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Author Topic: For a Few Dollar More - Special Event in Spain  (Read 7274 times)
Geronimo
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« on: June 07, 2005, 07:27:30 AM »

With the object to celebrate the 40 years since For a Few Dollars More was shoted on Almeria`s location, Almeria`s Cinema Association (CINEAL) along with the web site www.adiosgringo.com, have organized some events to carry out on August 5, 6 and 7 in Almeria (Spain).
Will be Aldo Sambrel (who played “cuchillo”) and Antonio Ruiz (the Mexican boy who talk with Clint when he gets to El Paso).Also researches like José Enrique (Spanish writer, author of “Almeria, un mundo de pelicula”) They will do several visits to the main set, with special dedication to El Paso, Aguascalientes and other unknown locations in Cabo de Gata - Nijar Natural Park.
It will have a round table conference and other surprises.
Inscription has a cost of 50 euros and includes all events and two lunches in the indicated
places.

People who want to attend can get information in cineal@telefonica.net

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Lin Sunderland
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« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2005, 07:47:12 AM »

Hey that sounds great.  Wish I could attend. I am sure it will be a success.    Thank you for posting it Geronimo. O0
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Philo Beddoe Jr
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« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2005, 08:19:06 AM »

Brilliant Geronimo 8).

Wish I could be there!

All the best from Australia.

WKC.
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Geronimo
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« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2005, 08:02:27 PM »

If I would have time and money.... take it for granted I would go. Anyway I hope visit Almeria someday.

Greeting from Chile gringos
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Lilly
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« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2005, 08:12:14 PM »

Sounds like a good event.  Lovely part of the world.

This is as close as I got to the "Mini Hollywood" site where much of the filming was done.



My friend took that from our geology minibus.  She knew about Clint before me.  We did field work very near by and I think actually in some of the ramblas that were used in For A Few Dollars More - but a lot of the landscape in those badlands looks alike.  I don't have my photos of those scanned, but this is the very rambla we were in.



(From Friedrich Lohmueller's site:
http://www.f-lohmueller.de/photo/spain/gf_p6.htm)

We had a really cool lecturer and I still have the field guide he made.  The front cover is a The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly poster, the one inscribed with "For three men the Civil War wasn't hell, it was practice!", but he changed "Civil War" for "field trip".  ;D  Oh those halcyon days... 8)
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Lin Sunderland
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« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2005, 02:15:45 AM »

Great post Lilly O0
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Geronimo
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« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2005, 08:37:40 AM »

I recommend anybody to want and can attend to this anniversary event. The organizing committee is the most acquainted people on the matter. Remember that For a Few Dollar More wasn’t the only Leone’s movie made there.   

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Kiwi Cowboy
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« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2005, 10:43:46 PM »

great photos
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Lilly
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« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2007, 03:54:40 PM »

Well I finally got back to Almeria and visited the location site for A Fistful of Dollars, amongst many other movies.  This is the one that used to be called "Mini Hollywood", but has since had a name change and is now marketed as "OASIS: Theme Park of the Tabernas-Almeria desert".

I was very disappointed, and somewhat disenchanted by the experience.  I could tell it was going to be commercialised, and at 18 euros to get in, you have to be keen, but it was far more tacky theme parky than I imagined.  The change of branding may reflect a change of strategy; I don't know what it was like before, but it is not really a western movie location anymore.  It's basically a cheesy, tacky kids-orientated theme park, with the western town being part of it.  And it isn't even very good at being that.

I'm amazed they didn't make more of the Eastwood/Leone connection specifically.  I've read that the owners couldn't resist repeatedly reminding you that it was the location for A Fistful of Dollars, but in my experience it was barely mentioned.  It was just westerns generally.  Although there was Morricone music piped throughout the "town" and the car park (another 2 euros for that!).  It really is a place for families, to entertain the kids, and not for movie buffs or Leone fans. 

The original set buildings are there, but there is nothing saying which films they were in, or mentioning the filmmakers.  It's only worth the money if you make it a day out with the kids, taking in the other incongruous features - the swimming pool and animal park (which fill as much if not more space than the western sets).  Even then it's tacky and half-hearted, and everything seems another way of getting money off you - pose with a dodgy fake Indian for a photo, another several euros.

The most interesting bits for me, other than knowing you were there, were the "Museum of Cinema" (rather grand name for a collection of movie cameras and other bits, but still interesting, and lots of western posters) and the carriage museum, with real carriages from the West, but again without explanation about which films, if any, they had been in.

The saddest part I think, is that many of the set buildings have been decorated to fit in with the western theme town, in obviously cheesy ways, and not kept in or restored to the way they looked in the films.  Most of them have been violated with drinks machines, video games, shops, and other ways of fleecing people.  The site is an opportunity for a homage to Leone and Eastwood, and spaghetti westerns generally, but that is almost completely overlooked.  I guess they decided there is more money to be made in attracting families on holiday with bored kids, than serious movie fans.  (And they are probably right - there were plenty of families parting with cash and looking happy, but I can't imagine a true fan being satisfied).  Some would no doubt spend a day, but I was round and out within an hour.  There are shows three times a day, "re-enacting" western scenes, but not from the films (thank goodness!), but you even have to pay again for those!  I didn't see one.

