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MOTO ADVENTURE TWO: THANK YOU, MR. MOTO

year: 1937 cast: Peter Lorre, Sidney Blackmer, Thomas Beck rating: ***
Now in the second adventure, to further understand our resilient Japanese hero, let us quote Thomas Beck’s returning milquetoast Mr. Tom who, in a nightclub, when asked by a lady about that gentlemen who just strolled in, replies: “His name’s Moto: adventurer, explorer, soldier of fortune, one of the Orient's mysteries… Nobody knows very much about him except that whenever he shows up, something usually happens.”

Peter Lorre’s Mr. Moto takes us back overseas where a missing scroll is all that’s needed to make several other scrolls, when connected, provide the location of Genghis Khan’s tomb, bearing more than the famous conqueror's dusty old bones: there's an immense treasure buried within.
Peter Lorre and John Carradine
Moto sneaks around the city streets, eventually discovering the main scroll was stolen by a maverick antique collector played by John Carradine, who, like many of the characters… including Japanese royalty… are targets of nefarious fortune hunter Sidney Blackmer and his conniving moll who want the scrolls and treasure for themselves.

The first half works the best: the mystery opens up onto several shootouts and a handing-off of clues, taking Moto from one dangerous situation to the next. But the pace slows at the 11th hour when the characters meet inside a ship within a fog shrouded port (resembling director/cowriter Norman Foster's JOURNEY INTO FEAR), where Moto plays mind games with the villainous couple, resulting in a somewhat anticlimactic showdown.

What makes THANK YOU, MR. MOTO unique and special to the series is his patriotism for Japan, shown in a seemingly illogical decision (in monetary terms) at the film's conclusion, providing the character a bit more depth than we've seen thus far.
Mr. Moto strums an antique instrument
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