Created by author John P. Marquand as a replacement for Charlie Chan in the pages of the Saturday Evening Post after the death of author Earl Derr Biggers, Mr. Moto's screen incarnations have suffered a similar fate to that of his honorable predecessor, rarely revived on television because of worries over political correctness - though as with Chan, Moto is always way ahead of the white characters.
The second Moto film to be made but the fourth to be released - even though it's set in 1937, it wasn't released until 1938 - Mr. Moto Takes a Chance isn't nearly as strong as Thank You, Mr. Moto thanks to a bit too much comic relief and a fairly so-so plot involving revolting natives near Ankor Watt, Rochelle Hudson's downed aviatrix, a pair of newsreel cameramen and Edward J. Bromberg's comic rajah. As usual we find Moto already in situ, posing as an archaeologist but with the usual ulterior motive and disguises (in this case hobbled by some less than convincing old age makeup). The ruthlessness is still very much in place: where in later entries Moto became a little more concerned with saving the lives of the supporting characters, here he has no qualms about covering up evidence that will free two wrongly accused men or luring them into harm's way if it will serve his purposes. They may ultimately be benign, but his methods are often callously expedient: it's not just his looks that cause one character to say "If I was casting a horror picture, I'd have him play the murderer." It's not one of the best of the series' entries, but it's still a decent entertainment.