Wednesday, September 23, 2020

RIP Arthur Wooster


James Bond film cameraman and director Arthur Wooster, who masterminded action shots for Pierce Brosnan and Roger Moore died at his home in Little Gaddesden, Hertfordshire, England of dementia. He was 91. Arthur was born in Hendon, Middlesex on May 18, 1929, to May and Sidney Wooster, and grew up in Wembley, north-west London. Wooster was hired by the director John Glen to bring scenes of daredevil action to the screen as second unit director on all the James Bond movies of the 1980s. He was an assistant director on two Euo-westerns: ‘Alaska Kid’ (1993) and “Ravenous” (1999).

RIP Michael Gwisdek


German character actor Michael Gwisdek died on September 22, 2020 in Berlin, Germany. He was 78. Born in Berlin-Weißensee in 1942, his acting career also began in East Germany: first he worked at a theater in Chemnitz from the late 1960s, before joining the ensemble of the East Berlin Volksbühne in 1973. Ten years later, Gwisdek moved to the German Theater and became known in the Federal Republic of Germany in the 1980s. He made his directorial debut in 1988 with "Treffen in Travers". His other directorial work included "Abschied von Agnes" and "Das Mambospiel". Gwisdeck appeared in three Euro-westerns: “The Falcon’s Trail” (1967) as a miner; “White Wolves” (1969) and “The Adventures of Huck Finn” (2012) as King.

Spaghetti Western Locations ~ The Guadix incline and wall


Guadix is a city and municipality in southern Spain, in the province of Granada, autonomous community of Andalusia. The city lies at an altitude of 913 metres, on the centre of the Hoya of Guadix, a high plain at the northern foothills of the Sierra Nevada. It is located on the Madrid-Valdepeñas-Almería railway. The population today is around 19,000.

This small city and the area surrounding it was used in many spaghetti westerns mainly for its many railway lines and stations. One of the films the city was seen in a remembered for was “Duck You Sucker” and the firing squad scene of three revolutionaries against a wall. The scene begins with a cavalry troop slowly moving down an incline and then across a plaza. The three men are marched to a location against the wall which supports the incline. The inclined street and wall are still in Guadix at the back of the raised part of the city at the Placeta Santiago. 


Special Birthdays


Šime Jagarinec (actor, stuntman) is 80 today.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

First Day of Autumn 2020


Voices of the Spaghetti Western ~ “Beyond the Law”


As we know most of the Euro-westerns were co-productions from Italy, Spain, Germany and France which incorporated British and American actors to gain a worldwide audience. The films were shot silent and then dubbed into the various languages where they were sold for distribution. That means Italian, Spanish, German, French and English voice actors were hired to dub the films. Even actors from the countries where the film was to be shown were often dubbed by voice actors for various reasons such as the actors were already busy making another film, they wanted to paid additional salaries for dubbing their voices, the actor’s voice didn’t fit the character they were playing, accidents to the actors and in some cases even death before the film could be dubbed.

I’ll list a Euro-western and the (I) Italian, (S) Spanish, (G) German and (F) French, (E) English voices that I can find and once in a while a bio on a specific voice actor as in Europe these actors are as well-known as the actors they voiced.








Today we’ll cover “Beyond the Law”

[(I) Italian, (S) Spanish, (G) German, (F) French, (E) English]

Billy Joe Cudlip – Lee Van Cleef (I) Emilio Cigoli, (S) Claudio Rodríguez, (G) Arnold Marquis, (F) ?

Ben Novack – Antonio Sabato (I) Ugo Pagliai, (S) Juan Logar, (G) Claus Jurichs, (F) Philippe Ogouz

Burton – Gordon Mitchell (I) Michele Kalamera, (S) Teófilo Martínez, (G) Curt Ackermann, (F) ?

Preacher – Lionel Stander (I) Leonardo Severini, (S) Eduardo Calvo, (G) Wolfgang Lukschy, (F) ?

James Cooper – Bud Spencer (I) Giancarlo Maestri, (S) Juan Miguel Cuesta, (G) Martin Hirthe, (F) Jean Berger

Sally Davis – Graziella Granata (I) Gabriella Genta, (S) Mercedes Mireya, (G) Almut Eggert, (F) ?







