The Colossus of Rhodes (1961)


The Colossus of Rhodes was shot in 1961. It is the first film that sees Sergio Leone credited as director; he also takes care of the subject and screenplay with others.

The Colossus of Rhodes truly existed and is considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. It was a 32 meters high statue dedicated to the god Helios, built at the entrance of the port of Rhodes. The statue, completed in 293 B.C., was destroyed in the earthquake of 226 B.C.

It is a mythological movie. To be frank it’s not among my favorite genres and I find it quite ugly. But it was shot in Spain.

Well before the mania to search for the locations of Leone westerns took me, during our holidays in Spain we happened to visit some of the places where the film was shot. In particular, the beautiful Ciudad Encantada, near Cuenca, a park that can be visited that contains really special rock formations.

Ciudad Encantada: some frames from the film and our photographs (from 2009)

The scenes of the port of Rhodes were shot in Laredo, Cantabria (our photos are from 2012):

Other scenes were shot at the Pedriza in Manzanares el Real, a location already documented for Il Buono, il Brutto, il Cattivo. Looking closely at the film, it seems to understand that some shots of the sea are actually Manzanares Lake.


And finally, as far as the actors are concerned, Conrado Sanmartin, Antonio Casas, and, above all, Roberto Camardiel in the part of Xerxes are accredited, all already documented in the pages of the actors of the western films.