Thursday, January 24, 2019

Spaghetti Western Location ~ Dune di Cabo Gata

The area of the coastal dunes, lies between Rambla de las Amoladeras (to the west) and Rambla de Morales (to the east) - it is often recognized on the horizon by the characteristic shape of Cabo de Gata (a mountain with three peaks: two roundish and one shaped like a pyramid) - suitably cleaned out of the vegetation, it lent itself to represent, in addition to the deserts of North Africa, and the Middle East, those of the American West or Mexico. According to several film historians tons of sand were brought to the area when they filmed “Lawrence of Arabia” (1962) and more for “Cleopatra” (1963). The dunes became a huge draw for filmmakers looking desert locations without having to film in remote areas of the world. These dunes were close to Almeria and added to Spain’s burgeoning film industry.

Films shot in the dunes include: “Gunfight at High Noon” (1963); “Pistols Don’t Argue” (1964) (in this film the atmosphere of the desert is optimally recreated); “Seven from Texas” (1964), “Gunmen Of The Rio Grande” (1964); “Dollars for  Fast Gun” (1965); “The Relentless Four” (1965); “The Last Tomahawk” (1965); “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” (1966); “Custer of the Wet” (1966); “A Woman for Ringo” (1966); “A Taste of Killing” (1966); (in the opening credits); “For One Thousand Dollars Per Day” (1966); “Texas, Adios” (The Avenger) (1966); “Death Rides a Horse” (1967); “A Few Bullets More” (1967); “The Dirty Outlaws” (1967); “Face to Face” (1967); “Day of Anger” (1967); “John  the Bastard” (1967); “Vengeance is Mine” (1967); ”The Big Gundown” (1967) (the closing scene); “Last of the Badmen” (1967); “Dakota Joe” (1967); “Cemetery Without Crosses” (1968); “Tierra Brava” (1968); “Wrath of God” (1968); “The Mercenary” (1968); “The Ruthless Four” (1968); “Duel in the Eclipse” (1968); “Death Sentence” (1968); (opening scene with Richard Conte); “The Longest Hunt” (1968); “One More to Hell” (1968); (title credits); “One After the Other” (1968); “A Long Ride from Hell” (1968); “One Against One... No Mercy” (1969) “Run, Man, Run” (1969); “100 Rifles” (1969); “Four Rode Out: (1969); “Awkward Hands” (1969); “Santana Kills Them All” (1970); “A Man Called Sledge” (1970); “The Deserter” (1970); “Blindman” (1970); “Catlow” (1970); “Chato’s Land” (1970); “Doc” (1971); “The Hunting Party” (1971); “The Bandit Malpelo” (1971); “The Ballad of Ben and Charlie” (1972); “Those Dirty Dogs” (1972); “Charley One-Eye” (1972); “The White, the Yellow, the Black” (1974); “Four of the Apocalypse” (1975); “Comin’ At Ya!” (1981).

Thanks to the representation of the sandy desert that they were able to offer, the dunes of Cabo de Gata which practically became the most frequented location for productions made in Almeria up until the mid-80s. Then in 1987, with a decree by the Government of Andalusia, the Cabo de Gata Natural Park was created in order to protect an area of extraordinary ecological and environmental value, the new rules impose a strict respect for the existing vegetation, which cannot be removed (as was done previously) to create the effect of a 'total' sand desert required by most film needs. The vegetation, which has grown untouched in the last twenty-five years, has completely covered the area, making the once desert that was seen in many films disappear. The Park, expanded in 1994, now covers an area of 34,000 acres and in 1997 it was declared to be Uneco a 'Biosphere Reserve'.

“Pistols Don’t Argue” - 1964


“The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” – 1966

“Texas Goodbye” - 1966

“The Big Gundown” - 1967

“Face to Face” – 1967

“A Man Called Sledge” – 1970

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