UGO PAGLIAI   (1937- )

Ugo Pagliai was born on Novembe 13, 1937 in Pistoia, Italy. The son of a salesman and a singer, in 1956 he moved to Rome. Where in 1958, Pagliai enrolled at the Accademia Nazionale d'Arte Drammatica and started his career on stage in the early 1960s. He became first well known in 1969, thanks to the Giuseppe Fina's critically acclaimed stage play, Ross.

In 1971, he had a major success as the lead actor of the Daniele D'Anza's miniseries, Il segno del comando, and then appeared in a number of other successful RAI TV-series, often directed by D'Anza. He was mainly active onstage, often with his wife, Paola Gassman, the daughter of actors Vittorio Gassman and Nora Ricci. In 1988, Pagliai received a Flaiano Prize for his career.

Special Birthdays


Anna Karina (actress) would have been 80 today, she died in 2019.

Monday, September 21, 2020

RIP Michael Lonsdale


Anglo-French actor Michael Lonsdale, who played the villain opposite Roger Moore's James Bond in the 1979 film Moonraker, died at the age of 89 in his Paris home on September 21, 2020. Lonsdale had a varied career in film, TV, radio and stage. Before becoming a Bond villain, he played the Deputy Commissioner Claude Lebel in 1973 political thriller “The Day of the Jackal”. He later appeared as Jean-Pierre in 1998 US action film “Ronin”, alongside Robert De Niro, and as Papa in Steven Spielberg's 2005 historical thriller “Munich”. Lonsdale’s only Euro-western was as the French voice of Bartleby in 2007’s “Go West: A Lucky Luke Adventure”.

European Western Comic Books ~ I Super Albo Avventuroso


I Super Albo Avventuroso

(l Super Adventurous Book)
(Super EAGLE D'ORO (Eagle of Gold) Giant Register)

This comic book series began with #1 on March 2, 1963 an ended with #6 on March 2, 1964. It was published by Bianconi Editions in Milan, Italy under the direction of Renato Bianconi.


The entire collection of comics were produced in AQUILA D’ORO (Eagle of Gold) which contained 96 black and white pages with a color cover.

Special Birthdays


Amerigo Santarelli (actor) would have been 110 today, he died in 1971.






Armando Nannuzzi (cinematographer) would have been 95 today, he died in 2001.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Madrid, the biggest set of western spaghetti (Part 2)

Distrito Castellana norte Madrid

September 12, 2020

Far West territory, four routes through the Far West without leaving Madrid 

The Far West Territory guide includes four routes designed by the Community of Madrid as a tourist attraction and that want to publicize those scenarios that were filled with Indians and cowboys, cancan dancers and gunmen who resolved their game disputes with bullets.

The Northwest Route is the most important, since the main Madrid Westerns were filmed in La PedrizaColmenar Viejo and Hoyo de Manzanares.

La Pedriza was chosen very early as a location due to its resemblance to some American landscapes. What is believed to have been the first Madrid western, “Oro vil”, by Eduardo García Maroto, was filmed here in 1941, a totally Spanish production. If it was really a western it is something difficult to verify, since no copy is conserved and there are not many data that have come down to us about this film. Be that as it may, the film was not very successful. 25 years later, Clint Eastwood and Eli Wallach would star in a scene from “The Good, the Bad Ugly and the Ugly” among their characteristic rocky areas, which today belong to the Cuenca Alta del Manzanares National Park.

Colmenar Viejo holds several records: in this town what is considered the first replica of a town in the American West in Europe was built and it is the Madrid municipality where the most films of this genre have been shot. In the natural space of the dehesa de Navalvillar, four kilometers from the urban center, up to five active sets coexisted simultaneously.

Recently, in 2016, it was the location of the last film of the genre, Parada en el infierno , in which the director Víctor Matellano rescues the old western myths.

Hoyo de Manzanares also played a very relevant role, as the western town of Golden City was built there in 1962, probably the first stable town in Europe, which today can be explored using augmented reality through the ViveHoyo app . In 1964, Sergio Leone filmed the movie “A Fistful of Dollars” on this set. In this replica of an American town, which reproduced a main street dominated by a saloon and a cantina, more than 50 films of the genre were filmed.

