The Castilian (1963) Soria

Made two years after El Cid, the film tells a similar tale of Spanish knights, this time led by Fernán González (923-970) heroically chopping up Moors, breaking treaties, (Ok so a hundred damsels as a bargaining gambit isn’t PC these days, but a deal’s a deal!), and trying to unite Spain, or the next best version of it.

The best thing about the film is undoubtedly the scenery, including the castle of Berlanga de Duero, which is supposed to be Fernán’s hometown from the outside, with its spectacular hilltop walls, although when we go inside, we are in La Alberca in the province of Salamanca, with its telltale cross in the Plaza Mayor.

Here Fernán is proclaimed Count after the death of his brother, and rides off to settle the whole hundred maidens in exchange for peace business.

Our thanks to Soria cinema specialist Julián de la Llana for his help with this information.