lakeside of El Retiro park, when our hero is chased by a villain in a taxi, and at Las Ventas bullring, which is of course left open and deserted at night so that all kinds of people can resolve their conflicts; and when that’s not possible, a sidekick can always release the bulls!

Eliminators (1986)

A Sci-Fi semi-spoof shot at locations around Madrid from July, 1985 until October.

Neanderthals, Romans, Kung Fu fighters and Robocop all fight it out, swapping clichés and cheap special effects with casual abandon.

Bing Crosby’s granddaughter Denise participates, and perhaps it would not be too tasteless to remember that Bing actually died in Spain, while playing golf.

A lot of the action takes place along a river, which would appear to be the Alberche, and the radar that is supposed to be in Reeve’s compound belongs to the NASA/INTA installation at Robledo de Chavela.

Harem (1986)

Most famous for being the last film in which Ava Gardner participated, this TV movie tells the story of the fading days of the Ottoman Empire, which could be knocked down either by a feather or by Nancy Travis, a young English girl in love.

Nancy ends up in a harem and Julian Sands, her fiancé (not unexpectedly) would prefer to get her out.

Omar Sharif returns to an middle eastern role, leaving his Russian roots behind in Soria, where he made ‘Doctor Zhivago’ to play the Sultan, a man whose vision of Empire is clouded by poor judgement and the attractions of his harem, (hence the subtle title).

When the British party arrive in what is supposed to be Constantinople, we find them staying at a luxurious hotel with ornate Arabic decoration, which is none other than the Alfonso XIII hotel in Sevilla, also used in ‘Lawrence of Arabia.’

Later, when Sands’ fiancée goes off on an adventure, during which she will be kidnapped while visiting some ruins, which were in fact the Bolonia ruins near Tarifa in the province of Cádiz, Sands searches for her and comes across Sarah Miles having tea in front of a palace, the Palacio Mudejar in the Plaza de America, another landmark of Sevilla.

In Granada province the attack on the train was filmed around Guadix, specifically at the puente del Grao, Rambla del Agua and Hoya de Guadix according to cinema expert Juan José Carrasco.

When the Sultan visits the Dervishes to find out if he should rely on his conscience or his army, their home is the castle of La Calahorra, also in Granada province.

Filming took place at Almodovar del Rio, Córdoba, where the local 8th century castle served as the Sultan’s palace, and the River Guadalquivir, represented the Bosphorus, separating Europe from Asia, although the interiors and gardens were mostly shot at the Casa de Pilatos and Reales Alcázares in Sevilla.

Almodovar del Rio

It was the Arabs who in 740 built the fort on the site of a previous Roman one, as these things are generally done. They called it Al-Mudawwar, meaning both ‘round’ and ‘safe’.

In 1240 the castle became Christian, during Fernando III’s reign.

Both the Order of Calatrava and the Order of Santiago have been previous owners and landlords.

King Pedro I of Castilla, known affectionately in his family as ‘Pedro the Cruel,’ would sometimes keep his treasure there, and also kept his step brother’s wife, Doña Juana de Lara, there under lock and key.

The castle was restored between 1901 and 1936 by the 12th Count of Torravala.

The castle also represents High Garden in the 7th series of Game of Thrones, when Jamie Lannister sacks and loots the place.

The use as a location of ‘Game of Thrones’ has breathed new life into the castle, which opened to the public in 2001 and now organises all kinds of costumed visits and events.

Assistant Manager Teresa Moreno showed us around in July 2019, explaining how the castle now has a complete catalogue of school visits, medieval banquets, re-enactments, weddings, congresses and advertising shoots.

The Netflix Manga series Warrior Nun was also filmed there.

In nearby Palma del Rio you can visit the Palacio de Portocarrero, where Ridley Scott shot scenes from Kingdom of Heaven. The palace is part of the Convento de Santa Clara complex, which includes an extraordinary but very economical hotel run by a very loquacious Pedro.

Alfonso Luna, tour guide at the Almodovar castle, told us that he worked as an electrician’s mate during the filming. He especially remembers a tiger that was brought to the town, and escaped. Fortunately it didn’t eat anyone, and sat on a rock waiting for the dart to send it to a well-earned sleep. The tiger is shown in a cage as a contemplative Omar Sharif walks past the first time we see his castle.

The production team spent seven days in Córdoba province and Gardner stayed at the Parador La Arruzafa.

Strong Medicine (1986)

This four hour film, or two part series if you prefer, was directed by Guy Green and featured Pamela Sue Martin, Patrick Duffy, Dick Van Dyke, Ben Cross, Sam Neill, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Gayle Hunnicutt.

It tells the story of a woman fighting her way to the top in the pharmaceutical industry, and includes some moments in Mallorca.

Scorpion (1986)

This martial arts story with the inevitable one man taking on hordes of armed villians with only his feet, has a scene where we clearly see the town walls of Ávila as a red car drives by.

The action begins in fact with a bar fight in Spain before moving on to boring places like Hawaii.

Banter (1986)

Also known as The Last of Philip Banter, a psychological (or perhaps ‘psychotic’ thriller in which Tony Curtis returned to Spain to play a nasty father who loves his daughter but not so much his son in law.

