Bethune The Making of a Hero (1990)

Angel at My Table (1990)

Dr. M (1990)

Navy Seals (1990)

Honeymoon Academy (1990)

Cthulhu Mansion (1990)

Arrivederci Millwall (1990)

The Rift (1990)

The Monk (1990)

City Slickers (1991)

Immortal Sins (1991)

Born to Ride (1991)

Operation Condor (1991)

José Carreras: My Barcelona (1991)

Eye of the Widow (1991)

The Hours and Times (1991)

Under the Sun (1992)

Shooting Elizabeth (1992)

1492: The Conquest of Paradise (1992)

Christopher Columbus: The Discovery (1992)

Revolver (1992)

The Sands of Time (1992)

Inferno (1992)

Don Quijote by Orson Welles (1992)

Fool’s Gold: The Story of the Brink’s Mat Robbery (1992)

Remember (1993)

Death and the Maiden (1994)

Uncovered (1994)

Barcelona (1994)

A Business Affair (1994)

Doomsday Gun (1994)

Land and Freedom (1995)

Two Much (1995)

Vendetta (1995)

Costa Brava (1995)

Sons of Trinity (1995)

Blue Juice (1995)

ID (1995)

The Disappearance of Garcia Lorca (1996)

Evita (1996)

Killer Tongue (1996)

Eye for an Eye (1996)

Wilde (1997)

In Praise of Older Women (1997)

Gaston’s War (1997)

Talk of Angels (1998)

Spanish Fly (1998)

Dollar for the Dead (1998)

Three Businessmen (1998)

Diana: A Tribute to the People’s Princess (1998)

The Sea Change (1998)

Amazing Women by the Sea (1998)

Middleton’s Changeling (1998)

Presence of Mind (1999)

The Ninth Gate (1999)

The World is Not Enough (1999)

Outlaw Justice (1999)

Plunkett & Macleane (1999)

The Last Seduction II (1999)

All The King’s Men (1999)

The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Spring Break Adventure (1999)

Camino de Santiago (1999)

The Strange Case of Delphina Potocka or The Mystery of Chopin (1999)

The Delivery (1999)


Bethune The Making of a Hero (1990)

This film, starring Donald Sutherland and Helen Mirren, was made mostly in China, and tells the true story of a Canadian doctor.

Real footage of Madrid during the Civil War appears in a news broadcast in a cinema, and then Sutherland visits the Spanish capital, walking and running through anonymous streets as the bombs fall.

His arrival there by train takes place at the frequently employed Delicias Railway Museum.

Angel at My Table (1990)

Although most of the film takes place in New Zealand, there is a brief respite in the small village of Puerto de la Selva on the Cabo (Cape) Creus peninsular on Girona’s Costa Brava, and just inland at Selve de Mar, where the children’s funeral scene was shot.

We see a new variation on the coitus interruptus theme, as a woman brings breakfast to an American writer at a rocky cove at Puerto de la Selva, which inevitably inspires him to make love to her to the accompaniment of Flamenco music. Unfortunately (for her) he pauses halfway through to read his latest scribblings, not to her greatest pleasure.

On returning to her house, black-scarfed washerwomen tut tut over their buckets and over her morality.

Dr. M (1990)

Although directed by Frenchman Claude Chabrol, and a remake of a film by Fritz Lang, Alan Bates is the villainous star of this version, in which the action moves effortlessly from suicide-sodden Berlin to the placid sand dunes of Maspalomas on Gran Canaria island.

All over Berlin people are merrily meeting their makers before their sell by dates and thereby causing others to take a well earned holiday.

The last resort in question is called Theratos, which may sound like Greek to you, but which turns out to be situated among the endless sand dunes of Maspalomas.

The spacious hotel that Sonia and Inspector Hartmann visit and learn about Bates’ brain washing programme is in reality the Hotel Riu Maspalomas.

Navy Seals (1990)

The film, starring Charlie Sheen, took advantage of the naval base at Rota and impressive shipping around Algeciras and Tarifa, all in the province of Cádiz, with Almería substituting for Beirut in the last action sequences, when the team complete their mission and save the world from weapons of mass destruction, but in the nicest possible way.

An old sugar factory called El Ingenio, now no longer with us, was used for the purpose.

Cartagena, an important Spanish naval base in the province of Murcia was also used in a film that shows how real men drink hard, play golf badly and kill with moderation. In the scene where an important Arab is kidnapped by the Seals, we see in his bedroom some of the typical green and white ceramic tiles of Almería.

Honeymoon Academy (1990)

A couple honeymooning in Spain cannot avoid getting involved in a counterfeit ring, in a film with Christopher Lee and Kim Cattrall from ‘Sex and the City,’ and footage shot in the medieval village of Pedraza, in Segovia province; and it is there that he is miraculously shot by the otherwise totally incompetent villains.

Pedraza. Photo Courtesy Mark Yareham

Previously they had forsaken Washington and arrived at Madrid’s Barajas airport.

The chase continues with a motorbike pursuit that ends up among the waterfalls and streams of the Monasterio de Piedra spa in Zaragoza.

Later we see them enter a cathedral, where the printing plates used to make perfect forgeries of American currency are found in a confession box. The cathedral in question is that of Segovia.

Denia in Alicante province was another of the locations, as it was here that a car chase began in the pine forests around Jávea on the Les Planes road, and finished at the Marineta Casiana beach, at the southern end of Denia. A ramp was specially built so that the bus involved in the chase could soar into the air and land in the sea.

Our thanks to Toni Reig and Romu Soler of Denia for this information, and for guiding us to the location.

Cthulhu Mansion (1990)

A tongue in cheek (hopefully) horror film by the Valencian director Juan Piquer. Starring Frank Finlay and filmed in Madrid, using Piquer’s studios in Calle Padrillo, and a house in Torrelodones.

Domingo Lizcano, who worked on this and many other films, identified the mansion as Palacio de Panarras.

The cast included William Shatner’s daughter Melanie.

Arrivederci Millwall (1990)

A group of British tourists posing successfully as football hooligans prepare their invasion of Spain for the 1982 World Cup.

Simultaneously the British army is involved in its own excursion to the Falkland Islands.

The title may be explained by the typical football hooligan’s knowledge of geography or modern languages as taught in our finest schools.

Filming took place in Canet de Mar, Barcelona. However, the hooligans seem to be a bit lost; they allegedly land at Santander on the ferry and then start walking and asking for a lift to Bilbao, although the weather and scenery are clearly Mediterranean.

In fact England’s finest don’t seem too fond of Spain (or life) remarking that: “this Spain is a right hole, innit? It’s all countryside!”

As for Canet, only the church (Sant Pere) stands out, along with the Bar Los Pinchos, which quite naturally gets trashed, and, thankfully, the prison cells.

