¡Three Amigos! (1986) Poster


Jump to: Cameo (2) | Spoilers (1)
Originally the movie was supposed to star Steve Martin, Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi. Martin mentioned it in a Playboy interview published January 1980, referring to the movie as 'The Three Caballeros'.
While singing the opening song the Three Amigos simultaneously hold that high note for 14 seconds.
The bats hunted by Ned, is actually fried bacon, served on skewers.
First major appearance and starring in role in a feature film for actor-comedian Martin Short.
Steven Spielberg considered directing the film but chose to do E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) instead. He has said in interviews his choices for the roles of the Three Amigos were Steve Martin for Lucky Day, Bill Murray for Dusty Bottoms and Robin Williams for Ned Nederlander.
For the silent film sequence, actor-comedians Martin Short, Chevy Chase and Steve Martin wore lead-based make-up.
Debut produced screenplay of composer Randy Newman who co-wrote the films script. The picture remains [to date, August 2013] the first, final and only ever script-writing credit for Newman.
Steve Martin learned the lasso tricks while working in a magic shop as a teenager.
In the sequence where the title characters have to say magic words to summon the invisible swordsman, one of Steve Martin's magic words sounds like "Hfuhruhurr" which is Martin's character's name in The Man with Two Brains (1983).
"El Guapo" is Spanish for "The Handsome One" or "The Ladies' Man".
Randy Newman, who wrote some of the the songs for this movie, was the voice of the singing bush. This was lifted directly from the Holy Bible's book of Deuteronomy. Moses' (the Amigos') vision to guide the oppressed Egyptians (Santa Pocans) into freedom.
The cantina at the beginning of the movie is named "Cantina el Borracho'. This is Spanish for "Bar of the Drunk".
In the scene where the Three Amigos are trying to sneak into El Guapo's fortress and freeze, the two guards who pass them are discussing a recipe in Spanish.
Rebecca Underwood is billed in the credits as "Señorita Kissing Ned". A former Playboy Playmate, she is actually known as Rebecca Ferratti, and had been the Playboy Playmate of the Month for June 1986.
In his memoir, Life Itself, film critic Roger Ebert recounted appearing as a guest on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962) alongside Chevy Chase who was promoting the film. During the interview, Ebert was asked what his least favorite film of the holiday season was, he replied ¡Three Amigos!. Chase said "looking forward to your next picture" but later confided with Ebert backstage that he didn't "think it's so hot, either."
John Landis states, had Martin Short turned down the role of Ned, he would have then approached Rick Moranis to play the role.
One of three mid-1980s western spoofs. The films were Rustlers' Rhapsody (1985), ¡Three Amigos! (1986) and Lust in the Dust (1985).
Film Critic Leonard Maltin noted that "villain Arau [Alfonso Arau who plays El Guapo] was one of the key bad guys in The Wild Bunch (1969)".
Lucky Day (Steve Martin) is the only one of the Amigos to get shot in the movie. Once in his left shoulder, and once in his right foot.
"Nederlander" is Dutch for 'Dutchman (from the Netherlands)'. Interestingly, the film's assistant production coordinator Sharon Nederlander bears the same name.
Actress-comedian Fran Drescher had a role at the start of the movie but all her scenes got deleted.
One of a number of movie collaborations of husband and wife team of director John Landis and costume designer Deborah Nadoolman. The pair have worked together in those roles in numerous movies that Landis has directed.
The Video & DVD Guide said this film was a "send-up of The Cowboy Star (1936)' whilst Halliwell's said that it was a "take-off of The Magnificent Seven (1960)". Moreover, Movies on TV & Videocassette said that it was a "spoof of Mexican bandit movies" whilst Rating the Movies said that the picture was a "spoof of B-westerns".
Star Billing: Chevy Chase (1st), Steve Martin (2nd) and Martin Short (3rd) on the film print but on promotional materials such as movie posters and video and DVD covers have had the order as Steve Martin (1st), Chevy Chase (2nd) and Martin Short (3rd).
The name of the picture on the billboard that starred Miss Rent was "The Dueling Cavalier". The names of some of the films that the three amigos had starred in, either singularly or together, were "Shootin' For Love", ""Little Neddy Grab your Gun", "Those Darn Amigos!", "Little Neddy Goes to War", and "Amigos! Amigos! Amigos!".
Two Saturday Night Live (1975) veterans appeared in the picture portraying two executives at Goldsmith Pictures. They were Jon Lovitz and Phil Hartman.
The voice of composer Randy Newman got digital altered to sound as the singing bush.
The injury that Steve Martin's character gets from the first gunshot wound is in his left arm, in the same spot he kept getting shot in his earlier film, Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982).
Sam Kinison had a role as Mexican bandit/stalker that was filmed and later cut by director John Landis.
