By Ángel Caldito
The municipality of Hoyo de Manzanares is included in its entirety within the Regional Park of the Cuenca Alta del Manzanares, 35 kilometers from Madrid and with approximately 7,600 inhabitants.
The first film shoots came to Hoyo de Manzanares in 1956 with “The Pride and the Passion”. A U.S.A. production directed by Stanley Kramer, starring Cary Grant, Sophia Loren and Frank Sinatra. The film recreates the adaptation of a novel by CS Forrester, which takes place in Spain during its War of Independence. In it an English officer (Grant) helps some Hispanic guerrillas (Sinatra and Loren) to use a cannon against Napoleon.
[Hoyo de Manzanares, April 1956. Cary Grant with a group of Spanish army officers during the filming of the film Pride and Passion.]
Eduardo Manzanos Brochero (1919-1987)
Producer, screenwriter and director, he was also an occasional writer of comedies and musicals. Brochero also published several books of poetry. He started in the cinema as a screenwriter in 1940, playing various roles until 1952 when he directed his first film. A producer for Unión Films and later Cooperativa Cine España (COPERCINES) which was created the same year. He was the first to build a western town set in Spain, in which a large number of written and produced Euro westerns were filmed.
A Town of the West
Eduardo Manzanos proposes the project and its construction to decorators Jaime Pérez Cubero and José Luis Galicia (the brother-in-law of Manzanos), for which they rent an esplanade owned by the City Council. The Town of the West, known as "Golden City" was built in 1962 by a hundred men who employed 75,000 hours of work in total. 30 kilos of dynamite and 500 linear meters of drill holes were used to clear the stony lands. In total, 300 cubic meters of wood, sixty tons of cement and half a million bricks were used for the construction of the buildings. Cubero and Galicia, would reach an agreement with the producer Eduardo Manzanos, to build and manage all the sets during film shootings.
A year later, the shooting of "For a Fistful of Dollars" would take place, which was directed by Sergio Leone and interpreted among others by Clint Eastwood and Gian Maria Volonté. This film supposedly was the beginning of the Euro western at an international level. They would shoot more than 50 films of the genre in the sets of Hoyo de Manzanares.
Chicago style street
In 1968, a Chicago-style street would be built for the filming of Julio Diamante's "Tiempos de Chicago" (1968). In this set at least five more productions were filmed. This set was built about 1/8 miles behind what many of us know as the Rojo Hacienda from “A Fistful of Dollars”.
José Luis Galicia Gonzalo (Madrid, 1930). Artistic director and son of the painter Francisco Galicia and brother of the actress María Luz Galicia (married to the producer Eduardo Manzanos). In 1961 he was commissioned to paint the ceilings of the Almudena Cathedral in Madrid and in 1962 his brother-in-law, the producer and director Eduardo Manzanos, gave him the opportunity to enter the cinema as a decorator, collaborating with Jaime Pérez Fogón Cubero (Madrid , 1932) brother of the director of photography Andres Perez Cubero, who since 1956 was already working as decoration assistant, making the first joint film: "The Terrible Sheriff", (A. Momplet, 1962). In 1963 they founded the company Construcine, with which they made their designs, and also the projects of other artistic directors.
It would be known as Fort Jackstone and was built in 1964 for the film "Séptimo de cavalleria", in which "Héroes a la fuerza" would also be filmed in 1966.
Locations of Golden City, Ranchos Cubero-Galicia and the Fort.
Today nothing remains of the sets.