Tenerife has had a long and interesting career as a location for filming. The first recorded film shot in Tenerife dates from 1896; “Mujeres isleñas de Tenerife abasteciendo de carbón a la escuadra”(Tenerife’s island women supplying coal to the squad.)
In 1909 the French Production Company, Gaumont, came to Tenerife to film the Chinyero eruption. These were the very first moving images of the island seen in other European countries.
José González Rivero was the film pioneer on the islands. In 1916 he recorded a documentary about Easter in La Laguna and in 1926 he shot “El ladrón de los guantes blancos” (The thief with white gloves), the first film with a Canarian director and Canarian actors.
In 1933, Fox arrived on the island to record a documentary entitled “The Fortunate Islands.”
At the same time UFA, a German production company and one of the most important production companies of that period, chose the island of Tenerife as a location to film “Si algún día das tu corazón” (If some day you give your heart, 1929), “La llamada de la patria” (The call of the fatherland, 1934), “Los amotinados de Santa Cruz” (The rebels of Santa Cruz, 1935) and “La Habanera” (1937). Since the 1920s German production companies have shot over thirty documentaries on Tenerife.
During the 1930s the local press highlighted the advantages of the island as a film location because of its blue skies, mild climate and varied landscapes, amongst other reasons.
In 1966, the film “One million years BC” was shot on the island, which launched the career of Raquel Welch. In the film she appears in the Teide National Park wearing a goatskin bikini. This shot turned her into a legend during the sixties.
Other films shot in Tenerife were: Climbing in Tenerife (1964); Acompáñame (1965); Órbita mortal (1966); Por la senda más dura (1975); Ambición fallida (1975) and Die Story von Monty Spinnerratz (1977).