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Sunken treasures await your re-discovery: Blog 2016 / Blog 2017
"I always keep my word, I'll send him right where he told me to go ...HELL!"
July 2018
This Blog will be offering a colorful kaleidoscope of movie magic for cinema aficionados.
Crispy peanuts, thin-skinned baloons and thrilling sensations on celluloid.
See offbeat goodies and magic crumbs ...weekly!
The Reality behind the Fantasy! - The Story behind the Spectacle!
No inflated endlessly long stories, but short and crisp. 
'This is Helmet time!'
Photos beat content!
Welcome to the manege of madness! - Have a pleasant trip!

Gina Lollobrigida (Sheba) is captivated by the acclaimed show presented in the world-renowned bullring of Madrid, 
the Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas, 1959.
She attended the bullfight event as some kind of 'special guest' on a day off during the production of the glamorous 
Super Technirama 70 roadshow costume adventure 'Solomon and Sheba' in Madrid.
Moved and fascinated, Gina watches the dance of the torero with the bull.
The lavish 'Solomon and Sheba' production, conducted by King Vidor, was overshadowed by the tragic death of Solomon #1, Tyrone Power.
An enormous plywood Set was built for the movie on the backlot of the Sevilla Films Studios (Madrid), 
The Temple of Jerusalem.
Here you find a little story about the key set piece: Everything only facade!
You will also find some more photos of the bullring in Madrid there.
Bob Mitchum was in the Spanish Capital for the filming of the Buzz Kulik Western 'Villa Rides' and 
of course visited the impressive bullring 'Las Ventas'.
Who is the greatly admired bullfighter? He probably dedicated a bull to Gina.
See more of Gina Lollobrigida here: Bad Man's River.

The great old pioneer of the exploration of Almeria's film history, José Enrique Martínez Moya, has sent me his new book.
'Se busca... Tras la pista de Sergio Leone'.
An interesting concept, a detailed 'Travel Guide' to the Spanish filming locations of the popular Sergio Leone 'Spaghetti Western'.
The small format paperback, which you can easily carry in your backpack, is full to the brim with information about the Leone movies 
and their locations, where to find them, and how to get there.
Lot's of photos and homemade maps help you to find the traces of the legendary Italian Director Sergio Leone.
This is what you need for your visit in the desert of Almeria - The Leone Tourist Guide!
Due to the size of the book the photos are unfortunately too often very small.
But even if you do not understand Spanish, this little guide can be of great help to you.
Recommended for Leone & Almeria aficionados!
The very relaxed photo shows Henry Fonda, his wife Shirlee and the directing genius Sergio Leone during a break in filming his 
masterpiece 'Once upon a time in the West'.
'Se busca... Tras la pista de Sergio Leone' is available in the bookstores of Almeria - For example here: 
'Almería, un mundo de película' was a the first extensive and promising work about the movie history of Almeria made by 
José Enrique Martínez Moya more than 20 years ago.
Some kind of Bible for locations hunters and desert foxes!
The great nostalgic book got a new and overworked re-release some years ago, as far as I know.
So many superfluous Genre books are barely different from each other.
The mentioned unique books by Moya are a very interesting but rare exception.
Definitely worth the purchase!

Every town has a story. Tombstone has a legend.
Behind the Scenes of the 'Tombstone' production. 
I got together some cool 35mm slides of the filming of the Blockbuster 'Wyatt Earp' Western.
It's summer time and damn hot here. Let's start with a refreshing dive into the river...
The excellently filmed pleasingly insane shootout between Wyatt Earp (Kurt Russell), Curly Bill Brocius (Powers Boothe), 
and their boys was filmed in the middle of the San Pedro River, Arizona, USA.
A technically quite complex scene in the water with a well-timed choreography.
Gorgeous moments!
The death of Curly Bill Brocius - San Pedro River, 1993.
The San Pedro River in Arizona. A great location for the Western Genre ('El Dorado', 'Bonanza',...). 
San Pedro River, 1993.
Director George P. Cosmatos (black T-Shirt) in the San Pedro River, ready to stage the death of Curly Bill (close-ups).
The guy next to the Panavision camera, with white hat on, is the well-known DOP William A. Fraker ('Bullitt').
The old fox lensed some marvelous shots.
Kurt Russell did help out Cosmatos behind the scenes quite a bit.
He was, for many, the decisive man for the success of the film.
Kurt Russell and George P. Cosmatos (1941–2005) talk about the way of filming a specific scene. 
My next little 'Tombstone' crumb will come, but before that I send you on another dusty coach ride to the legends. 
Check out the stories on 'Wyatt Earp' (Kevin Costner) and 'Doc' (Stacy Keach), pimped up with lots of rare footage.
Different approaches - other interpretations.

