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HISTORY

El Condor was announced in the 14 Oct 1968 DV as an upcoming “roadshow” release for National General Pictures Corporation, with a set production budget of $4.5 million. Mo Rothman, a former Columbia Pictures executive who had recently signed a deal with National General, was named as executive producer in the 26 Mar 1969 Var, and a 21 Feb 1969 DV item stated that he was scheduled to meet with Anthony Quinn regarding a possible starring role in the film.
       Citing “policy differences,” Rothman soon parted ways with National General, as reported in a 7 May 1969 DV article. Prior to his departure, filming had been slated to take place in London, England, beginning in Jul 1969; however, the shoot was postponed and the location was moved to Almeria, Spain. Almeria’s popularity as a filming locale for Westerns was credited to producer Andre DeToth in an 8 Feb 1970 LAT article, which claimed that DeToth had “discovered the sleepy Spanish town” while working (in an uncredited role) on Lawrence of Arabia (1962, see entry).
       Steven Carabatsos wrote the original screenplay for El Condor, according to a 16 Oct 1968 LAT brief. Although Niven Busch was brought on for a re-write, according to the 19 Jun 1969 DV, Carabatsos was ultimately credited as co-screenwriter with Larry Cohen.
       Principal photography began in Almeria on 29 Sep 1969, as reported in the 1 Oct 1969 Var. The 8 Feb 1970 LAT noted that a “detail-perfect facsimile of a Mexican fortress” constructed for the film, measuring 110,000 ... More Less