Sad and expensive.  Of course if you are there you have to do it, but I wouldn't get your expectations too high.  It should be said that there are two other movie set places to visit within a kilometre of the main one.  "Texas Hollywood" has "Fort Bravo" and an "Indian village", and "Western Leone" other similar stuff (it was used in Once Upon A Time in The West).  I went close but not into both, and they are apparently less commercialised, but still similar prices to get in, and I doubt you'd see much more of substance.  (They may be better for seeing particular movie pieces though, I'm not sure.)

I guess the real pleasure of being in Almeria is that you can enjoy the dramatic landscape, and get a feel for the general area.  It does feel like you are in an Eastwood/Leone movie, and there will be other places you could visit if you researched locations for specific scenes.  (I remember seeing a site linked here once with "now and then" photos, I think it was going to become a book.) 

When my film is developed I'll post pics of "Oasis" as it is now.  For now, here are scans of the leaflet you get upon entering.  It makes it look a lot better than it is, but you can probably discern the tone of the place.  It's folded so the order isn't as you'd see it.

These are quite big images so that the text is readable, so I'll just post thumbnails linked to the full size.









These four just show portions of the "map" showing what's there.  It's a lot smaller than it seems.







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Lilly
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« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2007, 04:15:12 PM »

Here's the site with other named locations and nice "then and now" photos.  http://www.ramon.btinternet.co.uk/sw/index.html

The For A Few Dollars More page, in particular, shows good comparisons of the town of "El Paso" and the theme park.  This is exactly the sort of thing that should be at the actual place.

The knowledgeable folks on the Leone board have a few threads on this too.  And they seem to share my opinion.  http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=5645.0  Elsewhere on that board there are more photos/detail on other (free!) locations used in the movies.

Do we have info on the locations in northern Spain?
« Last Edit: August 11, 2007, 04:28:44 PM by Lilly » Logged
The Schofield Kid
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« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2007, 04:29:56 PM »

Thanks for the link Lilly.

Those comparison photo's were cool. 8)
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« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2007, 04:33:57 PM »

Yeah they are nice.  I definitely think if anyone is going to Almeria, and has enough time there, it is worth properly planning and finding out the other locations in the area, not just the advertised site.  Perhaps that's a project for the board - to catalogue the places in a dedicated thread.
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Lilly
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« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2007, 04:40:43 PM »

A 20 second Spanish TV commercial for Oasys.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1z0KTlSqlM
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Lin Sunderland
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« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2007, 01:17:37 AM »

Thank you Lilly for the informative posts on your trip.    It had crossed my mind to one day visit the area, however now I wont bother.   I would be interested in seeing the none commercial places and trying to match them to the movies.   You are right it is a tourist attraction for the none movie buff with perhaps just a little to show the Spaghetti Westerns were ever shot in that location.  OK so Clint does feature on the leaflet but where are the sets and costumes?    It is a pity no one else on here had been there so you knew what to expect to have to pay and what little you would see.   Your idea of a catalogue showing other places sounds a great idea.  Don't we have some members from Spain who have more knowledge of the Almeria district and the movie sites?
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desertrider
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« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2007, 11:37:52 PM »

Hola people

We are English yet now live in Tabernas in Almeria where the films were shot.

I personally agree with you in regards to the theme park of 'Oasys'.  It realy is very commercialized and mostly just for kids.  Hardly any mention at all that Clint was ever there!!  "Fort Bravo" however is more authentic and is slightly cheaper to get in, (14 euros).  It is much smaller than Oasys but has had hardly anything done to it as the owner, Rafa, derives most of his income from film companies that still use it to shoot films and commericals there.  The latest being a Spanish comedy western called '800 ballas'.  The income from tourists amounts to about 30%. 

We moved here to set up a holiday horse riding business as we wanted to give people the opportuntiy to ride where Clint rode in some of his westerns here!  Also, the scenery is truly dramatic..

Hope to see and hear from you all soon!

Hasta pronto!
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Hola!  Come and ride where Clint rode his horses in some of his famous Westerns in Tabernas, Almeria.   Visit our site, www.desertridersspain.com for all the info you will need!  Hasta pronto!
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« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2007, 05:40:38 AM »

Hola people

We are English yet now live in Tabernas in Almeria where the films were shot.

I personally agree with you in regards to the theme park of 'Oasys'.  It realy is very commercialized and mostly just for kids.  Hardly any mention at all that Clint was ever there!!  "Fort Bravo" however is more authentic and is slightly cheaper to get in, (14 euros).  It is much smaller than Oasys but has had hardly anything done to it as the owner, Rafa, derives most of his income from film companies that still use it to shoot films and commericals there.  The latest being a Spanish comedy western called '800 ballas'.  The income from tourists amounts to about 30%. 

We moved here to set up a holiday horse riding business as we wanted to give people the opportuntiy to ride where Clint rode in some of his westerns here!  Also, the scenery is truly dramatic..

Hope to see and hear from you all soon!

Hasta pronto!

I saw 800 ballas ... it was a charming little film and I enjoyed it quite a lot.

Thanks for your posts, desertrider.
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