Three Amigos

Three silent film stars (Steve Martin, Chevy Chase and Martin Short) are mistaken for actual gunslingers capable of saving a Mexican village from a local tyrant and of selling a severely underwritten script.

Directed by John Landis, this 1986 comedy-Western never lives up to its Magnificent Seven meets Tropic Thunder potential. A far cry from the Galaxy Questern promised, the screenplay by Martin, Lorne Michaels and Randy Newman has about as many laughs as it does amigos.

The men themselves are amiably and innocently played by Martin, Chase and Short (the latter pair originally intended as Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi), but always quicker to draw a gun than a gag.

The limited number of jokes are generally based on the characters’ stupidity rather than genre convention, giving the parody an underdeveloped SNL sketch quality (although it’s worth noting that Chase’s character Dusty Bottoms would eventually inspire the name of a New York drag queen).

A couple of old-shool musical numbers garner a few grins from the gringos, but without the wit of Blazing Saddles or the irreverence of Caddyshack the outcome is less than magnificent.

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