Friday, December 31, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday 85 - Durango Gunslingers





















In the pristine deserts and unspoilt sierras around Durango in Northern Mexico, most of the Hollywood Westerns and many Mexican movies were filmed from the 1950s to the 1990s. Gunslingers like John Wayne, Clark Gable and Robert Mitchum swaggered out of the Saloon at High Noon to slug it out on these streets....















Now sadly this is just an abandoned film set which has been transformed into the Movie Theme Park "Villa del Oeste" and the reign of La Tierra del Cine has finally run its course. Due to the decline in the Western genre, tax breaks elsewhere, the final movie filmed here was Bandidas (2006) with Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek....



















Now it operates as a mildly successful tourist attraction, and for the princely sum of 30 pesos (less than 3 USD) you are collected from the central plaza in Durango in an old school bus with a few Apaches and cowboys aboard, driven 12km into the desert, and treated to an hour's slapstick Wild West Show in the Saloon, and left to wander around the set and have your photo taken with the actors, before being brought back to the bright lights of Durango...




















It is still, however, a marvellously atmospheric location to spend the afternoon, with wonderful sharp desert light and shadows...and Small Fish always likes casting her own shadow and adding the customary splash of red...



Happy New Year 2011 to everyone in the blogosphere...and be sure to check out more wonderful shadow shots over at Shadow Shot Sunday by clicking here....

18 comments:

Boonie S said...

Love the shadow shots.

Happy New Year to you too,
from Boonie

Ralph said...

Your shadow suggests that you could be a movie star, too :) What is interesting here is this set looks as dusty as the old B&W westerns I saw as a kid. Warm with dirt streets, there is a very old fashioned charm that is evoked. Even though the modern person prefers paved roads...

Happy New Year!

Sylvia K said...

What terrific shadow shots and a great place to visit -- lots of memories of old westerns and I did see some of them roll past my mind's eye as looked at your photos! How fun! Wishing you a very wonderful year ahead, Catherine, one filled with love and laughter and, of course, great photo ops!! Thank you for your visits/comments over the year, they're greatly appreciated!

Sylvia

frayedattheedge said...

Happy New Year! We've been watching some John Wayne films through the week, so good to see where some of them might have been made.

Sylvia K said...

Catherine, I had company over Christmas and didn't get to your post last week and just read about the sting ray attack!!! I'm so glad that you're ok. I have been snorkeling in Puerto Vallarta, just fortunate, I guess, that I didn't look particularly tasty!!
Take care!!

Sylvia

Fly Girl said...

How interesting! I forgot how popular Durango was for cowboy films. You look marvelous in the photo, Happy New Year to you!

Kay L. Davies said...

What wonderful shadows are cast by the relics of the old west, Catherine. It seemed every second movie was a western when I was young, and names like Durango conjured up immediate mental pictures of "cowboys and Indians".
But now the wild wild west has faded into history and, except for an occasional re-make, westerns are seldom made any more. Thanks for the trip through memory lane.
-- K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

EG Wow said...

Great shadow shots. Gotta love the desert sun!

So now the old movie set is a theme park? I bet tons of people would enjoy visiting the site.

Martha Z said...

It does have wonderful shadows. What a perfect spot to shoot westerns although I bet they didn't do it much in the summer.

Paula Scott said...

Oh, my! It does lend for a LOT of pretty darned cool shadows! I guess if I ever find myself near Durango, Mexico (not to be confused with Durango, CO which is almost in Northern NM), I'll be sure to stop by Villa del Oeste!
A toast-here's to a brand new year!

Hey Harriet said...

Looks like a fun place to hang out for a day. And such a rich cinematic history! I've never been much of a fan of Westerns but it's sad that the genre isn't so popular these days. Westerns brought a lot of joy to a lot of people! Love the photo of you Catherine! Happy New Year!

sarayutouched said...

great shadows of a dusty town. happy new year catherine!!

here's to a new year of shadow chasing.

Arija said...

A great set of photos. With just the first one I can hear that whistled background to those old movies.

Happy 2011!!

Junk Whores said...

How fun is that, funny how the Western dramas are a thing of the past these days, but boy were we glued to them back in the day! I always wanted to be a cowgirl...sigh!!!

Maybe in the next life...have a wonderful new year and enjoy that warm sunshine!

Sweet Repose-Junk Revival said...

Sorry, forgot to log out of my 'junk' blog...bet you were wonderin who this fool was...ha!

...louciao... said...

You cast a long shadow, Catherine!

¡Féliz Año Nuevo!

amanda said...

the shots with the wheels are fantastic. happy new year!

Catherine said...

Thanx for all the great comments this week.......much appreciated...