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Unsilly 'Amigos'

January 04, 1987

Patrick Goldstein was right in saying that "There's hardly a moment in 'Three Amigos' that isn't silly . . ." ("Rip-Tickling Corn in 'Three Amigos,' " Dec. 12).

Painfully silly--I would say--for the millions of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans, both in the U.S. and in Mexico, who resent being the laugh of the American entertainment industry.

What a shame it is to see that the stereotyping of Mexicans is still a money-making subject for Hollywood producers who keep portraying Mexicans as ignorant, which, in turn, shows those producers' callous ignorance of the Mexican culture.

Since its birth, Hollywood has made scores of movies like "Three Amigos," about tiny Mexican villages with ungrammatical, meaningless names like "Santa Paco," terrorized by gangs of "banditos" (instead of bandidos ) led by villainous outlaws like El Guapo (played by Cuban-born Alfonso Arau) who look as if he hadn't "brushed his teeth since the Spanish-American War," as described by Goldstein.

The always-present element in this type of movies is provided in "Three Amigos" by the zero-I.Q. senorita who begs her matinee idols to come and save her village from the despicable Mexican bandidos. How sad it is to see that a Times critic joyfully finds this film "a delightfully fresh spin."

ALBERTO HAUFFEN

San Gabriel

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