The Rift (1990)

The Rift, also known as ‘Endless Descent,’ was shot mostly in the Estudios Verona de Tres Cantos, Madrid, by the Valencian director and writer Juan Piquer Simón, and tells the story of a submarine attempting to rescue another off the coast of Norway, and finding subterranean homesick monsters.

Some sea scenes were filmed at El Ferrol, La Coruña.

The Monk (1990)

Also known as The Final Temptation, Spanish director Francisco Lara Polop brought to life the novel by Matthew Gregory Lewis, with a cast that included Simon Ward’s daughter Sophie.

The film tells the story of a monk who strays from the path of righteousness in a convent in Madrid in 1767.

In fact, according to Stuart Sutherland of Celtic Films, whose father produced the movie, the monastery used was San Juan de Reyes in Toledo, also used in El Greco, 1966.

The streets around the Plaza Mayor of Madrid and the Alcázar castle of Segovia were also employed according to Stuart.

City Slickers (1991)

During a midlife crisis not even running with the bulls at the San Fermín festival of Pamplona in Navarra can elevate the spirit as much as driving a herd of cows and a swarm of flies across what’s left of the great open prairies of the Wild West, but that’s what Billy Crystal attempts at the beginning of this film.

Actually the whole thing was digitally mastered so that the actors needn’t be gored.

Immortal Sins (1991)

The sins of the fathers transcend generations, and it’s always a good idea to know if any of your ancestors have burnt any witches (or wise Earth Mothers if you prefer) before accepting a castle as an inheritance.

Two Spanish castles: San Paio de Narla in Friol in the province of  Lugo, Galicia, and the Madrid Castle of San Martin de Valdeiglesias are combined to recreate this haunted castle, supposedly located in the Galician village of Baamonde, also in Lugo province.

San Paio de Narla

An American woman arrives at the castle which her husband has inherited, and from then on it’s meaningful cats, spooky dolmens, succubus sex and broken mirrors as the curse of Joaquin is visited upon the heirs of the castle.

The castle appears several times in Hervé Hachuel’s film, usually in fog, and the green Galician countryside can be seen from its battlements.

San Paio de Narla, also known asthe Torre de Xiá is situated on a small hill just outside Friol (and mysteriously poorly signposted). It is eventually burnt to the ground in the film, although it still stands today and is open to visitors.

It was once a fort, and has been a museum since 1983. The original 14th century fortress was rebuilt in the 16th century, with additional works being carried out until the 19th.

In the 15th century it was one of 150 castles destroyed during the Irmandiños revolt against the feudal nobility.

The contents of the museum cover aspects of farming and regional domestic activities as well as local history.

The castle was saved from demolition in 1939 when the provincial government acquired it.

The castle’s ghost is called Berta. In a typical Romeo and Juliet/West Side Story story, the local Lord’s daughter escaped with her peasant lover and hid in the nearby ‘Serpent’s Cave’. Both the serpent and her lover were killed fighting each other, much to the relief of her peeved father no doubt.

Born to Ride (1991)

Definitely a case of if you can’t beat them…..join the US army and invade Spain on a motorbike.

The mission is to rescue an American nuclear scientist and his daughter from a castle near Bilbao, Vizcaya, while pretending to participate in a motor cycle festival.

Some of the racing takes place beside the river in the old part of Bilbao.

All highly believable!

Operation Condor (1991)

Set in the Sahara but filmed near Madrid, Jackie Chan does his Oriental Indiana Jones bit in his search for Nazi gold.

Oscar, who has a web dedicated to La Granja de San Idelfonso in Segovia, informed me that part of the filming took place there.

La Granja is the palace where Jackie has his new mission explained to him following his Indiana stunt (filmed in the Philippines).

We have a grand tour of the palace, both inside and out, and then Jackie is pursued, first in the municipal market and then all over the streets of La Granja village. As he begins his journey, leaving La Granja palace again, we catch a few glimpses of Madrid, including the Cibeles fountain

José Carreras: My Barcelona (1991)

Almost a documentary except that his youth is dramatised by another actor.

As the title suggests, the famous Catalan tenor (part of the famous Three Tenors along with Placido Domingo and Pavarotti) reveals his love for Barcelona.

As he tells his life story we see images of Gaudí’s La Pedrera and Parc Güell, as well as the port, the statue of Columbus, La Rambla, the Teatre del Liceo, the Gothic Cathedral and the stadiums of Barcelona Football Club and Montjuïc, where the 1992 Olympic Games were held.

When he talks of the cancer he overcame we see him in the Hospital Clinic and musing around the Sagrada Familia Cathedral.

We also see him eating with friends in Els Pescadors restaurant in Plaça Prim, Poblenou.

Eye of the Widow (1991)

An interesting cast, including F Murray Abraham and an angry Ben Cross, and some nice locations in Austria and in Marbella, Málaga, where Abraham holds his party in his villa.

Local journalist Paco Griñán identified the villa, which belonged to the notorious Kashoggi family. The mansion, called Al Baraka, is located in the luxurious zone of  La Zagaleta.

When Malko first arrives in Marbella, we see him stepping out of the Toni Dalli restaurant, now called Do Mar, at the exclusive Oasis Club. Dalli was a close friend of another Marbella stalwart, Sean Connery.

Also in the province of Málaga, at Ronda we observe a bullfight in the Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballería, in the same bullring that Orson Welles frequented, with a ‘corrida’ featuring Antonio Ordoñez and the meeting with Avenger Patrick MacNee, playing a merry Englishman abroad.

The Hours and Times (1991)

American director Chris Munch tells the story, as he imagines it, of a holiday in Barcelona for John Lennon and Brian Epstein.

A lot of shooting took place in the Art Nouveau surroundings of the Avenida Palais Hotel, and the Plaza Cataluña, the port with its cable cars and the Ciutadela Park are all seen.

View from the Cable Car

In the latter, Lennon takes photos of Epstein in front of the Cascada Monumental fountain.

Under the Sun (1992)

We all know that there’s nothing new under the sun, but Michael Winterbottom went there anyway, directing a couple of girls from Manchester en route to Africa.

However, one of them goes off with a local boy and the other has to look after herself at Costa del Sol locations such as Nerja and Maro in Málaga province.

Shooting Elizabeth (1992)

Jeff Goldblum stars in a film that would be difficult to make today, a comedy about an American executive hoist by his own petard when he ponders the possibility of murdering his wife while on a second honeymoon staying at the Hotel Eden Roc, situated on the coast at Sant Feliu de Guixols.

 Filming also took place at the nearby Sa Conca beach, along which Goldblum walks after his wife disappears.