Torremocha de JaramaTalamanca de JaramaAlgeteDaganzo de ArribaAlcalá de Henares and Nuevo Baztán are the towns that make up the Eastern Route of the Far West Territory. For several years they were transformed into ranches and Confederate forts. At that time, the Rio Grande border was located on the outskirts of Alcalá de Henares, by art and magic of the seventh art.

Aranjuez is one of the most cinematographic towns in Madrid. It is integrated into the South Route of the western scenarios, of which Colmenar de Oreja, Titulcia and Ciempozuelos are part.

In 1972, Charlton Heston filmed Ken Annakin's “La selva blanca” (White Fang), in Aranjuez; Ricardo Blasco's Zorro rode and forged his legend in Colmenar de Oreja, since “Las tres espadas del Zorro” (The 3 Swords of Zorro) (1963) and “El Zorro rode otra vez” (Behind the Mask of Zorro) (1964) were filmed in this town. And the Coyote, the anonymous hero with a mask brought to life by the Barcelona writer José Mallorquí, jumped into the cinema led by Joaquín L. Romero Marchent, near Titulcia, in Los Cortados, a breathtaking territory with impressive vertical walls.

The southwestern route of Madrid's Far West Territory leads us to Villamanta , Aldea del Fresno and Pelayos de la Presa , where the typical train scenes were shot and Mexican forts and towns were built. The Alberche River, as it passed through the municipality of Aldea del Fresno, was also transformed into the Rio Grande for one of the locations of the movie “A Fistful of Dollars”, by Sergio Leone.

La Casa de Campo, a 'western' setting

The Casa de Campo was another of the recurring locations of the Madrid westerns. There, “Torrejón City was filmed in 1962, a comedy set in the west and starring Tony Leblanc. Two years later, the Toledo pavilion built for the Feria del Campo would be used for the mythical “A Fistful of Dollars” for its stone walls and Toledo-style patios. From there, other productions would return to this building, now remodeled and converted into a restaurant. The pine forests of Casa de Campo were not unrelated to other film genres, as well-known North American films such as “Spartacus”, by Stanley Kubrick (1960) or “Chimes at Midnight” were shot there by Orson Welles (1965).

Who Are Those Composers? ~ Georg Riedel


Georg Riedel was born on January 8, 1934 in Karlovy Vary, Czechoslovakia. He is a double bass player and composer. Riedel migrated to Sweden at the age of four and attended school in Stockholm, including the Adolf Fredrik's Music School.

The best known recording featuring Riedel is probably Jan Johansson's Jazz på svenska ("Jazz in Swedish"), a minimalist-jazz compilation of folk songs recorded in 1962–1963, though Riedel has also recorded with other leading Swedish musicians including trumpeter Jan Allan and Arne Domnérus.

Riedel's profile as a composer derives almost exclusively from writing music for Astrid Lindgren movies, including the main theme from the Emil i Lönneberga ("Emil of Maple Hills") movies. He also composed the music for several films by Arne Mattsson in the 1960s as well as for film adaptions of novels by Stig Dagerman. Riedel also played on Jazz at the Pawnshop in 1977.


RIEDEL, Georg (aka herr Georg Riedel) [1/8/1934, Karlovy Vary, Czechoslovakia -     ] – composer, songwriter, arrangement, musician.

Wild West Story – 1963 (co)

Special Birthdays


Hans Joachim Scholermann (actor) would have been 130 today, he died in 1969.






Rolf Romer (screenwriter, actor) would have been 8d today, he died in 2000.






Mino Sferra (actor) is 60 today. 

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Spaghetti Western Locations for “A Bullet for the General”


We continue our search for filming location for “A Bullet for the General”. After the train has run over the officer and continues on it is attacked by ‘El Chuncho’. Tate climbs into the engine and kills the engineer and when one of ‘El Chuncho’s’ men attempts to board the engine he shoots and kills him also. Finding a pair of handcuffs on one of the dead soldiers in the coal car he puts them on. Stopping the train ‘El Chuncho’ and his men arrive and kill the remaining soldiers. 

The scene was shot on the Guadix railway line in the Hernan Valley.

