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Film: íThree Amigos!

Lucky, Ned, Dusty: The Three Amigos!

íThree Amigos! is a 1986 comedy film directed by John Landis. Dusty Bottoms (Chevy Chase), Lucky Day (Steve Martin), and Ned Nederlander (Martin Short) are a trio of actors who are hired to protect a small Mexican village from bandits, Magnificent Seven-style — the villagers don't realize they're just actors, and the Amigos don't realize it's for real until it's too late. Hilarity Ensues.

Not to be confused with the Disney film The Three Caballeros. note  Distinct from the trope called íThree Amigos!. Compare with Galaxy Quest, which has the same basic plot as this, but IN SPACE!

"We are the íTrope Amigos!":

  • Actually Pretty Funny / Dying Moment of Awesome: El Guapo manages to get in a last shot (literally!), and giggles before dying, "That was a pretty good trick, too, no?"
  • Affably Evil: El Guapo may not be much to look at, but he treats his men as equals for the most part. He's actually a really likable, articulate guy, too, except for the whole pillaging thing.
  • Alliterative Name: Ned Nederlander
  • And You Thought It Was a Game: The actors playing the Amigos completely misunderstand a desperate plea for help as an offer to make a personal appearance with one of the biggest actors to come out of Mexico.
  • Badass: Ned. Despite using a gun far heavier than what he's normally used to, which blows him backward when he fires it, he's still faster than the German quick draw.
  • Bad-Guy Bar: The bandito-filled Mexican bar where the protagonists perform the "My Little Buttercup" number.
  • Bandito: The villains. Thick Mexican accents, sombreros, ponchos, bandoleers of ammunition. Thick mustaches and stubble.
  • Bat Deduction: The title characters are in the desert and have no idea where El Guapo's stronghold is. They see a plane fly overhead and Lucky Day says "I'll bet it's going to El Guapo's!" He has absolutely no reason to think this, but he turns out to be absolutely right (the plane is carrying rifles to El Guapo).
  • Batman Gambit: Invoked. Carmen knows a desperate plea to noble heroes will send them rushing to her aid immediately, and that they will refuse to accept any money for their heroics. So, she sends a brief telegram begging for their help and offering reward money she doesn't have. Unfortunately, she doesn't realize that the Amigos are actors who interpret her plea as an appearance request with a good payday.
  • Becoming the Boast: Ned brags about flying a biplane. When the other Amigos need him to fly them to safety, he admits that it was actually his stunt double who was a pilot. But he flies the plane anyway.
  • Becoming the Mask: Three washed up actors must decide to live their lives in obscurity or become their characters for real. Guess which they pick?
  • Benevolent Boss: El Guapo - he even loves the sweater that his men get him for his birthday. An example only to his underlings, though. Unless you're Paco...
  • Big "Shut Up!"
    Lucky Day: Not so fast, El Guapo! Or I'll fill you so full of lead, you'll be using your dick for a pencil.
    El Guapo: What do you mean?
    Lucky Day: I don't know.
    Jefe: I think he means that if you...
    El Guapo: SHUT UP!
  • Bilingual Bonus
    • "El Guapo" means "The Handsome One," revealing El Guapo's vain, villainous personality. "Jefe" means "Boss," as he's apparently the overseer of the bandits and second only to El Guapo. The village's name, Santo Poco, means "Little Saint," a riff on the Mexican custom for naming locations after saints, and of course the village's size.
    • There's also a scene where the Three Amigos are hiding from two of El Guapo's guards, who are discussing a recipe in Spanish.
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: The Amigos' movie costumes are sequin-encrusted mariachi outfits, despite the fact their characters are supposed to be heroes of the common man. In the characters' backstories, they're altruistic nobles.
  • Blown Across the Room: Exaggerated when Ned fires his gun in the duel with The German and gets blowing backwards until he crashes into a horse.
  • Broken Pedestal: The German quick draw artist idolized Ned's gun skills, but then learned about trick photography. Ned denies ever using it...and proves it.
    • The entire village of Santo Poco, who believes the Amigos actually are heroic gunfighters until they fail to drive off El Guapo.
  • But Now I Must Go: The Amigos pull this one at the end of the movie because their characters in their Show Within a Show always did it.
  • Butt Monkey: Lucky is the only one of the Amigos who get shot. He gets shot twice: first by Jefe in the Amigos' first confrontation with El Guapo, and in the end by El Guapo himself as he lays dying.
  • Captain Obvious: "My guess is that this is the Singing Bush." This statement does come after a few minutes of trying to ask a bush whether or not it was the Singing Bush. (It refused to answer because it was singing.)
  • Chekhov's Gun: As they leave the Cantina, the Amigos see The German flying off in his Tubman 601 biplane and Ned excitedly identifies it saying that he flew one in one of his movies. As the Amigos are fleeing El Guapo's place with Carmen, they find The German's plane and Lucky excitedly points out that Ned knows how to fly it. Ned then sheepishly points out that he meant that his stuntman few the plane, but he's sure he can manage. Sure enough after a terrifying flight back to Santo Poco he manages a perfect landing.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Santo Poco is really good at sewing.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: After being dangerously incompetent for the first 80% or so of the movie, the amigos suddenly display not only Improbable Aiming Skills, but Improbable Quick Draw Skills and Improbable Knife Outline skills, followed shortly thereafter by Improbable Biplane-Flying Skills. The buildup to the event emphasized their incompetence, making it that much more awesome (and funny).
