Movie Location Tour or why Alec Guinness up to Antonio Banderas acted in Galicia
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It’s been weeks that I wanted to write some words related with movies and Galicia and the new tours related with this topic.

Antonio Banderas
Antonio Banderas filmed in Galicia

Throughout the years there has been a curious relation between film production and this part of Spain. In the mid 50’s and 60’s of the XX century most of the spanish films were sort of impossible love stories oriented. We must remember that in those years this country was under a dictatorship with its censors working hard to avoid any kind of topic that could..hurt the audience, in the way the system didn’t want to. Something changed throughout the 80’s and 90’s.


Galicia was chosen by spanish film directors because its wide green natural areas, the incredible cliffs of the atlantic coast, and the rural villages. These ones, keeping still some of its soul, were used particularly for films related with other years or even centuries before.Somthing has changed though, and fortunately, some more recent films that we will talk about, are of a recent Galicia, with its beauty, its contradictions, its nostalgia and ts magic.

The locations that I describe are just  examples of the international creations of these years and they give me the chance to propose you for this summer interesting tours related with those venues. An excuse to stroll around Galicia, for one, two or three days.

Worlwide known actors are part of that and  not only Javier Bardem (“Mondays in the sun” in Vigo and “The sea Inside” near Noia) or Antonio Banderas (“The skin I live in”, in Santiago de Compostela old town and a baroque palace, Pazo de Oca ) among the Spanish acted here.

You would be surprised to know that stars like Sir Alec Guinness acted here ( “Monsignor Quixote”,  in the XII century monumental Monastery of Oseira), Cary Grant (Stanley Kramer’s “The Pride and the Passion”, in Obradoiro square in Santiago) filmed in different corners of Galicia. Barry Sullivan, “Pyro” was filmed in 1964 in attractive locations of Northern Galicia like the Coelleira Island, known since the IX century for a  Benedictine Monastery that do not exist anymore.

Italian film stars like Giuliano Gemma (“Erik the Viking”, near the medieval Towers of Catoira , placed near the river Ulla to protect from the attacks of the Normans. Ornella Muti in the 90’s (“Tierra del Fuego”, by Chilean film director Miguel Littin ) in Fonsagrada the province of Lugo,  along with Monica Bellucci (“A los que aman” filmed in Sarria and Tui in 1995)   filmed here as well, causing every time important..positive reactions from the locals. The irony of it all is that the few ancient people living in these natural areas wouldn’t ever  been even able to actually watch those films when they were released. No cinemas, few tv channels signal.

Between the 60’s and the 70’s in Europe, there was a wave of films that used thriller and sex in an explosive way. This trend brought Austrian sex symbol Marisa Mell(who filmed “Casanova 70” with Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni) to film “ Diary of a Murderess”, along with a young Carmen Maura, in Pontevedra, an historical town and very important port in medieval times and in a beautiful and elegant XVII century Palace of Torrecedeira in Redondela.

Marisa Mell
Marisa Mell filmed in Pazo de Torrecedeira, Pontevedra. Click the image for some excerpts online.
serra capelada 2
Serra da Capelada, Spain

Film directors like Almodovar (the latest “The Skin I live in” and the 2004 production “Bad Education”) chose Santiago and Noia.

Cary Grant filmed in Santiago ‘The Pride and the Passion’.Watch some ecerpts from my collection by clicking the picture.

Alejandro Amenabar –  worldwide popular with “The Others” starring Nicole Kidman – filmed with Javier Bardem  “The sea Inside” in the extremely wild and beautiful Barbanza coast. Wim Wenders second movie, “The Scarlet Letter”,  was partly filmed in Santa Comba beach, northern coast of Galicia in the seventies.

Roman Polanski, brought to the highest cliffs of Europe, – Serra da Capelada –  Ben Kingsley and Sigourney Weaver in 1994 movie, “Death and the Maiden”.

Throughout the years many other although  less famous spanish film directors chose many galician settings as well and i will certainly will have the chance talk about that too during our visits. The locations that Galicia offers are unique for its nature, historical buidings, spring or summer colors..the Atlantic ocean and itsimpressive waves…

Interested in discovering these film locations? Contact me

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About Author

Italo Pendola
Hola! My name is Italo and I live and work in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, as Professional Tour Guide in this fascinating region in the North West of Spain. With my wife Angeles Rodriguez we made a team to share with you an unique experience.


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