Since 1958, the cameras of the Silver Screen have been visiting Javea, Denia and Moraira to capture some of the wonderful backdrops this coastline offers. Celebrity faces have often appeared, peeking over the Montgo, or even strolling down the Arenal. Indeed, not so long ago Matt Damon was seen having a cheeky pint in Achill and tapas in Aqua 😉
But I digress……. So from Raquel Welch to Bruce Willis….. here are a few of the movies filmed locally and some stories behind them.
- In 1958 l’Arenal was the scene of a sequence of El Capitán Jones and in 2014 a fleeting appearance of Liam Neeson was recorded.
The Man of the Island . Paco Rabal and Portitxol – 1959
- This film still, it is said, remains in the collective memory of the town’s people. The man of the island , directed by Vicente Escrivá and starring Paco Rabal, was filmed between July and September 1959. Many sequences were shot in Portixol and also in the urban areas. The silhouettes of Cape Sant Antoni and Portitxol are clearly seen in the film. The stars and crew also traveled to other locations, including Calpe and Benissa. Today the film is almost a rarity. The story sought to tell the tale of the lives of the fishermen on the Alicante coast. There was a luxurious Cadillac used by Rabal which was acquired after filming by the Venturo Bus company and used for years as a taxi.
The facilities of the Franco regime led to an avalanche of foreign productions throughout Spain and Javea benefited from this. It was one of the many places on the Alicante coast that hosted the filming of Billy Budd , directed by Peter Ustinov, about the harsh living conditions in the British Armada of the 18th century. The film was shot on the high seas and the coast is not really recognizable, but if you pay close attention the profile of the Montgó can be distinguished.
This movie was made when:-
Terrence Stamp was a new sexy (but skinny) star discovery
Illya Kuryakin had not yet met The Man from Uncle…….and
Peter Ustinov was…… umm.. very bossy!!
There was a video clip of this but Youtube removed it recently 🙁
THE HONEYMOON ACADEMY (1988)
In the summer of 1988, the Port and Les Planes de Xàbia were some of the backdrops used for this American comedy, starring Sex and the City girl, Kim Cattral and Airplane star, Robert Hayes.
MY LIFE IN RUINS (2009)
Javea and Guadalest were two of the many towns in the Alicante region where this American comedy was filmed. Featuring Nia Vardalos, the unforgettable star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding with a scene at the Miramar Hotel, in the heart of the port area of the town. Richard Dreyfuss also appeared.
Oh…. and the Gurka Palace had to put Greek signs up at the time!
The film is set on location in Greece and Alicante, including Guadalest and Javea.
THE COLD LIGHT OF DAY (2012)
Hollywood stars such as Raquel Welch, Faye Dunaway and Christopher Lee, have featured in films made in Denia.
Denia has stood in for Portsmouth and a Scottish village in Captain John Paul Jones
Spectacular battle scenes of at sea have been filmed at the “Martillo” dock. Samuel Bronston’s mega production Captain Jones (1958) This required over 15 days for shooting scenes that included boardings, explosions, fires and shipwrecks. The confrontation between British and French fleets during times of Napoleon were depicted in H.M.S. Defiant.
Also Denia donned more fancy dress and became the cities of Dover and Calais in The Three Musketeers
The entire first stretch of the Raset area, now used for setting up outdoor tables of the port’s restaurants, was the setting for The Three Musketeers (1973) and The Four Musketeers (1974). Milady (Faye Dunaway) and Rochefort (Christopher Lee) met here to plot against the queen. Rachel Welch took a stroll here, accompanied by Michael York, Oliver Reed, Richard Chamberlain and Simon Ward.
ALSO….The Caribbean in The Son Of Captain Blood (1961)
THE OLD FISH MARKET was turned into the church of the city of Puerto Royal, where most of the story of The Son of Captain Blood takes place, entirely filmed in Dénia. Some of the best set designers of the Spanish film industry participated in creating the sets for one of the most expensive films shot by the producer Benito Perojo.
Sean Flynn, son of Errol Flynn, played the role of the son of Captain Blood, the legendary character played by his father during the 1930s. The screenwriter was also the son of the original film’s screenwriter, Casey Robinson, also the scriptwriter of Casablanca.
The replicas of the 17th century galleons were expressly built in Italy for filming Captain Jones. After that, they were used in fifteen additional films, three of which were again filmed on location at Dénia’s harbour: The Son of Captain Blood, H.M.S. Defiant and Billy Budd.
And there’s more Denia Dressing Up…………………
Singapore in Krakatoa East of Java:
The interior of the Cooperative Wholesale Society was used as an indoor backdrop in Captain Jones and East of Java.
The Bermuda Triangle in Encounters In The Deep
The Mediterranean in Sound Of The Sea… and finally……………….
Algiers in Cervantes.