  • Dead Man's Trigger Finger: Parodied. When El Guapo's men desert him he calls out "Come back, you cowards! You traitors!" His second-in-command Jefe says "I'm still here, El Guapo!" and is shot off his horse. He ends up on his feet, fires one shot in the air, and falls on his face, dead.
  • Dissimile: Lucky uses one in his Rousing Speech to the villagers of Santo Poco:
    "In a way, each of us has an El Guapo to face. For some, shyness might be their El Guapo. For others, a lack of education might be their El Guapo. For us, El Guapo is a big, dangerous guy who wants to kill us. But as sure as my name is Lucky Day, the people of Santo Poco can conquer their own personal El Guapo, who also happens to be the actual El Guapo!"
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The Amigo Salute concludes with the heroes thrusting their pelvis forward, turning their heads to the side and coughing, like they're getting a hernia exam.
  • The Dragon: Jefe, to El Guapo.
  • Dying Truce: At the climax, after El Guapo has been mortally wounded he calls Lucky Day over to him, saying he want to tell him something. When Lucky gets close enough, El Guapo shoots him in the foot as a joke.
  • Excited Show Title!
  • Fastest Gun in the West: The German is obsessed with the art of the quickdraw, and demands a shootout with his childhood film idol Ned.
  • Firing in the Air a Lot: The Amigos do this while they think they're "putting on a show" with El Guapo.
  • Former Child Star: Ned used to be known as "Little Neddy Knickers".
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: In-universe. According to the German, The Three Amigos are very popular in Germany. The German particularly worshipped Ned when he was a kid and was his inspiration to learn the quick-draw. This led to Fan Disillusionment after the German learned about Hollywood trickery and wrongly assumed Ned couldn't really shoot that fast.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: The villagers have no idea just how handy their sewing skills are going to be.
  • He's Dead, Jim: When Dusty Bottoms accidentally shoots the Invisible Swordsman, Ned picks up his hand to check his pulse and pronounces him dead.
  • Homemade Sweater From Hell: Subverted. El Guapo's banditos give him one as a birthday gift. He likes it so much, he wears it around his neck for the rest of the film.
  • Idiot Hero: Most definitely. Even they seem to be aware of it:
    Lucky: Well, we're just gonna have to use our brains!
    All Three Amigos: ...Dammit.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: El Guapo kidnaps Carmen and it's made abundantly clear what he intends to do with her. However, he rejects Jefe's suggestion of simply forcing her and prefers to wait until she's willing...or he'll kill her. And, yes, this is all played for laughs.
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: Dusty accidentally shoots and kills the Invisible Swordsman while summoning him.
  • If You Die, I Call Your Stuff: The Amigos, feeling heroic, are brought back to earth when a young villager asks Dusty Bottoms if he can have Dusty's watch when he's dead. Played with at the end; Dusty, alive and well, gives the boy his watch anyway.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: El Guapo's men while fighting the Three Amigos in the climax. Justified in that they're confused and scared as the Amigos seem to be teleporting and multiplying, not knowing they're the villagers in disguise.
  • Incredibly Long Note: In the theme song.
  • Indy Ploy: The Amigos' plan to rescue Carmen.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: After the title characters realize that they aren't putting on a show but are facing a real bandit gang, they start crying and whining like babies.
  • Juggling Loaded Guns: After crossing the Line in the Sand, the Amigos carry out their twirling-gun salutes from the movies to steel themselves up with Heroic Resolve: but Dusty's gun goes off in its holster first.
  • Keep the Reward: Invoked in-universe. The Three Amigos always refuse their reward in the films. The villagers count on the trope being used, as they offer a reward they can't afford.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: The womanizing cowpoke who assaults Carmen and Rodrigo is the first to be gunned down when The German shows up at the saloon.
  • Kiss of Death: A symbolic example when Jefe kisses Ned on both cheeks just before his duel with The German.
  • Known Only by Their Nickname: We never know Lucky, Ned and Dusty's actual actor names in-universe. Ned Nederlander seems to go by his real name, but his stage name evidently was "Little Neddy Knickers" as a child star.
  • Last Breath Bullet: El Guapo knows some pretty good tricks too.
  • Line in the Sand: Drawn by Ned.
  • Lost In A Crowd: The heroes use a trick from one of their movies to distract the bad guys once they learn the townspeople can sew. El Guapo & Co find themselves trying to keep track of dozens of Amigos.
  • The Magnificent Seven Samurai: The Amigos must train the villagers to defend their village against the dirty outlaws.
  • Misfit Mobilization Moment: Done by Ned when he decides they should go rescue Carmen and stop El Guapo.
  • Mistaken for Special Guest: In the cantina, the German arms dealer warns everyone that some friends of his will be coming by (after he shoots a guy), and that everyone should treat them with respect. The amigos then arrive, and everyone mistakes them for the Germans, even during their song-and-dance routine to try to lighten the mood.
