Puerto Rico has become the back door by which a criminal syndicate smuggles inexpensive contraband diamonds from South America into the United States, dramatically driving down the price of legitimate gems. After they have ruthlessly murdered a special investigator, Moto is assigned to the case. While sailing to the island he impresses Twister McGurk, a slow-witted but amiable wrestler, with his martial arts abilities and gains a loyal friend and bodyguard. When an attempt on his life fails and another government official is murdered, Moto sends authorities a fake telegram identifying himself as a criminal named Shimura and making him and the Twister wanted fugitives. That ploy allows them to infiltrate the gang and expose the criminal mastermind behind it. Written by
According to Jon Tuska's "The Detective in Hollywood" actor Leon Ames claimed that Lorre's teeth were in very bad shape resulting in the star having very bad breath, See more »
Keep an eye on the scenes involving Moto's second trip into the swamp in the latter half of the film. The lower half of Mr. Moto's pants are alternately muddy and clean in scenes that take place at the villains' camp. See more »
[as Moto lays in pain on a gurney]
Well, Mr. Moto, you picked a bad time to get afflicted.
[Marr sadistically presses his foot on Moto's appendix]
Unfortunately we cannot select a time for our afflictions.
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Seventh film in the series finds Mr. Moto (Peter Lorre) tracking down a diamond smuggling ring working from South America through Puerto Rico. Along the way various murders begin to happen with a wide range of suspects. I've read that this was originally intended to be an entry in Fox's Charlie Chan series but it works well as a Moto movie. The movie has a nice pace to it, a great supporting cast and overall nice story, which makes this here another winner. What works the best is the cast and the lead performance by Lorre. He certainly never struck me as looking Japanese but he certainly digs deep into the character and delivers all the goods in terms of manor isms and various gestures that he does throughout. Warren Hymer adds a lot of nice comic touches in his role as the dimwitted wrestler who befriends Moto early on in the film and refuses to leave his side. Richard Lane, from the Boston Blackie series, does a very good job in his role of the Commissioner and we also get nice turns by Jean Hersholt, Amanda Duff, Leon Ames and Paul Harvey. Even though the film is set in Puerto Rico, you really can't tell that but the stuff in the swamp contains some nice atmosphere. The movie is certainly one of the better entries in the series and makes for a nice, fast paced entertainment.
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