19 June 2013 | MartinHafer
Ample proof that even big studios could make really bad B-movies!
Apart from the novelty of seeing one of Errol Flynn's wives, Lila Damita, in this film, I can't really think of any conceivable reason to see "The Devil on Horseback". It's ample proof that even a big studio (in this case First National—a division of Warner Brothers) can make a really bad B-movie—one even worse than most tiny studio offerings.
The film is set in Mexico. Fred Keating plays an annoyingly studio Mexican bandit—and plays him with all the subtlety of the Frito Bandito! He is truly a caricature of such a person and his simple-minded ways and style really are NOT a credit to the way Hollywood once treated minorities! A grinning idiot who LOVES to sing, that's Keating in this one. The guy is apparently in love with an American film actress (Damita) and insists on going into town to see her—even though he's been banished. The plot doesn't get any deeper than that and it's full of the sort of songs Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy sang—though much worse! So, you've got a dopey plot, lots of operatic singing, REALLY BAD acting, a racially insensitive portrait of our friends to the South and a plot that even a chimp could only do better! The bottom line is that this is a painful and boring film—one that, even if it IS in the public domain, isn't worth your time. Quite bad, I assure you.