Your comments are always welcome!
Trust me, I know what I'm doing. Sometimes.

The latest 'Cinema Retro' Special Edition on World War II flicks of the sixties is a deserved winner!
Of course, you can argue about the choice of films excellently. Everyone has his own opinion on that.
In contrast to the often sloppy standard editions, there is a cornucopia of information about thrilling genre films here.
A surprisingly exciting read! 
Numerous well-researched information, many good approaches and several very rare photos ...for which one should actually attach 
a magnifying glass to the magazine. That's a bit annoying! 
If you have good photographic material, show it!
Instead of decorating the excellent reports with teeny-weeny photos, one should rather present fewer photos in decent size.
Photos beat content! Always!
A guiding maxim here at moon-city-garbage.agency!
Here are some better sized photos showing the key set piece of 'Tobruk', a movie that would never made it into 
my list of movies for such an edition.
Much too germ-free, clean and completely without corners and edges.
The 'Tobruk' Cannon bunker was built near a spot called Lovejoy Buttes, adjacent to Lake Los Angeles.
The butte is situated 3,000 feet above the desert floor and offers breathtaking views of the Antelope Valley and Mojave Desert.
In 1967, during the 1960s land speculation boom in the Antelope Valley, 
land developers bought 4,000 acres in the region, subdivided it into 4,465 lots, and artificially refilled the natural 
lake and named it Lake Los Angeles as an enticement to land buyers. 
Advertisements showed a water skier on the lake, which was probably no more than 5 feet deep. 
Due to some clever camera positions and good editing the deception succeeds.
We get the impression that the Cannon bunker Set was really built on a cliff on the African Mediterranean coast and 
not next to an artificial lake in California.
The lake was allowed to evaporate in the early 1980s.
Get your copy of that great CinemaRetro Special Edition now, before it's sold out!
An expertly built set with great game possibilities. The rough concrete look is perfect.
The Set was dismantled immediately after shooting.
The Special Effects crew of Howard A. Anderson played very effectively with the cannons and 
ignited a few smoking explosive charges.
Stunning 'Tobruk' behind the scenes photo.
Rock Hudson gets a special on-stage training by the physical effects boys with an authentic looking M2-flamethrower.
The M2 flamethrower was an American man-portable backpack flamethrower that was used in World War II.
A dangerous weapon that spits out a hot mixture of diesel fuel and gasoline.
Studio Scene - Rock Hudson (Major Craig) inflames a roaring jet of fire.
Nice shot, but the widescreen frame shows only a little of the action on the cinema screen.
The M2 - Flamethrower.
The two big tanks contain the fuel mix, about 18 liters. The small tank contains the pressurizing gas (nitrogen).
Although its burn time was only a few seconds and the flame was only effective out to around 20–40 meters, 
it was still a useful weapon.
The M2 - Flamethrower in action, World War II.
George Peppard with the M2 - German 'Tobruk' lobby card.
For safety reasons (?) the fire medium was supplied via a hose. 
The tanks of the flamethrower are empty, which makes it much easier to handle for the actors (heavy equipment).
What did they use as fuel? 
The smoke is pretty black, may be they had the real thing, a mixture of diesel fuel and gasoline?
An incredibly much better 'special mission' World War II movie is the refreshingly crude and cynical 'Play Dirty'.
The film is well presented in the 'Cinema Retro' Special Edition ...thanks to my photos/information.
Seems that they copied the photos from my websites as they are all printed in microscopic size (low res internet files).
No offense, but next time, please just ask me for high res scans of the original negatives/slides. 
The photo shows Director Andre de Toth (red shirt) preparing a scene with Michael Caine and Nigel Davenport at the 
Oasis de Tabernas (Almeria, Spain) location.
For hundreds of behind the scenes photos from the 'Play Dirty' production check out this:
Yippie-Ka Yeah, a one-eyed major and his oddball heroes fight a twentieth-century war in a tenth-century castle!
'Castle Keep' - The surreal Sydney Pollack masterpiece, perfectly flavored with a bunch of well-conceived grotesqueries.
Where soldiers talk like soldiers and fight like hell!
A bomb that would definitely be a first choice for my Special Edition!
After all, the film was presented in a standard CinemaRetro edition.
A pretty superficial report that never does justice to this classic. You have to do it better!
Here is a never published before photo of the construction of the 'Castle Keep' bordello 'La Reine Rouge' ('The Red Queen') 
in Petrovaradin (Novi Sad).
A pretty massive wooden construction.
My 'Castle Keep' report, with over a hundred rare photos, will be ready soon!
This and so much more exclusively on

