Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Spanish Ghost Sets (Part 1)



The Spanish Spaghetti Western ghost town where abandoned Hollywood film sets are still standing in the desert almost 50 years on

Despite forming huge chunk of Western film history, these amazing photographs show the iconic spots in ruin

Spaghetti Western was initially handed down as a derogatory term for low-budget films directed by Italians

Over time it became a badge of honour thanks to conveyor belt of talent like Sergio Leone and Clint Eastwood

But despite its iconic status within the Western film world, many deserted sets have been left to rot in Spain

Daily Mail
By Gareth Davies
June 1 2017

Despite having formed a huge chunk of Western film history, these amazing photographs show how the iconic Spaghetti Western sets have fallen into decay after decades of neglect.

The initially derogatory name was handed down to films directed and produced by Italians and filmed in the Spanish countryside to save on budget costs.

Over time, the term became less of a term used to devalue the work and more a badge of honour as the movies' popularity and reputation grew through a conveyor belt of talent both in front and behind the camera including the legendary Sergio Leone and Clint Eastwood.

Among the iconic Spaghetti Westerns - filmed in a handful of sites including Fort Bravo/Texas Hollywood, Mini Hollywood, Western Leone and El Condor - are The Good The Bad and The Ugly, Django and Once Upon A Time In The West.

In recent times sets have been used for modern productions, including Netflix's Penny Dreadful and the BBC's Dr Who, but portions of the area near the Spanish city of Almería lies in ruin. 


Remains of Nueva Frontera. This Western set was originally constructed for the 1973 film Chino, starring Charles Bronson. It sits alongside the A-92 highway to Granada, directly across from Mini-Hollywood and Fort Bravo,Texas Hollywood. By 1984, when director Alex Cox used it as the main location for Straight to Hell, the site was looking suitably distressed. In recent years, the set has been reduced to little more than a pile of rubble.



Sign along the dirt road leading to Fort Bravo/Texas Hollywood - one of a handful of Spaghetti Western film sets. Over time, the term became less of a term used to devalue the work and more a badge of honour as the movies' popularity and reputation grew through a conveyor belt of talent both in front and behind the camera including the legendary Sergio Leone and Clint Eastwood. Among the iconic Spaghtetti Westerns are The Good The Bad and The Ugly, Django and Once Upon A Time In The West. In recent times sets have been used for modern productions, including Netflix's Penny Dreadful and the BBC's Dr Who, but portions of the area near the Spanish city of Almería lies in ruin.

 

A cowboy tips his hat to a girl during the daily western show at Fort Bravo/Texas Hollywood. Stuntman Rafa Molina bought the site in the 1970s for $6,000 and began charging visitors to tour it. The set appears in a number of more recent productions, including Netflix's Penny Dreadful and the BBC's Dr Who.


A western fan dressed up during the 2016 Almeria Western Film Festival takes aim at the Justice of the Peace sign in  Fort Bravo/Texas Hollywood. The set was constructed in the mid 1970s under an agreement with Sergio Leone and an Italian producer. By the time it was completed, however, the film industry in Almeria was on the wane.


This Western set was originally constructed for the 1973 film Chino, starring Charles Bronson. It sits alongside the A-92 highway to Granada, directly across from Mini-Hollywood and Fort Bravo,Texas Hollywood. By 1984, when director Alex Cox used it as the main location for Straight to Hell, the site was looking suitably distressed. In recent years, the set has been reduced to little more than a pile of rubble.

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