A pretty Chinese woman, seeking help from San Francisco detective James Lee Wong, is killed by a poisoned dart in his front hall, having time only to scrawl "Captain J" on a sheet of paper.... See full summary »
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
The Mr. Moto mysteries were some of the better ones, and no doubt Peter Lorre had a lot to do with that. He was extra ordinary in the role.
This one deals with a master criminal whom Moto suspects is going for a big heist in a museum.
Moto is part Sherlock Holmes and part Indiana Jones. His films are more Indiana Jones adventures than mysteries. We usually know who the culprits are, and this movie is no exception.
The performances and comic relief are the best things going for this one. It has lots of good atmosphere, and the bumbling pal who makes life tough for Moto pretty much saves the show, along with Lorre himself.
The trouble is the script. Like many modern scripts, it is poorly written. There is just too much contrived into it. It becomes a "round robin" sort of script, where each character introduced becomes another covert super thief in disguise, like a second writer wanted a second character to be another subplot, a third writer a third subplot, and on and on tediously. After a while, a viewer says "enough is enough". After a while, it becomes horribly dull. We no longer care after each person becomes a member of another group of thieves.
And that's the big problem here. The joke of everyone being a thief just isn't enough to carry a full length film. Even "Romancing the Stone" didn't become this ridiculous.
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