The second honeymoon starts at the Girona-Costa Brava airport, as Goldblum dreams his demented dreams and struggles to finish his sentences against the agate waters of the Costa Brava, becoming the typical difficult hotel guest that you never want to have in the next room; one who can’t decide whether to shoot his wife or his pillow, and who makes a lot of noise while doubting. In a word; Hamlet.

The police finally catch up with Goldblum as he catches up with his wife when she is supposedly camping at Montseny in the Catalan Pyrenees, although the filming actually took place in the Parque Regional Cuenca Alta del Manzanares, near Madrid.

Here we can see some of the park’s characteristic rocks, including a rock balancing precariously on another one, which is called ‘El Caliz’ (the Chalice), although the one seen in the film is from Pedralta, in the mountains near Sant Feliu de Guixols. It has been known for centuries as the biggest rocking stone in the Iberian Peninsula, and the second largest in Europe. The upper rock weighs 1,000 tons and used to rock naturally until a violent storm in 1966 sent it tumbling down. It was replaced in 1999, but without its rocking capability.

Goldblum finds his wife with the help of a mountain-walking Catalan, Chinese priest, who is none other than Inspector Closseau’s faithful manservant Burt Kwouk.

Golblum and wife actually live in Madrid, where he is an executive in a mineral water company, where stalwart Spanish actor Simón Andreu also works, and at the beginning we see a brief shot from Goldblum’s taxi of the Fuente de Neptuno, situated in Plaza de Cánovas del Castillo, traditionally the place where Atletico de Madrid FC fans celebrate their triumphs. El Prado museum also appears, when Goldblum goes jogging after he thinks he is free of his wife.

1492: The Conquest of Paradise (1992)

There has been much debate as to whether Christopher Columbus, as we know him, was in fact Genovese, Portuguese, Catalan, Majorcan or even Galician. At the end of his lifetime nobody claimed him; later, when it was decided he had ‘discovered’ America, much to the surprise of the indigenous population, everyone wanted a piece of the action.

Ridley Scott solved the problem by making him a corpulent Frenchman bearing a passable resemblance to Obelix the Gaul, the idea perhaps being to give him a foreign accent.

Scott does get the country right, filming the scenes of Spain in Spain and capturing the wide, open empty spaces of Extremadura from which many of the Conquistadores came, with scenery from Cáceres and Trujillo, home of Pizarro, where they shot the scenes of Columbus arriving in what was supposed to be recently conquered Granada.

In Trujillo Columbus is accompanied by his benefactor Luis de Santangel on their way to see the Queen, passing by the Puerta del Triunfo, the Palacio de Orellana and the Alcázar de los Bejarano.

The scene with the auto de fé used the stairway and church of San Francisco in Cáceres, and Cáceres also portrays Salamanca when Columbus seeks recognition from a tribunal of cosmologists with scenes filmed in the Cathedral of Santa María and the Plaza de San Jorge.

The film begins with the Christian conquest of Granada and the victors trampling through what is supposed to be the Alhambra Palace as Queen Isabel, played by Sigourney Weaver, who also appeared in Scott’s ‘Alien,’ is seen preparing her new kingdom with various documents and giggling ladies in waiting.

In fact the Alhambra is the Reales Alcázares and Casa de Pilatos of Sevilla, where Scott would film the scenes of Jerusalem years later for ‘Kingdom of Heaven.’

Although he flirts with Queen Isabel, Columbus’s wife is played by the far more beautiful Spanish actress Angela Molina, whose appearances during the film mostly consist of staring at Depardieu as if he were transporting her to ecstasy every night instead of turning up every seven years or so with scurvy and a burning idea.

When he finally returns home to her, the interior of her house is in reality the exquisitely decorated Arab interior of Sevilla’s Alcázar Palace.

Spanish actor Fernando Rey is also hanging around, this time as a monk who helps Columbus, despite the fact that he’s quite clearly a dangerous heretic. His home is the Quinta de la Enjarada of Cáceres.

The new cathedral of Salamanca also appears at the end of the film, as do the façade of the University and the church La Clerecía.

The New Cathedral
La Clerecía

The Spanish finally see through Depardieu/Columbus and sling him in the nick, which is described as the Prison of Castille, but which from the outside is a home from home for Columbus, being the Alcázar of Segovia.

Another location chosen by Scott was the Parador Nacionál de Sigüenza (in the throne room and the parade ground) in Guadalajara.

The Parade Ground no longer trembles to the sound of marching feet, but to the chinking of ice in gin tonics, having been transformed into a patio-bar, and the throne room is a gloomy, palatial suite where Parador guests can sit around feeling regal.

Filming took place while the Parador was being reformed. Photographs in the reception area show that the hotel has in fact been converted from a ruin into a very pleasant building.

The exterior appears but briefly, hardly three seconds, as a torchlight procession marches out of the castle, presumably towards Columbus’s ships, for immediately we are in Palos, embarking for the New World, or ‘India’ as Columbus craftily called it.

The film was a stunning failure, despite the fantastic music by Vangelis, the liberal political message, and despite the scenes of stomach-churning violence; or maybe because of all three.

Christopher Columbus: The Discovery (1992)

This film by ‘Bond’ director John Glen competed with Ridley Scott’s version for Spanish government funds and audiences to take advantage of the 500th anniversary of the ‘discovery’ of America.

Both Glen and Scott filmed in Sigüenza in Guadalajara, at the Parador hotel, a historical monument which began its life as an Arab castle built upon a Roman one in the year 1123. Glen used it to portray the Spanish royal court of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabel, for scenes in the courtyard where Marlon Brando made his only film in Spain, portraying the Inquisitor Torquemada.

Sigüenza Parador Parade Ground

Guests at the Sigüenza Parador (since 1976) often report hearing sobbing.

If local legend is to be believed (or exploited), we are dealing with Doña Blanca de Borbón, ditched on the third night of her honeymoon by her husband, appropriately named Pedro I the Cruel, in the 14th century, who then ran off with his lover.

The King imprisoned her in the castle for four years and later in Jerez and Medina Sidonia, where she died, probably poisoned.

Her cell can only be visited once a day on a guided tour, although the rattling of her chains and her eerie white presence have no specific timetable, even though night time is preferable.

Glen also filmed in the main square, the cathedral and the 13th century house of ‘Doncel de Sigüenza’.

Scenes were also shot in the Canary Islands, Talamanca de Jarama near Madrid, and Segovia.

The copies of two of Columbus’s ships were lent to the filmmakers and were sailed from Huelva (whose port at Mazagón was used as Columbus’s point of departure in the film) to Costa Rica in commemoration, and so that the film crew might get a feeling of what the original enterprise involved.

Revolver (1992)

Shot in Barcelona during its Olympic year, with none of the original Beatles participating but with views of the city’s wide avenues and including a glimpse of the emblematic Picasso Museum, Robert Ulrich wheelchairs his way to victory against a Spanish Mafia boss.