For a more detailed view of this site and other Spaghetti Western locations please visit my friend Yoshi Yasuda’s location site: and Captain Douglas Film Locations

Madrid, the biggest set of western spaghetti (Part 1)


Distrito Castellana norte Madrid

September 12, 2020

More than 200 western films have been shot in Madrid, many more than in the province of Almería, generally more associated with this genre.

The regional government has published the Far West Territory guide with routes to explore the landscapes that were the scene of this film genre.

The Madrid region played a very important role in the development of the European western, which emerged when this film genre seemed exhausted in Hollywood. These productions achieved world fame thanks to some Italian directors for whom the subgenre was baptized as "spaghetti westerns". During the 1960s and 1970s of the 20th century, more than thirty towns in Madrid were transformed into film sets. The Community of Madrid has collected all these film locations in the Far West Territory guide.

Madrid, the Hollywood of the West

Javier Ramos Altamira, historian, documentary maker, author of the book El cine del Oeste en la Comunidad de Madrid and advisor to the guide , defines Madrid as “the Hollywood of the West” due to the important role it played in the western spaghetti boom . The region had already become a great set at the initiative of international directors who decided to shoot in Madrid because it was cheaper and had good film studios, technicians and specialists. Madrid was considered from the 50s and early 60s as an attractive cinematographic location for other genres, and brought together numerous Hollywood stars for blockbusters such as Salomón y la Reina de Saba or55 days in Beijing .

The first westerns that took advantage of the resemblance of Madrid's natural landscapes to North Americans were Spanish and American productions. Among them, “The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw” stands out, directed in 1958 by Raoul Walsh, a film for which the first western town in Spain was built, in the town of Colmenar Viejo.

But the final impulse, which marked the character of the so-called western spaghetti, came with the Italian director Sergio Leone and his film “A Fistful of Dollars” (1964), with a then unknown Clint Eastwood as the protagonist and with the soundtrack by Ennio Morricone. The first title of the Dollar Trilogy saga was a before and after for the director, the actor and the musician and for the European version of the western, which took off with great momentum. Leone also shot the other two installments in Madrid, “For a Few Dollars More” (1965) and “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” (1966).

More than 200 western films shot in Madrid

In the Madrid region, more than 200 films were shot of the more than 500 Western films that were filmed in Europe. "Most people associate this cinematographic subgenre with Almería and its desert landscapes, but few people know that many more spaghetti westerns were shot in Madrid than in the scenery and landscapes of Almería", affirms Javier Ramos Altamira. Something that will probably never happen, "because, unlike Almería, in Madrid the decorations have not been preserved", explains this expert.

At first, the films shot in the Old Continent emulated the American films of the genre, but the Italian director Sergio Leone "turned the traditional western style upside down", according to Ramos Altamira, for whom European Westerns are characterized by offering a more realistic vision of the Wild West, with "dustier towns and ragged cowboys." “The stories are more violent and are recreated in the shootings; The close-ups of eyes, boots and revolvers are also very characteristic, adding drama and intensity to the scene”, details Ramos Altamira, but the most characteristic ingredient is the music, which adds a lot of tension.

Initially, the American industry denounced the European version of its Western films, although, finally, it ended up adopting the model due to the success they achieved. Even some production companies, like Paramount Pictures, shot in Spain.

Hollywood stars did not want to be left out. Raquel Welch, Robert Mitchum, Claudia Cardinale, Alain Delon, Gina Lollobrigida and Burt Reynolds are just a sample of the cast of actors who shot some films in the European version of American Westerns in the Community of Madrid.

The Rojo compound is now remodeled and converted into a restaurant. The pine forests of Casa de Campo were not unrelated to other film genres, as well-known North American films such as “Spartacus”, by Stanley Kubrick (1960) or “Chimes at Midnight” were shot there by Orson Welles (1965).

[To be Continued] 


Special Birthdays


Rino Genovese (actor) would have been 115 today, he died in 1967.






Horst Kube (actor) would have been 100 today, he died in 1976.




Goyo Lebrero (actor) would have been 100 today, he died in 1990.






Rolf Arndt (actor) is 90 today.

Montserrat Carulla is 90 today.






Antonio Margheriti (aka Anthony Dawson) (director, screenwriter) wouold have been 90 today, he died in 2002.






