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Mr. Moto Takes a Vacation

Mr. Moto Takes a Vacation
Directed byNorman Foster
Produced bySol M. Wurtzel
Written byPhilip MacDonald
Norman Foster
Based onThe character created by John P. Marquand
StarringPeter Lorre
Lionel Atwill
Music bySamuel Kaylin
CinematographyCharles G. Clarke
Edited byNorman Colbert
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
June 1939[1]
Running time
65 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

Mr Moto Takes A Vacation (1939) is a Norman Foster-directed entry in the Mr. Moto film series, with Lionel Atwill and Joseph Schildkraut and George Huntley, as Archie Featherstone, in supporting roles.

This was the last Mr. Moto film that Peter Lorre appeared in.[2] The movie was the seventh filmed in the series.[3] However it was not released until after Mr. Moto in Danger Island, which was the last filmed out of eight Mr. Moto series from 20th Century Fox.

Plot summary

American archeologist Howard Stevens (John 'Dusty' King) recovers the ancient crown of the Queen of Sheba; the priceless artifact is shipped to the San Francisco Museum. Ostensibly on vacation, Mr. Moto (Peter Lorre) shows up to guard the crown from a notorious master thief, whom everyone assumes is dead. Using a variety of disguises, the very-much-alive thief succeeds in pilfering the crown-only to discover that Moto has remained three steps ahead of him throughout the film.[4]

Cast

Production

The film was announced in July 1938.[5][6]

John King was cast in August 1938.[7]

Iva Stewart, a member of Fox's stock company, was given her first dramatic lead in the film. Lionel Atwill made the movie as the first in a four picture deal with Fox.[8]

Reception

The film was released after Mr. Moto in Danger Island though it was filmed before it. The Los Angeles Times said "the plot misses fire on occasion."[9] The Monthly Film Bulletin said it was "lifted out of the rut by the clever acting of Peter Lorre".[10] The New York Times said it "seems to be missing on several cylinders".[11]

End of Series

Fox would go on to make Mr. Moto in Danger Island. In December 1938 Fox announced they would not give Lorre a new contract but that he still had four Moto films to make.[12] In January 1939 the series was put on hold. In April 1939 Fox announced they would make four more Motos over the next 12 months.[13] However Lorre left the studio in July 1939, effectively ending the series.[14]

Home media

This film, along with Mr. Moto in Danger Island, Mr. Moto's Gamble, Mr. Moto's Last Warning and (as a DVD extra) The Return of Mr. Moto, was released on DVD in 2007 by 20th Century Fox as part of The Mr. Moto Collection, Volume Two.

See also

References

  1. ^ Of Local Origin New York Times 17 June 1939: 17.
  2. ^ Mr. Moto Takes a Vacation Monthly Film Bulletin; London Vol. 6, Iss. 61, (Jan 1, 1939): 73.
  3. ^ Errol Flynn to Essay Up-to-Date Hero Next: Chan World Traveler "Saint" Set to Strike Odlum Opus Optioned Boles Pact on Fire Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 18 July 1938: A15.
  4. ^ "Mr. Moto Takes a Vacation (1938) - Norman Foster - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  5. ^ NEWS OF THE SCREEN: Warners to Produce 'Concentration Camp'--Anna Sten Slated for 'Exile Express'--4 Films to Open Here Coast Scripts Of Local Origin New York Times 18 July 1938: 10.
  6. ^ Errol Flynn to Essay Up-to-Date Hero Next: Chan World Traveler "Saint" Set to Strike Odlum Opus Optioned Boles Pact on Fire Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 18 July 1938: A15.
  7. ^ SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD New York Times (1923-Current file); New York, N.Y. [New York, N.Y]16 Aug 1938: 23.
  8. ^ SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD: David Niven Is Third Player to Be Dropped From Cast of 'Lady and the Cowboy' Of Local Origin Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES..0 Aug 1938: 19.
  9. ^ Moto Solves New Crime Los Angeles Times 11 Nov 1938: 10.
  10. ^ Mr. Moto Takes a Vacation Monthly Film Bulletin; London Vol. 6, Iss. 61, (Jan 1, 1939): 73.
  11. ^ THE SCREEN New York Times 19 June 1939: 12.
  12. ^ Teaming of Lombard and Grant Projected: 'Mr. Moto' Re-Signed Dix Will Play Houston Spy Story Scheduled Wally Vernon Assignec Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 2 Dec 1938: A18.
  13. ^ FILM STUDIO TO OFFSET EUROPEAN MARKET LOSS: Program of 52 Pictures for Year Announced by 20th Century-Fox Los Angeles Times 1 Apr 1939: A16.
  14. ^ DRAMA: MacDonald-Eddy Reunion Romantic Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times19 July 1939: 13.

External links