6.9/10
565
19 user 8 critic

Mr. Moto's Gamble (1938)

Approved | | Crime, Mystery | 7 April 1938 (USA)
When the #1 heavyweight contender is mysteriously poisoned during a bout, Moto knows that identifying the gambler who placed large bets against him is the key to solving the murder.

Director:

James Tinling

Writers:

Charles Belden (original screenplay), Jerome Cady (original screenplay) (as Jerry Cady) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Lorre ... Mr. Moto
Keye Luke ... Lee Chan
Dick Baldwin ... Bill Steele
Lynn Bari ... Penny Kendall
Douglas Fowley ... Nick Crowder
Jayne Regan ... Linda Benton
Harold Huber ... Lieutenant Riggs
Maxie Rosenbloom ... Wellington
John Hamilton ... Philip Benton
George E. Stone ... Connors
Bernard Nedell ... Clipper McCoy
Charles Williams Charles Williams ... Gabby Marden
Ward Bond ... Biff Moran
Cliff Clark ... McGuire
Eddie Marr Eddie Marr ... Sammy (as Edward Marr)
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Storyline

Bad blood exists between Bill Steele and Frankie Stanton, the leading contenders for the heavyweight title, and a grudge match is scheduled. Steele's knockout victory is tainted by his opponent's untimely death, ostensibly from a concussion caused by hitting the canvas. A post-mortem reveals that poison was somehow introduced into a cut above Stanton's eye although it is unclear how and why. Gambling might seem to be the motive as several of the principle suspects, gamblers Clipper McCoy and Nick Crowder, Stanton's shady manager Jerry Connors, and fight promoter Philip Benton, all seemed to have made wagers on the fight. Benton's spoiled daughter and female reporter Penny Kendall are vying for the affections of Steele, who is now slated to fight for the championship against pugnacious Biff Moran. Lt. Riggs of New York Homicide and Moto, who were spectators at the fight, go on the trail of the murderer following the autopsy results. Moto's prime suspect is a shadowy character named ... Written by Gabe Taverney (duke1029@aol.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Mystery

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 April 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mr. Moto's Diary See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The fourth Moto to be produced (Jan-Feb 1938), and the third to be released (Mar 25 1938). See more »

Goofs

While the minimum weight now for a heavyweight is 200lbs, at the time of the film it was 175lbs. Thus when the boxers are announced as 179lbs and 194lbs they are actually over the required minimum weight for their category. See more »

Quotes

Lee Chan: [arriving late and in a hurry] We want two good seats down front!
Ticket Seller: Sorry, we're sold out.
Horce 'Knock-Out' Wellington: He's sold out?
[to the ticket taker]
Horce 'Knock-Out' Wellington: Do you know who we are?
Ticket Seller: [laconically, as he closes down the ticket window] Sure, a couple of guys that ain't gonna see the fight.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Film Breaks: Detectives from the Orient (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mr. Moto Steps In For Charlie Chan
6 March 2014 | by utgard14See all my reviews

Mr. Moto (Peter Lorre) investigates a murder during a boxing match, with unwanted help from Charlie's Chan's "Number One Son" Lee (Keye Luke). Most people probably know this, but originally this was intended to be a Charlie Chan film. But when troubled Chan star Warner Oland walked off the set, they reworked the story and turned it into a Moto movie. This explains the appearance of Lee Chan. It also explains why Mr. Moto is less edgy than in his first two films. Here he resemble a more traditional detective like Charlie Chan.

While I love Charlie Chan, Peter Lorre is kind of wasted in this type of role. He's better suited to roles with a little menace to them. Keye Luke is fine but the chemistry and rapport he had with Warner Oland is missing. Also appearing are Harold Huber, Douglas Fowley, and beautiful Lynn Bari -- each no stranger to the Charlie Chan series. In addition, there's Ward Bond, George E. Stone, and Maxie Rosenbloom. Lon Chaney, Jr. has a small part. Given the troubled backstory behind the movie, I'm surprised it turns out as well as it does. But a good cast goes a long way with these old detective movies.


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