Once Upon a Time in Almería
11 December 2011

The Final Duel

Mortimer stands eyeing his Colt Buntline Special on the ground, which has just been shot out of his hand. Indio approaches holding a musical watch. Inside the watch is a picture of Mortimer’s sister, who shot herself while being raped by Indio. The two gunmen stand inside a large circle bounded by a low stone wall at the edge of town. In the background is only desert, a few dry shrubs and distant mountains. Manco approaches, offering his gunbelt and pistol to Mortimer before taking a seat on the low wall. The duel begins. As Indio starts to reach for his gun, he is knocked down by Mortimer’s bullet.

The final duel scene from For a Few Dollars More is one of the most memorable in western film history. The scene was shot outside the town of Los Albaricoques in the desert of Níjar. Sergio Leone made use of this location for several scenes throughout the Dollars trilogy.

In recent years the town has grown rapidly, adding plots of modern townhomes. Cars line the narrow lanes. And the modest white houses which once stood in for a dusty Mexican pueblo have been fixed up and repainted. However, local officials have renamed the streets to honor their history — one famous scene was filmed on what is now Calle Clint Eastwood. The circular ring from the final duel scene has also been reconstructed on the original site, seen in the photo above (click on the photo for a larger image). The row of houses in the background are new. But the small white building and round tower directly in back of the ring can be seen in the film, much as they are today.

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