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|Mr. Moto Takes a Vacation|
|Directed by||Norman Foster|
|Produced by||Sol M. Wurtzel|
|Written by||Philip MacDonald|
|Based on||The character created by John P. Marquand|
|Music by||Samuel Kaylin|
|Cinematography||Charles G. Clarke|
|Edited by||Norman Colbert|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
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. The movie was the seventh filmed in the series. 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.
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.
John King was cast in August 1938.
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.
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." The Monthly Film Bulletin said it was "lifted out of the rut by the clever acting of Peter Lorre". The New York Times said it "seems to be missing on several cylinders".
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. 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. However Lorre left the studio in July 1939, effectively ending the series.
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.
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