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Mr. Moto in Danger Island (1939)

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 ... Gov. John Bentley
Robert Lowery ... Lt. George Bentley
Eddie Marr Eddie Marr ... Capt. Dahlen
Harry Woods ... Grant
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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:

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

Charlie Chan in Trinidad 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

After Mr. Moto comes out of the swamp his white pants are brown from the water. However, when Twister and him are locked up his pants are dry and white! See more »

Goofs

At 28.35 a valet enters Moto and McGurk's room asking if McGurk wants his bath run. He replies he had just had a shower. Moto says he can run his bath. Seconds later the valet is killed when he touches the tub which has been wired to electrocute anyone who touches the pipes. See more »

Quotes

Joan Castle: Mr. Moto!
Kentaro Moto: Good evening, everybody.
Joan Castle: He's a detective. He's come here to arrest my father. You can't take him! He was framed! Please you promise me to protect us until dad's prove innocent.
Kentaro Moto: Don't be so alarmed. Moto was only an impersonation. Very convenient for the moment.
Joan Castle: I - I don't understand.
Grant: Just a penny-ante gangster playin' detective.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Version of The Caribbean Mystery (1945) See more »

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User Reviews

 
We know who done it, but the fun is how we do it
8 August 2011 | by drystyxSee all my reviews

This is a murder mystery, with Mr. Moto, for those of you who don't know, as the crafty man investigating the case. Like Charlie Chan, he's a private investigator.

Peter Lorre had a "cool" charisma about him, much like Basil Rathbone, Humphrey Bogart, and others who played such roles.

Films like this either take one or a combination of two of the following: 1. Mystery with clues that the audience can use. 2. Mystery with atmosphere and humor 3. Mystery with a twist.

Just about none have all three. One may cite "Chinatown" as a possibility, but the atmosphere isn't what I would call strong in that one. Atmosphere and humor come either without twists or without clues.

This film uses the first two elements. It would be far fetched to say there is a twist. There is an abundance of atmosphere and humor, and many clues.

We know very soon who the killer is. At first it isn't easy, because all of the suspects look alike, middle aged white men with mustaches, but once we tell them apart, and once the atmosphere is established, we do know which one it is.

That doesn't take away from the adventure, though. Lots of good elements make this an enjoyable film.


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