As well as the interiors filmed at studio Barajas, various locations in Madrid were used.

After Curtis and his daughter visit the doctor, they have lunch at his hotel, which is in fact the ornate Madrid Casino, where the cameraman seems to be somewhat obsessed by the décor.

The same location, with its baroque staircase is used when he conspires with Bobby/Robert, and we begin to see that a conspiracy is afoot.

Before that Robert has walked in the park with Brent, and the park in question is El Retiro, where we see the large greenhouse known as the Palacio de Cristal.

After his escape from the clinic, Philip drives around Madrid in a taxi, with sights including the Puerta de Alcalá.

He meets up with Robert, who has betrayed him to the doctor and his orderlies, but he escapes and emerges from El Retiro through the Puerta de Felipe IV.

The Mayte restaurant appears twice, when Philip lunches with and then attacks his wife, and then when he sees her with Robert.

The Empire of the Sun (1987)

J G Ballard wrote a book based on his own experiences as a child prisoner of the Japanese in World War II, one of 30,000 Europeans who were incarcerated by the Japanese in Shanghai.

For the prisoner of war camp in the film, Steven Spielberg turned to Spain, and built the set at Trebujena, near Cádiz, close to where Columbus began his third voyage to ‘India’ and Magellan his circumnavigation of the world.

The camp was set up on an estate known as Cortijo Alventus, near the left bank of the Guadalquivir River, a location noted for its spectacular sunsets, (Spielberg himself described them as the most beautiful in the world, and he’s probably seen a few). It was therefore perfect for the scenario of the sun setting on the British Empire and briefly rising on the Japanese one.

Spielberg set up shop in an open air cinema called Terraza Tempul in Jeréz de la Frontera.

Young Welsh actor Christian Bale plays Jim, the character based on Ballard, and Ballard himself has a cameo scene at a masquerade party.

One of the best scenes from the film takes place at the prison camp near the end of the war when the last Kamikaze pilots take off, with limited success in one case, and then American Mustang fighters attack the camp.

One of the special effects technicians, John Baker, still lives in the village, having fallen for a local girl.

Spielberg too always leaves an impression wherever he goes, and at Trebujena he also left a small mountain of his props, and for a while the camp attracted tourists, until it was short sightedly demolished.

Apart from the camp, in the same area, on an estate called Cortijo Alvantus, he built a hospital, a pagoda and the stadium where the Japanese kept their loot. Today nothing remains, except the memories of the locals, and the knowledge that it was the chance viewing of a documentary about olive oil that brought Spielberg here in search of a metaphorical sunset.

The music haunting Jim during the film, reminding him of his mother, is Chopin’s Mazurka Opus 17 No. 4.

Monsignor Quixote (1987)

Monsignor Quixote is a novel by Graham Greene, based on ‘Don Quijote,’ which was made into a television film in 1987, with a screenplay written in part by Greene and starring Alec Guinness as Father Quixote, a ‘genuine’ ancestor of the fictional character created by Cervantes.

The story is updated and is set in the village of El Toboso, Toledo, with Quixote a non-conformist priest at loggerheads with his Bishop, and Sancho (Leo McKern), a Communist who has just been voted out of his job as Mayor in the early years of post Franco Spain.

We see the Mayor leaving the Town Hall mumbling about betrayal, and the building he steps out of is in fact El Toboso’s Town Hall today.

Town Hall

The house where Monseñor Quixote lives was actually two different houses during filming. The exteriors were shot in a house in the main square opposite the church. The eave over the ground floor window was added by film-makers to facilitate Alec Guinness’s escape, when he climbs down from his bedroom. The interiors however were shot at Calle Adolfo Lorenzo 14.

The Priest’s House

Monseñor Quixote becomes a Monseñor because of a favour he does for an Italian cleric, whose car runs out of petrol. The car is taken to a garage, a real one as it happens, situated in Calle Los Bancos 2.

Quixote and Sancho head off in a battered old Seat 600 car, called, inevitably, ‘Rocinante,’ and although there is no damsel in distress, their story runs parallel to the original Quijote. However, as is so often the case with Greene, the real story is one of faith and an attempt to see Catholicism in a modern context.

The arguments between the priest and the communist cannot hide the fact that their common humanity and decency, as well as a few well chosen bottles of wine, bring them closer together than can the trappings of belief.

The wine was picked up from the local Co-operative on the edge of town, which continues to perform this vital function decades later.

The Co-operative

The actors and crew spent 15 days filming in El Toboso, taking all their meals in what was then the Posada de La Tuna in Calle García Lorca 12, and on my visit was an original art gallery run by Juan Alfonso García Donas.

Posada de la Tuna

El Toboso retains its historical charm but offers a wide range of attractions, including a Cervantes museum with copies of El Quijote translated into 59 languages and signed by famous people from all over the world, including Ronald Reagan, Fidel Castro, Nelso Mandela, and, Alec Guinness, on the 24th April 1985.

