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Mr. Moto Takes a Chance (1938)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 24 June 1938 (USA)
In the jungle near Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Mr. Moto poses as an ineffectual archaeologist and a venerable holy man with mystical powers to help foil two insurgencies against the government.


Norman Foster


Lou Breslow (screenplay), John Patrick (screenplay) | 3 more credits »




Complete credited cast:
Peter Lorre ... Mr. Moto
Rochelle Hudson ... Victoria Mason
Robert Kent ... Marty Weston
J. Edward Bromberg ... Rajah Ali
Chick Chandler ... Chick Davis
George Regas ... Bokor
Frederick Vogeding Frederick Vogeding ... Zimmerman (as Fredrik Vogeding)


When aviatrix Victoria Mason, who is flying around the world, reaches the small kingdom of Tong Moi, above Siam, she throws a flare into the rear of her plane and parachutes to safety before the plane crashes in flames. The crash is seen by Mr. Moto, leading an archaeological dig, and by American newsreel cameramen Marty Weston and Chick Davis. After Moto helps Vicky, he sends a note about her arrival via carrier pigeon. Vicky is presented to ruler Rajah Ali, who insists above the objections of his high priest Bokor that she stay as his guest. As Marty and Chick shoot footage of them, Bokor objects that this displeases the gods. However, the ruler states that the cinema is not dangerous, and filming proceeds until Keema, his favorite wife, falls dead. While Marty and Chick are taken by Bokor to a hidden temple for a trial before the gods, Moto discovers that a poison dart from a blowgun killed Keema. Deemed guilty, Marty and Chick are about to be thrown into a well, when a fire erupts...

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The newsreel duo claim to be from the "American Society of Cinematographers." This is a real organization but it does not produce newsreels. They are an honorary society made up of cinematographers. In 2020, the ASC celebrated their 100th anniversary. See more »


The camera being used by the newsreel cameramen has an electric motor, not the best choice for use in the remote jungle. See more »


Marty Weston: [referring to Mr. Moto] If I were making a horror movie, I'd cast him as the murderer.
See more »


References M (1931) See more »

User Reviews

"White woman, are you truly what you pretend to be?"
6 March 2014 | by utgard14See all my reviews

Mr. Moto goes undercover in the Cambodian jungle as an archaeologist. There he tangles with a nefarious high priest and a Rajah (J. Edward Bromberg) who's more threatening than he seems. Also in the mix are a couple of goofy newsreel photographers (Robert Kent, Chick Chandler) and an aviatrix (Rochelle Hudson).

In most of these Moto films, Peter Lorre seems to be having lots of fun and this one's no exception. He's great to watch. As another reviewer pointed out, Moto uses a disguise that strongly resembles Yoda. Chick Chandler is often annoying. Robert Kent isn't much better. The movie could only have been improved by removing their characters. J. Edward Bromberg seems like comic relief at first but his character's pretty sinister. He serves Mr. Moto his carrier pigeon for dinner! Next to Lorre, Rochelle Hudson is the best reason to watch this. She's gorgeous and does a great job playing the adventuress. She has more sex appeal with a ripped shirt exposing one bare shoulder than most actresses have fully nude.

This one plays more like a jungle adventure film than a detective one. But it's pretty fun, with neat temple sets and nice performances from Lorre and Hudson.

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Release Date:

24 June 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Look Out, Mr. Moto See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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