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Mr. Moto's Gamble (1938)

Approved | | Crime, Mystery | 7 April 1938 (USA)
When the #1 heavyweight contender is mysteriously poisoned during a bout, Moto knows that identifying the gambler who placed large bets against him is the key to solving the murder.

Director:

James Tinling

Writers:

Charles Belden (original screenplay), Jerome Cady (original screenplay) (as Jerry Cady) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Lorre ... Mr. Moto
Keye Luke ... Lee Chan
Dick Baldwin ... Bill Steele
Lynn Bari ... Penny Kendall
Douglas Fowley ... Nick Crowder
Jayne Regan ... Linda Benton
Harold Huber ... Lieutenant Riggs
Maxie Rosenbloom ... Wellington
John Hamilton ... Philip Benton
George E. Stone ... Connors
Bernard Nedell ... Clipper McCoy
Charles Williams Charles Williams ... Gabby Marden
Ward Bond ... Biff Moran
Cliff Clark ... McGuire
Eddie Marr Eddie Marr ... Sammy (as Edward Marr)
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Storyline

Bad blood exists between Bill Steele and Frankie Stanton, the leading contenders for the heavyweight title, and a grudge match is scheduled. Steele's knockout victory is tainted by his opponent's untimely death, ostensibly from a concussion caused by hitting the canvas. A post-mortem reveals that poison was somehow introduced into a cut above Stanton's eye although it is unclear how and why. Gambling might seem to be the motive as several of the principle suspects, gamblers Clipper McCoy and Nick Crowder, Stanton's shady manager Jerry Connors, and fight promoter Philip Benton, all seemed to have made wagers on the fight. Benton's spoiled daughter and female reporter Penny Kendall are vying for the affections of Steele, who is now slated to fight for the championship against pugnacious Biff Moran. Lt. Riggs of New York Homicide and Moto, who were spectators at the fight, go on the trail of the murderer following the autopsy results. Moto's prime suspect is a shadowy character named ... Written by Gabe Taverney (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Mystery

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 April 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mr. Moto's Diary See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The only non-Chan film to feature Keye Luke's "Lee Chan" character, and the last at Fox. Luke would play Lee twice more, in Monogram's final two Chans, The Feathered Serpent (1948) and The Sky Dragon (1949). See more »

Goofs

While the minimum weight now for a heavyweight is 200lbs, at the time of the film it was 175lbs. Thus when the boxers are announced as 179lbs and 194lbs they are actually over the required minimum weight for their category. See more »

Quotes

Lee Chan: [arriving late and in a hurry] We want two good seats down front!
Ticket Seller: Sorry, we're sold out.
Horce 'Knock-Out' Wellington: He's sold out?
[to the ticket taker]
Horce 'Knock-Out' Wellington: Do you know who we are?
Ticket Seller: [laconically, as he closes down the ticket window] Sure, a couple of guys that ain't gonna see the fight.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Mr. Moto Takes a Chance (1938) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mr. Moto's Gamble (1938) ***
9 May 2008 | by JoeKarlosiSee all my reviews

I'd consider this one of the better of Peter Lorre's eight Mr. Moto films, with a good story of ringside gambling and crooks. The mysterious Japanese investigator must unravel what happened when a boxer was killed during a match. This one's got a well rounded cast too, beginning with Keye Luke making an appearance as none other than Charlie Chan's son, who is enrolled in a class which Mr. Moto is teaching. Also featuring Lon Chaney Jr. as a thug, and John Hamilton (Perry White on TV's SUPERMAN), too. Former real-life boxer-turned-actor Maxie Roosenbloom is the dimwitted comic relief. While watching and enjoying this entry I had the feeling that this was not in the same mold as previous Moto films I've seen. It was after the movie ended that I learned why via an informative bonus feature on the DVD -- MR. MOTO'S GAMBLE was originally scripted to be another Warner Oland Charlie Chan film for Fox, but Oland was having problems at the time, so the script was rebooted as a Mr. Moto film, with Peter Lorre practically doing Warner Oland. *** out of ****


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