When the aircraft lines up for the final approach into Los Angeles airport, it is easy to understand why the Spanish settled in California. Looking down from that window in the sky, the land surrounding the City of The Angels looks exactly like Spain. Long rolling hills, scattered with scrub, tinder dry, wary of the smallest spark except that of the imagination. And much of the American south-west looks very similar; Arizona, New Mexico, Texas.
And Sergio Leone thought so too. If America looked like Spain, then Spain could look like America. He could use Almeria in the south-east of Spain to double for the American West. And it would probably be cheaper. Hopefully, a whole lot cheaper. The challenge was for Leone, an Italian, to shoot a movie in Spain and make it look like an authentic Western. With the right cameraman, a bit of smoke, a few mirrors, but most of all the right actors and a stunning soundtrack, Leone hoped you’d see two and two and add it up to make five. And that’s the magic of the movies.
Why Almeria? In the early part of the 20th century an earthquake had driven the sea back twenty miles. Rivers dried up. Water is precious there. So the
The landscape of Almeria near the village of Mojacar