A Japanese man claiming to be Mr Moto, of the International Police, is abducted and murdered soon after disembarking from a ship at Port Said in Egypt. The real Mr Moto is already in Port Said, investigating a conspiracy against the British and French governments. The dead man was his colleague, impersonating him to throw the conspirators off his scent. Mr Moto recognises one of the conspirators as a British Secret Service agent, and together they discover that the gang have mined the harbour in preparation for the arrival of the French fleet. Their aim is to throw the blame onto the British, which may start a second World War.Written by
Daniel Frankham <danielf@my-Deja.com>
George Sanders so resented being assigned to a Mr. Moto B-movie that he characteristically ran up big lunch bills at upscale restaurants and charged them to director Norman Foster's account. In addition, when the actor found out the script girls had chipped in to buy Foster a bottle of his favorite bonded whiskey for his birthday, Sanders found it and drank it himself. See more »
As this film was among a number released the same year in the rapid "film factory" pace of the studio, several title cards were prepared early, assuming they would be released the same year as the copyright on the cards. While the film was made in 1938 and carries a 1938 copyright, it was not released until 1939. Meanwhile, the newsreel scene shows the Movietone News as having a copyright of 1937. See more »
Admiral Lord Streetly:
The two French squadrons are here now, Benthum, off Tunis. They plan to sail directly to Port Said and proceed through the canal and join our fleet for their maneuvers in the Red Sea.
When exactly will they reach the canal?
Admiral Lord Streetly:
We had a wire from the French Admiral this morning, says, "Fleet arrives Port Said, 23 o'clock, 16 instant, compliments, Delacour Admiral, Commanding."
That's even less time than I thought. Isn't it possible to delay them somehow?
See more »
1939's "Mr. Moto's Last Warning" stars Peter Lorre as the Japanese detective, of whom nothing was heard once the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Lorre is surrounded by a great cast, which includes Ricardo Cortez, Virginia Field, John Carradine, and George Sanders. Lorre not only plays Moto, but his cover, who runs an antique store.
The story concerns Moto's investigation of a conspiracy against the British and French governments. One of the "conspirators" is a British agent, and the two of them discover that the group has put mines in the harbor in order to blow up the French fleet -- the group had been desperately trying to find out the arrival date, and once they got it, set the bombs in place. Obviously, this is before Churchill blew the French fleet up in 1940 when the French refused to do so, which would thus give the Germans access to the fleet. The conspirators plan to blame the British for the bombing, hoping to start the Second World War.
Lorre does a great job, and Ricardo Cortez, as the head of the group whose works as a ventriloquist as his cover, makes an effective villain. Sanders uses a strange accent. Virginia Field, one of the "ice cream blondes" of that era was under contract to 20th Century Fox at the time; unfortunately, she never made it to the top, but she was in a lot of good films and is very pretty. John Carradine is in top form.
Entertaining as well as interesting, this is a good entry into the series featuring the brilliant and delightful "Mr. Moto."
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