Around these days a new CinemaRetro Special Edition, featuring a bunch of roadshow Epics of the sixties, will be ready!
A great idea, I love the classic old colossal Epics. Can't wait to get this new edition.
'The Fall of the Roman Empire', 'Lawrence of Arabia', ....Wow! These movies are true monsters ...on many levels!
Here is a photo of the filming of 'Khartoum' at the Marylebone Station, London, England.
The British army departure for Khartoum.
The 'Khartoum' filming location today - Marylebone Station, London.

Guns of Navarone - Part 3 - Acting up a storm.
Gregory Peck, David Niven and Anthony Quinn are in the best mood, but hardly in the studio ... the sun darkens quickly.
The special effects department unleashed a hellish storm in the big indoor water tank on Shepperton's H-stage.
The boys danced over the waves like little buoys. No underpants stayed dry.
Gregory Peck brought a special medicine to the set, brandy, and the actors enjoyed a good sip of brandy to 'stay warm' 
while filming in the cold studio tank.
The British veteran Bill Warrington ('The Heroes of Telemark') was responsible for all the physical and miniature effects work 
on 'Guns of Navarone' and got an Oscar for it. 
Hooray! He absolutely deserves it!
The Shepperton Crew rebuilt the traditional greek fishing boat, a caique, full scale for the filming of the storm sequence.
The Warrington boys staged the violently 'Navarone' storm under the controlled conditions of the 120ft x 100ft water tank. 
A second tank was close by to feed the giant chutes with tons of water.
Every time Director J.Lee Thompson yelled "Action!" true water masses full of energy rushed down on the poor actors.
These chutes are pretty close to the ship and the energy of the waves has to go somewhere...
The actors were pitched to and fro.
As if that was not enough, strong wind machines, powered by old aeroplane motors, blew nasty spray around the set.
A hellish stage set, infernally loud and wet! This was hard work for the whole team.
What's the poor guy doing up there with the water hose?
Probably he should moisten the Caique for the next horrifying scene.
The rough and time-consuming studio scenes were quite dangerous and almost all of the actors got a few scratches and bruises.
David Niven cut his lip during the filming of the boat scene on Shepperton's H-stage and developed a life-threatening infection.
They all had the feeling that they nearly drowned.
Here you find a story about the explosion on the boat: A hail of cork bits!
The boys climb up an incredibly high and steep cliff here: A small-scale Studio Cliff!

Academy Award-winning Director Barry Levinson (white shirt) assembled a great cast of established stars, exciting newcomers 
and a powerful creative team for his mind-boggling Sci-Fi deep-sea adventure 'Sphere'.
A group of highly intelligent people is isolated on the ocean floor in a claustrophobic high-tech facility dubbed the Habitat.
A spaceship is discovered under three hundred years' worth of coral growth at the bottom of the ocean.
The team uncovers a remarkable sphere inside of it. A series of terrifying incidents begin to unfold around them.
The photo above, a 35mm Kodachrome, shows Levinson talking with Liev Schreiber, Peter Coyote and Dustin Hoffman inside 
a full-sized Habitat Studio Set. 
Grant McCune Design was contracted for building and shooting all the required Habitat and spaceship miniatures.
Several first-rate Habitat live-action sets have been constructed in especially erected water tanks on the old 
Mare Island Naval Shipyard.
The movie is considered a flop by many critics. 
Sure 'Sphere' has its flaws and bumpy plot holes, but it also has some excellent sci-fi vibrations.
I like the already 20 years old Sci-Fi flick, despite minor glitches. The Crichton book is one of his best!
Here you find a first story on the groovy Habitat Sets, 
the Dive training in the pool and some XFX rubber toys: Action in the water tank!

