when it was “normal” to run into Clint Eastwood on a street corner in Mini Hollywood in the Tabernas Desert

It was in the Tabernas Desert, in the province of Almería, in the far south of Spain, that most of the great westerns were shot: For a handful of dollars, and for a few more dollars, The good, the bad and the ugly, Once upon a Time in the West, My name is Nobody… Before, there was nothing here, until one day there was a problem with the shooting of the film Lawrence of Arabia (1962), directed by David Lean, over a thousand kilometers away …

The film was shot across the Mediterranean, in Africa, Mini Hollywood director Jose Maria Rodriguez Linde explains to the magazine ‘8:30 p.m. on Saturdays’ (replay). Political and military problems forced them to find these landscapes in a nearby area. It was then that they realized that Almeria could do the trick. The success of the shooting of this film allowed many other films to be shot here. It turned Almeria into a new cinema venue. “

“When they were making a movie in Hollywood, here we were making six”

A combination of circumstances that sparked a veritable gold rush. Europeans now all want to shoot their westerns in these settings built in Andalusia. “At the time, this place was called European Hollywood, remembers stuntman Diego Garcia. There were fourteen or fifteen sets. When they made a film in Hollywood, in the United States, here, we made six… “

“There were lots of people: directors, actors … And in Almeria, we almost always worked as extras, he specifies. When I was little, my family almost preferred me to go on a set rather than school … Here you would meet Clint Eastwood on the street. You looked like that… it was normal. “

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