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Thank you Mr Moto [DVD]
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Mr. Moto is back in action in his second rip-roaring adventure! Peter Lorre gives another ..suave, confident and utterly infallible.. (Variety) performance as Japanese detective, Mr. Moto! A thrilling tale of daring, deception and deadly greed. Thank You. Mr Moto is ...as full of surprises and jolts as a first visit to Chinatown... (New York Daily News) with ...action...so fast that it holds (you) in tense suspense throughout!... (Harrison s Reports). Mr. Moto heads to China on a quest for seven ancient scrolls that reveal the location of Genghis Khan s tomb a crypt filled with fabulous treasure! But Moto isn t the only one stalking the scrolls so is a shadowy band of thieves. But when his ruthless rivals go too far, the mild-mannered detective s quest for antiquities becomes a passion for vengeance because if he can t bring these villains to justice...he ll bring them to their knees!
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Top Customer Reviews
Go ahead and do as I did - it is worth it.
If the first Moto film has its problems, the third to be produced but the second to be released remedies most of them with much more satisfying and entertaining results. Thank You, Mr. Moto also jumps in right at the deep end, with Moto disguised as a Mongolian on a caravan in the Gobi Desert, but doesn't take as long revealing what he's up to this time: trying to stop art treasures being smuggled out of China, in particular an incomplete set of scrolls that, when reunited, reveal the location of the tomb of Genghis Khan. Naturally there's a rogues' gallery of suspects after them as well, though Moto's moral compass is not much better aligned than theirs at times: although it occurs offscreen, he murders one suspect and cheerfully covers up the crime. Once again, there's plenty of action and a surprising level of violence - when the villain can't beat the information they want out of one character, they repeatedly punch his elderly mother in the face instead, making sure the sharp end of his ring makes contact each time. There's also a surprisingly powerful death scene after Moto doesn't get to the rescue in time, played with a surprising degree of realism.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Mr. Moto (Peter Lorre), in his second film adventure for Twentieth Century Fox, is on the hunt for a rare scroll painting, one of seven that together hold the key to where in the Gobi desert lies the lost tomb of Genghis Khan...a tomb filled with gold, gems and legendary treasure. The scrolls themselves are priceless works of art from the time of Kublai Khan that had been in the possession of a noble handmaiden to the last great Chinese empress. But the seventh had been stolen from her and her son. Mr. Moto is on the trail, but so is a group of unscrupulous collectors and fortune hunters who won't stop at murder to achieve their end.
All this starts out in a caravan crossing the Gobi with Mr. Moto disguised to the nines and fending off a knife-wielding camel driver. Then we're in exotic Pekin (Beijing nowadays) for the rest of the movie, moving from posh hotels filled with wealthy Westerners (and Mr. Moto) wearing white suits and shoes to ancient, crowded streets filled with antique shops, hurrying Chinese, carts, rickshaws and gunmen. The climax is a struggle in a filthy river and aboard a huge junk. Mr. Moto's death toll is not excessive considering the provocations. The scrolls, now united, meet an honorable fate. We even get a bit of philosophy from Mr. Moto to ponder while we struggle for our last breath..."Birth is not a beginning...death is not an end."
Thank You, Mr. Moto works so well because it moves briskly and the Moto character is not condescended to, or at least not much. There also are some vivid character actors to enjoy. Two of my favorites are Sig Ruman as Colonel Tchernov, a wealthy and ruthless man who will have what he wants to have. Ruman, for me, always looked impressive as a nobleman or pompous boor. When I hear his voice and accent, I can't help but smile at the sound of all those comic Nazis he played later in movies such as To Be or Not to Be and Stalag 17. John Carradine shows up as Periera, a small but pungent part as an obsequious and unreliable antiques dealer. Most of all, however, the Mr. Moto movies are such good entertainment because of Peter Lorre. He manages to look innocent while being no one's fool. Lorre gives us a ruthless and amusing portrayal.
The film is one of the four films which make up The Mr. Moto Collection - Volume One. It seems that this DVD is one taken from that package. The DVD transfer looks very good.
This second film starring Peter Lorre as J.P. Marquand's popular Japanese detective, Mr. Moto, is a handsomely mounted and atmospheric entry boasting a good story and nice cast, making it one of the best in the series. The diminutive but dangerous Moto was much more hands-on than Earl Derr Biggers' Charlie Chan, perhaps a reflection of two very different cultures. Moto was smart as well, but capable of menace, and even brutal violence, when necessary. Lorre captures this aspect of Mr. Moto perfectly, especially in this entry, in which he dispatches of more than one adversary by lethal means.
