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Friday, August 9, 2019

Mr. Moto's Gamble (1938)

During a prizefight, a boxer (Russ Clark) is knocked out by his opponent (Dick Baldwin). But when it's discovered that it wasn't a simple knockout but murder when the boxer dies from poison on his rival's boxing glove, the champion is arrested and charged with homicide. Enter the celebrated sleuth Mr. Moto (Peter Lorre) to solve the case! Directed by James Tinling, this was originally supposed to be a Charlie Chan mystery but when Warner Oland became ill and unable to do the film, it was switched at the last minute as a Mr. Moto mystery. The film still has Keye Luke as Chan's son who attempts to assist Moto on the case in the same comedic way he assisted his father in the Chan franchise. I could have done without the comedy relief of Maxie Rosenbloom as a kleptomaniac which isn't funny and just pads out the film. It's one of the weaker entries in the Moto series which I enjoy. The boxing milieu is a tiresome cliche and the mystery really isn't all that interesting and the method of the murder is far fetched. With Lynn Bari, Lon Chaney Jr., Ward Bond, Douglas Fowley, John Hamilton and Jayne Regan.

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