Among the Spanish actresses present are Assumpta Serna and Ariadna Gil.

The Sands of Time (1992)

A curious film, supposedly set in Spain but mixing up the Civil War with ETA and not getting either right.

Some ‘revolutionaries’ travel across Spain, with stops supposedly at Ávila, Logroño (which none of the supposed Spanish characters can pronounce) and San Sebastián.

However, the only recognisable location is Pamplona in Navarra, where we see the bullring and Hemingway’s statue outside.

The rest coincides with the American vision of Spain: “go to Europe and turn right.”

Inferno (1992)

A writer tries to overcome his block, without the help of super models like Kate Moss.

Mostly shot in Italy, but with a little help from Barcelona.

Don Quijote by Orson Welles (1992)

Orson Welles’ unfinished masterpiece had a troubled time, being put together over various decades before being tattily finished by a Spanish director.

Sancho Panza leads a delirious Quijote back home after his imprisonment in Pamplona, Navarra and as they arrive and then leave again we see the imposing walls and battlements of the castle of Maqueda, Toledo.

On more than one occasion we see our Quixotic pair travelling through open country with the castle-topped village of Zahara de la Sierra, Cádiz, in the background.

In the same province, Pancho’s promised island reward is in fact the castle of Fatetar, above the village of Espera.

Like Terry Gilliam, Welles had serious problems transferring Cervantes’ masterpiece to celluloid, and unlike Gilliam he never finished it. It was Spanish director Jesus Franco who finally interpreted what the master wanted, and Franco did after all work with Welles.

Like Gilliam, Welles played with the idea of modernising the story. Just before Sancho first sees a telescope, we are treated to a view of a castle. The Alcazaba dominates Guadix, looming over the town but in its centre.

The Romans were the first to build here, although the present castle was built during the X and XI centuries by the Moors, on the ruins of a previous Moorish construction from the XVIII century.

In 1489 it was surrendered peacefully to the Catholic Monarchs.

During the 19th century Napoleonic invasion, it was used as a cemetery and after the Spanish Civil War it became a seminary, which explains the classrooms and tennis courts.

Fool’s Gold: The Story of the Brink’s Mat Robbery (1992)

Although most of the action takes place in London, there is a scene where some of the ones who got away, namely Clarke, Coles and Kimpton, enjoy a villa, and later a beach bar, somewhere on the Costa del Sol, possibly Marbella, Málaga.

Remember (1993)

It’s a very good advertisement for Amsterdam, but the fiancé who appeared to have committed suicide in fact turns up with some terrorists in Barcelona. Probably did not count on much support from the local tourist information authorities.

Death and the Maiden (1994)

Meirás in A Coruña, Galicia, was used for this psychological thriller, set in Chile and starring Sigourney Weaver and Ben Kingsley.

Roman Polanski used the cliffs of Valdoviño and the sandy beach at Punta da Frouxeira nearby. Polanski considered the cliffs of Galicia, over which Weaver, (playing a variation on Charlotte Rampling from the ‘Night Porter’ to Kingsley’s Dirk Bogarde), pushes her ex-torturer’s car, to be similar to the scenery of Chile where the story is set, with studio scenes shot in Paris.

The wooden house at the beach was built for the film and removed afterwards to preserve the natural beauty of the unspoilt shoreline, whose emerald glory is unfortunately not seen at its best in stormy weather.

The actors and director stayed at the Ferrol Parador, enjoying the unwelcome sunny weather; Polanski had wanted rain for the film but had to resort to the Ferrol fire brigade to water his actors.

The original story was written by an exiled member of assassinated Chilean President Salvador Allende’s cabinet, and the title takes its name from a Schubert quartet, which is played at the beginning and end of the film in a theatre.

Uncovered (1994)

Based upon a book written by Spanish novelist Arturo Pérez-Reverte, the film is a thriller whose storyline centres on the game of chess and an old painting, which reveals its secrets, (hence the title), when being restored.

As the opening credits slip downscreen, we see some of the classic vistas of Barcelona: Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia Cathedral, the aerial view of the port from a cable car that crosses the city, with the statue of Columbus at the bottom of La Rambla.

Kate Beckinsale plays the restorer who sneezes any time a man tries to get serious with her, and who will see the human chess pieces dying off just when they begin to be suspected of the crime: ‘who killed the Knight?’

In order to find a chess expert, Kate visits Gaudí’s Parc Güell, where on the terrace overlooking the city she finds her gypsy making mincemeat out of a Salvador Dalí lookalike.

Helping her is her gay mentor, whose shop and home is situated in Gaudí’s Casa Batlló in the Paseo de Gracia.

She also visits the Torres de Ávila, nightclub, Marqués de Comillas, 25, situated in Montjuïc, and the Sant Antoni market in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter (after some torrid sex in which she finally cures her allergy) as the chess game unfolds.

The modernist Hospital de Sant Pau is the backdrop to the scene where Kate’s wallet is stolen by some children and recovered by her gypsy.

The Black Queen, who redeems her reputation when she is murdered, lives in the Castillo de Santa Florentina, which in the real world is situated in Canet de Mar, also in Barcelona province.

We visit the castle several times, first to meet the soon to be dead owner of the painting, in wheelchair and with oxygen mask.

The second visit is Kate’s nightmare about the murder of the original medieval knight.

Next, the first of two funerals on a hill conveniently overlooking the castle and what seems to be a motorway in the making.

After Max is arrested, Kate and her gypsy visit the castle at night as the plot unfolds towards its climax.

Finally, the second funeral, and time to catch the last bus home.

Barcelona (1994)

In the summer of 1983 director Whit Stillman was in Spain, playing the role of the American director of a psychiatric institute in a Spanish film called ‘Sal Gorda.’ It was then that he started thinking about the story that would later become ‘Barcelona’, the city from where his wife Irene hails.

A story of two brothers and a coma; when Fred visits Ted in Barcelona, they tour the floodlit city in a car as Ted points out the sights; the Cathedral, “u-huh,” the Roman Walls, “u-huh” the Columbus Monument, “u-huh,” and Passeig de Gràcia, before going for a drink.

At one moment, as Ted goes to work on the Avenida María Cristina, we see the dominating, fountain-fronted Palacio Nacional on Montjuïc mountain.

Although Ted appears a bit dreary, his apartment isn’t; being the modernist building Casa Burés, Ausiàs Marc 30-32, designed by Gaudí contemporary Francesc Berenguer.

The glorious modernist building where Ted is waiting for a woman is the  Palau de la Musica Catalana, Carrer Palau de la Musica 4-6, and the bar they visit is the trendy El Born, Passeig del Born 26.

