When Captain Street's best friend Dan Grady is murdered, Street enlists the help of Chinese detective James Lee Wong. Mr. Wong uncovers a smuggling ring on the waterfront of San Francisco ... See full summary »
The Japanese character, Mr. Moto, disguises himself as a German as part of the plot when in fact a Germanic (actually Austro-Hungarian) actor, Peter Lorre, is portraying a Japanese detective. See more »
Peter Lorre is "Mysterious Mr. Moto," a Japanese detective who seems to know everything that's going on. A very likable character, Moto, not surprisingly, stopped solving crimes after Pearl Harbor.
In this, the fifth entry into the series, Moto escapes Devil's Island with another man, Paul Brissac (Leon Ames), as Moto is on the trail of an assassination group, of which Brissac is a member. Moto wants the top man. Since Brissac trusts him, Moto becomes his houseboy and gets a look at the rest of the group. But not the leader. The group is threatening the life of a man, Anton Darvak (Henry Wilcoxon), who has a steel formula the group wants. Moto works to protect him.
The film has a very lively denouement, and Moto dons several disguises during the film. Peter Lorre is wonderful. Moto has it all over Chan, as it takes Chan time to figure things out. Moto seems to know it all pretty early on, and he's quite an active participant in whatever it takes to solve the crime.
It's impossible to believe, however, that a man one step up from the village idiot, Anton Darvak, has any type of a formula unless it's for adding 2 and 2. He's not worth protecting, that's for sure.
This is a short movie, and the main thing it's got going for it is Lorre. The plot isn't great. And as short as it is, some of it moves slowly. But what action there is, is very good.
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