Journey through the Andalucian cinema: discover the scenarios of the films shot in the south of Spain
Andalucia is a movie land. And this time in the most literal sense of the word. If you have bathed in the beaches of Cadiz and you thought you had seen Halle Berry coming out of the water, or Tom Cruise running the San Fermines in Seville, perhaps you’re right. The 8 Andalucian provinces have been showing their film buff face for more than a century.
If you are left with the bug “in which movie have I seen this?” or you want to go to the places where the actors trod in your favorite movies, we’ll make a route along the south for you to not miss a single detail.
The province of Huelva has behind it a long list of short films, feature films and documentaries. The quality and variety of the landscapes have convinced all kinds of directors and producers. Thus, in the Cave of Wonders (Gruta de las Maravillas), Journey to the Center of the Earth, based on the novel by Jules Verne was filmed and the Indian superproducer, Bollywood, found in their villages the perfect location for their movie. Here we highlight a few more:
– Neverending Story.What child or adult has not seen this movie? Huelva became one of the places through which Atreyu or Bastian walked to save a mysterious world through the pages of a book.
— The Sleeping Voice. A 2011 film, which was shortlisted to go to the Oscars in the category of best foreign language film. This revolves around the life and relatives of a group of Republicans who are incarcerated in the post-Civil War era. For this it was filmed in the old provincial jail in Huelva and at places like the Mountain Range, a unique place for this kind of films because it “preserves the essence of that time in their sidewalks, houses and façades”.
Cadiz beaches still attract directors and producers who set their eyes and celluloid on record to immortalize the Cadiz landscapes in their Hollywood films:
– 007. Die Another Day. Who does not remember Halle Berry coming out of the water? This mythical scene of the movie that simulates Havana was shot on the beach of Caleta, along with James Bond who was none other than Pierce Brosnan. The Castle of Santa Catalina also had its star moment in this movie.
Seville is one of the Andalucian provinces where the most scenes have been filmed. Given its historical and cultural heritage, the multifaceted Seville has been given for both domestic productions and for Hollywood movies as well as for the famous HBO. Here you have some of them:
– National Films. Many of the recent Spanish productions have had Seville in the spotlight; this is the case of the popular Eight Basque Surnames that shot the first and last scenes of the film in the capital, giving protagonism to the neighborhood of Triana, the Tower of the Gold, the Giralda and the music of the group Los del Río.
Marshland (La Isla Mínima) also chose it to film. Specifically it did in the towns of Isla Mayor, Las Cabezas de San Juan and Coria del Río. The Guadalquivir marshes create a scenic environment that introduces you fully into the film.
– Spain Square. This monumental place has been given to “dress up” on numerous occasions. Thus, it has served as the palace of Aladeen, in the movie The Dictator and also the city of Theed, in the planet of Naboo, when the second part of Star Wars was recorded. Of course, it had the odd digital retouching.
– Tom Cruise. This actor, who deserves a section for him alone, has already passed through Seville a couple of times with two of his films. Mission Impossible II was the first of them and then came Night and Day, who he played alongside Cameron Diaz. In this film we can see them crossing the streets of Seville at full speed on a bike or, as incredible as it may seem, running the San Fermines, with the bullring of La Maestranza behind.
– Game of thrones. Today is one of the most watched series in the world and for this fifth season they decided to locate the Kingdom of Dorne in the Alcázar of Seville. Many scenes have also been filmed in Osuna.
Malaga can also boast about being a cinema city. Both national and international productions have wanted to leave their mark on the province and that this came out reflected through the screen, either by way of feature films or television series:
– Men who hate women (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). Malaga was the place that the director chose to film the final sequence of this Swedish film adaptation of the first book of Stieg Larsson. Specifically, he did so in the Pablo Ruiz Picasso Sea Promenade because the filmmaker saw in the Capital, the perfect adaptation of the Cayman Islands.
– Summer Rain. Filmed in 2006 and directed and produced by Antonio Banderas, it was filmed entirely in Malaga. Throughout the film, we can see scenarios of the capital and so well known places like Granada Street, with the bar El Pimpi as extra, Marmoles Street or Plaza de la Merced.
– The Bridge of San Luis Rey. The natural area of El Chorro or the bullring of Antequera in Malaga, were some of the scenarios of the shooting of The Bridge of San Luis Rey. Hundreds of locals acted as extras in the movie along with 2 renowned stars such as Robert De Niro and Geraldine Chaplin. The film was released in 2004 and it is set in the XVIIIth Century of colonial Peru.
– Rage. It is a series of Mediaset Spain in collaboration with Audiovisual Island which began filming in September and whose principal places are the Cities of Coin and Marbella. The outside of the shelter in which the protagonists will remain hidden have been recorded in Coin, as well as different action scenes that will involve escapes, persecutions, foraging and struggles between the protagonists. These scenes will take the protagonists to Marbella, where different sequences will be shot in the Fuerte Marbella Hotel. It promises to be a fictional series, combining thriller, action and suspense in which four protagonists, sick from a virus, decide to hide to survive the authorities and themselves, as that at any time they can develop the effects of rabies.
