Film route

DÉNIA FILM ROUTE by Antonio Reig and Miguel Crespo 


Close to 20 films and several television series have chosen Dénia for filming on location. This route reveals why the film industry has chosen to spotlight Dénia, its most-visited sites for shooting and how these have been modified for the silver screen.

In fact, this visit begins at the building that was, years ago, the site of an outdoor movie theatre, La Rosaleda, the wardrobe and workplace for actors and technicians of many films shot on location during the 1960s.


Its unoccupied, spacious outdoor areas were physically transformed during the 1960s for raising huge sets. Historical scenes were re-enacted close to the old warehouse known as Los Tinglados, like the murder of the Duke of Buckingham (1628), the raising of the first flag of the United States of America (1776) or the eruption of the Krakatoa volcano (1883).

In the film industry, Dénia's port has played the role of the sea across four continents: Portsmouth (Captain Jones), Dover and Calais (The Three Musketeers), the Caribbean (The Son of Captain Blood), Singapore (East of Java), Algeria (Cervantes), the Bermuda Triangle (Encuentro en el abismo)... and the Mediterranean (Sound of the Sea).

Spectacular scenes of battles at sea have been filmed at the "Martell" dock. Samuel Bronston's mega production Captain Jones (1958) required over 15 days for shooting scenes that included boardings, explosions, fires and shipwrecks of boats. The confrontation between British and French fleets during times of Napoleon were depicted in H.M.S. Defiant.


This building was the church of the city of Puerto Real, where most of the story of The Son of Captain Blood (1961) takes place, entirely filmed in Dénia. Some of the best set designers of the Spanish film industry participated in creating the sets for one of the most expensive films shot by the producer Benito Perojo.

Sean Flynn, son of Errol Flynn, played the role of the son of Captain Blood, the legendary character played by his father during the 1930s. The screenwriter was also the son of the original film's screenwriter, Casey Robinson, also the scriptwriter of Casablanca.

The replicas of the 17th century galleons were expressly built in Italy for filming Captain Jones. After that, they were used in fifteen additional films, three of which were again filmed on location at Dénia's harbour: The Son of Captain BloodH.M.S. Defiant and Billy Budd.


Miguel de Cervantes, author of Don Quixote, went ashore in Dénia after a seven-year imprisonment in Algeria.

The international production Cervantes was filmed in 1966 at the Dénia harbour specifically to represent the land that was contrary to that of historic reality. In the film, Dénia was the Algiers of his years in prison. The German actor Horst Buchholz played the role of Cervantes, and the Spanish Paco Rabal and the Italian Gina Lollobrigida, all representing important characters in the film shot on location here, held leading roles. The entire area where theMonument to the Weather currently sits was occupied by an immense, outdoor market where Sean Flynn fought in a fun, acrobatic sword duel in The Son of Captain Blood. Flynn disappeared years later in Vietnam, apparently assassinated at the Cambodian border when working as a professional photographer.


The simple layout of the fishermen's quarters has allowed for representing the urban centres of the 16th and 17th centuries with minimal changes.

The entire first stretch of the Raset area, now used for setting up outdoor tables of the port’s restaurants, was the setting for The Three Musketeers (1973) and The Four Musketeers (1974). Milady (Faye Dunaway) and Rochefort (Christopher Lee) met here to plot against the queen. Rachel Welch took a stroll here, accompanied by Michael York, Oliver Reed, Richard Chamberlain and Simon Ward.


In the year 2000, the director Bigas Luna recreated in Dénia the Mediterranean world of the writer Manuel Vicent in the adaptation of the novel Sound of the Sea. The Senieta bar was the meeting point for Marina (Leonor Watling) and Ulises (Jordi Moyà).


This plaza was transformed into a Scottish town for Captain Jones. The sequence shows dozens of extras marching to the beat of bagpipes, ending with an egg thrown in the face of a soldier on horseback. Dozens of eggs were used because the boy throwing them, son of the director and brother of the actress Mia Farrow, failed to hit the mark.

This same plaza was again used in September 2010 for filming some scenes of “The Cold Light of Day”, released in April-May 2012 and produced by Summit Entertainment and Intrepid Pictures in collaboration with Galavis Film. The San Antonio Plaza was the location of a simulated pharmacy where the film's leading actor, Henry Cavill, went in search of medication.


A sculpture by José Luis Saldaña commemorates the filming of Captain Jones in the fishermen's quarters since 2008, the fiftieth anniversary of the film.


This historic, emblematic fortress of the town has made appearances on the silver screen both by appearing in ample, panoramic views as well as by revealing its inner retreats. The Son of Captain Blood (1961) included extraordinary views taken from the sea. In Amanece como puedas (1987) and Sound of the Sea (2000), the castle is part of the landscape and in El canto de la cigarra(1980) it appears in all of its splendour from Las Rotas.

Its walls have set the scene for combat and some of the old stones from its interior are identifiable in Captain Jones (1958), which depicts the assault of Whitehaven and Cervantes (1966), representing the labour camp in Algiers where the protagonist is sentenced to prison.


The Town Hall and Constitution Plaza appear in two Spanish films: El canto de la cigarra (1980) and Amanece como puedas (1987). At the Church of the Assumption, Mia Farrow, as Queen of the festivities in Dénia, passed out the holy bread on the Festivity of the Holy Blood in July of 1958.


A wonderful setting for Amanece como puedas, a Mediterranean ensemble piece comedy. An airplane got stuck between the rooftops of Cop Street, and its occupants land inside a giant pan used as a lifeboat.


Marqués de Campo Street was the meeting point for the residents' leisure during the entire 20th century. Most of the theatres and cinemas were located here, the place for strolling and meeting.

The Circo Theatre, inaugurated in 1895 and transformed in 1967 into the Condado Cinema, was the first place for showing films. Up to three cinemas coexisted on this street in the middle of the last century. In addition to the Circo Theatre, there were the Salón Moderno and Palacio Del Sol, converted in 1951 into Sol Cinema, an outdoor cinema during the summer.


The Plaza of the San Antonio Convent appeared in scenes of Amanece como puedas and Sound of the Sea. The interior of the Cooperative Wholesale Society was used as an indoor backdrop in Captain Jones and East of Java.