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The Return of Mr. Moto

UK 1965
produced by
Robert L. Lippert, Jack Parsons for Lippert Pictures
directed by Ernest Morris
starring Henry Silva, Terence Longdon, Suzanne Lloyd, Marne Maitland, Martin Wyldeck, Brian Coburn, Stanley Morgan, Peter Zander, Harold Kasket, Anthony Booth, Gordon Tanner, Henry Gilbert, Richard Evans, Ian Fleming (II), Denis Holmes, Tracy Connell, Alister Williamson, Sonyia Benjamin
screenplay by Fred Eggers, based on a character created by John P.Marquand, music by Douglas Gamley

Mr. Moto

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Interpol agent Mr Moto (Henry Silva) is assigned to guard the life of oil magnate McAllister (Gordon Tanner), an old friend of his, before some big London oil conference - minutes later though, McAllister ends up dead at the hands of former SS-hitman Dargo (Martin Wyldeck). Moto is quick to track Dargo back to Wasir Hussein (Marne Maitland), secretary of the Shahrdar of Wadi (Harold Kasket), an oil rich dwarf country, but he fails to see any motive. Eventually, Moto walks into a trap set up by Dargo, who then tries to kill him, and though he manages to somehow save his life, he manages to make Dargo (and the world) believe he has actually died. He then dresses up as harmless Japanese delegate Takura and joins the oil conference, after hooking up with Maxine (Suzanne Lloyd), secretary of the American delegate (Henry Gilbert), convincing her to pretent she will drop a bomb at the conference concerning McAllister's death. This results in her being kidnapped by Dargo, but Moto is quick to track him down and kill him, then he rounds up all the suspects and unveils the culprit and his motives: The main villain of the story was of course Wasir Hussein, but he was actually an accomplice of McAllister, because the two of them wanted to get their hands on Wadi's oil reserves. And for some reason, the host of the conference (Terence Longdon) was in league with them as well ...

 

I've said it before and I'll stick to it: Peter Lorre did not make a very convincing Japanese when he played Mr. Moto back in the late 1930's/early 40's. But that's nothing compared to the unconvincing Japanese Henr Silva portrays in Return of Mr. Moto: His makeup is minimal and only makes him look awkward but not the least Oriental, his stature and behaviour signals nothing but all-American guy, and his pronounciation is distinctively American without a hint of Japanese - and that's made all the more obvious when Moto disguises himself as Takura, and this time he gets the looks and accent down.

This leads to one question: Why was Silva forced to play a Japanese in this film, a character that might have been an American just as well?

Beats me!

Anyways, just the fact that Henry Silva doesn't look Japanese doesn't make this one a bad movie, and apart form these discrepancies, the film starts out rather weil, with a murder, a sadistic killer, his over-nervous driver (Anthony Booth), and a chase over some rooftops. Then though an over-convoluted plot kicks in, and the film immediately loses much of its appeal, also because the baddie of the piece is revealed to the audience way too early,and Moto's reasoning doesn't always make total sense.

It's still an ok low budget murder mystery I guess, but nothing to write home about, and I'm less than surprised this was never made into a series (as the ending of the film suggests) ...

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD