Hello i guess you mean this scene
Yes that’s it. In the rain. The next section I post will be about the execution scene at the train station with the rebels in pits.
Yes, this looks like the correct location - I spent some time a year ago checking close ups of the bricks in the wall to confirm it to myself🤠
The barman, who had the pictures of the filming, indicated to me that this was the location.
- Trench Massacre - The sugar factory at Guadix, Granada.
I’d never seen the trench massacre before, until I got a version of TODESMELODIE off German Satellite TV in 1996. This sequence had apparently been included in the Laser disc version, and of course it’s now on the DVDs. I assumed that with most of the other Mesa Verde scenes being filmed at Guadix, then that’s where the location would be found. But I also expected the Bank to be there too, and as we now know I was completely wrong about that, as indeed was Professor Frayling. However, thanks to the Professor’s biography of Sergio Leone, we had absolutely no trouble finding the location of the trench massacre, which he clearly describes as “a disused sugar factory called Azucareza San Torcuato… just outside the centre of Guadix.”
As you approach the outskirts of Guadix from the Almeria road, you take a sharp left turn, and descend towards the City, almost immediately crossing a railway bridge with the station to your right, and directly opposite to your left, the Azucareza. The entrance to the factory was securely barred with tall gates, and fencing, but if you go to the left of the main gate, you can get onto a narrow path next to the railway line and walking some hundred yards along here, it is possible to find a rough path up onto the hillside to your right, from where you can get an exceptionally good view of the factory grounds with it’s massive brick structures.
From my vantage point in year 2000, I could see that the place seemed fairly deserted, but there was a small car parked casually next to the long main building, and some yards from there, a white donkey tethered to a post. Walking further along the ridge I could see a way down and into the grounds, and called to Don & Marla to tell them what I had found. They had continued walking further along the railway track for another hundred yards, and then turned right down a narrow passageway between two walls, one of which formed the factory perimeter. From their position, they could not see any way inside, and from my position I couldn’t clearly see them, so we exchanged muffled shouts to each other, and I persuaded them that they would be better off taking the route that I had found.
When they finally joined me, I was relaxing with a Toscano, enjoying the warm morning air, the quiet ambience of this decaying monument to Industry, and the spectacular views that could be had of the sprawl of bright buildings in the distant City, nestling beneath the massive snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada.
Together we descended into the grounds of the Azucareza, expecting at any moment to be confronted by the owner of the car, a watchmen for the site, presumably. But wherever he was, he was paying no attention to us, nor to the intermittent braying of the donkey that assaulted our ears. And then we started to notice the smell. A rank, disgusting odour that seemed to get worse as we got closer to the massive stone gullies where in the film the Federales had herded the prisoners to be executed. So carefully peering over the top of the concrete rim, and looking forty feet down into the base we really should not have been surprised to discover the cause of the smell: a herd of goats.
They were all clustered together in a large heap. Limbs sprawled carelessly across each other as they slept silently in the bottom of the pit, occasionally one or another moving its head or body to get a little more comfort on the hard concrete; the lucky ones protected from the midday sun by the deep shadow of the walls, others burning brightly in it’s direct light.
According to Professor Frayling, Leone had some extra railroad track laid into this area for the purpose of the film, which would have been a relatively simple process due to the nearness of the railway station. But whilst no sign of the track remains in the grounds, some decaying remnants of wooden railway carriages used in this and other films were still visible in the station yard. It’s definitely worth a visit, because you may recognise it from the opening scenes of Damiano Damiani’s Revolution western: A BULLET FOR THE GENERAL.
I’ve added a couple of photos to the last piece. I was going to go back and add photos to the rest, but the edit icon has disappeared. Is there a time limit on editing past posts?
There is now a herd of goats running around this location🤠
Golly gosh, you’ve been there recently?
- Flashback #5: Happier memories - Deer Park Golf Course, Howth, Dublin, Ireland
The final flashback of DUCK, YOU SUCKER which was often omitted from release prints of the film, was finally restored to its full length in the Italian Special Edition DVD released by CVC in 2002. The scene features James Coburn and David Warbeck chasing Vivienne Chandler towards a lone tree in a wide green field, where she stops and shares kisses with both of them. It wasn’t a location we thought that we had much chance of finding: A field with one tree, thirty years later - it just put me in mind of the Civil War battle location in GBU, where the wide river valley was now a forest of thirty-year old trees.
But one thing that we all felt might help us here was Rule Number Five: “If you’ve found a Leone location, look behind you - you’ll probably see another one.”
At the time we were at Castle Howth in Dublin, I had been convinced that Leone had shot all his Irish exteriors here. That’s when I got tied up with my wild theories regarding the Transport museum, which subsequently proved groundless. But, you know, he’s here shooting the car driving up and down, and he then needs some shots of them having a lovely time in the countryside, so what does do? Does he travel down to Count Wicklow?
No, why bother? He’s at Howth Castle with it’s massive gardens and grounds, and you walk less than a minute in any direction, and you are in such beautiful countryside.