  • Neck Lift: El Guapo does this to Lucky Day after Lucky swings down into the yard of El Guapo's fortress.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The instructions for summoning the Invisible Swordsman specifically state to fire your gun in the air after saying the magic words. Dusty fires his off to the side, accidentally killing the Invisible Swordsman.
  • No Name Given: The German.
  • Nobody Here But Us Birds: "Lookuphere, lookuphere, lookuphere!"
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Barkeeping: When the German walks into the Bad-Guy Bar, the bartender is polishing a glass.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Steve Martin's character gets shot in the arm which doesn't bother him any more after that. In fact, not only does the wound go away after that scene, the bullet hole and blood stain on his jacket goes away too.
  • Overly Long Gag: "We are the Three A-aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.......aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa-MIGOS!"
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Dusty doesn't even bother to cover his face when infiltrating El Guapo's birthday party. It actually works for a while. (It helps El Guapo and his men were already drunk on tequila.)
    El Guapo: Oh-ho, you...
    Dusty: Jose!
    El Guapo: Together, we...
    Dusty: Burned the village!
    El Guapo: Burned the village! And, uh...
    Dusty: (trilling the "r") Rrrrrrrraped de horses!
    El Guapo: And we...
    Dusty: Rode off on the women!
    El Guapo: Rode off on the women! (now a little confused) And uh...
    Dusty: Plundered!
    El Guapo: Plundered! And uh...
    Dusty: Pruned!
    El Guapo: ...pruned the, uh...
    Dusty: Hedges!
    El Guapo: ...hedges of...
    Dusty: Many small villages!
    El Guapo: Many... small... WHO THE HELL ARE YOU?!?!?!
  • Pistol-Whipping: Carmen does it to a sleeping guard.
  • Poke the Poodle: The "evil" deeds Dusty tries to tell El Guapo they did as described in Paper-Thin Disguise quickly dwindle down to pruning the hedges in villages they plundered.
  • Punny Name: Lucky Day and Dusty Bottoms.
  • Put Down Your Gun and Step Away: Dusty Bottoms to El Guapo's entire bandit army. And it works.
  • Riding into the Sunset: The title characters, at the end of the movie.
  • Rousing Speech: Lucky Day's "El Guapo" speech.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: When attacked by a horde of Amigos during the battle of Santo Poco, El Guapo's men desert him.
  • Shout-Out: When Lucky Day is trying to get the others' attention while sneaking back into the studio, he spends the whole scene in front of a billboard for The Dueling Cavalier, the film Lockwood & Lamont are making in Singin' in the Rain before the transition to sound film forces them to remake it as a musical.
  • Show Within a Show: The footage we see of an actual Three Amigos silent film.
  • So Once Again, the Day Is Saved: The Amigos themselves give the summation in their films, and feel the need to do it again when they become real life heroes.
  • South of the Border: The setting.
  • Spiritual Successor: Galaxy Quest, with faded silent movie actors and Mexican villagers replaced by faded TV sci-fi actors and space aliens.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: El Guapo is most definitely not annoyed at having turned 40.
  • Telegraph Gag STOP: The Amigos receive a telegram from Mexico. The telegraph operator charges by the letter so the villager had to trim the message to the absolute bare essentials, instead of saying "Put on a show of force" it became "Put on a show" and the message becomes very vague. The Amigos themselves confuse a "Stop" in the message for a STOP and think that "the infamous El Guapo" sent the message, as well as think "infamous" means "extremely famous" instead of "famous for doing bad things."
    Telegram: Three Amigos, Hollywood, California. You are very great. One hundred thousand pesos to come to Santo Poco. Put on show. Stop the infamous El Guapo.
  • Testosterone Poisoning: MANLY banditos do not like CCs (i.e. sissies, but they pronounce it like "CC") and their CC guns. Never mind that a CC with a CC gun is still lethal — look at what the Germans did at the cantina.
  • Training the Peaceful Villagers: The Amigos parlay the villagers exceptional sewing skills into a humiliating defeat for El Guapo.
  • Turn Your Head and Cough: The final part of the Amigos' salute involves them turning their heads and coughing, simultaneous with a forward hip thrust.
  • Twilight of the Old West: Apparently, life in and around Santo Poco stopped sometime during the Wild West. Although the arrival of the Germans makes it clear that those days are coming to an end.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?
    • What happened to Goldsmith Pictures and Flugleman after the Amigos were fired? The Three Amigos were apparently their main franchise.
    • Near the end, Dusty Bottoms throws a knife and pins one of The German's two henchman to a pole by the sleeve of his coat. The last we see of him he's still pinned to the pole. We never find out what happened to him.
  • Wicked Cultured: El Guapo loves using big words and following intellectual pursuits like photography.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Poor Carmen. She assumes the Amigos will refuse the promised (but fictitious) 100,000 peso reward because she believes they are noble heroes. The Amigos, being actors, naturally plan on accepting what they think is an appearance fee. Turns out, once the Amigos finish Becoming the Mask, she's right anyway.

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