After the terrorist attack, Fred is taken to the Hospital de Sant Pau. Before that the brothers walk past the cloister of the Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia, Carrer del Bisbe. The bridge over the street where Ted meets an official from the Consulate is in the Gothic district, also Carrer del Bisbe. The bridge connects the Casa de los Canónigos and the Generalitat palace.

A Business Affair (1994)

A story about a female writer and the men who want to possess her and yet feel threatened by her talent. That’s right; a chick-flick.

In fact all the characters are pretty flawed and when the girl takes off to Spain to stay with friends, Tom Wilkinson (the friend’s husband) meets up with Jonathan Pryce (the husband) in a restaurant that still exists, near Montellano, Sevilla, called La Venta el Potaje, to plot her recapture.

Pryce contracts a bullfighter in the middle of Ronda’s bullring to sleep with his wife in order to win her back.

As I said, a chick flick, but her only true love is her monkey, and no, that’s not a metaphor.

The film makers took advantage of the Easter procession in Ronda, province of Málaga, for Christopher (her editor, her husband’s editor and her lover) Walken’s pursuit of the wife, especially in Calle Real del Barrio. This scene was shot on the 26th March 1993, and the producers paid 18,000 euros for the privilege; a sum that was later donated to the unemployed.

Doomsday Gun (1994)

Predating Desert Storm, the Iraqis are trying to build a weapon of mass destruction and hiding out in the desert of Almería to do so. A prophetic conspiracy theory.

The hideout used was the Cueva de la Molineta.

The Alcazaba castle and the city airport were used to simulate Baghdad, while the doomsday cannons were set up in the Rambla El Cautivo. The Spanish army once again provided the troops.

The Alcazaba castle was used for the scenes where Doctor Bull (Frank Langella) twice meets the Iraqi intelligence people to explain his plans.

After the first meeting he makes his pitch to the Iraqis, some ten minutes into the film, while walking on the battlements, and in the second, at about 55 minutes, he is starting to get a bit nervous about Iraqi ethics as he justifies himself in the patio by the pool of the Baños Privados de la Reina.

A fascinating cast includes Alan Arkin, Kevin Spacey, James Fox and Clive Owen.

Land and Freedom (1995)

It is logical that a film about Spain should be shot in Spain, and in the area where one of the Civil War’s biggest battles took place, Aragón.

The story is about a young working class man from Liverpool who comes to Spain to fight for freedom and finds himself in the middle of the Popular Front’s suicidal in-fighting.

Loach took full advantage of the “spectacular” landscape, as he described it, and of sleepy unchanged places such as the walled village of Mirambel, and Cantavieja, perched on a hilltop, in whose Hotel Balfagon Ken Loach stayed; and also Villafranca del Cid, both of which are in the province of Teruel. He claimed to have been looking for an area that was not spoilt by telephone lines, and he certainly found it.

Rebecca O’Brien of Sixteen Films, who worked on the film, said that they mostly shot between Mirambel and Morella (Castellón).  They filmed the train sequence on the line just north of Teruel, while the trenches were in the hills behind Morella. 

Some street fighting on Barcelona’s rooftops also takes place as the Popular Front scores a hat trick of own goals to the probable amusement of the Nationalist rebels.

Two Much (1995)

Although made by a Spanish director, Fernando Trueba, and with Spaniard Antonio Banderas as the star, the film was in fact mostly shot in Florida. The exception, which took up a mere 5 seconds of the film, was when Danny Aiello tries to impress his two times ex-wife Melanie Griffiths with a firework display and a yacht bearing a trio of Mexican musicians. This scene was shot in the port of Campello in the province of Alicante, just north west of the capital.

Vendetta (1995)

Carl Hamilton is Sweden’s James Bond and he travels to Sicily when the Mafia kidnap two Swedish businessmen, although some of the filming took place on Mallorca.

Costa Brava (1995)

Platja Castell and Cala S’Alguer beaches in Girona province, as well as the emblematic lake of Banyoles, and the city of Barcelona are the backdrop for this Spanish film made in English.

It tells the story of Anna, a tour guide who meets Montserrat, an Israeli teacher in Barcelona, and their relationship, involving occasional trips to the Costa Brava, with additional locations at Sant Antoni, Campellas, Vall de Ribes and Ribes de Freser.

The main activity is centred in Barcelona, and especially on a privileged rooftop with the spectacular towers of Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia Cathedral as a backdrop to Anna’s theatrical monologues.

At various points, and probably to show that Anna really is a tour guide, we see some amateur video shots of the city’s tourist attractions, including Gaudí’s La Pedrera and Parc Güell, plus La Rambla and the Arc de Triomphe.

Monserrat and Anna’s first serious problem and potential breakup takes place in Avinguda Gaudí, with the Sagrada Familia in the background, where the Hospital de la Santa Creu I Sant Pau is Montserrat’s University.

When Montserrat makes a trip by herself to the city of Girona, we see her examining the Hebrew carvings on stones inside the city’s Jewish Museum.

Sons of Trinity (1995)

The successful Terence Hill and Bud Spencer films are exploited here as their ‘sons’ take over their roles and deal with villains in a similar manner.

Tabernas in Almería once again provides the desert and cowboy townships, specifically Fort Bravo.

Fort Bravo

Other scenes were shot at El Búho, Cabeza de El Águila and Benavides.

Blue Juice (1995)

Although this surfer movie is set in Cornwall, there is some time to catch a wave in Lanzarote too. Specifically the large wave that climaxes the action was filmed at Famara.

Christina Zeta Jones and Ewan McGregor appear before fame ruined them.

I.D. (1995)

A story of football hooligans and undercover cops with some filming in Spain, although I don’t know where yet.

The Disappearance of Garcia Lorca (1996)

Joint Anglo-Spanish ventures have become very common in the film world, and this detective story based on British historian Ian Gibson’s research into the murder of the poet García Lorca during the Spanish Civil War includes Spanish sounding American participants such as Andy García and Edward James Olmos.

Inevitably the film is largely shot in Lorca’s native city of Granada, as well as Aranjuez and Madrid.

One location from Granada that stands out is the Biblioteca (Library) de Salón, built in 1917 and situated in the Jardines del Salón y Bomba by the River Genil.

Simón Andreu plays General Velez.

Evita (1996)

Mainly filmed in Argentina and Hungary, although some scenes were also shot in Spain.

In the section where Eva Perón visits Madrid, we see newsreel shots of her in the capital’s streets and her attending a bullfight in the Las Ventas bullring.

Antonio Banderas plays the narrator, Che Guevara.

Killer Tongue (1996)

The four pink poodles are clearly the stars in a film about a gas station in the desert shot in Almería and Madrid, where the Cartuja de Talamanca provided some backdrops.

