6.8/10
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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.

Director:

Writers:

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

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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Bill Steele
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Penny Kendall
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Jayne Regan ...
Linda Benton
...
Lieutenant Riggs
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Wellington
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Philip Benton
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Connors
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Clipper McCoy
Charles Williams ...
Gabby Marden
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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

A tribute to Warner Oland appears in Mr. Moto's Last Warning (1939), the next film in the Moto series. During the movie's production in August 1938, cast and crew learned of Oland's passing in his native Sweden (five months after the completion and release of "Mr. Moto's Gamble"). Over the title "Charlie Chan in Honolulu", on the bill of the Sultana Theatre of Variety, they placed the banner "Last Day". See more »

Goofs

While the minimum weight now for a heavyweight is 200lbs, at the time of the film it was 175lbs. Thus when the boxers are announced as 179lbs and 194lbs they are actually over the required minimum weight for their category. See more »

Quotes

Kentaro Moto: [examining the dead body] This is not suicide Mr. Riggs.
[dryly]
Kentaro Moto: It's most unusual to shoot oneself in the back and without a gun.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Mr. Moto's Last Warning (1939) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mr. Moto is teaching
16 April 2017 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Mr. Moto's Gamble finds our Japanese sleuth in the position of teacher and among his pupils is Keye Luke the son of that other Asian detective Charlie Chan. He's Charlie's number one son, but he's Moto's number one pupil and he says he will write a letter to Charlie saying so.

Peter Lorre and Keye Luke are at a prize fight when one of the fighters is knocked out and later dies of a poison delivered in a most unusual manner. There was a lot of syndicate money on this fight and originally the winner was held for manslaughter. However Dick Baldwin is released in time to face champion Ward Bond where there is more villainy afoot.

Maxie Rosenbloom who had given up the ring for a more lucrative career in movies plays a former boxer who is a kleptomaniac and hangs out with Keye Luke during the film. Maxie's taking ways are what ultimately leads to the unmasking of the murderer.

Many players who have done roles in gangster films are in the cast and provide us a load of red herrings as to the murderer. You'll have to see one of the better Mr. Moto features to see who does it.


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