This Last Slide is Going to Be a Long One…

Eyes, shifting, waiting, waiting, waiting

It figures prominently in one of the most famous movie scenes in the world, the sun reflecting off its rows of headstones as Clint Eastwood tersely stared down his companions in a final showdown.

But while The Good, The Bad and The Ugly went on to become one of the world’s best-known westerns and turned Eastwood into a major film star, the set of the fictitious Sad Hill cemetery, located in northern Spain, did not fare as well.

Measuring 300 metres in diameter and featuring more than 5,000 grave markers, the cemetery was specially built for the famous denouement of the film by several hundred Spanish soldiers.

Now overgrown with weeds and shrubs, the set of the cemetery in the province of Burgos, 140 miles north of Madrid, was abandoned after its stint as a backdrop in the film. “It’s been a bit forgotten over the past 50 years,” said David Alba. “Many people drive right by it without knowing that this is where parts of the film was shot.”

Quote from The Good, The Bad and The Dilapidated: cemetery where Eastwood became a star gets revamp (The Guardian)

Behind the Scenes

The huge cemetery is a stunning setting for the climactic discovery and duel, a circle of graves stretching to the horizon in a valley, within which is a central hub – a wheel of death. Production Designer Carlo Leva was asked by Leone to elaborate on the circular duel from For A Few Dollars More:

“Carlo, can you make an arena for me, with the stones positioned around it in a circle? It must be a circle…The Cemetery in The Good, The Bad And The Ugly was specially built for the film, when we found a valley that was suitable for it. Each grave looked like a pile of earth after a battle, with a wooden cross stuck into it. Because Sergio wanted this cemetery to have great presence, I decided to locate it within a civilian cemetery – with more noble columns or crosses or tombs here and there. And because he was difficult to please, the seven hundred graves soon became four thousand, five thousand!”

From Scene Is Believing: The Good, The Bad And The ugly (Cinetropolis)

About That GIF

See The Good, The Bad, and The Puppy (and some pondering on Making / Making of) (CogDogBlog a really fine blog)

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