6.8/10
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Mr. Moto Takes a Vacation (1939)

Approved | | Action, Crime, Drama | 7 July 1939 (USA)
Disguised as an Austrian archaeologist, Moto helps unearth the priceless crown of the legendary Queen of Sheba and sans disguise defends it from a variety of thugs and criminals.

Director:

Norman Foster

Writers:

Philip MacDonald (original screenplay), Norman Foster (original screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Peter Lorre ... Mr. Moto
Joseph Schildkraut ... Hendrik Manderson
Lionel Atwill ... Professor Hildebrand
Virginia Field ... Eleanor Kirke
John 'Dusty' King ... Howard Stevens (as John King)
Iva Stewart Iva Stewart ... Susan French
G.P. Huntley G.P. Huntley ... Archie Featherstone (as George P. Huntley Jr.)
Victor Varconi ... Paul Borodoff
John Bleifer John Bleifer ... Wendling
Honorable Wu Honorable Wu ... Wong
Morgan Wallace ... David Perez
Anthony Warde ... Joe Rubla
Harry Strang ... O'Hara
John Davidson ... Prince Suleid
Edit

Storyline

A young and handsome archaeologist discovers the crown of the Queen of Sheba, and returns with it to a San Francisco museum where it is put on display. Its safety is in doubt as many criminals want the crown -- an international pair of criminals, a San Francisco gangster and his cohorts, and a super criminal known as Metaxa. Mr. Moto is forced to postpone his vacation while he deals with the threat. Written by thethunderchild@omnivoreink.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 July 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

As Férias de Mr. Moto 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

Of Fox's 8 MOTO features starring Peter Lorre, this was the seventh to be produced, but the last to be released. Copyright 1939, completed September 1938. See more »

Goofs

When Moto and Featherstone return to the jeweler's and notice the bullet hole from earlier, the size of the hole has trebled in diameter. See more »

Quotes

Archibald Featherstone: [after blowing Moto's cover] I'm frightfully sorry. Say, I did let the cat out of the bag, didn't I?
Mr. Moto: Yes, even the poor animal's tail.
See more »

Connections

Follows Mr. Moto in Danger Island (1939) See more »

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User Reviews

 
If Archibald Featherstone had been killed in the first five minutes, this could have been a good film
23 April 2009 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

Between 1937 and 1939, Twentieth Century-Fox made a ton of Mr. Moto films. However, towards the end of the series, it was obvious that the studio had "jumped the shark", so to speak. This phrase indicates that a TV show has passed its prime and the executives in charge decided to invigorate the show by fundamentally changing the formula. For example, with "The Brady Bunch" they introduced the annoying 'Cousin Oliver' and with "Family Ties" they introduced a freak baby who grew up six years in only one season! With the Moto films, they'd jumped the shark by introducing comic relief because they thought that these intelligent films needed to be re-tooled. In the previous film, Warren Hymer played an annoying wrestler. And, in this film the character Archibald Featherstone appears. Featherstone might just be one of the most annoying examples of comic relief ever, as you kept hoping someone (preferably Moto) would kill him just to shut him up!! Although he's supposed to work for the famed Scotland Yard, he shows all the intelligence and acumen of a brain damaged turnip. Again and again, his scenes were boorish and unnecessary and Peter Lorre just looks pained as he stands there and watches this buffoon "act". It's so bad that it truly destroys what COULD have been one of the better Moto films due to its clever plot.

As for the plot, the crown of the Queen of Sheba is discovered in the opening scene. Moto, now more of an international policeman than the amoral character he originally was, is on hand to protect the precious item from being stolen. In a great twist, several thieves all try to steal the crown independently of each other.

Overall, the film is watchable but is also ample evidence that the Moto series should have ended here. With WWII approaching, the films couldn't have survived much longer anyway, as having a sympathetic Japanese leading character simply wouldn't have been accepted in the US or in allied countries.


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