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Mirage in the desert: The abandoned Spaghetti Western movie sets still littered across the Spanish countryside that Hollywood left behind 50 years ago (22 Pics)

  • Cheap labor and barren landscapes in Almeria were the ideal location for US studios in the '60s and '70s 

  • 'Lawrence of Arabia,' '100 Rifles,' Cleopatra,' and 'Man with No Name Trilogy' were all filmed there 

  • Westerns were filmed in Fort Bravo/Texas Hollywood, Mini Hollywood, Western Leone and El Condor

  • With time, the barren sets left behind would become almost ghost town-like in their mystery

  • Throughout the '60s and early '70s, cheap labor and barren landscapes in Almeria, Spain, served as the ideal location for United States studios looking to make films about the Wild West, North Africa and galaxy. A sign reads 'Texas Hollywood' at Fort Bravo where many popular movies were filmed

    Originally used by film director Sergio Leone for 'A Fistful of Dollars', 'For a Few Price' and 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly', which lead to the Spaghetti Western genre, today the ghost town it is still used to shoot many different types of films

    Actors Jim Brown, Burt Reynolds and Raquel Welch on the set of '100 Rifles' which was written and directed by Tom Gries and filmed in Almeria because it was cheaper, in 1969. Gries caught Typhus during the shoot and was hospitalized for three days

    Following the success of A Fistful of Dollars (1964)

    Sergio Leone commissioned Carlo Simi to construct an entire Western town for the second title in the trilogy, For a Few Dollars More. It would be known as Little Hollywood 

    As the Franco Regime finished it's last leg in Spain, the economy continued expanding and land prices steadily increased. Government focus soon turned from maintaining the international rapport with America and began focusing on national entertainment. A stuntman rides a horse in the town that is mostly used for giving tours

    The Desert of Tabernas houses this deserted set that looks like an old town. Mark Parascandola, a photographer born in Wisconsin but of Almerian descent, was fascinated with the plethora of abandoned sets whenever he would go back and visit the province with his family

    In Once Upon a Time In Almeria: The Legacy of Hollywood in Spain, a new book detailing the ten years he worked with local historians to document various locations, Parascandola captures the familiarity of the American settings in a foreign place

    Charles Bronson on the set of Red Sun which also starred Bond girl Ursula Andress. The movie was shot in Almeria

    The film Shalako was filmed in Almeria with Sean Connery and produced by Euan Lloyd (1968) 

    A Makeshift church sits at Fort Bravo surrounded by barracks (Cuartel in Spanish) and other miscellaneous town buildings 

    Stunt performers routinely perform in shows for the numerous tourists who come to Fort Bravo

    A old Grand Central Bank set building lies in the shadow of the evening and is housed next to a gun shop and western hotel

    Beatles legend John Lennon getting his food while working on the set of How I Won The War. It would be the musician's first straight acting role in a movie (1967)

    But Westerns weren't the only films American studios shot in Almeria. The award winning Patton (1970) had its African and Sicilian scenes shot in the province. George C Scott pictured

    A hanging scaffold prop sits in the middle of the street. There is still a noose tied to the wooden structure

    A deserted jail cell in Almeria was part of the film set at Fort Bravo/Texas Hollywood

    Paint peels off these swinging doors leading to an uncertain and mysterious location

    A lone American flag is placed in the middle of what looks like a fortress or barrack for an armed force

    Stunt actors get in a fight during a performance for tourists in Almeria

    The sun sets in Almeria but lights remain on in a few of the deserted structures in this now popular tourist destination

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