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¡Three Amigos! (1986) Poster

Trivia

Film Critic Leonard Maltin noted that "Villain Arau [Alfonso Arau (El Guapo)] was one of the key bad guys in The Wild Bunch (1969)".
Jump to: Cameo (2) | Spoilers (1)
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. Spielberg would later direct Williams in Hook (1991).
Steve Martin learned the lasso tricks while working in a magic shop at Disneyland as a teenager.
First appearance in a starring role for Martin Short.
Originally, the movie was supposed to star Steve Martin, Dan Aykroyd, and John Belushi. Martin mentioned it in a Playboy interview published in January 1980, referring to the movie as "The Three Caballeros" (See: Walt Disney's The Three Caballeros (1944)).
The bats hunted by Ned, is actually fried bacon, served on skewers.
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.
While singing the opening song, the Three Amigos simultaneously hold the high note for fourteen seconds.
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."
Fran Drescher had a role at the start of the movie, but all of her scenes got deleted.
For the silent film sequence, Martin Short, Chevy Chase, and Steve Martin wore lead-based make-up.
"El Guapo" is Spanish for "The Handsome One".
John Landis states, had Martin Short turned down the role of Ned, he would have approached Rick Moranis to play the role.
This is the only film written by Composer Randy Newman.
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 cantina at the beginning of the movie is named "Cantina del Borracho". This is Spanish for "Canteen of the Drunk", or "Bar of the Drunk".
John Landis said in an Empire magazine piece on the film, that it was taken out of his hands in post-production by the studio (Orion Pictures), and heavily edited. It had its first scene cut for instance.
Sam Kinison had a role as a Mexican bandit and stalker that was filmed, and later cut by John Landis.
Randy Newman, who wrote some of the songs for this movie, was the voice of the singing bush. This was possibly a reference to the burning bush from the Holy Bible's book of Exodus. Moses' (the Amigos') vision to guide the oppressed Hebrews (Santa Pocans) into freedom.
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.
One of several movie collaborations of husband and wife team of John Landis and Costume Designer Deborah Nadoolman.
The voice of Randy Newman got digitally altered to sing as the singing bush.
Two Saturday Night Live (1975) veterans appeared in the picture portraying two executives at Goldsmith Pictures. They were Jon Lovitz and Phil Hartman.
The injury that Lucky Day (Steve Martin) 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).
According to the closing credits, the silent film location was the Universal Studios backlot. John Landis has said that the picture was shot on one of Universal Studio's oldest lots.
The name of the movie on the billboard, in the scene where the Amigos break into the studio to retrieve their costumes, was the "The Dueling Cavalier". This is also the name of a movie made by Don Lockwood and Lena Lamont in the classic Singin' in the Rain (1952).
El Guapo's second in command is named "Jefe". This word literally translates to "boss".
The amount of money that was offered to the three amigos to come to Santa Poco was one hundred thousand pesos. The Mexican to U.S. dollar exchange rate would have been about a little over two pesos to one dollar in 1920. Adjusting for inflation, in 2014, this would have netted a 2.5 million dollar stipend. In 1986, one hundred thousand Mexican pesos would have netted one thousand dollars before the peso re-valuation during the mid 1990s. In 2014, the Three Amigos' payment would have been about seventy-six dollars.
Tony Plana turned down Oliver Stone's Platoon (1986) to appear in this. He had also appeared in Stone's Salvador (1986) and knew that shooting Platoon (1986) in the Philippines would be an even more difficult shoot, compared to the 5 star hotel that was being provided for the Tucson location for ¡Three Amigos! (1986). Stone did not talk to him for years.
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First movie collaboration of Phil Hartman and Steve Martin, who later appeared in Sgt. Bilko (1996). Both had also appeared prior to ¡Three Amigos! (1986) on television, in episodes of Saturday Night Live (1975).
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"Nederlander" is Dutch for "Dutchman" (from the Netherlands). Interestingly, Assistant Production Coordinator Sharon Nederlander bears the same name.
Star Billing: Chevy Chase (first), Steve Martin (second), and Martin Short (third) on the film print, but on promotional materials, such as movie posters and video and DVD covers, have had the order as Steve Martin (first), Chevy Chase (second), and Martin Short (third).
The name of the movie 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!".
The name of the small desert town in Mexico was "Santa Poco". 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 a masculine word. Since in Spanish the genders should match, the proper spelling would be "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.
The cowboy in the bar (Michael Wren), who duels the German and propositions Carmen, is modelled after "Luke", the cowboy who appears on the cover of every album of the 1970s band, Pure Prairie League.
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Principal photography took place during January, February, March, and April 1986.
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This is the first film that Steve Martin and Martin Short starred in together. They also starred in Father of the Bride (1991), and Father of the Bride Part II (1995).