My thanks for the exemplary assistance during my stay from Councillor María del Pilar Arinero Gómez, Mayor Marciano Ortega Molina and Head of Police José Antonio Adan, who in turn facilitated all the requirements of the production crew during their time in El Toboso.

El Toboso Authorities

In the film the journey takes them from El Toboso to Madrid, where we can see glimpses of El Prado Museum and la Puerta de Alcalá.

They visit the Valle de Los Caídos (the Valley of the Fallen), built by Republican prisoners after the Spanish Civil War; Franco’s very own pyramid for his corpse, and then have a picnic with the Escorial in the background.

Next we see them in Salamanca (Greene’s favourite Spanish city) observing the statue of Miguel Unamuno and then visiting his tomb in the cemetery.

There is a visit to Valladolid with its arcaded, columnated main square, off which Guinness hears confession in a public toilet, after which they visit León’s Cathedral, which we also see the interior of.

This part of the journey ends when they fall asleep at the roadside under the massive rocks of the Cordillera Cantabrica.

After returning to El Toboso, they escape the clutches of the Bishop and head off again, this time to Galicia. They end up at the Monastery of Oseira in the province of Orense, where Monsignor Quixote finally dies in a scene that would curiously be repeated in Greene’s own final days, when he expired with his hand being held by Father Leopoldo Durán from Vigo, who was a friend of Greene’s in real life, and whose figure receives homage through the monk in the film, also a Father Leopoldo.

The crew filmed in Galicia from 18th to 27th of May 1985, although curiously the film was shown in Spain for the first time as late as 2008.

During their stay, they were based in O Carballiño, at the Hotel Arenteiro, and did some filming in the historic centre, as well as in As Regadas, municipality of Beade.

Alec Guinness’s fatal car crash into a wall outside the monastery produced laughter around the area, as the wall was especially constructed and a local man was paid to cause the damage to the car with his excavator.

Siesta (1987)

Filmed on the streets of Madrid, the story involves a woman who wakes up battered and bruised on a runway, and then tries to find out what happened; and it’s not just a case of finding those damned car keys.

The woman, Ellen Barkin, makes her living jumping out of planes, which is just one metaphor in a film plagued with symbolism and flashback.

Once awake Ellen makes her way to a village with the help of Spanish taxi driver, Alexei Sayle. The village is none other than Nuevo Baztán, where Yul Brynner recruited some of the other six in ‘Return of The Seven.’

It is here that she finds trapeze artist Gabriel Bryne practising in the middle of the Plaza de Fiestas.

All through the film she keeps returning to the village, where we can see many of its historical monuments around the Palacio Goyeneche.

Plaza de Fiestas.

It is at the farm called Cuarto Lote just outside town that Ellen meets her fate in Gabriel Bryne’s house.

The flashbacks mainly take place in Madrid, starting with her escape from Alex in El Retiro park, a fast drive with sirens blaring past the Puerta de Alcalá and a night of hard drinking and an encounter with Julian Sands and Jodie Foster (who doesn’t meet the ‘taxi driver’).

When Sands is in a singing mood, we find him draped around a statue of Don Quijote and Sancho Panza, situated in the Plaza de España.

Photo Courtesy Mark Yareham

Constant trips to the airport are unsuccessful, but returning from one of them Sands, Barkin and Foster pass by the statue of the ‘Angel Caído,’ Lucifer himself, which is located at the southern end of El Retiro park.

The Fallen Angel. Photo Courtesy Mark Yareham

When they visit Grace Jones’ house, Barkin shows she is barking mad by jumping from a window onto a bus, without anyone noticing, which then transports her inside Las Ventas bullring

A sublime soundtrack by Miles Davis makes it all worth watching.

Good Morning Babylon (1987)

Although a story of Italian immigrants in America, scenes with an old steam train were shot, like so many needy steam train films, in Guadix and Calahorra, Granada.

In the version I saw, when the brothers reach America they start talking in English in the scenes shot in Spain, but on arrival in Hollywood, suddenly everyone and their grandfather is speaking Italian.

Straight to Hell (1987)

A cult film shot in Almería and featuring Joe Strummer and the Pogues, as well as Elvis Costello, Grace Jones, Dennis Hopper and director Jim Jarmusch, although Alex Cox actually directed.

Strummer spent a lot of his time around San José in Almería as urban punk idols tend to do when they’ve made a few bob.

They used the Cueva de la Molineta and the Gran Hotel Almería (Avenida Reine Regenta, 8), from whose swimming pool on the roof we see El Cable Inglés, the old pier.

Also the soon to disappear Tecisa western township and Benahadux, whose Unicaja savings bank donned the name ‘Banco de Almería’ for the obligatory robbery scene.

In 2010 a director’s cut called Return to Straight to Hell was released.

Dark Tower (1987)

All you really need to know here is that the skyscraper dun it! This horror movie is set in a high rise building in Barcelona, and among the attractions of the city that we are allowed to see when people are not plunging to their deaths are Plaça Espanya, Barceloneta and Las Ramblas.

Jenny Agutter is among those taking part, and the tower in question is in reality one of the Trade Towers designed by the Catalan arquitect José Antonio Coderch and situated in Avda. Carlos III, 92-98.