José Enrique Martínez informed us that filming started on 19th October 1995 around Tabernas and near Níjar at the Cortijo el Fraile as well as Rodalquilar. The Cortijo (exterior) was fused with the spa (cloister) at Alhamilla to create the convent.

Cloister of the spa at Alhamilla

I’m sure that Jonathan Rhys Meyers wishes he’d never accepted a fistful of pesetas to play one of the poodles, who all become human (sort of).

Eye for an Eye (1996)

Although shot in California, this Sally Field, Ed Harris and Keifer Sutherland film, directed by John Schlesinger, contains a video clip by The Cranes, which shows images from Tabernas, Almería and La Calahorra, Granada, and which gets killer Keifer all excited.

Wilde (1997)

This version of Oscar Wilde’s story begins (where else?) in the Wild West, when Wilde visits a silver mine in Leadville Colorado in 1882 and charms the miners with a dash of philosophy. The sparse brown hills are in fact however the hills of Alicante, where the shacks and tents of the miners are today the multiple villas of this popular area for ex-patriates of all nations.

The rest of the film is all about chaps getting into bed with other chaps against a background of nice clothes, elegant furnishings and the leisured classes who seem to live life in slow motion.

Orlando Bloom makes his debut appearance, but bloom he does not as a rent boy, and Jude Law and Vanessa Redgrave co-star.

When Bosie and Robbie Ross are talking about the future, supposedly in Italy, they are in fact in Granada, in the cloister of what was the Convento De Santa Paula, now a hotel situated in Gran Vía de Colón.

The cemetery where Wilde visits his wife’s grave was also in Granada, in the Cementerio Municipal, where her grave, which is in reality in Genoa, Italy, was recreated in patio number 3. The city’s Hospital Universitario Virgen de las Nieves was also used.

Oscar and Bosie meet up again in front of Granada’s cathedral, in the Plaza de las Pasiegas.

In Praise of Older Women (1997)

The woman concerned is none other than Faye Dunaway, a Countess who has been caught up in the Spanish Civil War, and has to talk her way out of trouble in English.

Among the many Spanish locations are: Alella and Esparraguera in the province of Barcelona, as well as Barcelona itself, particularly the Palau de la Música theatre, or la Plaza de las Ollas, where the bus arrives in the city.

We can also witness the delights of Calella de Palafrugell and Torroella de Montgrí and Fontanilles in Girona province, as well as Girona itself.

At Estación de Canfranc, Huesca, Bobi, an Italian violinist and Andrés meet up when she is on her way to Vichy France for a concert.

La Iglesuela del Cid and Mirambel in Teruel province and Villafranca del Cid, Castellón also feature.

Gaston’s War (1997)

This Belgian film tells the story of a resistance fighter helping pilots to escape to Spain.

He helps two RAF pilots reach Barcelona, passing through the Pyrenees mountains into Girona province.

Simón Andreu as Pépe also lends a hand.

Talk of Angels (1998)

Filmed in the north of Spain, it is the story of an Irish woman who comes to Spain to escape the political turmoil of Ireland, arriving ironically just in time for the eve of the Spanish Civil War.

Frances McDormand stars and a young Penelope Cruz participates among lots of the best Spanish actors.

A mansion featured in the film is the Palacio de Los Altares just outside Pancar near Llanes, Asturias, although the building was practically destroyed by a fire in 2003.

The scenes in the town were shot in the capital of Asturias, Oviedo, whose historic centre preserves its old world character, including the iconic Cafetería Peñalba, which had long since been demolished when the film was made.

A lot of the action, including the dance where Mary and Francisco get intimate, takes place in the Plaza de la Catedral.

However, in one instance, when Mary meets the first of the group of Irish women, who helps her escape from a riot, we see them exiting the Basilica de San Miguel, in calle San Justo, Madrid.

The beautiful coastal scenery was shot around Llanes, including the scene at the beach with a large rock just off the shore, which is Ballota beach, where Doctor Vicente’s family go on an outing.

There is also a scene at the sailors’ church and amazing cemetery of Niembro, near Llanes, built at the end of the 18th century, where Frances McDormand confesses her love for Mary.

The chapel in the mountains visited by Francisco and Mary is the Ermita de San Frutos in the Hoces de Duratón Natural Park, Segovia. The idea of them driving there from Madrid in a 1936 car is quite absurd; even today it’s quite a task, especially the last 5 kilometres on a dirt rack, although well worth the visit; at least the multiple vultures seemed to think so!

In Oviedo we can find the cloister where the priest, the great, late Spanish actor Paco Rabal threatens Franco Nero, which today is part of the Museo Arqueológico de Oviedo.

Our thanks to Javier Bouzas of the Asturias Film Commission for his help in identifying locations.

There is also a brief visit to Madrid, where the fountain of Cibeles can be seen.

Spanish Fly (1998)

This is the story of a female journalist investigating the Spanish macho male, using scenery in and around Mojácar, Almería and especially the coves around the El Cantal Camp Site.

The crew lodged at the Hotel Moresco in Mojácar, and filming took place at Macenas and El Cantal beaches; at the latter they shot the scenes of the Hotel El Sol.

The seaside village of Garrucha also features, especially its promenade, while in Madrid filming took place at the Teatro María Guerrero, C/ Tamayo y Baus, 4.

The story begins in Madrid, where writer, director and actress Daphna gets a bit lost. A taxi, where a recording of James Brown singing ‘It’s a Man’s World’ very significantly, leaves her at the Plaza Mayor, where she chats to some French girls. She then makes her way to the Paradox bookshop (now closed) in Calle de Sta. Teresa, 2, where she meets a professor.

Another taxi ride past the Cibeles fountain and then we see her jogging by the lake in El Retiro park.

She also finds time for a bullfight at Las Ventas bullring, and then it’s off to Mojácar with Antonio, played by Toni Cantó, an actor now better known as a politician, notorious for swapping parties like others swap shirts after a match.

Dollar for the Dead (1998)

Emilio Esteve takes on Clint Eastwood’s spaghetti persona for a film made in the locations of the good old days when giants like Sergio Leone walked the gulleys and corrals of Tabernas in Almería and the wastelands around Madrid to bring death and glory to the screen.

One example from Almería is the El Condor fort, built for a film of the same name and used in many movies.

La Cartuja de Talamanca del Jarama near Madrid once again lent its entrance for one scene of this film when Estevez and compadre approach the prison and see the execution stake, as well as the church crypt scenes, when the gold is finally found.

The film is a self-confessed tribute to Leone, including cheroots, slo-mo shooting, a touch of opera and even a three way shoot out at the end as in ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.’

Esteve would years later return to Spain with his father Martin Sheen to make ‘The Way’, a film in which Spanish actor Simón Andreu, a gunslinger in this film, reappears as a pilgrims’ hosteller.

