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Mr. Moto Takes a Vacation (1939)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery  |  7 July 1939 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 395 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 5 critic

Disguised as a German 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.



(original screenplay), (original screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Complete credited cast:
Hendrik Manderson
Professor Roger Chauncey Hildebrand
Virginia Field ...
Eleanore Kirke
Howard Stevens (as John King)
Iva Stewart ...
Susan French
G.P. Huntley ...
Archie Featherstone (as George P. Huntley Jr.)
Victor Varconi ...
Paul Borodoff
John Bleifer ...
Honorable Wu ...
Morgan Wallace ...
David Perez
Joe Rubla
Harry Strang ...
O'Hara, Museum Guard
John Davidson ...
Prince Suleid


A young and handsome archaeologist discovers the crown of the Queen of Sheba, and returns with it to a San Francisco museum where it is put on display. Its safety is in doubt as many criminals want the crown -- an international pair of criminals, a San Francisco gangster and his cohorts, and a super criminal known as Metaxa. Mr. Moto is forced to postpone his vacation while he deals with the threat. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

7 July 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

As Férias de Mr. Moto  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Previewed in Hollywood on 10 November 1938, to negative reviews, and not released until July 1939. See more »


When Moto and Featherstone return to the jeweler's and notice the bullet hole from earlier, the size of the hole has trebled in diameter. See more »


Archibald Featherstone: [after blowing Moto's cover] I'm frightfully sorry. Say, I did let the cat out of the bag, didn't I?
Mr. Moto: Yes, even the poor animal's tail.
See more »


Follows Mr. Moto Takes a Chance (1938) See more »

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User Reviews

"Such phenomenal agility carries conviction."
15 March 2014 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

Mr. Moto takes on a mysterious jewel thief known as Metaxa out to steal the recently-unearthed Crown of Sheba. This last Peter Lorre Mr. Moto movie starts out fun but then unwanted comic relief George P. Huntley shows up. Huntley as Archie Featherstone ranks among the worst examples of forced comedy I've ever seen. Why they felt they needed to ruin an otherwise enjoyable Mr. Moto movie with this idiot is beyond me. He even appears in blackface at one point! To make matters worse, he teams with racist caricaturist Willie Best not long after.

A good supporting cast including Lionel Atwill, Joseph Schildkraut, and pretty Virginia Field can only do so much. The writing is pretty thin, as well. They even reuse a bit from the previous Moto film, Mr. Moto in Danger Island. In that one, Moto (faking appendicitis) arrives by ship and is picked up by an ambulance. After the ambulance departs, two men come rushing up in a cab exclaiming that they are the real ambulance drivers and the two men with Moto are imposters. Well a very similar bit is used here, except instead of an ambulance it's an armored truck with two imposter drivers.

It's not surprising this is the end of the Moto series. The U.S. would be at war with Japan in a couple of years so it would have been impossible for Fox to continue making movies with a Japanese hero. Besides, if this is an example of where the series was headed it's better they stopped here. It was a decent series with Peter Lorre always giving a good performance even when the material didn't deserve it. This one's probably the worst of the lot but still watchable. When Huntley's not around, it's actually entertaining.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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