I was convinced that if we actually took the trouble to walk the grounds, we would be successful in finding the exact place that Leone had used to film this final flashback.
The only problem was that most of the grounds were now a massive golf course.
However, since we had stopped at the house, I thought that a short wander along the road towards the transport museum and then a turn to the left around the edge of the house might be a useful place to start. The pathway twisted into a little courtyard and then bent out again before twisting back to a large lawn behind the house. It was obviously private property, and I had no right to be there, but that had never stopped me before, so I kept walking diagonally across the lawn towards what looked like a fenced paddock of rough grass which gradually stretched uphill towards a small copse of trees, and remarkably, in the centre of this paddock was a lone tree.
As I approached the right corner of the paddock, I spotted a young boy of about twelve, standing about a 100 yards away from me on the left corner. He was gazing up the field, and with his back three-quarters towards me, totally unaware of my presence.
I moved a little nearer and could see that to the left side of the paddock was the road that led up to the Hotel and Club House, whilst to the right was a path that ringed the golf course. The tree was viewable from either position, so I immediately turned around and retraced my steps, but had only just begun to move when I heard the young boy pipe up in a very posh English accent: “Excuse me this is private property”.
“Yeah I know”, I yelled back, “Sorry but I got lost!”
When I joined Don and Marla again back around the front of the house where they had been taking photographs, I told them of my findings and suggested we look for the path that skirts the edge of the golf course and get a little closer to that tree. So instead of taking them directly around the edge of the house, we went a little further on and found a path just opposite the transport museum that led to the left through the leafy woods, past a large man-made pond and onto the bottom of the golf course. This was a Saturday, and extremely busy, so we had to wait while players teed off, before we felt safe enough to wander past them and get closer to the fence that edged the paddock. Our general consensus was that the tree seemed less tall than the one featured in the film, and in thirty years trees usually grow bigger, rather than smaller. But the rough field with it’s gentle slope, the low line of walls and bushes along the perimeter made it all very possible.
Maybe this wasn’t the exact spot, I suggested, maybe it’s somewhere like this, but somewhere else along this golf course. And so I determined that during the afternoon I was going to wander casually between the golf teams, inconspicuous in my Rod Steiger hat and Marlboro Western coat, and inspect as much of the areas along the edge of the golf course that I could.
Don and Marla thought it was hysterical, and kept yelling “fore” after me, and “Duck you sucker!”
Well it did turn out to be a time-consuming venture, because the golfers were so slow in their progress around the course, and the place was swarming with them, and so we determined to return on a quieter day, which eventually turned out to be a gray and foggy Sunday morning. I think that we had by now all agreed that Leone had filmed the particular flashback scene here, and that maybe some of the golf course had now been built over it. The sensible course of action seemed to be to visit the Hotel and see if anyone there could shed some light on the history of this place.
Presenting ourselves at the reception, and explaining our mission, we were soon introduced to David Tighe, the current manager of the Hotel. He was rather impressed with our story of searching for the DUCK YOU SUCKER locations, a film of which he had definitely heard, and was very willing to try and help us.
Don showed him the photographs we had of the scene, and this led to him disappearing into his office several times to bring out different brochures and old photographs of the golf course over the years, which he studied and compared to the frame grabs from the film.
Apparently the Hotel and a smal area of the golf course had been built at the time when Leone arrived here to film the car scenes. But in the intervening thirty years, the course had grown enormously.
“I think this is the most likely spot”, he said presently, indicating a particular place that could be seen both on the course map and an aerial photograph. “It’s called the paddock.”
So it was with mounting excitement that we followed his car down towards the house and then turned left to the transport museum, where we parked. And as we took the small path up through the woods towards the paddock where we had been a couple of days earlier, I could hardly contain myself.
“Watch out for the golfers,” David said, after a particularly loud thwack had echoed off to the right and caused him to automatically duck his head. We were certainly in the appropriate place for such a film title, I thought.
He then led us to clamber through the fence and stroll across the paddock towards the lone tree. “Isn’t this Private property?” I ventured.
"Oh, it’ll be all right, " he said, “They won’t mind.”
And so we stood there for a while with Don and Marla taking photographs and David looking backwards and forwards from the frame grabs to the tree and the surrounding field, and eventually, he said: “Well, I’m not a betting man, but if I had to pick any place in Ireland where they might have filmed this, I’m betting that this is the place.”
Here endeth this saga. I’ll start a new thread for the FOD location hunting in due course. Thanks for all your comments.
I visited the castle before COVID to find the same locations and took the tour hoping to get more info. The car scene was easy enough to find.
The path that I believe you took near the museum is now private property but luckily the lady of the house was walking her dogs and I got permission to go up the path to the golf area. I did not have photos to compare but also believe the tree scene is in this area - probably in the large fenced field between the castle and the golf course. I was tempted to go up the road towards the golf course and enter the field but I was not that cheeky.
If you have photos of the area I would love to see them.
There is a photo of Sergio Leone beside an old sign in the trees which may be in the same area but I didn’t have the luxury of going back to see.