El Condor was announced in the 14 Oct 1968 DV as an upcoming “roadshow” release for National General Pictures Corporation, with a set production budget of $4.5 million. Mo Rothman, a former Columbia Pictures executive who had recently signed a deal with National General, was named as executive producer in the 26 Mar 1969 Var, and a 21 Feb 1969 DV item stated that he was scheduled to meet with Anthony Quinn regarding a possible starring role in the film.
       Citing “policy differences,” Rothman soon parted ways with National General, as reported in a 7 May 1969 DV article. Prior to his departure, filming had been slated to take place in London, England, beginning in Jul 1969; however, the shoot was postponed and the location was moved to Almeria, Spain. Almeria’s popularity as a filming locale for Westerns was credited to producer Andre DeToth in an 8 Feb 1970 LAT article, which claimed that DeToth had “discovered the sleepy Spanish town” while working (in an uncredited role) on Lawrence of Arabia (1962, see entry).
       Steven Carabatsos wrote the original screenplay for El Condor, according to a 16 Oct 1968 LAT brief. Although Niven Busch was brought on for a re-write, according to the 19 Jun 1969 DV, Carabatsos was ultimately credited as co-screenwriter with Larry Cohen.
       Principal photography began in Almeria on 29 Sep 1969, as reported in the 1 Oct 1969 Var. The 8 Feb 1970 LAT noted that a “detail-perfect facsimile of a Mexican fortress” constructed for the film, measuring 110,000 square-feet with eighty-foot-high walls, was considered to be “the largest outdoor set ever constructed here.” Future productions had reportedly already expressed interest in renting it; thus, the structure was expected to remain intact.
       Production delays were caused by heavy rains in the otherwise predictably dry climate of Almeria. As the rainfall gave way to widespread growth of green grass and flowers in the usually “gray and brown” countryside, bulldozers were employed to plow down the new growth, so filmmakers could achieve continuity between scenes shot before and after the rains.
       One week into filming, a news brief in the 8 Oct 1969 DV stated that a scene required two rattlesnakes to be flown in from Texas. Filmmakers were currently in search of a “rattlesnake milkman” to milk the snakes’ venom for the scene, and, in case the milking was unsuccessful, an antidote was ordered.
       The 29 Oct 1969 Var claimed that actress Ewa Aulin walked off the set in objection to demands from director John Guillermin that she appear naked in the role of “Claudine.” The 6 Nov 1969 Los Angeles Sentinel claimed that Sharon Farrell had similarly rejected the role due to nudity, and announced the casting of Marianna Hill in Aulin’s place. A unit publicist for the film was quoted in the 8 Feb 1970 LAT as saying that Ewa Aulin had never officially been cast, and had only been one of six women under consideration for the part. In the final film, Marianna Hill was said to appear “totally in the nude,” according to the 24 Jun 1970 Var review.
       Andre De Toth’s daughter, Diana De Toth, acted as script girl for the second unit, and Edit-Rite&sortType=sortByExactMatch'>Edit-Rite was set to serve as sound editor, according to items in the 23 Mar 1970 and 14 Nov 1969 DV, respectively. A brief in the 17 Jul 1969 DV stated that Lainie Kazan was hoping to receive a role in the film. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
LOCATION
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
14 Oct 1968
p. 2.
Daily Variety
20 Feb 1969
p. 1, 9.
Daily Variety
21 Feb 1969
p. 9.
Daily Variety
7 May 1969
p. 1, 4.
Daily Variety
19 Jun 1969
p. 3.
Daily Variety
17 Jul 1969
p. 2.
Daily Variety
8 Oct 1969
p. 14.
Daily Variety
3 Nov 1969
p. 2.
Daily Variety
14 Nov 1969
p. 2.
Daily Variety
23 Mar 1970
p. 20.
Los Angeles Sentinel
6 Nov 1969
Section E, p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
16 Oct 1968
Section H, p. 20.
Los Angeles Times
8 Feb 1970
Section Q, p. 16.
Los Angeles Times
22 Jul 1970
Section H, p. 8.
Los Angeles Times
23 Jul 1970
Section F, p. 19.
New York Times
20 Jun 1970.
---
Variety
26 Mar 1969
p. 35.
Variety
7 May 1969
p. 3.
Variety
1 Oct 1969
p. 33.
Variety
15 Oct 1969
p. 24.
Variety
29 Oct 1969
p. 34.
Variety
10 Jun 1970
p. 6.
Variety
24 Jun 1970
p. 20.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2nd unit dir
2nd unit dir
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2nd unit photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
COSTUMES
Cost des
MUSIC
Mus comp & cond
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Main titles
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
Prod mgr
Prod mgr
Prod mgr
DETAILS
Release Date:
19 June 1970
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 19 June 1970
Los Angeles opening: 22 July 1970
Production Date:
began 29 September 1969
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
102
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
22665
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Luke, believing that a fortune in gold is hidden in the Mexican fortress of El Condor, escapes from a chain gang and joins forces with Jaroo, a con man. The two men enlist the aid of a tribe of renegade Apaches led by Santana, leading them to believe that the raid on the fortress is for food and ammunition. Chavez, the officer in charge of the fort, captures Luke and Jaroo during their first attempt, but they escape with the aid of Claudine, Chavez' wife, who has fallen in love with Luke. Later, Claudine creates a diversion by undressing in front of her bedroom window, and the raiders return and overpower the guards. Chavez manages to get away, and the raiders take control of El Condor. Santana soon discovers Jaroo's deception; and after Jaroo shoots him, the rest of the Apaches flee with the supplies and ammunition, leaving the two bandits and Claudine in the defenseless fortress. Chavez returns with his soldiers under a flag of truce and challenges Luke to a duel, which Luke wins. The gold turns out to be only painted lead bars, however, and in a showdown, Luke kills Jaroo and remains with ... +


Luke, believing that a fortune in gold is hidden in the Mexican fortress of El Condor, escapes from a chain gang and joins forces with Jaroo, a con man. The two men enlist the aid of a tribe of renegade Apaches led by Santana, leading them to believe that the raid on the fortress is for food and ammunition. Chavez, the officer in charge of the fort, captures Luke and Jaroo during their first attempt, but they escape with the aid of Claudine, Chavez' wife, who has fallen in love with Luke. Later, Claudine creates a diversion by undressing in front of her bedroom window, and the raiders return and overpower the guards. Chavez manages to get away, and the raiders take control of El Condor. Santana soon discovers Jaroo's deception; and after Jaroo shoots him, the rest of the Apaches flee with the supplies and ammunition, leaving the two bandits and Claudine in the defenseless fortress. Chavez returns with his soldiers under a flag of truce and challenges Luke to a duel, which Luke wins. The gold turns out to be only painted lead bars, however, and in a showdown, Luke kills Jaroo and remains with Claudine. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.