Alfonso Arau (El Guapo) also starred in Tres amigos (1970), which translates to Three Amigos.
One of three mid-1980s western spoofs. The films were Rustlers' Rhapsody (1985), ¡Three Amigos! (1986), and Lust in the Dust (1985).
The Video & DVD Guide said this film was a "send-up of The Cowboy Star (1936), while 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", while Rating the Movies said that the picture was a "spoof of B-westerns". Further, Variety stated that this "film is a takeoff of The Magnificent Seven (1960)" and parodies "the style of a number of other classic westerns."
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The first character in the movie's title featured an exclamation mark, "!", that was upside down, "¡", which is one of the rarest occurrences for a theatrical feature film title. Yet, in Spanish, it's a normal way to start an exclamatory sentence or phrase. (For example, ¡Ay, Dios mío!)
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Of the two movies that Steve Martin appeared in during 1986, this film and Little Shop of Horrors. Both movies featured singing plants, the Singing Bush in this movie, and Audrey II in the other.
Martin Short starred in two mid-late 1980s comedy movies with the word "Three" prefixed in the title: ¡Three Amigos! (1986) and Three Fugitives (1989).
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Four actors that are in the movie executives scene, have played a role in The Simpsons (1989). Steve Martin as Ray Patterson in The Simpsons: Trash of the Titans (1998). Jon Lovitz as Artie Ziff/Llewellyn Sinclair/Jay Sherman/Professor Lombardo/Jay Sherman/Ms. Sinclair/Aristotle Amandopoulis in several episodes. Joe Mantegna as Fat Tony in several episodes, and the late Phil Hartman as Troy McLure/Lionel Hutz.
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The make and model of the German mail aircraft was a red, black, and white, Bücker Bü 131, a 1930s basic training aircraft used during World War II. The movie takes place in 1916, but this aircraft had its first flight on April 27, 1934. The aircraft is called a tubman 601, although there is no real aircraft with that name.
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Carl La Fong (actor and stuntman) 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!"
Two of the film's lead cast, Martin Short and Steve Martin, were named "Martin". One is a first name, and one is a last name, respectively.
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The name of the silent film actress that Ned Nederlander (Martin Short) had encountered was Dorothy Gish.
The movie's opening title card states: "Mexico 1916".
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One of two movie collaborations of John Landis and Chevy Chase. The other one being Spies Like Us (1985).
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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.
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In the late 1980s, a trio of top wide receivers, Vance Johnson, Ricky Nattiel, and Mark Jackson, who played for the Denver Broncos, were nicknamed the "Three Amigos" after this film came out. The players were part of a Broncos team that reached three of four Super Bowls between 1986-1989, losing all three times.
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One of two mid 1980s spoof comedy Hollywood westerns featuring "singing cowboys". The movies are ¡Three Amigos! (1986) and Rustlers' Rhapsody (1985).
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This is a John Landis directed comedy which did not feature a large number of cameo appearances.
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Despite the notorious financial and critical failure of Heaven's Gate (1980), the Hollywood films industry within about five years of that movie 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.
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When getting yelled at by Flugelman, you can see Ned's lapel on his collar. "NN", which stands for Ned Nederlander.
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One of several mid to late 1980s comedy movies with the word "Three" in the title. The films include ¡Three Amigos! (1986), Three Fugitives (1989), 3 Men and a Baby (1987), and Three Men and a Cradle (1985).
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In the beginning of the movie, where the Amigos get kicked out of the studio, in the background about four houses down, you can see a newer car in the driveway.
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Alliterated names in the cast included the name of Chevy Chase and the character name of Ned Nederlander (Martin Short).
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Cameo 

Randy Newman: As the voice of the Singing Bush.
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Phil Hartman: The Saturday Night Live (1975) veteran as Sam, a Goldsmith Pictures executive.
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

The basic story and quite a few scenes borrow heavily from Seven Samurai (1954). The sequences are: A village is terrorized by bandits; a few villagers go into town to find help; they have very little to offer; no help from the town's people; they find "warriors"; they prepare defenses (among them, water filled trenches); a 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, with whom he fell in love (though ¡Three Amigos! (1986) has a slightly happier version of what happens then).

See also

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

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