Three Businessmen (1998)

According to director Alex Cox, it’s the story of Three Wise Men who search the Earth (Liverpool, Paris, Rotterdam, Hong Kong, Tokyo) for their dinner and end up finding the re-born Messiah in Los Albaricoques, Almería.

Cox also made ‘Straight to Hell’ in Almería.

Diana: A Tribute to the People’s Princess (1998)

Bosnia, Angola, Sardinia, Greece, the French Riviera and Pakistan; Lady Di’s life was a frenetic series of trips all over the world. However, the director and co-producer of this film, Gabrielle Beaumont, lives in Mallorca, and so that delightful island had to fill in for all those other places; perhaps so that she wouldn’t have to get someone in to feed the cat.

Puerto de Sóller was one of the locations used to tell the tale of Di before she died. It represents Greece as she strolls through the fish market and then has lunch with a friend in the restaurant with the treacherous waiter.

In the opening scene Diana is chased through the streets of Palma around the Plaza Mayor by paparazzi.

The Sea Change (1998)

One of the settings for the film is Barcelona airport, which has the unfortunate name of El Prat (which means ‘the meadow’).

Actor Ray Winstone adds a touch of class to the film, working class actually.

A stuffy English businessman finds himself during a business trip to Barcelona, when his flight home is diverted to Madrid.

A lot of the action, including the obligatory lobster race, takes place in the Hotel Aeropuerto; in reality the AS Hotel Bellaterra near Barcelona, although there they don’t have a pool in which to find redemption fully clothed.

During ‘Rupert’s’ taxi ride around Barcelona we get brief glimpses of the port area and the bullring.

Spanish director Bigas Luna directed.

Amazing Women by the Sea (1998)

This Finnish film shot mostly around Helsinki, also contains footage from Mallorca.

Even though they are amazing, this doesn’t stop one of the women poaching the other’s husband.

Middleton’s Changeling (1998)

A rare film with Ian Drury, as well as Billy Connolly, in which a modern version of a 17th century tale involves jealousy and murder, shot in the province of Alicante, specifically in the castle of Santa Bárbara, where the original story was actually set.

Director Marcus Thompson pointed out: “Shot at Pinewood Studios, but Spanish locations included the Palmeral de Elche, the Plaza Santa María and interior of the Basilica Santa Maria, Alicante, Rambla Méndez Núñez, and in and around the castle of Santa Bárbara. We also shot on the road that runs alongside San Juan Playa.”

Palmeral de Elche

Presence of Mind (1999)

Filmed almost entirely at the Raixa Estate, Serra de Tramuntana, Bunyola, Mallorca, where some of ‘Evil Under the Sun’ had been made back in 1982, this ghost story is an adaptation of Henry James’s novel ‘The Turn of the Screw’ starring Lauren Bacall, Sadie Frost and Harvey Keitel, and directed by local boy Antoni Aloy.

Most of the action takes place at Raixa, which goes under its real name and is situated “abroad” in the film. The fountains, pond and stone staircases all add a touch of Mediterranean decadence.

It is at the pond that the boy fakes his own drowning, and on the stone staircase that he meets the mysterious man who lives in the tower above the estate.

All of these locations are there just as they were in the film, as is the entrance gate and the courtyard.

The estate was undergoing reforms and was not open to the public in the summer of 2011 on our visit, although we were fortunate enough to get a personal tour by geographer Toni Colom, who was overseeing the works.

The stars were lodged in the luxurious, peaceful, hilltop hotel, Son Net in the village of Puigpunyent.

The Ninth Gate (1999)

Johnny Depp was obviously chasing the Oscar for the most politically incorrect performance in this film. Apart from the trivial matter of cheating the greedy relatives of deceased valuable book owners out of their money, what is surely far worse is that not only does he light up before getting into a lift, but he never examines a single, invaluable antique book without dropping burning ash onto it.

It is a nice little pun therefore when the bookshop he visits in Toledo is owned by the Ceniza brothers (‘ceniza’ meaning ‘ash’ in Spanish). The brothers quite naturally speak excellent, idiomatic English, as booksellers in remote bookshops in the back streets of Toledo usually do.

In fact the two actors are one and the same. They are both José López Rodero, who is not even an actor but was an assistant director and production manager on the film.

Toledo is one of Spain’s most beautiful cities, with an architectural heritage spanning many centuries, and although we are treated to some fine Arab brickwork, we really only see a narrow street, which is Calle Buzones if you really want to go there, with scaffolding, which is only there to fall on Johnny Depp as a warning, and should not be seen as a habitual occurrence in the Spanish construction industry which, unlike the tobacco industry, probably refused to subsidise the film.

At Depp’s Toledo hotel he has a reencounter, fag in hand, with Emmanuelle Seigner (‘the girl’ in the credits) and then receives a call from the evil Frank Langella, in scenes filmed in the Hotel Carlos V, where John Wayne stayed while filming ‘Circus World’.

The town’s railway station also appears, but after Depp leaves Toledo. The station was designed by architect Narciso Clavería y de Palacios in the Neo-Mudéjar style, and opened in 1920.

The Mayor of Toledo was delighted to have Roman Polanski filming in the city and asked why such a famous international film director should choose Toledo.

Polanski, who actually worked on the script in Ibiza, had to inform him that the book on which the film was based, ‘El Club Dumas,’ by top Spanish writer Arturo Pérez Reverte, did actually set those scenes in Toledo.

Murder and Devil worshipping aside, Depp further appals us by travelling at high speed in a car without fastening his seat belt.

The World is not Enough (1999)

The film opens in Bilbao, playing itself, with views of the impressive Guggenheim Museum, which according to director Michael Apted they were unable to show in its best light due to rain (the building undergoes transformation as sunlight moves around it).

The Guggenheim

Iparraguirre and Lersundi Streets are used as Bond escapes from an office building the hard way, pursued by Basque police officers recruited from Bilbao’s municipal police force.

 ‘Los Callejones de las Majadas,’ fascinating rock formations carved by wind and water, are used in the scenes of the pipeline construction site, supposedly in Azerbaijan, although the oilfield installations are the real thing at Baku.

The chapel carved into the rock, which protestors are intent on conserving in the film, was also there, although the interior was a Pinewood Studio set.

While on location, Brosnan stayed at the impressive Parador in Cuenca, an amazing city built on a hill at the confluence of two rivers, where one of the main attractions are the famous ‘Hanging Houses’, which seem to be always on the point of tumbling into the precipice.

Cuenca Parador

Another area of Spain used for filming was ‘Las Bardenas Reales,’ a desert-like area in the south east corner of Navarra, near Tudela, which was supposed to be Kazakhstan in the film, where the atomic centre is situated, and where Bond meets the scientist Doctor Christmas Jones. The inside of the centre is also a set.