The founder of 'almeriacine', Juanen Perez Miranda, has sent me his Almeria tourist guide, published 2016: 'La Almeria de Sergio Leone'.
The little paperback by Juan Gabriel Garcia and Juanen Perez Miranda is, what a surprise, 
a Sergio Leone booklet that wants to take you to the filming locations of the Leone movies.
Not quite as detailed as the book by Moya ('Se busca...) and even slightly smaller in format, 
but with all the significant details a Leone Tourist needs.
Moya has some maps to show you where to find all the locations. 
'La Almeria de Sergio Leone' offers the GPS coordinates for some of them.
The biggest plus of the a little more modern book of Miranda & Garcia are without questions the tourist friendly texts in English!
This book is for the sneaker guy who sits in the back of the jeep and lets himself be driven to the coordinates.
The guy with hiking boots has the book of Moya in his backpack. There is much more to discover in 'Se Busca...'!
'La Almeria de Sergio Leone' is focused on the essentials. Short and sweet.
Both books will find their friends. Leone always works!
What I like a lot is that in both books it is at least hinted that the film history of Almeria doesn't only consist of Leone.
Even if his name is still the best to earn a golden Peso.
Everything is possible in 'Almerione'. 
Jeep tours, burro tours, camel tours, drone tours ... to the filming locations of the Leone Spaghetti Western.
'Leone' is a profitable business.
Viva Almeria! - From the 1950s to the 1980s a great movie spot!
Current information about the latest film projects, commercial stuff and exhibitions in and around Almeria can be found here:

It is time for another trip into the wonderful world of Munchausen. The old-fashioned hero.
The surreal production of the puzzling Terry Gilliam movie offers so much, especially madness.
Last time we were on the beach of Monsul (Almeria, Spain) to pet elephants and giant cannons! What?
The model experts at Pinewood Studios fiddled together the giant Monsul beach battlefield in miniature, 80 feet long and 30 feet wide.
It was used for point-of-view and plate shots, especially for the flying Baron sequence. 
His hot ride on a mortar shell and the flight back on a cannonball led him directly across the (miniature) battlefield.
Enjoy your flight with 'Cannon-Air', an 18th century low-cost carrier!
Here is a nice slide showing the miniature battlefield. I love the tiny elephants that pull the battle towers.
Look at the hundreds of little figures, these Turkish soldiers are just one-and-a-half inch tall but ready to attack the 
walls of the fortress (Belchite).
The British veteran Richard Conway supervised the project's staggering array of trick shots.
He directed his team of experts into a wild journey of sheer inventiveness.
Powered by financial limitations and lack of time.
Spanish craftsmen built the full-size battle towers directly on the beach of Monsul for the live-action scenes.
It was nearly impossible to move the heavy towers ...or the huge cannons you see on the photo.
They literally sank in the sand. 
For more informations about the excellently staged beach battle in southern Spain, I recommend: Playa de Monsul.
Even secret weapons are used in combat. Two giants crawl over the ocean ...
No, no, these are two Pinewood stagehands who are fishing the stinging jellyfish from the Mediterranean so that nobody gets hurt.
Does not sound right either ...
Okay, these guys try to get some good looking waves into the plastic sheet (Mediterranean Sea).
Sounds better.
Nice shot. Model Unit cinematographer Roger Pratt is filming the 'flying Baron' plates.
Roger floats smoothly, on a special overhead tracking rig, above the miniature battlefield.
This crewmember is told to comb the desert! (an old 'Spaceballs' gag).
Actually he is giving the beach sand some finishing touches and erases footprints. 
On the 'horizon' you can see the town ruins of Belchite (Spain).
The Playa de Monsul (Almeria) and the far away Belchite (Zaragoza) all in miniature and all in one enormous set. 
How cool is that?
The miniature of Belchite. 
You can clearly see its simple but effective construction.
The miniature consists of detailed foreground model work (wall, tower,..) and lots of background cutouts.
The scenes with the miniature town are well mounted with a nice lighting concept.
The ride on the cannonball. 
Shooting the live-action blue screen plates for the sequence (close-ups) in Cinecitta (Rome).
The big blue screen facility was especially constructed for the Munchausen production.
John Neville (The Baron) hangs in a special wire rigging and several wind manchines blow wind under his wings.
The enormous wind blows John Neville almost off the cannonball ... lol.
It looks a bit like as if someone holding him back in the right position?
They here and there used a stunt double and a few scenes were realized with puppets (mid-air transfer / mortar shell-cannonball). 
But all the excitement and dynamic feeling in this otherwise shallow scene was created only through the flight over 
the huge miniature set.
It was a wise decision of Conway/Gilliam to go to Pinewood, were they did the bulk of the miniature and model work.
The Baron wants you!
Better visit him in his Theatre: Cinecitta.
Or on the battlefield: Playa de Monsul.
And watch out, the journey continues ...