Think Fast, Mr. Moto (1937)

Not Rated  |   |  Adventure, Crime, Drama  |  27 July 1937 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 668 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 9 critic

On a freighter going from San Francisco to Shanghai Mr. Moto solves mysteries caused by a gang of smugglers. First of the series.



(screen play), (screen play), 4 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Virginia Field ...
Thomas Beck ...
Bob Hitchings
Sig Ruman ...
Nicolas Marloff (as Sig Rumann)
Murray Kinnell ...
Joseph Wilkie
John Rogers ...
Lela Liu
George Cooper ...
Muggs Blake
Frederick Vogeding ...
Curio Dealer (as Fredrik Vogeding)


Mr Moto encounters mysterious goings-on on a ship bound for Shanghai. He recognises his steward as the murderer of a man in San Francisco, and catches him trying to steal an important letter from the stateroom of another passenger, Robert Hitchings. Hitchings, son of the owner of the shipping line, falls in love with Gloria, who refuses to tell him anything about her life and disappears when they arrive in Shanghai. In Shanghai, Mr Moto uncovers the secret which links the murder in San Francisco, the mysterious letter, and Gloria. Written by Daniel Frankham <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Meet.... MR. MOTO the foxiest detective of them all!


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

27 July 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Misterioso Mr. Moto  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (FMC Library Print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The movie version is greatly changed from the original novel: in the novel, the criminals were using the ship to bring gambling assets to Japan, and Mr. Moto was a Japanese agent assigned to stop them from doing so. See more »


When Gloria is skeet shooting at the edge of the boat, she cocks the shotgun and the spent shell is seen flying through the air over the side of the boat into what should be the water down below. Instead of hearing a splash, the shell is heard bouncing on what sounds like concrete (stage). See more »


Bob Hitchings: Are you hurt?
Kentaro Moto: No, thank you. Only a slight mishap.
Bob Hitchings: Gee, I thought sure we were gonna kill somebody.
Kentaro Moto: Mr. Moto is a very difficult fellow to kill.
See more »


Followed by Mr. Moto's Gamble (1938) See more »


The Shy Violet
Music by Harry Akst
Lyrics by Sidney Clare
See more »

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User Reviews

Peter Lorre Classic Film!
26 August 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This series of Mr. Moto films were very low budget films and during the year 1937 the country was not in prosperity like it is today. Actors like Peter Lorre had to find work and therefore, we find him in pictures like Mr. Moto. Lorre was also starting out his career in America and this was a great opportunity for Peter Lorre to become a great character actor! Peter Lorre (Kentaro Moto), "The Beast With Five Fingers",'46, did a great job of performing a role like Charlie Chan and manged to keep you guessing just who the criminal really was. Virginia Field, (Gloria Danton),"The Earth Dies Screaming",'65 gave a great supporting role and appeared in quite a few of these Mr. Moto films. Sig Ruman, (Nicholas Marloff),"Doom of Dracula",'66, played a different role and did all he could to trick Mr. Moto. If you look real close, you will see J. Carrol Naish,(Adram,Shop Keeper), who adds some mystery to the plot. These Mr. Moto films were usually shown as a second feature at the local movie houses along with Newsreels and Cartoons which created a big Saturday night treat for the local families during 1937!

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