Sydney Pollack and Robert Redford argued at length with the US State Department about gaining permission to bypass their embargo on Cuba and shoot Havana in Havana. But to no avail, so Havana was shot in the neighboring Dominican Republic.
Aesthetically similar in many Caribbean features, the Dominican Republic’s capital city, Santo Domingo, was a stand-in that lacked one significant detail: an equivalent to Havana’s Paseo del Prado. El Prado is a European-style boulevard comparable to those found in Paris and Madrid. Built from 1770 to the mid-1830s, the iconic thoroughfare is lined by the National Capital Building (El Capitolio), several hotels, theatres, and restaurants.
Pollack’s solution was to build…
The full 300 word version of this scene location analysis is published in World Film Locations Havana, edited by Ann Marie Stock, published by Intellect Books, 2014.