El Guapo's second in command is named Jefe... This word literally translates to "head," but more accurately translates to "boss."
John Landis said in an Empire magazine piece on the film that it was taken out of his hands in post by the studio and heavily edited. It had its first scene cut for instance.
The picture was filmed during January, February, March and April 1986,
Director John Landis has said of the singing turtle: "That singing turtle was my idea. It's a desert setting so we needed lots of animals. The animals were on set with handlers and wires so they didn't run, but I remember the coyote was the most difficult".
The name of the village is spelled and pronounced as Santa Poco in the movie and soundtrack. This is grammatically incorrect, as "santa" is a feminine word and "Poco" is masculine, and since in Spanish the genders should match, the proper spelling is Santo Poco, though San Poco would actually be the correct form used in Mexican Spanish, due to other conventional rules regarding the letters with which a name begins.
Alfonso Arau, (El Guapo), also starred in Tres amigos (1970), which translates to Three Amigos.
The make and model of the World War I era German mail aircraft was a red, black and white Tubman 601 bi-plane.
Of the two movies that comic star Steve Martin appeared in during 1986, this film and Little Shop of Horrors (1986), both pictures featured singing plants, the Singing Bush in this picture, and the big green mother Audrey II in the other movie.
Carl La Fong (actor/stunts) is the name used to great comic effect when W.C. Fields is questioned about that character's whereabouts in It's a Gift (1934): Insurance Salesman: Do you know a man by the name of LaFong? Carl LaFong? Capital L, small a, Capital F, small o, small n, small g. LaFong. Carl LaFong. Harold: No, I don't know Carl LaFong - capital L, small a, capital F, small o, small n, small g. And if I did know Carl LaFong, I wouldn't admit it!
The name of the silent film movie studio was "Goldsmith Pictures".
Chevy Chase, Steve Martin and Martin Short all sing in this movie.
The movie's opening title card read: "Mexico 1916".
Walt Disney's The Three Caballeros (1944) movie was a sequel to their Saludos Amigos (1942) short. ¡Three Amigos! (1986) is actually a hybrid of these two film titles.
The name of the silent film actress that Ned Nederlander (Martin Short) had encountered was Dorothy Gish.
The name of the song and dance number that the three amigos performed at the cantina was "My Little Buttercup".
One of a number of mid-late 1980s comedy movies with the word "Three" prefixed in the title. The films include ¡Three Amigos! (1986), Three Fugitives (1989), 3 Men and a Baby (1987), 3 hommes et un couffin (1985) and 3 Men and a Little Lady (1990).
This is a John Landis directed comedy which actually did not feature an unusually large number of cameo appearances.
Two of the movie's lead cast were called "Martin". They were Martin Short and Steve Martin.
The amount of money that the three amigos were offered to go to Mexico was 100,000 pesos.
First of two 1980s comedies prefixed by the word "Three" in the title for comedian Martin Short. The second movie would be about three years later with 1989's Three Fugitives (1989). Moreover, in 1997, Short was emcee on the TV show The Three Stooges Greatest Hits (1997).
Alliterated names in the lead cast included the name of star Chevy Chase and the character name of Ned Nederlander (played by Martin Short).
Despite the notorious financial and critical failure of Heaven's Gate (1980), the Hollywood films industry within about five years of that movie bizarrely revived the oater movie genre during the mid-80s producing a mini-cycle of Western movies of which this western spoof was one. In 1985, the dream factory churned out such Western oaters as Silverado (1985), Rustlers' Rhapsody (1985), Pale Rider (1985) and Lust in the Dust (1985). ¡Three Amigos! (1986) followed in 1986.
The name of the village the three amigos were hired to protect was "Santa Poco". The name of the cantina there where the three amigos go was "El Borracho".
According to the movie's closing credits, the silent film location was the Universal Studios back-lot. John Landis has said that it was shot one of the Universal studio's oldest lots.


Randy Newman:  The movie's song-writer and co-scriptwriter as the voice of the Singing Bush.
Phil Hartman:  The Saturday Night Live (1975) veteran as Sam, a Goldsmith Pictures executive.


The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

The basic story and quite a few scenes borrow heavily from Akira Kurosawa's "Seven Samurai". (Seven Samurai (1954)): Village terrorized by bandits; A few villagers goes into town to find help; They have very little to offer; No help from towns people; They find "warriors"; They prepare defenses (among them water filled trenches); Large climactic battle; The leader is the last of the bandits to die; Three prepare to leave the village; One looks back at the girl he fell in love with (though Three amigos has a slightly happier version of what happens then).

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

Contribute to This Page