The Trouble with Spies (1987)

Donald Sutherland stars as an inept spy sent to Ibiza to discover what happened to another spy.

Arriving by ferry we get to see some of the harbour scenery of Eivissa, as well as the narrow, white painted village street houses of the capital.

There is a legend, that the castle was built with stones taken from the ruins of Atlantis, situated near the magnetically magical islet of Es Vedra.

Photo Courtesy James Yareham

Crystalstone (1987)

A curious Spanish (writer/director) film in the Disney style (evil aunts, orphan kids, nasty pirates etc), set in Spain in 1908, but with British actors.

Filming of the steam train scenes took place near Llanes in Asturias, with the nightime scenes in the station using that of Posada, where the children escape on a train and meet the mysterious old man.

The actors stayed in the Hotel Don Paco in Llanes.

A chase scene through a market takes place in Santillana de Mar, Cantabria, offering a full frontal view of the Colegiata de Santa Juliana.

The Living Daylights (1987)

Is it British? Is it Spanish? Does it matter?

The Rock of Gibraltar continues to be a rock in the boot of the relationship between Spain and the Britain, and so maybe we shouldn’t mention the fact that this film begins in Gibraltar with the usual action pre-credits scene showing a landrover screeching down the Rock.

M is watching this from what at first appears to be his office, but then turns out to be a plane.

The plane was Spanish, even if the Rock wasn’t, and was used again for the Afghanistan sequence.

At various points the Spanish coastline of the province of Cádiz can clearly be seen and appreciated.

Neat and Tidy (1987)

Our friend from Guadix, Roberto Balboa, introduced us to this film, shot in Granada and Almería provinces, and also known as ‘Adventures Beyond Belief.’

Filming began on 13th September 1986 at La Calahorra and then carried on in Almería province until mid-October, with scenes taking place at the Mónsul beach, the sand dunes at Cabo de Gata and the port of Almería, which portrays both Calais and Bombay ports.

At La Calahorra once again the steam train scenes were shot and the multi-purpose castle appears briefly as the headquarters of the fat, video game fanatic villain, supposedly in India.

Filming also took place at the Hotel San José in San José and at the old tuberculosis santorium, which is now the Centro de Arte Museo de Almería, situated in Plaza Barcelona. The museum represents the Hotel Roma in Rome when Neat and Tidy arrive there at the beginning of their adventure.

Director Marcus Thompson pointed out “we started shooting near Guadix then went to the Castillo de La Calahorra and then onto Almeria where we shot in and around what was then called ‘Mini Hollywood’, the cowboy town.

Mini Hollywood

We then moved to nearby San Jose to finish. We also used the same vintage steam train that I believe had been previously used in ‘Lawrence of Arabia’, but I can’t remember where exactly. We then shot at the docks in Almeria – great locations. The shooting then continued Pinewood Studios.”

The docks represented Benghazi.

Beaks (The Movie) (1987)

An attempt to follow Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’ with a downmarket pigeon version.

The action begins at the Majahonda shooting club (Club de Tiro), where we discover that some men kill animals “for pleasure.” From then on the birds win by a walkover, beginning at an OAP residence located at Villanueva de Pardillo, Madrid, where an elderly man loses an argument, and an eye, with an owl.

The scene at Quintanar de la Orden, Toledo, is the one where a man confesses to the press that some doves are stalking him, and to prove the point he’s bitch slapped by a canary.

A family, supposedly in Puerto Rico, confronts the birds on a beach and a lake, with scenes shot in the Doñana National park in Huelva province.

Hitchcock was more economical with his birds; here the flapping gets to be more annoying than frightening.

Nice scenery nevertheless.

Anguish (1987)

Top Spanish director Bigas Luna delved into the horror film within a horror film genre for this movie shot in Barcelona and Madrid, (the latter where the clinic and hospital scenes were filmed).

Los Angeles, where the film was originally supposed to be made, was recreated in Mercabarna, in the ‘Zona Franca’ of Barcelona, Bigas Luna’s hometown. There he created the two cinemas, Roxy and Rex, where the two murderers interweave their handiwork.

The eye collector and his mother live in a modernist mansion, which in reality is the Casa Vicens, designed by Gaudí, and the interior with its snails, pigeons and assassin show the full decorative extent of Gaudí’s artisanship.

The film is not quite a homage to maternal love, although it is a homage to Hitchcock.

Rest in Pieces (1987)

An inherited mansion, devil worshipping and a 62 year old Dorothy Malone as a corpse that won’t lie down.

Sex and gore, like the White House under Clinton, and settings provided by Madrid for this Spanish product directed by José Ramón Larraz.

Scalps (1987)

An Italian production but with an English language version, this may well be the worst western ever, but the locations are pretty good.

The action begins with a Confederate patrol leaving Fort Condor in Almería for a little bit of slaughter against Indian women and children. A very attractive squaw escapes and makes her way to a ranch, none other than the McBain ranch, now part of the Western Leone township.

From there the action moves between Almería’s ramblas and the boulders of La Pedriza, Madrid.

Dark Mission (1988)

Christopher Lee and Robert’s son Christopher Mitchum star in this spy story set in Cuba.

