Madrid Has a Cinematic Shooting Past

Kirk Douglas Stanley Kubrick on 'Spartacus'
Photo by SNAP/REX/Shutterstock

Since the late 1950s countless large and sometimes legendary Hollywood films have been shot in or near Madrid.

Samuel Bronston-produced blockbusters, Anthony Mann’s “The Fall of the Roman Empire” and Nicholas Ray’s “55 Days at Peking” partially shot near crag-strewn La Pedriza, 30 miles north of Madrid. Charlton Heston’s “El Cid” lensed in the castle of Manzanares El Real.

In 1960, Stanley Kubrick located “Spartacus” in Alcalá de Henares, Colmenar Viejo and Navacerrada, which also hosted Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Conan the Barbarian” in 1982.

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Kirk Douglas Stanley Kubrick on 'Spartacus' Set

Film Madrid Energizes Shooting Support

In 1964, the medieval square of Chinchón, southeast of Madrid, hosted Henry Hathaway’s John Wayne-starrer “Circus World,” which also turned Madrid’s El Paseo de Coches in El Retiro Park into Paris’ Champs Elysées.

Denise O’Dell, one of Hollywood’s favorite Spain-based producers, who ran shingle Kanzaman before launching Babieka, co-produced 2006’s “Goya’s Ghosts”: Shoots included locations such as the Boadilla and El Pardo palaces, plus El Prado Museum and El Retiro Park.

Ridley Scott, who filmed “Kingdom of Heaven,” “The Counselor” and “Exodus: Gods and Kings” in Spain, is working on a new project in Madrid, teaming again with Spanish film partner O’Dell.

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