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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Location: La Calahorra - The Town of Flagstone

I know LVC did not appear in Once Upon a Time in the West, however this location is part of the La Calahorra Train Station, and it would be a shame not to document it. 
Instead of reusing the Mini Hollywood location built for For a Few Dollars More and used again in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, Sergio Leone chose to build a new location for Once Upon a Time in the West outside of the La Calahorra train station near Guadix. 

Town as it appeared in the film
Like "El Paso", The town of Flagstone was a mammoth location.  unfortunately unlike three other spaghetti western towns built at the time, this location was not preserved by turning it into a tourist location.  As is stands now, only the brick buildings remain.  The main building used in the film, The Flagstone Saloon, has been modified into a barn.
Then and now - 45 years apart
Additional pictures of the town's remains below.  Click to enlarge.

I also visited the site of the hanging arch in the US, which you can check out here.


  1. Enjoyed the pictures vey much. I had not seen the "hanging arch" U. S. location before. I've always thought the hat Henry Fonda wears in this looks like the hat Lee wore in Good, Bad & Ugly. Also Lee confirmed he was offered a part on Once Upon A Time in the West but turned it down but he said in that interview he couldn't remember why he did. Eastwood also said he turned down the film while Good, Bad & Ugly was being shot as he thought it was time to return to the U. S. & see what he could get started without Leone. Eli Wallach said he had never heard of the claim from Leone that he wanted Clint, Lee & himself to play the men waiting for Charles Bronson at the beginning of the film. That is probably something Leone made up & Clint was probaby offered the part that went to Bronson. But Lee was likey offered the scene at the beginning in my opinion & he would have appeared with Jack Elam & Woody Strode & Lee was wanted because it was a take off on High Noon & Lee was in that. But when Lee turned it down, probably because the part of small & he was getting starring role offeres so fast then he got an apartment in Rome, Leone plugged Al Murlock into the role who killed himself during the filming. That is just my hunch. Anybody know for sure? Aaron did you know Benard Grant's wife did Claudia Cardinale's voice in the film because they thought her Italian accent wouldn't fit? Grant is the man who dubbed Gian Maria Volonte in English. And you notice his voice in other films such as the Captain at the bridge in GB&U & I noticed his voice in Big Gundown the other day. He is passed away now but he was an announcer & actor based in New York City were most of the SW's were dubbed into English.

    1. I loved Grant's voice. I have wondered how much of my love of Volonte's performance was based on a voice that is not his own. He also did Morton's voice in Once Upon a Time in the West.

  2. I find the ruin of these old sites very sad. I hope someday I will be able to go over there and see them before they are all gone!