Review: ‘Mr Moto Takes a Vacation’

Enmeshed in unconvincing mystery melodramatics, latest of Moto series is a very weak effort, full of incongruities in both story development and direction.

Enmeshed in unconvincing mystery melodramatics, latest of Moto series is a very weak effort, full of incongruities in both story development and direction.

On his vacation Moto follows the supposed crown of the Queen of Sheba from its discovery in Egyptian diggings until arrival in a San Francisco museum. Motivation is conveniently set up for jewel thieves to go after the sparklers, with Moto intuitively keeping them under observation until he captures the famed international crook when latter attempts to walk out of the museum with the crown.

Story unfolds in unconvincing manner, action swinging in and out of dark alleys and passages, winding up in darkened museum to generate mysterious and unrecognizable figures sneaking around to further confuse onlookers.

Peter Lorre, with regulation Moto calm assurance, capably handles role of the Nippon sleuth, doing the best he can with material at hand.

Norman Foster has done better directing jobs in the past, and on previous Moto subjects. Movement is uneven, with fast-paced sequences too infrequent, and general unfolding draggy and confusing. [Pic was eighth and last of the original series.]

Mr Moto Takes a Vacation

Production

20th Century-Fox. Director Norman Foster; Screenplay Philip MacDonald, Norman Foster; Camera Charles Clarke; Editor Norman Colbert

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1939. Running time: 65 MIN.

With

Peter Lorre Joseph Schildkraut Lionel Atwill Virginia Field John King Iva Stewart
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