Where Was A Fistful Of Dollars Filmed? A Great Western Flick!!!


Are you the type of individual who enjoys watching epic western dramas over and over? Or keep searching for the greatest cowboy films? If yes, I guess you have landed in the right spot. In this article, I’ll present to you a movie which is likely the first spaghetti western feature: A Fistful of Dollars. And I’ll also reveal where was A Fistful of Dollars filmed, just to put cherry on top.

Released in 1964, A Fistful of Dollars is the first movie among the “Dollars Trilogy”. This western-drama broadly portrays the story of a mysterious outlaw (Man with No Name) played by Clint Eastwood and his life in the wild west.

The story begins with a gruesome murder of a smuggler in broad daylight at the little town of San Miguel. The protagonist then arrives at the spot after learning about the opportunity to make money, because of the ongoing feud. The drama unfurls as the stranger and the “Rojo Brothers” fight it out among themselves to establish dominion over the area, in exhilarating and action packed duels. 

To find what happens next, read this article where I discuss the plot in brief, to give you a loose idea about the film. And not to mention also let you in on where was A Fistful of Dollars filmed, for you to be able to get a wholesome experience of this awesome western drama.

Plot Of A Fistful Of Dollars | What’s It About

Director Sergio Leone pioneered this sub-genre of Spaghetti Western films and  by casting Clint Eastwood  in his first lead role, in a rather unconventional manner, the movie actually stood out. 

Being the prequel to “For A Few Dollars More”, the movie begins with The Stranger (Clint Eastwood) walking in the middle of an ongoing feud between The Baxter’s and The Rojo Brother’s at the small town of San Miguel. Upon realizing about the scope of making money by weighing in on one side of the feud, he starts displaying his shooting skills, which got circulated amongst the families pretty quick.

The protagonist reads the sitch instantly as he witnesses Ramon (One of the Rojo Brothers) is a lying cheat, who has no problems in playing dirty games just to be able to cease the control of the area. The dispute gets nastier even further as the protagonist is back-stabbed by one of his cronies, and gets taken in by Rojo Brother’s and is further tormented. 

However the hero manages to escape but only to return to the town to avenge the horrid killings of the Baxter’s, which he finally accomplishes in the end.

So, now that we’ve gone through the storyline of the cinema, now we’ll find out where A Fistful of Dollars was filmed so that you may enjoy a truly enriched experience the next time you watch this spaghetti-western flick.

Where Was A Fistful Of Dollars Filmed? Filming Locations In Europe

The film A Fistful Of Dollars was primarily set in America’s wild west in San Miguel, a modest town on the United States-Mexico border. However, in order to mimic the rugged and dry landscape, the production crew chose to shoot the film in Europe.

Yes, that’s right, the actual filming of the movie was done in Europe, specifically in Rome,Italy the nearby provinces of Madrid,Spain. Let us now find out Where Was A Fistful Of Dollars filmed, in different parts of Italy and Spain in detail. You can also read about other classic western movies featuring Clint Eastwood.

Cinecitta Studios | Rome

Where Was A Fistful Of Dollars Filmed? A Great Western Flick!!!

The production began filmmaking in April 1964 at Cinecitta Studios, in Rome. Considering the total 11 weeks that was spent making the entire movie, comparatively it took around 8-9 days for the crew to shoot the interior scenes in this studio. 

Being the first spaghetti-western film it faced a couple of challenges initially in regards to the production and managing the dates of the actors. But the standing issues were soon resolved towards the completion of shooting the interior scenes. The team then moved to Spain, to shoot the outdoor scenes. Allow me to share with you those exact locations.

Hoyo De Manzanares | Madrid

Where Was A Fistful Of Dollars Filmed? A Great Western Flick!!!

The opening scenes of the film, where the director Sergio Leone is shown to be thrown into the Rio Bravo river, was actually shot on the banks of River Alberche at Aldea Del Fresno. The same location was however used to film the scene where the Rojo Brother’s cunningly set up a trap against the army and they ended snatching the gold from them which was being transported.

Furthermore, the action-packed duel sequences in which Clint Eastwood reappears to avenge were shot near Madrid at Hoyo De Manzanares. The outdoor environment was successful in reproducing the true feeling of fury and hatred, which resonated with the desert climate employed in the backdrop. 

As the location captured most of the underlying feeling of the movie that the director wanted to portray, other major scenes involving the hostage exchange were shot here as well.

Tabernas Desert | Almeria

Where Was A Fistful Of Dollars Filmed? A Great Western Flick!!!

The scene in which Marisol is taken hostage by the wicked brother inside a pub and continually tormented by them was shot in Almeria, north of San Jose. Several transposes occurred during filming the canyon scene at this site, but the team finally decided to go with the primary setup. But if you want to watch other western-movies you can check here.

The indoor scenes were shot meticulously since numerous technical components such as lighting and sound played a significant part in the filming process. The director and production team were eager to try it, and they ended up filming a scene in midday that was interestingly set at night.

Other scenes involved using Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park as a location for filming, but suffice to say not as much as the other locations mentioned above that were used for principal photography in the movie, A Fisful of Dollars.

Final Words

So, now that you’ve read the narrative of the film and know where A Fistful of Dollars was filmed, I hope you’ll give it a watch if you haven’t already. If you enjoyed this post, please visit Viebly to read more educational and entertaining articles about filming locations of other movies and shows. Until then, peace out!

Ujwal Mattoo
Ujwal Mattoo
With full journalism and half engineering background, Ujwal has hands in both the tech and creative fields. He is a film enthusiast who loves all kinds of genres. As much as he enjoys watching movies, he is always amused to know more and write about the locations to feed his hunger for traveling. In this world of fictional louds, he voices his opinions softly! He is either busy writing or playing with Milo, his dog!


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