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
Last of Fox's eight "Mr. Moto" features starring Peter Lorre, but actually the seventh to be released (though completed two months earlier, Mr. Moto Takes a Vacation (1939) was issued last). This was also the second "Mr. Moto" entry (after Mr. Moto's Gamble (1938)) that was originally written as a "Charlie CHan" script (and both entries were the only ones not directed by Norman Foster). The character returned only once, in a low-budget, black-and-white second feature produced in England, The Return of Mr. Moto (1965), starring Henry Silva. See more »
Mr. Moto and Twister obtain a mud sample from the swamp and place it on a canvas bag laid out on the deck of the boat. But when they have to pull away in a hurry under gunfire, the canvas is there, but the mud is gone. See more »
Moto #7/8 finds us in "Porto Rico" with a great print, some nice sets and atmospheric photography and a sterling cast giving the flimsy plot all they had.
Moto played as ever by Peter Lorre is called in by the Government in cahoots with the Governor to root out an international gang of diamond smugglers, discovers straight away that one the Governor's confidantes must be one of the baddies, if not the top dirty dog. Just picture the high profile suspects: Leon Ames, Douglas Dumbrille, Richard Lane, Jean Hersholt, Charles Brown or even Robert Lowery, all shifty and at each others throats from the word go but which one is guilty? At least Moto's sidekick wrestler Warren Hymer has no doubts, even if he is paradoxically also continually bewildered. Mention ghosts and Willie Best makes an appearance! The dialogue was surprisingly witty, the production values high - from the delightful evening party to the beads of sweat on various foreheads. The running gag was supplied by McGurk's unstinting admiration for Moto always besting him at judo - he sure took some beating and shooting at in here!
Great non-heavy entertainment as usual, an excellent entry in the series.
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