Movie stars uncomfortable during filming of Bravados in Mexico – weather cold and rainy too
by Lee Belser, Lubbock Evening Journal, February 28, 1958
Morelia, Mex. – When you lope off to the nearest movie house to take a gander at the film called “The Bravados” starring Gregory Peck, you might think it was filmed in Hollywood. But it wasn’t. It was shot right here in Mexican terra firma in the midst of peons, pesos, peanuts and a reasonable amount of tequila. The film company, headed by director Henry King, mosied down here about four weeks ago because King thought Morelia (a picturesque 16th century town) offered the best possible relief background for this stark manhunt-type western.
When I arrived they had just finished shooting a mob scene near an ancient Mexican church and were moving over to the highway to get a shot of Peck thundering down the road aboard his faithful steed. Greg, wearing buckskin jacket, black western pants, spurs, boots and black sombrero, jumped in the back seat of a car where his wife Veronique was waiting. I jumped in too and we all buzzed down to the next location spot. The tall gangly actor was very solicitous of his frau who had been ill with the flu and who also is expecting a baby (their second) in May.
“We hope it will be another boy, “ said Veronique, who looked pale and wan beside her bronzed husband. Peck, who had three sons by a previous marriage, plus the one by his new French wife figures he’ll soon have enough boys to start a football team.
About this time Director King called the shot and Greg was off to immortalize another reel of film. It was unreasonably cold and rainy for Mexico and the movie mogul wasn’t too happy about it. Like most locations, things weren’t altogether hunky-dory. ‘A lot of people have been sick,” he said, “and we’ve had a few accidents.”
Actor Lee Van Cleef sprained his hand in a wrestling scene; Peck, during a running sequence, fell and hurt his leg; Britisher Stephen Boyd was kicked by a horse and actress Kathleen Gallant fell off her nag and injured her pride.
Most members of the company were secretly yearning for Mexico City but few of them got more than a glimpse of it because Morelia, the scene of the location, is a six hour drive away over snaky mountain roads spotted with dense fog.
The players were scattered over the town in ancient hotels and the stars, including Peck and Joan Collins, were staying in a modern type hilltop villa with adobe fireplaces to protect them from the cold.
“This would be a great spot for a vacation,” Peck commented, “No telephones and 250 miles from nowhere!”