6.8/10
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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

Lee and Knockout are in jail without being searched. If they had been, the water pistol would have been found and with that, a quicker solution to the murder. See more »

Quotes

Lieutenant Riggs: A sock in the eye ain't homicide. Maybe his ticker went bad on him. Who knows?
Kentaro Moto: No one... except the coroner.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Mysterious Mr. Moto (1938) See more »

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User Reviews

Wrong detective, right film
27 March 2001 | by Anne_SharpSee all my reviews

Putting aside the racist implications of Fox's assumption that one yellowface detective is as good as another, plugging Mr. Moto into a Charlie Chan film only points out that Peter Lorre's Moto is both a more adaptable and infinitely more complex character than the stolid Chan. On one hand, it's quite out of character for the quick-witted Moto to go around mouthing lame aphorisms a la Chan, and Moto would never be as discourteous to anyone in his other films as he is to Lee Chan and his punchy sidekick Maxie Rosenbloom in this one. On the other hand, "Mr. Moto's Gamble" features a nice snappy story with more shape and suspense to it than the usual Moto scenario, and it's fun to see Moto interacting with other characters like a regular guy rather than as the enigmatic will-o-the-wisp of the earlier films. Unfortunately, the later Moto films tried to imitate the formula by giving him dopey sidekicks, which only weighed him down.


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