6 April 2015 | MartinHafer
A bit too shrill and obvious to be among the better comedies of the era.
"Three Men on a Horse" is a mildly amusing 1930s comedy. However, its a very loud movie and is about as subtle, at times, as a stripper at a Baptist barbecue!
When the film begins, you learn that Irwin (Frank McHugh) has an odd hobby--he picks race horse winners. However, and this is what makes it odd, he does not bet on them...despite being able to pick winner after winner. When some mobsters discover him, he has some new best friends--best friends who also take a strong interest in his job, as Irwin is a mousy sort of guy who lets his boss (Guy Kibbee--in an uncharacteristic sort of nasty role) push him around. Their help, it turns out, also helps Irwin deal with his interfering brother-in- law and leads to a case where the worm clearly turns and asserts himself.
It's nice to see a film where all the actors are folks who usually are supporting actors--not just McHugh and Kibbee but also Alan Jenkins and Edgar Kennedy. The only A-list actor here is Joan Blondell who, in an unusual twist, only has a supporting role. The humor is okay here, however, and could have been a lot better had the direction been better. Too many performances were either shrill and annoying (Irwin's wife!) and seemed a bit over the top (Blondell) and lacked subtlety or believability. As a result, it's only a fair comedy and could have been better.