18 user 7 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.


Herbert I. Leeds


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




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 ... Captain Dahlen
Harry Woods ... Grant


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


In a far corner of the earth...where life is cheap...Moto meets his strangest crime adventure! (original lobby card) See more »


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


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 »


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 »


Capt. Dahlen: [as Moto lays in pain on a gurney] Well, Mr. Moto, you picked a bad time to get afflicted.
Kentaro Moto: [Marr sadistically presses his foot on Moto's appendix] Unfortunately we cannot select a time for our afflictions.
See more »


Follows Think Fast, Mr. Moto (1937) See more »

User Reviews

It's not the heat it's the humility!
16 November 2013 | by kapelusznik18See all my reviews

***SPOILERS*** Mr. Moto, Peter Lorre, is sent to the island of Puerto Rico to check out a diamond smuggling ring that's responsible for the murder of a Government Agent, Rodney Graham, who had infiltrated it. Faking an appendicitis attack Mr. Moto and his good friend and bodyguard, as if he needs one, professional wrestler Twister McGurk, Warren Hymen, is kidnapped by the smugglers on his way to the hospital only to lead the local police straight to them. In what was a wild brawl the leader of the group Capt.Dahlen, Eddie Marr, escaped to the Puerto Ricen swamps where his smugging operation originates from. Now again faking that he in fact is not Mr. Motto Mister Motto gets himself, together with Twister McGurk, recruited into the diamond smuggling ring using the allies of wanted and on the lamb hood Yoko Simura.

Not one of the better Mr. Moto movies with the fearless and martial arts expert Mr. Motto getting his nice clean and pressed white suit and pants wet and dirtied with mud in the swamps where the diamond smugglers are operating out of. It takes a while for Mr. Moto to find out who's really behind this diamond smuggling ring that has already murdered two people including the Governor of the Island John Bentley, Paul Harvey, who had uncovered his identity. It's when Capt. Dahlen is caught in his attempted escape,on a motor boat, from the law that Mr. Moto devises a fool proof plan to get the head of this diamond smuggling ring to come out in the open. That in him trying to murder the seriously injured Capt. Dahlen before he comes out of his coma and talks to the police!

***SPOILERS**** As the saying goes "Dead Men Tell No Tales" and that also goes for Capt. Dahlen. He was dead all the time but the clever Mr. Moto kept that from the person who was to eventually "murder" him to keep him from talking. A neat trick on Mr. Moto's part in having him expose himself by killing Capt. Dahlen a second time, he in fact died in a shoot out with the police on the high seas, in him not knowing that he was dead already!

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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


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA High Fidelity Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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