The Forgotten Real-Life History Behind ¡The Three Amigos!
In my opinion, there are few comedies that came out of the 1980s that top ¡The Three Amigos! in terms of being true classics.
You have your Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and your Uncle Buck, but these don’t have half of the quotable, um, quotes that you can use in any situation. Nor do they have a song-and-dance routine that has “My Little Buttercup” playing in your head, rent free, for the rest of the day.
As I’ve gotten older – I just turned 46 – I’ve done what many people do as they age. I’ve gotten into reading history.
If you would have told me a couple of decades ago that ¡The Three Amigos! was historically based, I’d have called you a son of a motherless goat.
It really is true!
Ok, I’m not saying three washed-up movie stars rode into Mexico to save an oppressed town. That very likely didn’t possibly happen.
The truth comes from something I had assumed was a plot device when I saw it for the first couple hundred times: the angry, ruthless Germans.
If someone were to point it out to you as being weird, it’s because it is! “Yeah!” You’d say. “Why the hell are there Germans flying into these small towns in northern Mexico, giving them guns and ammo?”
That’s where things get real.
First, let’s set the stage. ¡The Three Amigos! is set in the year 1916 when World War I was raging in Europe.
The relationship between Germany and Mexico in the years leading up to World War I was complex and influenced by global ambitions and regional concerns.
In the late 1800s, Germany, under the ambitious leadership of Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, sought to expand its global influence, particularly in terms of trade and commerce. Mexico, with its vast resources and proximity to the United States, emerged as a key partner in the Western Hemisphere. German businesses established a significant presence in Mexico, investing in sectors like mining, brewing, and manufacturing. This economic relationship laid the groundwork for deeper diplomatic…