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Monday, March 03, 2014

Three Amigos

For some reason, bad things seem to always come in threes for me.

Or, in this case, bad things this year seem to be coming on the third of the month!

Let's see here...January 3rd, I end up stubbing my toe so hard that I end up tearing off a whole toenail (which really hurt, by the way).  February 3rd, I was stuck in bed with a really nasty stomach flu.  And, now as we approach March 3rd, I am stuck with fifty per cent hearing, as my right ear is completely blocked with something.  I'll be going to the doctor at some point today to see if I can find out why I am deaf in one ear.  Knowing my track record with ears, it could range from a wax build-up to an ear infection.  After all, I've had a grand total of at least eight different ear infections since I was born, and have had to go to the doctor to get wax blasted out of my ear at least once every ten years.

But, you're not here to read all about earwax, right?  At least...I certainly hope not, anyway.  Instead, you're probably here to read all about today's Monday Matinee selection.  Am I right, or am I right?

And, well...since we're already in agreement that the number three seems to be a number that has been somewhat unlucky for me this year, why don't we stick with that number as the theme of the day?  This means that I'm either going to be showcasing a movie that has the number three in its title, or that I'll be showing the third sequel of a popular movie franchise.

Or possibly both.

So, I first have to decide what I'm going to do...will I do a movie that has the number three in the title, or will I do a movie that's the third in a series?

You know, I think just based on that, I'm going to choose the former choice.  It would be kind of silly to do a blog on "Lethal Weapon 3", "The Hangover III", or "Madagascar 3" when I haven't even done blogs on any of the other movies in the series.  Choosing a film with the word three in the title is much easier...or is it?

Let's see.  I've already done "Three Men and a Baby".  "3 Ninjas" would have been okay, but I already did a kids movie last week.  And, don't even get me started on that horrible "Three Stooges" movie that was released a couple of years ago.  I just couldn't even be objective with that film. 

But I have to come up with something that has the number three within its title.  It doesn't even have to be an Academy Award winning film.  It could even be a multiple Golden Raspberry Award winning film!  Sigh...maybe I'll have some success if I search the Internet Movie Database and look up movies that have the word "three" in the title.

Wait a minute!  That's it!  That's the movie that stands out!  Maybe it's because it's a comedy film from the 1980s.  Maybe it's because it has Steve Martin as one of its stars.  Or maybe...just's because it's the only film that has a title starting with an upside down exclamation point!

Yeah...I think "Three Amigos" would be a cool movie to review for the third day of the third month.  And maybe talking about the film might get my mind off the fact that I cannot hear anything out of my right ear.

(Okay, I'll stop complaining.  For now.)

And, unlike my previous bad experiences with the number three...I did like this movie a lot!

Anyway, I won't spoil the plot too much - it's become kind of a tradition for the Monday Matinee that I never reveal movie endings.  To be perfectly honest, the plot is kind of outlandish and so comedic that there were times in which I didn't even really know what the plot even was!  But, believe me, I was laughing so much at the movie that I didn't really care if there was a plot.   After all, the film combines the comedic genius of Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, and Martin Short in the roles of Lucky Day, Dusty Bottoms, and Ned Nederlander respectively.

The film is set in 1916 Mexico, and it is at a time in which a notorious thug by the name of El Guapo (Alfonso Arau) is intimidating the citizens of Santo Poco by organizing a gang of thugs to collect protection money from the people.  And, believe me when I tell you that the villagers have had enough.

So much so that a young woman by the name of Carmen (Patrice Martinez) decides that she needs to help her village.  She has reason to be concerned.  After all, she is the daughter of the village leader. 

As luck would have it, Carmen finds herself at a church where a screening of a silent film is playing.  The film features the group known as the Three Amigos, and after seeing the trio in action, Carmen believes that the three men are real heroes who are capable of forcing the evil out of Santo Poco for good.  Of course, she has no idea that the men are actually Hollywood actors and have never had any training in confronting bandits, but nevertheless, Carmen feels that she needs to send them a telegram to help the village stop El Guapo.  Problem is that Carmen lacks enough money to send the full message, so the telegram sender edits the telegram just enough that the message kind of gets lost in translation.

So lost, that by the time that Lucky, Dusty, and Ned get the message, they misinterpret it as an invitation to appear on stage alongside El Guapo!  But by this point in time, the Hollywood studio that employed them terminated their contract, so with nothing else in Hollywood, the trio accept the gig...not realizing that they were actually brought in to save the town from El Guapo and his gang of thugs.

And, leads to scenes like this.

And, this...

And, know what, why not click HERE?  It's a link to the whole movie.  But, take caution.  Full length movies don't last long on video sharing sites, so watch it while you can. 

One thing I did notice when watching this film was that you could tell that this was almost like an extended Saturday Night Live sketch.  After all, Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels co-wrote the screenplay with Steve Martin and Randy Newman.  And, of course, we all know that Chevy Chase was one of the Saturday Night Live originals.  In fact, the film also featured two more Saturday Night Live alumni - Jon Lovitz and Phil Hartman - in brief roles.

And,'s some other trivia for you all.

1 - You know the opening song that the Three Amigos sing at the beginning of the film?  They had to hold that high note for exactly fourteen consecutive seconds!  I couldn't even DO a high note, let alone hold one for nearly a quarter of a minute!

2 - Steve Martin was always committed to be one of the Three Amigos.  But the other two were supposed to be played by Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi, and the film was supposed to be released in the early 1980s under the title "The Three Caballeros".  Unfortunately, Belushi's death in 1982 forced the cast line-up to change.

3 - All three actors who played the Three Amigos had to wear lead-based make-up for the silent film scenes.

4 - The film was directed by John Landis, but Steven Spielberg almost signed on to direct the project.

5 - The lasso tricks came easy to Steve Martin.  He learned how to do the rope tricks while working at a magic shop prior to making it big as an actor.

6 - Loosely translated to English, El Guapo stands for "The Handsome One".

7 - The bats that Ned hunts throughout the film were actually made of bacon!  Look closely!

8 - Everyone knows that Martin Short made it big as a member of SCTV...but believe it or not, this was his very first major appearance in a motion picture!

9 - The cantina featured in the film is named "Cantina el Borracho".  In English, it can be translated to "Bar of the Drunk".

10 - "The Nanny" star Fran Drescher filmed some scenes for this movie...and all her scenes were left on the cutting room floor.

11 - Another actor who had his scenes cut?  Sam Kinison.  He would have played the part of a Mexican bandit.

12 - If Martin Short had turned down the role of Ned, John Landis would have cast Rick Moranis instead.

13 - The village name of Santa Poco is grammatically incorrect in Spanish.

14 - This was actually the second film that Alfonso Arau appeared in with the name "Three Amigos".  He also starred in a 1970 film entitled "Tres amigos". 

15 - Ironically enough, Lucky Day is the only Amigo to get shot in the film!

16 - This was one of two films that Steve Martin filmed in 1986.  The other one was "Little Shop of Horrors".  Amusingly enough, both films featured singing plants!

17 - Randy Newman performed the singing vocals of the Singing Bush.  Makes sense, as he had hits with "Short People" and "I Love L.A.".

18 - The singing turtle was John Landis' idea!

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