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Argentina’s California: winemaking and films

In the middle of the last century, Mendoza received that nickname. The wine industry financed the production of films. This
La industria del vino financió la producción de películas.
26 January, 2020

It was a unique phenomenon in the interior of the country. An international film production . The great production company, Film Andes, ran from 1944 to 1957, producing and distributing dozens of films, with the participation of important actors and directors of the time.


During the 40s, wine production was at its peak. It was the mother industry for the people of Mendoza and entrepreneurs in the sector needed to invest their money. Advised, these men decided to invest in the film industry. Something that, until then, only concentrated in Buenos Aires. A meeting at the Industrial and Commercial Union of Mendoza was enough to sign the statute on September 23, 1944 .

As explained, the money was. That’s why I know built the studios in Godoy Cruz, on the lane Cervantes, a few meters from the Olive Bridge. In addition, Mendoza had a wide variety of landscapes and long days of full sun, optimal for making films.

However, a curious fact is that Argentina’s neutrality during World War II prevented producers from importing virgin film from United States for the recording of their feature films. This issue would be resolved months later. But, in the meantime, it had to be worked with a low-quality national film.

First films

The first feature films with the label of Film Andes were filmed in Buenos Aires. It stands out The great love of Bécquer by Alberto De Zavalía, with the protagonist of Delia Garcés, his wife.

However, in 1946 came the first film filmed in Mendoza lands. Carlos Borcosque began shooting Corazón, the second company film, with the participation of actors Narciso Ibáñez Menta, Juan Carlos Barbieri and Juan Carlos Altavista. They filmed the exteriors in Luján de Cuyo, Chacras de Coria, Mayor Drummond and El Challao.

May 4, 1950 is the premiere of the first film shot entirely in the Province, the eighth film of Film Andes: Far from Heaven. A rural doctor renounces everything and decides to climb socially and politically; a classic union of the agrarian and industrial realities of the country of the moment.

The best production

In 1953, the film began to be the best film in Film Andes’s short history, El último cowboy, with Augusto Codecá. This film was a great commercial success.

In no more than three months, El último cowboy was finished in a unique work for the interior of the country, because beyond the quality of the performers (remember that Augusto Codecá was one of the most important comedians of the 40s and 50s) the production was impressive. An example of this is that, for the scenography, a replica street of the North American Far West was built 140 meters long and

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