Naturally as time goes by and takes its toll on us, the landscape also suffers the same. Human beings are capable of either increasing or slowing down (but rarely preventing) the change that erosion causes. Having this capacity of decision, they choose places where they think it is worthy to make an effort. A beautiful forest, an important deposit or an attractive riverbank are usually the kinds of places chosen for conservation.
But is it worthy to protect a film location? It is likely that people will have a different opinion on this, even more so, taking into account that cinema likes are a totally personal thing too. It may depend on the movie, or the particular landscape’s alteration, or maybe on the actors that played a part in it.
It is hard to find a specialized publication that doesn’t consider ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ to be among the 100 best films in history. But at the same time, it is difficult to find people that know that part of the filming was carried out here in Burgos. In Spain, the Western genre is usually linked to Almeria and there alone. This ignorance is contributed to by the fact that there is practically nothing left here to show what took place. No trace of the prisoner camp, or of the bridge where northern and southern troops fought each other, and no trace of the impressive Sad Hill Cemetery.
Sad Hill Cemetery was the mocked-up military cemetery where the last moments of the film unfold with the most famous scene, the three-man duel between Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach and Lee Van Cleef. ‘The Ecstasy of Gold’, the outstanding soundtrack by Ennio Morricone, keeping pace with Sergio Leone’s wonderful direction. Twenty magnificent minutes that had a tangible influence on so many later films, but where there are no extra shots left, nor any extra seconds. Pure cinema history and there is absolutely nothing left to remember it.
‘La Asociación Cultural Sad Hill’, a voluntary association, would like to promote the initiative to recover and restore this outdoor film location. As a unique cultural reference in the area it would be a substantial and remarkable place for everyone to enjoy, and provide a point of interest for visitors from far and wide.