By George Palmer
June 2, 1970
A NUMBER of Cincinnati theaters and drive-ins will share the world premier of the new film “El Condor.”
Star of the picture is the former football great of the Cleveland Browns, Jim Brown. He and his co-star Lee Van Cleef, will arrive in Cincinnati on June 14 and remain here through the 17 premier date.
The film will open simultaneously at the 20th Century, Princeton, State Cinema, Ferguson, Jolly Roger, Twin. Pike 27and the new Cinema I and II in Newport.
“El Condor” is a story set in the American west and the rocky wastes of the Mexican desert around 1867 – shortly after the conclusion of the Civil War.
MEXICO THEN WAS still in a state of revolution. Napoleon III, to collect a debt from Mexico, had sent a French army of conquest.
Oddly enough, or perhaps not so oddly in today’s film world, the picture’s outdoor locales were shot in the mountainous regions of Almeria, Spain.
Producer Andre De Toth had first discovered this area when he filmed “Lawrence of Arabia” there. It took a work force of some 240 men 14 weeks to construct the outer walls, ramparts and gates of the fortress El Condor.
Walls 80 feet high were constructed. The fortress area covered 111,000 square feet. Transportation of building materials called for 186 trucks to ply between Almeria and the filming site.
FIGURES TO construct a movie set are somewhat staggering - a whole village could be built for real. For instance, the trucks hauled in 400 tons each of sand and cement, 230,000 gallons of water, 30,000 pounds of nails, 60,000 square feet of wood and gallons upon gallons of paint.
In the film Brown and Van Cleef are two adventurers who attempt to find and conquer the mighty fortress where a vast amount of gold is stored.
Mariana Hill portrays the sultry mistress of a tyrannical Mexican general played by Patrick O’Neal.
REPORTS ARE that “El Condor” gives the muscular Brown his best screen role to date. Then 34 year old star now in a second career stands 6 foot 2 inches, and sports a 45 1/2 inch chest and a 32 inch waist.,”
Brown’s previous films include “The Dirty Dozen,” “The Mercenaries,” “tick…tick…tick,” and currently on local screens “The Grasshoipper.”
[submitted by Mike Hauss]