In fact the film was made much closer to director Jesse Franco’s home, at Alicante’s airport at Altet, Villajoyosa, Benidorm and Elche and Murcia.

The cemetery scene near the end was filmed at the Cementerio Parroquial Nuestra Señora del Rosario La Alberca, Murcia.

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988)

It was George Harrison of the Beatles who started the ball rolling on this film. Harrison always maintained that the Beatles’ muse passed to Monty Python, and he was a financial backer of the team in their film efforts.

In 1979 he showed Terry Gilliam his collection of Munchausen stories, about the real live Baron, who was an 18th century tall tale telling German Cavalry officer.

Gilliam, the Monty Python artist and perfect actor for any part involving serious ugliness, loved the clash between the Baroque and the Newtonian world view.

A film with a surrealistic attitude to the world could be filmed nowhere better than in Spain; apart from the interiors, shot in the Cinecitta studios in Rome.

In the film, a town that seems to be on the Mediterranean coast and run by cynical French revolutionaries, is besieged by a Turkish army. The town used was in fact Belchite in the province of Zaragoza.

Belchite was destroyed during fighting in the Spanish Civil War and left that way as a reminder, (although it is unsure whether as to the folly of war or as to what would happen if the peasants dared to stand up to Franco again).

A new town was built alongside it by prisoners of war in a nearby concentration camp, and the old town had become a home to grazing sheep and the occasional tourist or film-maker.

The beach scenes, which merge cleverly into the scenes at Belchite, were filmed at Mónsul beach in Almería, and the Turkish army seen on the beach were in fact 400 local people with their heads partially shaved to make them look like Turks. The haircut did cause a fleeting fad among locals for a short time.

Rowing in the Wind (1988)

Hugh Grant attempted to capture the romanticism of Lord Byron, without dying of dysentery in Greece in this pan-European epic, set at Lake Geneva, but with a Spanish director who inevitably brought as much of it all back home as possible.

Although Geneva gets a look in, so does Asturias, where filming (and the characters’ target practice with pistols) took place at the beach at Borizu, a beach about 400 metres in length located near Celoriu.

Shelley’s funeral pyre was also filmed on the beach.

The Town Hall of nearby Llanes has created a Cinema Route, enabling visitors to visit the sites of many productions made there. In these areas you will find plaques with stills and information about the films. Where possible the plaques have been placed where the cameras were when the shots were taken, to give the greatest realism possible to the observer.

The 14th century Monastery at Lupiana, Guadalajara was used as Mr Williams’ house in Italy, from which Shelley sets sail and is drowned, and the Monastery at El Paular, Madrid was used as the façade of Byron’s house on Lake Geneva.

Slugs (1988)

Directed by Valencian Juan Piquer, this horror film (if you find slugs eating people rather than lettuce horrific) was shot in Madrid, although the slugs themselves were brought in crispy fresh from Asturias each day.

A Time of Destiny (1988)

Starring William Hurt, Timothy Button and Stockard Channing, and also featuring Spanish actor Paco Rabal, the film tells the story of a Basque family from California.

A story of war within and without the family, filmed in Yugoslavia and in the Spanish Basque Country, based on an opera by Verdi and with a soundtrack by Morricone.

Counterforce (1988)

A peculiar film made by Spanish director José Antonio de la Loma, and shot in Ibiza and in Barcelona province, particularly at Badalona, Vilanova i La Geltru, Castelldefels and Arenys de Munt.

Among the international cast were George Kennedy and musician Isaac Hayes, most famous for having composed the theme music for the movie ‘Shaft.’

As a curiosity, Nancy Venables, daughter of footballer Terry Venables, who at that time was the manager of Barcelona Football Club, also acted.

Three weeks were spent filming in Ibiza, posing as the fictitous Arab Republic of North Africa, where the Counterforce group were sent to protect a deposed Arab leader from his deposer.

Ibiza also represents the Balearic Islands, and there they filmed at Santa Eulalia del Rio, whose profile appears more than once, Hotel Hacienda na Xamena (the luxurious HQ of the dictator’s nephew with its distinctive watchtower beside the swimming pool) and Calo d’en Real.

When the exiled leader gives a speech and is shot in a theatre, it is in the Teatro de España.

The magical island of Es Vedra appears quite a lot, especially when Kassar’s wife is rescued from a yacht.

Andreu Simón notched up another appearance as the Commissioner of a police force totally unable to take any kind of action in its own backyard.

This may possibly be the film with more clichés per square metre ever made.

Iguana (1988)

A cross between ‘Moby Dick’ and ‘The Beauty and the Beast,’ although the director claimed he was inspired by ‘The Phantom of the Opera’.

Like ‘Moby Dick,’ it was filmed in The Canary Islands, but this time on and around Lanzarote.

The story itself was written by a Canary Island author, who also worked with Jacques Costeau; Alberto Vasquez-Figueroa, who has a cameo role in the style of Hitchcock during a funeral scene.

In one scene Oberlus and the ship’s clerk discuss literacy after catching lobster with the spectacular rock at the beach of Isla Hermosa as a backdrop.