Robert Carlyle of ‘Full Monty’ fame stretches our credibility even further by playing the villain Renard, who is insensitive to pain due to having a bullet lodged in his brain; not a bad price to pay you would think.

Outlaw Justice (1999)

This film was part of a revival of Almería as a scenario for filming westerns, which were considered dated by this time, but adding interest by using Country Music stars as cowboys.

Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson made their way to the ‘western’ town of Fort Bravo, Texas Hollywood at Tabernas in Almería to bring the old west alive again in south eastern Spain.

Fort Bravo

Simón Andreu appears yet again, this time as Colonel Lupo.

Other exteriors were Cañon Negro, Rambla Moreno and Valle de Búho.

Plunkett & Macleane (1999)

For the scenes shot in Spain, two companies, Animales Y Carruajes S.A, Madrid, and TAF Helicopters, Barcelona provided horses and aerial shots.

Barcelona based production company Voodoo was the film’s main collaborator in Spain for scenes that were shot in the wild, empty expanse of the Bardenas Reales, an arid, desert-like area near Tudela in Navarra.

The Last Seduction II (1999)

A woman called Bridget kills her husband, frames somebody else and flees to Barcelona. But this is no Bridget Jones, it is the ruthless Bridget Gregory, who will stop at nothing to get her man and take him to the cleaners.

Her trip begins and ends at Barcelona airport, and the hotel she stays at is the Regencia Colon, just around the corner from Barcelona’s gothic cathedral, as can be seen in the scene when she walks out of the hotel and around the corner to the square in front of the facade, also the location for the non-existent Banco del Sol.

Barcelona’s other, more famous cathedral, the Sagrada Familia is seen briefly during the opening credits.

 Regencia Colon actually exists at Carrer dels Sagristans, 13, although guests are discouraged from shooting visitors like Bridget, who makes short work of poor old ‘only doing me job’ Gabriel, the ageing thug with principles.

In the scene where Bridget and her mark Troy eat on the arcaded terrace of a restaurant, some snazzy camera work manages to place the restaurant simultaneously in Port Vell and Plaza Reial.

It’s the follow up to a quite successful film, whose name I can’t quite remember.

All The King’s Men (1999)

‘Upstairs, Downstairs’ on the playing fields of Gallipoli, as the true story of what happened to a bunch of gardeners and footmen from the Sandringham estate is revealed fictitiously.

The killing fields of Gallipoli were really the pleasant hillsides of Almería, and the Turkish beach was supplanted by the Playa de Los Genoveses.

David Jason and Maggie Smith starred in a TV film directed by Julian Jarrold.

The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Spring Break Adventure (1999)

George Lucas is no fool, and what was originally intended as a series was later turned into a series of feature films by pairing off the episodes.

In this one young Indie goes to Mexico, which turns out to be Almería, where his older self would later film parts of the ‘Last Crusade’ movie ten years before!

Looking for a bit of fun in a brothel, he ends up in the war between General Pershing and Pancho Villa.

The Fort Bravo Cinema Studios/Texas Hollywood film set at Tabernas was used for the bank robbery scene, when Indy is recruited for the revolution.

Fort Bravo

Camino de Santiago (1999)

This Spanish production, produced by the Antena 3 TV company, was in fact a mini series starring Anthony Quinn, Charlton Heston (who opens the film in the Plaza de Obradeiro, A Coruña, to explain the story we are about to see,) and British actress Anne Archer, who played Michael Douglas’s wife in ‘Fatal Attraction,’ as well as her ex Robert Wagner.

Filmed all over Spain and with many Spanish actors, and with a script by Arturo Pérez-Reverte and Robert Young as director, the film is a murder mystery with, at the centre of the plot, a medieval game ‘El Juego de la Oca (goose),’ a more complicated version of Snakes and Ladders, popular among medieval pilgrims.

A murder takes place at Zubiri, usually the first stopping place for pilgrims who start at Roncesvalles in Navarra, and the victim is found by the medieval bridge there.

Also in Navarra, there is a lot of action around the Cathedral of Pamplona during the bull running festival of San Fermín, where a second murder takes place.

Our old favourite Simón Andreu appears in Pontevedra to express his opinions about abstract art with the help of a knife, while two delinquents pursue a third from Hemingway’s favourite hotel, La Perla, through the streets of Pamplona.

At Pamplona’s Noáin airport some people from the world of fashion arrive.

The action follows the Camino into La Rioja, where we visit Puente de la Reina, where Paco, the pursued delinquent and painting thief, runs across the medieval bridge.

Later, in front of the Parador of Santo Domingo de la Calzada, a fashion shoot takes place, and in the church, the thief turned guide explains the legend of the cockerel in presence of the poultry itself.

Isabelle joins the pilgrims at San Juan de Ortega, and at León we see the Parador with its glorious façade illuminated, where Miguel and the photographer have a drink and the Belgian pilgrim delinquents vandalise her motorbike.

Another murder takes place while there is another photo shoot in front of the spectacular stained glass windows of the cathedral.

After León we go backwards to Burgos (perhaps some problems in the cutting room!) and we see Isabelle on the bridge in front of the main city gate.

Immediately afterwards Robert Wagner drives past the castle of Ponferrada (León), although how he got there from Bayonne is a mystery.

The police then enter the Parador of León, looking for Romano (Anthony Quinn’s son Lorenzo), who is further up the way in Astorga.

In the church of the Virgin of Villasirga in Villalcazar de Sirga, Palencia, the delinquents finally catch up with Paco but run into some trouble with a traffic policeman. The town is on the Camino but once again going backwards between León and Burgos.

Then suddenly Paco is in Astorga, confessing to a woman about the robbery of the painting under the town walls.

In the province of León there are incidents at Astorga (the fourth murder takes place in the square in front of the Cathedral), and also in Lugo, whose cathedral is the scene of a fashion show, although the city is not on the Camino.

The town of  Portomarín on the banks of the River Miño and the Puerta de Perdón church at Villafranca del Bierzo (León) also appear.

Finally in the province of A Coruña we reach Santiago de Compostela as all good pilgrims who haven’t been murdered on the way should do, with the Pórtico de la Gloria and the flying smokeball of the botafumeiro.

The Cathedral of Santiago

The Strange Case of Delphina Potocka or The Mystery of Chopin (1999)

The film explores the relationship between Chopin and a mysterious woman, including his unhappy stay with George Sand on Mallorca, where they lived in a monastery, hated by and hating the locals.

The Delivery (1999)

This Dutch road movie sees our heroes smuggling drugs from Holland to Spain, specifically to the province of Barcelona, where the last 20 minutes take place and the climax occurs in an abandoned monastery, as yet unidentified.

        The border crossing into Spain is especially anachronic.