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Think Fast, Mr. Moto (1937)

Approved  |   |  Adventure, Crime, Drama  |  27 July 1937 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 605 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.

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(screen play), (screen play), 4 more credits »
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Charlie tries to discover the identity of a strangler who strikes multiple times on a cruise ship bound from Honolulu to California.

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Stars: Sidney Toler, Marjorie Weaver, Lionel Atwill
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Virginia Field ...
Gloria Danton
Thomas Beck ...
Bob Hitchings
Sig Ruman ...
Nicolas Marloff (as Sig Rumann)
Murray Kinnell ...
Joseph Wilkie
John Rogers ...
Carson
...
Lela Liu
George Cooper ...
Muggs Blake
J. Carrol Naish ...
Adram
Frederick Vogeding ...
Curio Dealer (as Fredrik Vogeding)
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Storyline

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 <danielf@my-Deja.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 July 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Misterioso Mr. Moto  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (FMC Library Print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

When Mr. Moto photographs Gloria in Honolulu, she is looking directly into the camera, but when he shows the photograph to the police chief in Shanghai she is looking away from the camera at Bob who is obscuring half the photograph even though he was standing beside Mr. Moto, not in front him, and thus should not be in the photograph at all. See more »

Quotes

Bob Hitchings: Stanford, '34.
Kentaro Moto: Stanford, '21; honorary member.
Bob Hitchings: What do you know about that! Moto, '21, let's see... oh, I remember reading about you. You broke a pole-vault record, didn't you?
Kentaro Moto: Now I would only break the pole.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Somewhere I'll Find You (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Thank you, Mr. Moto
13 February 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I love these Moto flicks. I'll tell you that right out of the gate, and the history of these low budget detective films is almost more interesting then the films themselves. First of all, Peter Lorre was one of the most underrated actors in cinema history. In fact, those who knew him thought he would have been a psychiatrist had he not been an actor, which tells me he studied people and learned a lot about how a little goes a long way in a portrayal. The director reportedly wanted character actor J. Edward Bromberg to play the lead but the studio gave him this Hungarian Jew just out of Hitler's Germany to play the part, which made the director go berserk. He needn't have worried.

Forget the fact that Lorre was in such poor health in those days after starving in Europe for most of his adult life and had to have a stuntman do his jiu-jitsu scenes for him. (Harvey Parry was his name. Another underrated genius in cinema history who did stunts for everyone from Douglas Fairbanks Sr. to Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd) Lorre is just terrific and with almost no make-up, he is damned convincing as a Japanese detective.

A short side note here. Please pretend that there was never a 1960s Moto movie with Henry Silva. The eight 20th Century Fox Motos are to be treasured. It's only a shame that World War II stopped the series for good.

As for J. Edward Bromberg, he even acted in one of the Moto films as a Rajah in Thailand (which acerbic yet clever critic referred to as "Indoors China") before he was hurt by the blacklist and died a sad and broken man, who unintentionally hurt the career of actress Lee Grant when she attended his funeral and was herself blacklisted until the movie "In The Heat Of The Night."

Watching Peter Lorre in any film is always a delight and the Motos never disappoint for pure entertainment value.


18 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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