Marlon Brando, Katherine Hepburn, Kirk Douglas, Stanley Kubrick, Vanessa Redgrave, Robert Mitchum, Hugh Grant, Ridley Scott, Orson Welles….it sounds like the cast of an exclusive Hollywood party from the days when Hollywood knew how to party; but in fact it’s a list of some of the stars who have made films in the province of Guadalajara in Castilla La Mancha.
Orson Welles made a few films in Spain, and chose the tiny town of Brihuega to shoot some scenes from his movie The Immortal Story, a town which he somehow managed to transform into the 19th century Chinese port of Macao.
Brihuega, an attractive walled town, was also the scene of a battle and siege on the 8th December 1710 during the War of Spanish Succession when a British army led by Lord James Stanhope was surrounded and forced to surrender (keep it quiet please) to a greatly superior army led by the future King Felipe V, ancestor of the current Spanish monarch.
Kirk Douglas finished off Spartacus, in more senses than one, near Madrid, where the final battle scene was filmed using readily available Spanish soldiers at the Dehesa de Navalvillar near Colmena Viejo, with a brief scene of ‘before and after’ crucified slaves in the main square of Iriépal.
Katherine Hepburn and Vanessa Redgrave spent a whole summer filming The Trojan Women at the medieval village of Atienza, whose looming castle portrayed the conquered walls of Troy.
Robert Mitchum and Yul Brynner retold the story of Pancho Villa, filmed partly in the tiny village of El Casar.
In one of his earliest films, Hugh Grant played Lord Byron, and first met Liz Hurley in a Spanish film made in English. Apart from the windswept beaches of Asturias, among the locations of Rowing in the Wind was the Monastery of Lupiana, which was also a location for another Spanish film shot in English, the El Escorial Conspiracy.
Both Ridley Scott and John Glen chose the Parador of Sigüenza for their government subsidized homages to Columbus on the 500th anniversary of his getting lost somewhere near India, in 1492 and The Discovery respectively.
Not a bad record for a province that most people pass through, if at all, on their way elsewhere.
Like Scott and Glen, we have also chosen the Parador at Sigüenza for our second set-jetting, cinema tourism event on March 11th 2017.
There, once again, we will be creating a film route so that groups of tourists can visit the locations, see extracts from the relevant films and of course enjoy the wonderful food, wine, scenery and monuments that Guadalajara has to offer.
Like our event in the Parador at Cuenca on February 4th 2017, everyone is welcome and admission is free. From 4 to 8 pm.
We will also announce the creation of ‘España de Cine,’ a non-profit making association for cinema lovers interested in the possibilities that Cinema Tourism offers Spain.
Speakers for SIGÜENZA 11 MARCH 2017 – Isra Calzado Lopez: Guadalajara, Provincia de Película. https://isracalzadolopez.com/