Three Men on a Horse (1936)

Three Men on a Horse (1936)





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Movie Info

All but forgotten today, the George Abbott-John Cecil Holm stage comedy Three Men on a Horse was once a staple of the community theatre and summer-stock circuit (a 1958 TV production starred no less than Johnny Carson). Though a faithful adaptation of the Broadway original, this 1936 film version avoids staginess thanks to the sprightly direction of Mervin LeRoy. Frank McHugh plays a meek, henpecked greeting-card writer who has an uncanny knack for picking winning race horses. Wandering into a bar after a spat with his wife (Carol Hughes), the prognosticative McHugh is "adopted" by Runyonesque horseplayers Sam Levene, Allen Jenkins and Teddy Hart. Held a virtual prisoner by the three gamblers, McHugh is unable to return to his job at the greeting card company, forcing his boss Guy Kibbee to realize for the first time the indispensability of his missing employee. A very slight piece, Three Men on a Horse is buoyed by the talents of the above-mentioned actors, as well as such reliables as Joan Blondell, Edgar Kennedy and Eddie "Rochester" Anderson.
Classics , Comedy
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Warner Bros.


Charles Lane
as Cleaner
Frank McHugh
as Erwin Trowbridge
Guy Kibbee
as Mr. J. G. Carver
Sam Levene
as Patsy
Allen Jenkins
as Charley
Carol Hughes
as Audrey Trowbridge
Paul Harvey
as Clarence Dobbins
Pat West
as Male Bettor
Harry Hayden
as Man on Bus
Eily Malyon
as Nurse
Virginia Sale
as Chambermaid
John Sheehan
as Male Bettor
Teddy Hart
as Frankie
Ottola Nesmith
as Head Nurse
Irene Colman
as Female Bettor
Cliff Saum
as Bus Conductor
Mickey Daniels
as Delivery Boy
Carolyn Hughes
as Audrey Trowbridge
Edith Craig
as Female Bettor
Ted Bliss
as Radio Announcer
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Audience Reviews for Three Men on a Horse

[font=Verdana]Warner Brothers made series of gangster comedies in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Best known are [i]A Slight Case of Murder[/i] and [i]Larceny Inc.[/i] both starring Edward G. Robinson. [i]Three Men on a Horse[/i] falls into this same sub-genre. Originally a play co-written by George Abbott that ran on Broadway for close to two years with Frank McHugh and Sam Levene originating the same roles they perform in the movie. [/font] [font=Verdana]Erwin Trowbridge (Frank McHugh) is a loser. A henpecked husband who writes greeting cards sayings for a living, works for a company where he is grossly underpaid and treated like dirt. His home life is not much better, a ditz for a wife and brother in law who constantly berates him for not making money. You see Erwin bets on the ponies, and he always wins. Only he doesn’t bet for money. Never for money, that would be cheating. According to Patsy (Sam Levene) a Damon Runyon type gambler, Erwin is a poet. Patsy also sees Erwin as the goldmine he and his pals have been waiting for. Along with Levene, Allen Jenkins and Teddy Hart are the gamblers who kidnap Erwin with a plan to make them a fortune. Joan Blondell, using her [/font][font=Verdana]Brooklyn[/font][font=Verdana] accent to its best advantage, is Mabel, Patsy’s girlfriend. Eddie Rochester Anderson and Alan Hale are also on board as employees at the hotel where the gamblers are keeping Erwin while he comes up with the winning horses. The film was directed by Mervlyn LeRoy though there is no director’s credit given in the film. [i]Three Men on a Horse[/i] is a pleasant humorous film filled enough laughs to satisfy even though it is somewhat dated at times. Nice performances by everyone in the cast. [/font] [font=Verdana]It looks like Warner’s took their “B” team and gave them their own game to play and they came away a winner. [/font]

John Greco
John Greco

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