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I Don't Have to Show You No Stinking Badges!
Transcript of I Don't Have to Show You No Stinking Badges!
Known as The Founder of Modern Theatre and Film
Born to migrant farm workersworked in the fields for most of his early life
Went to San Jose State College and wrote and staged his first play “The Shrunken head of Pancho Villa” in 1964
Joined the United Farm Workers and did some improvisational theatre with union actors
This lead him to form El Teatro Campensino
helped him produce most of his later plays
Wrote his play “Zoot Suit” in 1981 to show the world his account of racism (helped springboard his career to film directing)
Directed “La Bamba” -1987- about Chicano singer Richie Valens and launched many screen careers in this way An Obie in 1968 Los Angeles
Drama Critics awards in 1969, 1972, and 1978
Emmy in 1973
San Francisco Bay Critics Circle awarded him Best Musical in 1983
Also honored that same year by President Reagan's Committee on Arts and Humanities
He has received honorary doctorates from Columbia College, San Jose State University, and the California Institute of the Arts. Explaining Chícanos and minorities to a majority audience, while still focusing intensely on the Chicano experience.
Unafraid of ambivalence and contradictions.
Consideration of the Chicano Middle Class. He uses this play to focus on this area of life that is personal to him as a child of migrant farm workers and as a kid of past worker himself, whereas in his other plays such as “Zoot Suit,” he has opted to tell the story of other minority groups. Buddy is asleep on the couch, while The Treasure of Sierra Madre is on the TV.
The Director calls out “Lights, Video, Action!”. A line from the movie is heard:
“Badges? We don’t have no badges. I don’t have to show you any stinkin’ badges!”
Sonny appears briefly in a mist, dressed as a director. Early evening in the living room of the Villa familySonny enters with a portable cassette recorder and launches into a monologue where he has a conversation with himself about how he’s “daddy’s little chicken” and how he’s drowning in his own biological soup.
Anita enters and Sonny and Anita talk about themselves and families while expressing their sexual desires.
Anita runs upstairs for a shower and Sonny goes into another monologue about how there’s an ocean inside of him and a Moby Dick.
Connie and Buddy return. Connie is peeved because they didn’t use her scene today. They talk about how they should go to the LALA (L.A. Latino Actors) banquet tonight.
Sonny, Connie, and Buddy reunite and Sonny tells them he quit Harvard and wants to become a star.
Anita comes down and they all talk. Two hours later, the family is shooting a movie while Anita watches.
Sonny becomes controlling and demanding.
Anita talks about her past and how she got into dancing.
Betty calls and tells them that the casting director is looking for them, so Connie and Buddy leave right away.
Sonny then has another monologue where he needs to go “OUT INTO REALITY”, takes a gun, and exits. Anita dancing in the living room and Sonny comes in with a fast food bag.
Sonny robbed a fast food restaurant.
The cops and news reporters come and surround the house.
Buddy and Connie come home.
They are allowed to go in and talk to him. They offer him a role as an extra and Sonny blows up.
Sonny talks about how he saw his perfect roommate committed suicide.
Sonny holds the gun up to his head and the stage goes black as he is about to pull the trigger. The play explores the search for an authentic Chicano identity against the limiting racial stereotypes and restricted possibilities given to Mexican Americans in the United States during 1980’s.
Sonny’s parents have made careers playing stereotyped nonspeaking parts as maids, gardeners, bandits, and prostitutes. Their silent roles signify their powerlessness, their marginalized stature in Hollywood, and the invisibility of Chicanos generally.
The characters’ names—Buddy, Connie, and Sonny Villa—suggest a divided identity.
The Villa family constantly compare themselves with white film actors. Their understanding of themselves have been defined not by Chicano role models but by Hollywood film stars.
Sonny rebels against these stereotypes. His decision to leave Harvard and create his own films is an attempt to create and control his own identity, not as an imitation Anglo but as a Chicano. Chicanos give up their identity to pass from a state of alienation to a state of assimilation.
Sonny’s parents pay little respect to their indigenous Mexican culture. Their values have been corroded as a result of accepting Hollywood’s version of reality. Ex: The fake Aztec calendar symbolizes the lack of admiration towards their Mexican heritage.
The Villa’s had to sacrifice their ancestral heritage to achieve material success as American culture defines it. They had to yield to the “televisionized” American culture. The “immigrant bourgeoisie”
First Chicano play to deal with middle-class Chicanos rather than the usual working poor or working class characters and situations. "Valdez has a reputation as a cultural provocateur, thanks to his activism on behalf of the United Farm Workers of America, his authorship of works that challenge stereotypes of Hispanic Americans, and his fondness for bringing together performers of widely varying cultural backgrounds." The New York Times in 1991 Act 1 Scene 1 Early morning in the kitchen of the Villa family.
Buddy and Connie are in the kitchen. Buddy comes up with a new idea for a movie that includes a sombrero flying saucer.
Connie believes it won’t sell, which puts Buddy in a sour mood.
Connie brings up the possibility of her being cast in a Jack Nicholson movie as the madam (or as Buddy says “another Mexican whore”)
Buddy tells her she can’t go unless he goes – “outta town we work as a team or no dice!”
Connie’s friend, Betty, calls and tells them that they got roles as a maid and a gardener over at MGM.
The scene ends with Connie saying, “I’m tired of being silent” and Buddy responding “So, who am I, Charlie Chaplin?” Act 2 Scene 3 Stagehands come on and begin to clear the set and props.
Director and Sonny talk to each other about how they can’t use this as the pilot episode for a situation comedy.
Since the director is changing the ending, Sonny asks to give the people some hope and “save the Harvard Homeboy”. Epilogue Buddy and Connie’s dream.
The director thanks everyone for being a part of the live audience.
The giant sombrero saucer appears.
Sonny appears and says he’s going back to Harvard.
Anita goes with him and they get beamed up in the saucer and take off.
The scene ends with Buddy saying in a British accent “I don’t have to show you no stinking badges!” Lack of professional equality Latinos would have to start producing their own works in order to have a fair shot at professional equality.
“In the US, there seems to be this barrier that exists because of the unrelenting, century-old profile of what is American, who is American. That basically is still an Anglo American stereotype. What Hollywood projects, whether on stage, on television or in the movies, is an untrue, unbelievable representation of who we really are as a people. So, getting back to a basic truth, Latinos need to become more adept at getting their own images up there on stage, on TV and in film. It is sad to say, but what we needed to do a quarter of a century ago is still what’s needed today.” -Luis Valdez “All the world’s stage” Hollywood’s represents a metaphor of the stereotypical American society. Life imitates art, and there is a theatrical reality within our society. We all act predetermined roles. Characters Buddy: middle-aged bit actor whose biggest claim to fame is having appeared in “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” somewhere behind Alfonso Bedoya
Connie: middle-ages actress type-casted as devoted mother, housekeeper or whore
Sunny: a bright teenage Chicano Harvard Pre-Law student
Anita: older Japanese American dancer I Don't Have to Show You No Stinking Badges Luis Valdez DISCUSSION