Gorgeously shot by Virgil Miller, and directed by Norman Foster, who also co-scripted with Willis Cooper from a Marquand story, the film benefits mightily from the presence of Thomas Beck and Jayne Regan as the romantic second leads. Beck was excellent in several Charlie Chan features and naturally found himself at home in this series, his good looks and easy manner perfect as the romantic hero. Regan proves quite lovely here, and appeared in Mr. Moto's Gamble later in the series. Though billed second to Beck, Pauline Frederick, a name familiar to silent film fans, doesn't have near the screen time as Regan, but acquits herself nicely as Madame Chung. She had been a big star on stage before becoming one in silents. Madame X is perhaps her best known role from the silent era. John Carradine is splendid, and nearly unrecognizable, in his colorful role as a shady antiquities dealer.
Things get underway quickly with a caravan in the Gobi Desert settling down for the night. Someone sneaks into Moto's tent to dispatch him and gets himself dispatched instead. Moto has the seventh scroll everyone is looking for, including the police in Peiping. Escaping capture in nifty fashion, the Japanese detective cleans up to attend a dinner party. It is observed by Tom, also in attendance at the soiree, that when Moto shows up, something always happens. His observations prove true when Moto shows his dangerous side, covering up a death by his own hand to save the life of young Prince Chung. In the process he turns Eleanor into his somewhat unwilling accomplice.
A nice romance between Eleanor and Tom Nelson gets underway while Moto finds his task to discover if the six scrolls owned by Madame Chung will lead to Genghis Khan's treasure more difficult, and dangerous, than he had anticipated. After thwarting one attempt on his life, Moto gets sapped, leading to Eleanor being kidnapped. Tom and the Japanese sleuth must race to save everyone in an exciting finish. A bit of romance, and a promise kept by the honorable Mr. Moto provides a lot of fun on an entertainment level. Thank You, Mr. Moto is also part of a boxed set from Fox. While it doesn't have the charm of the Charlie Chan franchise, it is quite fun in its own way. Coming in at just over an hour, this is a real winner for fans of the genre.
In this second-of-eight "Mr. Moto" movies, the treasure lies in the tomb of Madeline....er, Ghengis Kahn. I won't divulge too much of the story because what happens right at the beginning isn't fully revealed until the end but it ties the whole thing together.
I really get a kick out of is the vocabulary of Mr. Moto, played by the great Peter Lorre. He has a great way with the English language and he's fun to hear. He doesn't crack jokes like Charlie Chan, but he's very well-spoken and very polite like his counterpart. He's also very physical when he needs to be. Unlike Charlie, Mr. Moto will stab you to death if need be, as he does several times in this film! Shocking! He also likes to literally jump through the air and attack his adversaries. Cool!
There are plenty of surprises, so I'll leave it just at that. Fans of the series should enjoy the "Oriental intrigue" in here. I only wish - not for PC reasons but for credibility - they had Asian actors playing the roles. I actually laughed when I saw John Carradine playing an Asian! There is one "real one" in here: Philip Ahn as 'Prince Chung." Actually, he was Korean-American.
Another interesting real-life story is Pauline Frederick who played "Madame Chung." A proper Bostonian, she looked anything but Asian but the sad story with this actress is that this was her last movie. She died at the young age of 55 the following year, of asthma.
These Mr. Moto movies always have a lot of interesting facets to them, and have a good combination of intelligent and sometimes witty dialog (i.e. "Well, there's nothing like a murder to ruin a perfectly good evening,") along with an ample supply of action and intrigue.
The second film in the series, after Think Fast Mr. Moto, "Thank you Mr. Moto" continues the series with the same quality and more depth. Peter Lorre had become more comfortable with the role by this time, and attaches a sinister and dark quality to the diminutive detective, who would smile and bow politely while planning your death without so much of a hint of conscience. It can be a shocking portrayal at times, with the viewer constantly underestimating Mr. Moto in the same way his enemies do.
Taking place in China, "Thank you, Mr. Moto" has an Oriental flair to it that was typical of films of this genre at the time. However, rather than the expected stereotypes, here it is the Americans who are the enemies, willing to strip China of its cultural treasures for the sake of pure greed. A Chinese prince who has fallen into poverty has a series of six scrolls that his family has owned for generations. When connected with the missing seventh scroll, they contain a map to the hidden burial place of Genghis Khan and the treasures contained therein. Unscrupulous dealers are willing to kill to get their hands on the treasure map and raid the fabled grave, but they will have to get through Mr. Moto first, which is no easy task.
I really love this series of films, which are contained in theMr. Moto Collection, Vol. 1. Aside from the great stories, there are some unlisted bonus features as well, with this disk featuring a documentary on Producer Sol Wurtzal, and the history of the B-movie which would film on the same soundstages and sets overnight while the "A-movie" cast was sleeping.