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September 28, 2022

Amazing Photographs of Brigitte Bardot Taken by Bill Ray During the Making of ‘Shalako’ in Almería, 1968

Brigitte Bardot went on to Hollywood but did not fare any better... Shalako, a British-produced Western directed by Edward Dmytryk, teamed her with Sean Connery and Stephen Boyd in a smoldering relationship charged with tension and passion. The idea is cute and unbelievable: A party of European aristocrats are on a hunting safari in New Mexico in the 1880s. They are traveling with full equipage including butlers, maids, fine linens and vintage wines.


The film was shot in Almería, Spain. Whilst scouting locations when planning to film in the United States, Euan Lloyd had noticed that many Native Americans were overweight. He did not think they looked menacing enough. Simmons recruited a “war party” of lean and mean Romani people (gypsies), whom he trained to ride and act like war-bent Apaches.

Simmons talked Connery into shaving off the droopy mustache which he had grown for the historic period. The investors perhaps remembered Gregory Peck’s mustache in The Gunfighter, which was believed to have discouraged some of the public from attending. They feared the same might happen with Shalako.

Almería province was a favored location for filming spaghetti Westerns. But, when Shalako was in production, Harry Saltzman’s Second World War film, Play Dirty, set in North Africa, was being filmed on the same locations. One film crew had to wipe out the tyre tracks in the sand before filming the Old West, whilst the other had to pick up the horse droppings before shooting the Second World War battles. Once the gypsy Apaches, mounted on horseback, rode by mistake headlong into an attack on a Long Range Desert Group.

Lloyd gathered a strong international cast, including Connery’s former co-star Honor Blackman from Goldfinger, as well as Jack Hawkins, Stephen Boyd, Woody Strode, Peter van Eyck, Alexander Knox, Eric Sykes, and Don Barry. At this stage in his career Hawkins had lost his once-booming voice to throat cancer, his voice was dubbed by others.

Connery and Bardot got on well during filming and both enjoyed the experience of making the film.





















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