Orson Welles used to say that Spain isn’t so much a country as a continent, due to its wide variety of unspoilt scenery, which is why he made so many films in Spain.
Cinema tourism is an undeniable fact; you only need to ask the delighted authorities in New Zealand, where they are still reaping the benefits of visitors attracted by the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Movies Made in Spain is a book about the locations used in over 700 English language films made wholly or partly in Spain to give visitors to Spain some added value along with its attractive scenery, impressive monuments and world-famous gastronomy.
The book is by English and History teacher and author Bob Yareham. Working from Valencia he created a guide for those tourists who were pleased and surprised to find that Seville not only has wonderful restaurants and monuments but also practically all of the palaces and interiors used in Lawrence of Arabia, as well as one from Star Wars II.
Set-jetters (cinema tourists) can find Katherine Hepburn’s Troy (The Trojan Women 1971) in a tiny village of Guadalajara, or Spielberg’s prisoner of war camp (Empire of the Sun) in Cádiz province, or the location of the final scene of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly near Burgos, although most of the other spaghetti westerns were of course shot in the deserts and dunes of Almeria or the prairie land north east of Madrid.
There are few important directors or stars that have not filmed in Spain, creating a cinema heritage here which may explain why Spanish actors (Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem) and directors (Amenabar, Almodóvar) are so successful today.
Classics such as Doctor Zhivago, 55 Days at Peking and Patton were all made here, and more recently, Cloud Atlas, The Dictator, Kingdom of Heaven, Clash (and Wrath) of the Titans, Knight and Day, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade or Green Zone.
‘Movies Made in Spain’ shows where and when different scenes were shot, which famous monuments were used, where the stars stayed and what amusing anecdotes are still told by the thousands of Spanish extras who have made up the armies of Mark Anthony, Rommel, Richard the Lionheart, Richard III or Cromwell.
The author hopes the book will attract a more culturally demanding visitor to Spain, visiting some of the less popular locations, and moving away from the dependence on sun, sand and sangria (although everyone has a right to a good time).
The book has been published by the Valencian publishing company Obrapropia and can be bought in paper or electronic (the e-book includes 50 original photos) form at: