2006-07-19

Peter Lorre as Mr. Moto!




As #2 of my non-Japanese Japanese, here we have Mr. Moto. Who, you may ask, is Mr. Moto? Mr. Moto was a mild-mannered, Japanese detective that was the basis for a series of eight films (1937-39) by Twentieth Century-Fox from the stories of novelist John P. Marquand. Peter Lorre (of Austrian descent) portrays Kentaro Moto, who was very much unlike Charlie Chan in that he was the master of disguises and physically more active, often using ju-jistsu. These serial-movies are as follows:
• Think Fast, Mr. Moto (1937)
• Thank You, Mr. Moto (1937)
• Mr. Moto's Gamble (1937)
• Mr. Moto Takes a Chance (1938)
• Mysterious Mr. Moto (1938)
• Mr. Moto's Last Warning (1939)
• Danger Island (1939)
• Mr. Moto Takes a Vacation (1939)
After 1939, Hollywood took a dim view of portraying Japanese people as heroes and the movies went by the wayside.

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