Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mojácar Movies

They used to shoot films in Mojácar, back in the 1950s and through until the 1970s and in the days before the place was trashed. In all, about a dozen were made. The most famous one is 'Sierra Maldita', a film made by the ‘rojo’ director Antonio del Amo in 1953. The story tells of a ‘barren’ girl who lives in the dry and miserable top half of the ‘Pueblo de Arriba’ and her suitor, who comes from the fecund bottom half of the same township, where there is water and the girls will make better wives. He courts the heroine, has a fight against the baddie with axes while out in the forests preparing charcoal, and eventually wins the girl’s hand… and has lots of babies. It’s not bad, actually. The ‘top half’ of the pueblo was shot in Mojácar (the ‘bottom half’ in Níjar) and you can see the broken-down state of Mojácar in those days, when the population was only around 600 souls, and the film crew had to leave their transport in the river-bed and take donkeys up to the village!
‘El Beso de Judás’ (directed by Rafael Gil) was shot the same year in various locations, including Mojácar, Pulpí and Aguilas (All looking something presumably like Jerusalem).
In 1962, ‘Marcha o Muere’ (‘Marcia o Crepa’ original), a flick about the French Foreign Legion with Stewart Granger, was shot partially in Pulpí, Cuevas and Mojácar (Lawrence of Arabia was being filmed elsewhere in Almería at the same time).
Twenty three chapters of an American TV show called ‘The Rat Patrol’ were filmed in Almería in 1966, including scenes in Mojácar.
Robert Siodmark directed his 'Custer of the West' in 1966, filming in Almería with some scenes in Mojácar. My Dad met the star, Robert Shaw, in the Parador hotel and was apparently rude to him in the lavatories. I’m sure they are both sorry now.
'Fliegender Sand', a German production, was filmed partly in Mojácar in 1967, and a Spanish/German co-production called ‘Cantando a la Vida’, about a Eurovision singer who has disappeared, starring Massiel, was filmed the following year entirely in Mojácar.
In the seventies, several films were made in Mojácar, including Orson Wells’ ‘Treasure Island’ in 1972. My dad lent him an old Renault 4 and a driver, Michel Meynard. The two hit it off and spent most of the film – a wretched picture shot on ‘Treasure Island beach’ along the way past Macenas – drinking. They would play checkers with glasses of brandy and anis with the deal that you drank your enemy’s pieces.
'The Final Programme' was filmed partly in Mojácar in 1973, a rather obscure SciFi film by Robert Fuest and starring Jon Finch (who made several films in Spain around that time, while residing in Mojácar).
Silvio Narizzano, a Canadian who lived in Mojácar for many years, made ‘The Sky is Falling’ (‘Las Flores del Vicio’) with Dennis Hopper (who, I’m afraid to say, my dad kicked up the arse in a bar one night). The film was remarkably bad and was shot in Mojácar and Bédar. Here’s the storyline from ‘’: ‘Chicken, a desperate hippie junkie living in a small Spanish village, is finding it difficult to separate fantasy and reality. This isn't helped by the villagers practising magic and child sacrifice, or his involvement with a group of boozy ex-patriates lost in their own dreams and regrets’. Silvio didn’t like my mother much, and named one of the characters after her.
‘Night Child', a psychological horror film with Mark Lester (he had found fame with ‘Oliver’) and Britt Ekland, was shot in 1974, partly in Paul Polanski’s house (Ric’s older brother). The film was directed by Andrés Vicente Gómez.
Finally, apart from a bad porn film shot in a hotel room of the Moresco, and an advert for chocolates (a fleeting glimpse of our house as the hero arrives '...because the Lady prefers ...Black Magic'), the seventies closed with four chapters of the popular Spanish TV series ‘Curro Romero’ being filmed locally in 1976 and 1977.
Some material from here.

1 comment:

Lucas said...

Hello, the rather bad porn movie with the actor "Tony ¿Skios?" , who later had a bar on the beach, was that not recorded in the Hotel Mojacar with a few scenes shot at the bar with the "window" to the pool, or were there two bad porn films?