The charm of the city and the Arab undeniable appeal are two attractions to shoot period films in this province. It has also served as inspiration for famous Spanish renowned directors such as Almodovar.
– The kingdom of Heaven. This film in its beginnings was thought to be filmed in the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba, but a confrontation with the Council led them away and they left the capital to move to Palma del Río, to film the scenes in the Palacio de Portocarrero.
– Talk to Her. Cordoba and Lucena Talk to Her is a 2002 Spanish film, written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar. The director moved to Cordoba and to Lucena to shoot some of these scenes that months later would win him an Oscar for best original screenplay.
To think of Jaen as a movie land is also to think about the movie Alatriste. The cities of Ubeda and Baeza are the perfect place to host this film for the perfect state of preservation of its historic center, resembling those of the XVth and XVIth Centuries. Although it is also starring in more recent releases such as in the movie The Mule (La Mula), set in the Civil War and which was presented in 2013 at the Malaga Spanish Film Festival. We have something more to tell you about these two films:
– Alatriste. Although there were several scenes that were shot in other Andalucian provinces, it focused on the Jaen cities of Ubeda and Baeza. The adventures of this character created by Arturo Perez-Reverte and starring Viggo Mortensen were seen in the Gothic cloister of the Collegiate Church of St. Mary of the Royal Alcazar or Santo Domingo de Ubeda Square. Filming took place in Baeza, on the steps of the Jabalquinto Palace, the Cathedral, where shooting took place in the staircase or the Old University, among other places.
– The Mule. The Mule also came in 2009, adapting to film the novel by Juan Eslava Galán. It was shot in Lopera, Andújar and its hills and olive groves. They recreated scenes from the Spanish Civil War.
Granada has always been involved in many films. Specifically, in its capital, 212 films have been shot. The province is presented as an idyllic place for directors seeking a bohemian and distinctive touch to their films. That was the case of two foreign blockbusters and more recently, a Spanish series Do you know which they are?
– Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Although this movie’s scenes were also filmed in Almeria, we highlight the train station in the town of Guadix, in which one of the most important scenes with Harrison Ford was shot. They also added a Mosque next to the station to recreate a better atmosphere. That was manufactured, really, no digital retouching.
– Doctor Zhivago.This 1965 film, with actors like Omar Sharif and Geraldine Chaplin, was another of the movies that were filmed in Granada. The region of Granada and the Marquisate simulated the Ural Mountains of this five Oscar winning film.
– Isabel. One of the seasons of the hit series Isabel was filmed in the city, when, episode after episode, the conquest of Granada by the Catholic Monarchs was recreated. The Alhambra was the best set possible and streets like the Carrera del Darro were captured in the story.
Almeria is par excellence the land of western movies, also called spaghetti westerns. Although the movies and more recent series have been shot in the Almeria province, they have little to do with sheriffs and outlaws, the desert landscapes and desolate taverns remain highly valued by the directors both national and foreign.
– The Trilogy of the dollar. Also called The Man With No Name Trilogy. They are three films shot in the sixties. They are directed by Sergio Leone and starred by Clint Eastwood. The first was A Fistful of Dollars, followed by a Few Dollars and finally, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
– Never Say Never. The adventures of Agent 007 also passed through Almeria. A young Sean Connery wandered around Almeria landscapes while playing the famous James Bond on the big screen.
– Lawrence of Arabia. It was the first shooting, of large dimensions, that took place in the province. Although in the beginning, it was thought to be filmed in Jordan, in the end the recording of the movie from March to July was done in the Almeria province. The most spectacular of the film was shot in Cabo de Gata, blowing up a train. To do this, a 2.5 km route was built, and two full trains that were acquired from Renfe by the producer for the shoot were used. But it was also filmed in Coalmining areas and in “El Cautivo de Tabernas” Promenade, in which an oasis was built.
– Cleopatra. This 1963 film has as its protagonist, the young Liz Taylor and was shot in the Almeria province. Even today, being one of the most expensive movies in the entire history of the cinema with more than 40 million invested. The team was in Almeria 16 days, recording in Cabo de Gata and Tabernas.
– Exodus, gods and kings. It is the latest blockbuster filmed in Almeria ground. The director Ridley Scott chose taverns and Sierra Alhamilla to turn the viewer back, more than 3.000 years, and move him/her to Ancient Egypt, resurrecting the cities of Memphis and Pi-Ramses.
WHERE TO STAY
If you want to explore Andalucia in search of all the leads we have given you t olive the best cinema experience in southern Spain, the best option is Fuerte Hoteles. Its more than 50 years experience are the best guarantee to help you discover the secrets of each film, movie star or place you are looking for.