Starting with Think Fast, Mr Moto in 1937, Lorre (sporting steel-rimmed glasses and buck teeth) starred eight times in an engaging characterisation as John P Marquand's inscrutable Japanese sleuth - expert in disguise, master of ju-jitsu - in a series discontinued in 1939 because of deteriorating relations between America and Japan. Fast, formulary and quite fun, the films are much of a muchness, and not unlike poor relations to the Charlie Chan series. Mr Moto's Gamble (third in the series) in fact started life as a Chan film, taken over (along with Keye Luke) on Warner Oland's death. Despite an equally engaging characterisation by Henry Silva, The Return of Mr Moto, an attempt to revive the series in 1965, remained a one-off.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Charles Belden, Jerry Cady|
Lon Chaney Jr