Sean Connery put his dashing James Bond image behind him to portray Shalako, a wild west adventurer in this adaptation of Louis L'Amour's novel.
In late-19th-century New Mexico, a hunting party of decadent European aristocrats wanders onto the reservation of some angry Apaches, and it's up to the mysterious wanderer, Shalako (Sean Connery), to save them from getting slaughtered. The group includes Honor Blackman (Pussy Galore in GOLDFINGER) as the sexually restless Lady Bagget and Brigette Bardot as the sharp shooting Countess Lazaar, who (of course) falls for Shalako. It's an unusual blend of wide-open Western action and European character intrigue as the decadent aristocrats sip champagne and flirt with their unwashed, treacherous cowboy guides. Veteran director Edward Dmytryk keeps the flaming arrows flying while Connery and Bardot hold attention in this weird hybrid of American Western and European art film. (Yes, Bardot has a seminude bathing scene.) SHALAKO, based on the novel by Louis L'Amour, was filmed almost entirely outdoors amid the dark gray landscapes of Almeria, Spain, in a style undoubtedly indebted to the Sergio Leone spaghetti Westerns of the time.
SHALAKO premiered in Munich, Germany, on September 26th, 1968. Although the action takes place in New Mexico, the film was shot on location in Almeria, Spain. The voice of Jack Hawkins, who had undergone surgery for his throat cancer prior to production, was dubbed in by British actor Charles Gray. SHALAKO was producer Euan Lloyd's first feature film outing in that capacity. The production was financed through 36 independent distribution entities from around the world. Rodd Redwing and Chief Elmer Smith acted as technical advisers during production.