Director Monte Hellman also directed the classic Road Movie, ‘Two Lane Blacktop’ with pop star James Taylor and Beach Boy Dennis Wilson.

The Most Dangerous Man in the World (1988)

The BBC took up the story of Ali Agka’s attempt to assasinate Pope John Paul II in Rome, although it was largely filmed in Almería.

Among the many locations were the El Acebuche prison, El Peineta Guardia Civil barracks, the Mónsul beach in Cabo de Gata, the Nicolás Salmerón park and many streets around Almería like Plazas Vieja and Pavia.

The Alhambra palace, Granada, was used to represent the eastern delights of Turkey.

Onassis: The Richest Man in the World (1988)

Gil Parrando, who worked on Doctor Zhivago, was largely responsible for locating part of the film in Spain.

Onassis had to abandon his native Ismar after the Turkish invasión, and various locations from Cádiz brought it back to life, including the Alameda Apodaca, the barracks at Parque Genovés and the casino gaditano.

Raúl Juliá, Anthony Quinn, Jane Seymour, and of course, Spanish stalwart Simón Andreu make up the cast.

There was also shooting at Vejer de la Frontera, Palma de Mallorca and Madrid.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

Stephen Spielberg was influenced as a student by David Lean, who directed most of ‘Doctor Zhivago’ and a great part of ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ in Spain.

In fact, one of Spielberg’s unrequited wishes was to make a James Bond film, and he has said that making Indiana Jones was a kind of next best thing.

Spielberg selected his locations on a helicopter trip over the desert scenery of Almería, after which he and the crew landed at the Parador Nacional de Mojacar for lunch.

They began shooting Last Crusade in May 1988, in Almería, and among the scenes from there was the Palace of the Sultan of the Republic of Hatay, which was in fact Almería’s ‘Escuela de Artes,’ which used to be the convent of Santo Domingo. Among the school’s claims to fame was having once had Frederico García Lorca as a student there.

The scene where a Rolls Royce is enough to seal the Sultan’s collaboration with the Nazis was at first intended to be filmed in the famous Patio de los Leones in Granada’s Alhambra Palace, but the high cost resulted in the use of the Escuela de Artes.

Spielberg, his wife and son stayed at the Parador Nacional in Granada, while in Almería  they rented a villa at the resort of Aguadulce, just west of Almería city.

There actually was a Republic of Hatay from 1938 to 1939, after the region was granted independence from French Syria and before it became a province of Turkey. The capital of Hatay was Alexandretta before 1939 when the city’s name was changed to Iskenderun.

In the film, the Andalusian town of Guadix, near Granada was Iskenderun, and made its railway station available so that Denholm Elliott could be mobbed by beggars before being kidnapped by Nazis.

One Almería street that appeared in the film was Calle Almanzor, which had to shed its modern street lights for Indie, his father and Fez-wearing ally to wind their way up towards the Alcazaba palace; or at least they would have done had they gone further.

However, there is a fleeting moment, just before Indie takes on the tanks, when he is driving through Almeria with Sean Connery and John Rhys-Davies, and we catch a glimpse of the battlements of the Alcazaba castle.

The Tabernas Desert, with the Ramblas de Trujillo, Búho, Benavides, Lanujar and Indalecio were used for Indie’s single-handed battle against German tanks (although to be fair, the Germans didn’t have whips), as were Las Salinillas and the Finca las Lomillas. It is in the Búho (owl) ravine that Indie shoves a rock into the tank’s barrel, next to a famous pile of red rocks known locally as La Tortuga (the tortoise).

The old road between Rodalquilar and Aguamarga was also used, particularly for the tunnel scene where Indie and father are followed into the tunnel by a gulping German pilot in his flaming plane (the road tunnel was in fact part of the abandoned Rodalquilar mines).

The scene where Indie’s car was attacked by a German plane was filmed in Los Escullos, Nijar, as well as at Turre and Sierra Cabrera, and at Punta del Esparto, just south of Los Escullos, their car hit a bomb crater.

Other places in Almería that appear in the film are Ramblas Viciana and Lanos and the Baños de Alfaro. It is the Alfaro hill from which the tank goes over a cliff, apparently with Indie inside, which leads his father to briefly mourn him. In reality the drop is only five metres, but nifty camera work disguises that inconvenient and undramatic fact.

This time around it’s not snakes that rattle Indiana Jones but rats (in Venice) and seagulls. When Dr Jones Senior scares the ‘seagulls’, making them fly up to provoke the plane crash, they are in fact pigeons. If you look closely you can see that there are a number of ‘cut out’ seagulls in the sand, which do not move. It was filmed at the beach of Mónsul.

When Indiana is earlier seen heading towards Berlin on his sidecar, the crew had moved away from arid Almería, but not too far away. In fact they went to the adjacent province of Granada, and the greener mountains of the Sierra de Huetor, on the track that goes to Prado Negro (Black Meadow!) among others.

The crossroad where they have to decide whether to go to Berlin or Venice is situated in the Sierra de la Alfaguara, at the crossroads between Las Mimbres and Prado Negro. The airfield used for the zeppelin scenes was at Turre near Mojácar, and the crash landing in the Sierra de Cabrera, nearby.

