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
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.
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