7.0/10
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18 user 6 critic

Mr. Moto in Danger Island (1939)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 7 April 1939 (USA)
The U.S. government asks Mr. Moto to go to Puerto Rico to investigate diamond smuggling after an earlier investigator is murdered.

Director:

Herbert I. Leeds

Writers:

Peter Milne (screenplay), John Reinhardt (based upon story ideas by) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Peter Lorre ... Mr. Moto
Jean Hersholt ... Sutter
Amanda Duff ... Joan Castle
Warren Hymer ... Twister McGurk
Richard Lane ... Commissioner Gordon
Leon Ames ... Commissioner Madero
Douglass Dumbrille ... La Costa (as Douglas Dumbrille)
Charles D. Brown Charles D. Brown ... Col. Thomas Castle
Paul Harvey ... Governor John Bentley
Robert Lowery ... Lieut. George Bentley
Eddie Marr Eddie Marr ... Captain Dahlen
Harry Woods ... Grant
Edit

Storyline

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 duke1029

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

HUNTED BY THE POLICE!...STALKED BY A KILLER! (original ad - all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 April 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mr. Moto in Puerto Rico See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA High Fidelity Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Twister McGurk: [in awe of judo techniques] Hey, I've seen everything, but a little shrimp like you throwing The Sailor gets me!
Kentaro Moto: What I've used is simple, but it has served me well on many occasions.
See more »

Connections

Version of Murder in Trinidad (1934) See more »

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User Reviews

Another Winning Entry
3 July 2009 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Mr. Moto in Danger Island (1939)

*** (out of 4)

Seventh film in the series finds Mr. Moto (Peter Lorre) tracking down a diamond smuggling ring working from South America through Puerto Rico. Along the way various murders begin to happen with a wide range of suspects. I've read that this was originally intended to be an entry in Fox's Charlie Chan series but it works well as a Moto movie. The movie has a nice pace to it, a great supporting cast and overall nice story, which makes this here another winner. What works the best is the cast and the lead performance by Lorre. He certainly never struck me as looking Japanese but he certainly digs deep into the character and delivers all the goods in terms of manor isms and various gestures that he does throughout. Warren Hymer adds a lot of nice comic touches in his role as the dimwitted wrestler who befriends Moto early on in the film and refuses to leave his side. Richard Lane, from the Boston Blackie series, does a very good job in his role of the Commissioner and we also get nice turns by Jean Hersholt, Amanda Duff, Leon Ames and Paul Harvey. Even though the film is set in Puerto Rico, you really can't tell that but the stuff in the swamp contains some nice atmosphere. The movie is certainly one of the better entries in the series and makes for a nice, fast paced entertainment.


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