The Return of the Musketeers (1989)

The film begins at a tavern, where Roy Kinnear is attempting to steal his lunch. The tavern, as usual, was in the Cartuja at Talamanca de Jarama in the province of Madrid.

Looked at from another angle, Frank Finlay (Porthos’s) palace, looks remarkably similar to Versailles in ‘The Three Musketeers,’ and it is in fact once again La Granja palace near Segovia, this time with Finlay amusing himself on a small merry go round.

The same location is used for the scene where the Queen, Geraldine Chaplin, is playing around in a small chariot drawn by goats.

At the beginning, when Aramis is rescued from a windmill, where he has been caught with his trousers down again, El Escorial palace near Madrid is easily recognisable in the background as he makes his escape.

At another point the city of Toledo is clearly recognisable in the background with its dominating Alcázar castle, as the Musketeers ride off to righten wrong.

Manzanares el Real castle (Madrid) was modified for the film with the digging of a moat. The discovery of a bone during the digging halted the filming for a while until it was confirmed to be merely that of a dog. It is from this castle that the Duke of Beaufort is rescued.

The castle is also the scene of the film’s climax, with the musketeers hi-jacking a hot air balloon and using it to enter the castle for the final showdown, with swordfights all over and around the battlements and cloisters.

Other locations are Pedraza, where a hanging takes place, and the Valsaín forest, both in Segovia. In the forest the executioner is executed by Lady de Winter’s daughter.

She first comes up against the Musketeers, ironically, in the same location where they first get together and duel in The Three Musketeers, before they are four, in the Hospital de Talavera in Toledo, with its conspicuous double cloister.

The film is dedicated to Roy Kinnear, who on 19th September 1988, fell from a horse on the Alcantara bridge in Toledo, sustaining a broken pelvis. He was taken to hospital in Madrid, and died from a heart attack the following day. Richard Lester was greatly affected and gave up his own film career as a direct result of Kinnear’s death.

Fine Gold (1989)

A strange film, and one aimed at showcasing Rioja wine more than anything else, although it does include a 74 year old Stewart Granger and that nasty lizard Diana from the TV series ‘V’, Jane Badler in human form.

Stewart was in fact returning to the country where, many years ago he had worked in the construction industry in Marbella, and from which he could still remember how to swear a little in Spanish.

Filmed around the vineyards of La Rioja, locations include the bodegas of Casa de la Reina and the castle at the lovely sandstoned village of Sajazarra, which belongs in reality to the vineyard.

During one scene, filmed at the entrance of the Bodegas Franco Españolas in Logroño, we can clearly see the city bridge ‘Puente de Hierro’ in the background. The Sociedad Hípica Deportiva Militar was used for some horse riding scenes.

Bodegas Paternina at Haro and Ollauri, the cooperativa de San Asensio, Casalarreina and the Hotel Los Bracos in Logroño were all locations, as were Torremontalbo and San Asensio.

It’s Falcon Crest but with a lower budget for décor as we follow the rivalry between a Rioja bodega and a southern competitor from Jerez, Cádiz. These include Bodegas Internacionales and the Museo de Relojes (clock museum)

Spanish director José Antonio de la Loma directed and habitual Spanish actor Simón Andreu also appears.

Blood and Sand (1989)

Sharon Stone and Chris Rydell made this film around Jerez de la Frontera in Cádiz province (the word ‘sherry’ is in fact a mispronunciation of ‘Jeréz’, where the drink is mainly made) before Stone became a superstar.

One location employed was the beautiful Palacio de Benavente in the old centre, which belongs to Spanish aristocrat Manuel Alfonso de Domecq-Zurita, Viscount of Almocadén, and is available for private functions but is not open to the general public (riff raff).

Stone plays the half-American daughter (don’t ask me which half!) of an American land owner in the area, where she is known as Doña Sol. Rydell plays the bullfighter Juan Gallardo. All the other characters are Spanish actors who speak to each other in English, but occasionally use Spanish expressions; a bit weird.

The film is a remake of a remake of a remake. The book was written by Valencian writer and politician Blasco Ibañez, who made his own film version in 1916. Rudolph Valentino and Tyrone Power stayed on their own side of the Atlantic to make versions in 1922 and 1941 respectively.

The film overcame a number of obstacles, including an attack of appendicitis suffered on the first day’s shooting by Chris Rydell.

Some filming also took place in Madrid’s Colmenar de Oreja, where the circular square was and is used for bullfights, and the facade of the Madrid bullring, Las Ventas also appears. It is in Colmenar where Juan’s friend gets himself killed by a bull, trying to save Juan, starting off the young bullfighter’s tragedy.

Juan lives in Sevilla and we see street scenes of the city with its river, the Giralda tower and the Plaza de España briefly, where George Lucas filmed ‘Attack of the Clones’ and Lean some scenes from ‘Lawrence of Arabia.’ We also see the Maestranza bullring in Sevilla where Juan fights.

In the end, like all good Romans, Juan cannot live with his shame and resolves his dilemma by throwing himself on the horns of his bull.