Derek Nimmo (actor) would have been 90 today, he died in 1999.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Spaghetti Western Trivia: Clint Eastwood’s contract for “A Fistful of Dollars”


Director Steve Carver (Lone Wolf McQuade) directed “Arena” (1973) which was filmed in Rome. While there several of the crew rented a large house or villa and one of their frequent guest would show up and cook dinner for the group on a regular basis. His name was Sergio Leone. He and Steve became friends and Steve was given a copy of the original contract of Clint Eastwood’s for “Fistful of Dollars”. Steve e-mailed me a copy last week. I translated the body of the contract which you will see the original Italian and then English translation. 


Original Italian


 La Societa in indirizzo ha chiesto l’approvazione del contratto stipulato in data 4 marzo c.a., tramite la William Morris Organisation di Roma, con il Sig. Clint Eastwood di nazionalita americana, in base al quale questi si e impegnato a prestare la sua attivata artistica nel film “Il Magnifico Straniero” per un periodo di dieci settimane consecutive.


In corrispettivo delle sue prestazioni professionali il predetto attore avra diritto a percepire i seguenti emolumenti:


-        compenso forfettario di $13.500 (dollari tredicimilacin-quecento) da pagarasi, nel controvalore in lire italiane, alla predetta William Morris Organisation, Via Nomentana n.60, Roma;

-        diaria settimanale di $400 (dollari quattrocento) da corrispondere nel controvolare in lire italiane, durante il periodo delle lavorazioni in Italia.

-        pro-rata temporis di $215 (dollari duecentoquindici) al giorno per prestazioni artistiche eccedenti il periodo suijodicato.

-        rimborso delle spese di viaggio per due persone in  I Classe Los Angeles-Roma e ritorno.


In relazione a quanto precede, si comunica il benestare di questo Ministero all’esecuzione de contraito in questione. 


Dated 14 / 7/ 1964


English translation


The Company in address requested the approval of the contract stipulated on 4 March ca, through the William Morris Organization of Rome, with Mr. Clint Eastwood of American nationality, on the basis of which he has undertaken to lend his artistic activity in the film “Il Magnifico Straniero” for a period of ten consecutive weeks.

In consideration of his professional services, the aforementioned plaintiff will be entitled to receive the following emoluments:

        - flat-rate compensation of $ 13,500 (thirteen thousand-five hundred dollars) to be  

          paid, in the equivalent in Italian lire, to the aforementioned William Morris

          Organization, Via Nomentana 60, Rome;
        - weekly allowance of $ 400 (four hundred dollars) to be paid in the counter-issue in

           Italian lire, during the period of work in Italy.
        - pro-rata temporis of $ 215 (two hundred and fifteen dollars) per day for artistic

          performances exceeding the indicated period.
        - reimbursement of travel expenses for two people in I Class Los Angeles-Rome and


In relation to the above, the approval of this Ministry for the execution of the contract in question is communicated.

Dated 7/14/1964


“Once Upon a Time in Spaghetti Westerns” with podcast #18 ~ “Two Mysterious Baddies”


Once Upon a Time in Spaghetti Westerns Podcast #18 “Two Mysterious Baddies”
Join Jay Jennings and myself today at high noon PST for the “Once Upon a Time in Spaghetti Westerns” with podcast #18 ~ “Two Mysterious Baddies” as we discuss the careers of two of the most mysterious actors of the genre George Wang and Al Mulock.

RIP Roger Carel


French actor and voice dubber Roger Carel died September 11, 2020 in Aigre, Charente, France. He was 93. He was born Roger Bancharel on August 14, 1927 in Paris and after a brief acting career found fame as a voice dubber. Approached by Disney he became inseparable from around forty cartoon characters, such as that of Mickey Mouse, Kaa the snake from “Jngle Book. In “Winnie the Pooh” he manages to play both the famous little bear and Coco Rabbit and Piglet at the same time. Alf in the eponymous television series, Kermitt the frog from the "Muppet Show", Fred Flintstone and even the droid C-3PO from the Star Wars saga are all characters to which Roger Carel lent his voice. Among his Euro-westerns that he dubbed are Roberto Camardiel in “The Man from Nowhere” (1966), Ming Foo Lee, Mathias Bones in the Lucky Luke film series and Jolly Jumper on the 1983-1984 TV series. He was also the French voice of Asterix in 1994’s “Asterix in America”.