7.0/10
561
20 user 3 critic

Mysterious Mr. Moto (1938)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 14 October 1938 (USA)
Mr. Moto has himself imprisoned on Devil's Island so he can help his cellmate (Ames) escape and thereby get the goods on a gang of international killers.

Director:

Writers:

(original screenplay), (original screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In the jungle near Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Mr. Moto poses as an ineffectual archaeologist and a venerable holy man with mystical powers to help foil two insurgencies against the government.

Director: Norman Foster
Stars: Peter Lorre, Rochelle Hudson, Robert Kent
Adventure | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

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

Director: Norman Foster
Stars: Peter Lorre, Virginia Field, Thomas Beck
Adventure | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Seven maps, when found and put together, reveal the location of the treasures of Genghis Khan.

Director: Norman Foster
Stars: Peter Lorre, Thomas Beck, Pauline Frederick
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

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: James Tinling
Stars: Peter Lorre, Keye Luke, Dick Baldwin
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Moto thwarts a ruthless band of international agents who try to foment an international incident by mining the entrance to the Suez Canal and blaming the British.

Director: Norman Foster
Stars: Peter Lorre, Ricardo Cortez, Virginia Field
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The U.S. government asks Mr. Moto to go to Puerto Rico to investigate diamond smuggling after an earlier investigator is murdered.

Director: Herbert I. Leeds
Stars: Peter Lorre, Jean Hersholt, Amanda Duff
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Disguised as an Austrian archaeologist, Moto helps unearth the priceless crown of the legendary Queen of Sheba and sans disguise defends it from a variety of thugs and criminals.

Director: Norman Foster
Stars: Peter Lorre, Joseph Schildkraut, Lionel Atwill
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Charlie visits a wealthy country home in England. Suspects in the murder range from a housekeeper, to a stableman, to a lawyer.

Director: Eugene Forde
Stars: Warner Oland, Drue Leyton, Ray Milland
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Returning from European exile where she avoided testifying against her criminal associates, a former singer with a tell-all diary is murdered to ensure her silence.

Director: Eugene Forde
Stars: Warner Oland, Keye Luke, Joan Marsh
Comedy | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

While Charlie is distracted with the birth of his first grandchild, son Jimmy impersonates his father in order to investigate a murder aboard a freighter in the harbor.

Director: H. Bruce Humberstone
Stars: Sidney Toler, Phyllis Brooks, Victor Sen Yung
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Mary Whitman, an old friend of Charlie's in Reno for a divorce, finds herself accused of murdering the woman her husband planned to marry after the decree became final.

Director: Norman Foster
Stars: Sidney Toler, Ricardo Cortez, Phyllis Brooks
Comedy | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Charlie's investigation of a phony psychic during the 1939 World Exposition on San Francisco's Treasure Island leads him to expose a suicide as murder.

Director: Norman Foster
Stars: Sidney Toler, Cesar Romero, Pauline Moore
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Anton Darvak
...
David Scott-Frensham
...
Ernst Litmar
...
Paul Brissac
...
George Higgins
Frederick Vogeding ...
Gottfried Brujo (as Fredrik Vogeding)
...
Sir Charles Murchison
John Rogers ...
Sniffy
...
Lotus Liu (as Karen Sorrell)
Mitchell Lewis ...
Nola
Edit

Storyline

Mr. Moto has himself imprisoned on Devil's Island so he can help his cellmate (Ames) escape and thereby get the goods on a gang of international killers. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Peter Lorre gives you your greatest thrill


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 October 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Fuga de Mr. Moto  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The Japanese character, Mr. Moto, disguises himself as a German as part of the plot when in fact a Germanic (actually Austro-Hungarian) actor, Peter Lorre, is portraying a Japanese detective. See more »

Connections

Followed by Mr. Moto Takes a Vacation (1939) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Yay violence!
27 April 2009 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

In the late 1930s, eight Mr. Moto films were made of varying styles. In some (the best ones if you ask me), Moto was a rather amoral character and often killed bad guys instead of arresting them. In the lesser films, Moto was almost like a clone of Charlie Chan--very sedentary and the sort of guy who wouldn't hurt a fly. Well, this one is of the former type where Moto is a good guy but is more than willing to rub out his enemies to save the government the trouble of prosecuting them! What a guy, that Moto!

The film begins with Moto escaping with a prisoner from Devil's Island (Leon Ames). It seems that Moto is so intent on infiltrating a gang of international assassins that he went to a heck of a lot of trouble to get himself locked up, befriending one of the founding members of the group and then helping him escape! Back in London, Moto pretends to be an ignorant and VERY stereotypical Japanese houseboy for Ames. Many, I'm sure, will be annoyed or shocked with Peter Lorre's performance in this dual role, as the houseboy (and escaped prisoner) is 100% stereotype--complete with phrases such as "so solly"! Uggh. Well, while I don't condone this, this was the 1930s and have learned to ignore these scenes--otherwise all the Moto films will make you go crazy!

Moto's job is not just to discover who's the head of this mob and capture the entire gang, but he must also somehow protect a Czechoslovakian guy who is really, really stupid. First, he sounded about as Czechoslovakian as Winston Churchill. Second, he never takes the assassins' threats very seriously--even when they showed they really meant business. Even after they kill one of his friends right after they promise to demonstrate their power, this idiot insists he needs no help from Moto or the police!! Can anyone be that stupid? Apparently, in a B-film the answer is "yes".

So far, this film is about average for a Moto film. However, towards the end it really picks up its pace and delivers a very shocking finale that only Moto could engineer. See it for yourself and see what I mean. Oh, that Moto!

Overall, a bit better than average for the series despite having a really dumb character (if I were Moto, I would have let him die) and Lorre's rather obnoxious impersonation of a brain-dead Japanese servant.


5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page