Simón Andreu plays Juan’s self-seeking step father.

Time to Kill (1989)

A film that Nicholas Cage will want to forget having made. As in ‘Captain Correlli’s Mandolin,’ Cage plays an Italian army officer occupying someone’s else’s country, only this time it’s Ethiopia, and this time he isn’t exactly an opera loving anti-fascist.

Although some of the film was made in Africa, the wooden bridge is in fact a steel bridge covered with wood for the film, which can be found in the Espinava Ravine, near Pechina, just north of Almería city.

The Man in the Brown Suit (1989)

Although set in Cairo, this Agatha Christie thriller was actually shot in Madrid and in Cádiz, where the brief port scenes were filmed, and starred Tony Randall, Edward Woodward and Stephanie Zimbalist.

For a little bit of genuine Egyptian authenticity, the producers were delighted to discover that Britain was not the only Empire to have ‘borrowed’ architectural treasures from the Middle East.

Some use was made of the Temple of Debod, an ancient Egyptian temple which was rebuilt in Madrid’s Parque de Rosales, near the royal palace, and opened to the public in 1972. It is here that Stephanie goes looking for clues after leaving the police station, in the company of some similarly authentic camels.

Temple of Debod: Photo Courtesy Mark Yareham

The temple was originally built in the 2nd century BC, 15 km south of Aswan in southern Egypt and dedicated to the goddess Isis,

In 1960, due to the construction of the Great Dam of Aswan, UNESCO made an international appeal to save the Temple and other important sites, and, as a sign of gratitude for helping to save the temples of Abu Simbel, the Egyptians donated the temple to Spain in 1968.

Edward Woodward’s villa, where Anita is murdered and where Woodward finally gets his comeuppance and Stephanie finally lands the man in the brown suit, is in fact Viñuelas castle near Madrid.

Photo Courtesy Mark Yareham

Twisted Obsession (1989)

Spanish director Fernando Trueba’s film ‘El Sueño del Mono Loco’ (The Mad Monkey’s Dream), which somehow was translated into English as ‘Twisted Obsession,’ starred Jeff Goldblum and was filmed in Madrid, although set in Paris.

The gardens of Aranjuez appear in the scene where Goldblum chases the girl on the motorbike and then crashes his car.

The White Room (1989)

This appears to be a rather long video clip from a group called KLF. They spend a long time driving around London and then some more time driving around the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Granada, finding time to visit the cave dwellings of Guadix and La Calahorra castle.

Their trip to La Calahorra begins down at the Plaza del Ayuntamiento and then one member of the duo, socks tucked into his trousers, walks up to the castle for suitably ambiguous purposes.

Near the end of the film they trudge through the snow, accompanied by a Country and Western Talking Blues version of Born Free up to the radar station perched upon the summit of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

They also pass through the deserts of Almería around Tabernas and Gérgal.

People say they are legendary, but what seems to be an old American police car is the real star.

Esmeralda Bay (1989)

Another Jess (or Jesús) Franco film, this time starring Fernando Rey, George Kennedy and Ramon Estevez (son of Martin and brother of Charlie Sheen, although here he is credited as Ramon Sheen).

Tales of Central American revolution filmed in Barcelona at the town of Sitges, home of a film festival, which represents the capital, with three long shots during the film in which its emblematic church looming over the beach is clearly visible.

The attack on the castle was filmed at Castelldefels, just south of Sitges. My thanks to Andreu Salillas for identifying it.

The castle originated in the XVI century, although the church inside dates back to the X century and was built on Iberian and Roman remains. For years it defended the area against the Moors and between the XVI and XVII centuries, against Barbary pirates.

In 1897, a banker called Manuel Girona bought and renovated it. It was later acquired by the Castelldefels Town Hall in 1988.

Guided tours to the castle often point out the graffiti of members of the International Brigades who were imprisoned there during the Spanish Civil War. They were not prisoners of the Nationalists but of the Republicans. Many were considered deserters or dissenters, and some were tortured and executed.

A Man of Passion (1989)

Anthony Quinn returns to the role of a forceful, eccentric painter that served him so well in ‘Lust for Life’,’ where he played Gauguin.

Spanish director José Antonio de la Loma used the studio of Catalan painter Modest Cuixart in the village of Palafrugell, Girona for the painting scenes, as well as Modest’s paintings.

Ramon Sheen also appeared in this one.

Other scenes were shot on an estate at Mont-ras.

The Shell Seekers (1989)

Based on the successful novel by Rosamund Pilcher, starring Angela Lansbury and Sam Wanamaker. To escape stuffy old England and her stuffy old daughter, Angela escapes to dreamy Ibiza after a heart attack has her questioning her life, staying with another daughter who has found paradise with Cosmo in a white villa with an amazing view and amazing quotes such as “heart attack was the best thing that ever happened to me,” or, referring to the wine he makes “God makes it, I merely supervise.”

Cosmo’s daughter spends a day with her and they chat in the harbour as we see the town of Eivissa with its castle behind them.

Hot Blood (1989)

Sylvia Kristel stars in this Finnish film about robbery and rape filmed around Manzanares El Real, Madrid.