6.9/10
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18 user 8 critic

Mr. Moto's Gamble (1938)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 7 April 1938 (USA)
When the #1 heavyweight contender is mysteriously poisoned during a bout, Moto knows that identifying the gambler who placed large bets against him is the key to solving the murder.

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Writers:

(original screenplay), (original screenplay) (as Jerry Cady) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Bill Steele
...
Penny Kendall
...
Jayne Regan ...
Linda Benton
...
Lieutenant Riggs
...
Wellington
...
Philip Benton
...
Connors
...
Clipper McCoy
Charles Williams ...
Gabby Marden
...
Biff Moran
Cliff Clark ...
McGuire
Eddie Marr ...
Sammy (as Edward Marr)
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Storyline

Bad blood exists between Bill Steele and Frankie Stanton, the leading contenders for the heavyweight title, and a grudge match is scheduled. Steele's knockout victory is tainted by his opponent's untimely death, ostensibly from a concussion caused by hitting the canvas. A post-mortem reveals that poison was somehow introduced into a cut above Stanton's eye although it is unclear how and why. Gambling might seem to be the motive as several of the principle suspects, gamblers Clipper McCoy and Nick Crowder, Stanton's shady manager Jerry Connors, and fight promoter Philip Benton, all seemed to have made wagers on the fight. Benton's spoiled daughter and female reporter Penny Kendall are vying for the affections of Steele, who is now slated to fight for the championship against pugnacious Biff Moran. Lt. Riggs of New York Homicide and Moto, who were spectators at the fight, go on the trail of the murderer following the autopsy results. Moto's prime suspect is a shadowy character named ... Written by Gabe Taverney (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 April 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mr. Moto's Diary  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Begun as a Charlie Chan film ("Charlie Chan at the Ringside"), but upon difficulties between 20th Century-Fox and Chan star Warner Oland, the script was hastily rewritten to accommodate Fox's other Asian sleuth, Mr. Moto. The presence of Chan's son Lee is evidence of the grafting of one movie onto another series. Series producer Sol Wurtzel specifically ordered the writers to include Keye Luke's character in the revised screenplay. Though it has been reported that Oland's death was the cause for this change from Chan to Moto, it is not the case. This film was released theatrically on 3/25/38, and Oland did not die until August 6th of that same year. See more »

Goofs

Lee and Knockout are in jail without being searched. If they had been the water pistol would have been found and a quicker solution to the murder. But that's Show Biz. See more »

Quotes

Lee Chan: Oh, Mr. Moto?
Kentaro Moto: Yes, Lee?
Lee Chan: I though you would like to know I got a letter from Pop yesterday.
Kentaro Moto: Oh, you did?
Lee Chan: Mm-hmm. He sent his best to you.
Kentaro Moto: Thank you. And, uh, how is your honorable father enjoying his homelife in beautiful Honolulu?
Lee Chan: He seems fine, but he kind of worries about me. Y'see, I'm really supposed to be studying art here at the university... but gosh, I want to be a detective!
Kentaro Moto: [chuckles] I understand. My parents wanted me to be an acrobat.
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Connections

Followed by Mysterious Mr. Moto (1938) See more »

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User Reviews

Moto and Boxing
6 June 2009 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Mr. Moto's Gamble (1938)

*** (out of 4)

Third in the Fox series has a boxer getting killed inside the ring. What first appears to be a simple accident turns out to be poison and soon Mr. Moto (Peter Lorre) is on the case. This film in the series really doesn't play out like the previous two and that's because this was originally intended to be a Charlie Chan movie but Oland was too ill at the time so the studio simply changed the script to Moto. The change really isn't too bad and this turns out to be another winner no matter who it was originally intended for. The movie contains a nice mystery to work with and there are plenty of possible suspects that pop up throughout the 72-minute running time. The gangsters and gamblers aspect was a nice one and they made for some good villains. Lorre is once again at his very best and we also get some nice supporting performances as well as brief appearances by George E. Stone and Lon Chaney, Jr.. Keye Luke, Chan's son, appears here as a student in Lorre's detective class and delivers a few nice smiles. Maxie Rosenbloom nearly steals the show as another student who can't help but steal things. The movie contains a lot of fun within its short running time so fans of the series will find plenty to enjoy and with the mix of boxing and gambling, those not familiar with the series should enjoy it as well.


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