Mr. Moto's Gamble

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Mr. Moto's Gamble
Mr. Moto's Gamble FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by James Tinling
Produced by John Stone
Sol M. Wurtzel (uncredited)
Written by John P. Marquand (characters)
Charles Belden
Jerry Cady
Starring Peter Lorre
Keye Luke
Dick Baldwin
Lynn Bari
Cinematography Lucien Andriot
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s)
  • April 7, 1938 (1938-04-07)
Running time 72 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Mr. Moto's Gamble is the third film in the Mr. Moto series starring Peter Lorre as the title character. It was released in 1938.


Police friend Lieutenant Riggs (Harold Huber) takes detective Mr. Moto and student Lee Chan (Keye Luke) to a prizefight between Bill Steele (Dick Baldwin) and Frank Stanton (Russ Clark), where the winner will take on the champion, Biff Moran (Ward Bond). However, the fight is fixed and gangster Nick Crowder (Douglas Fowley) bets big money that Stanton won't make it to the fifth round. He goes down in the fourth and dies shortly afterward.

Bookie Clipper McCoy (Bernard Nedell) loses a fortune. Mr. Moto proves that it was murder and it is revealed that $100,000 was won in bets around the country against Stanton. Mr. Moto works with Lt. Riggs to solve the murder as the championship fight looms.

Comedy is provided by Wellington (Maxie Rosenbloom), a kleptomaniac, and Lee Chan. Love interest comes from (Lynn Bari) (who really loves Steele) and (Jayne Regan) (who only loves winners). Mr. Moto promised to reveal the murderer's identity on the night of the big fight, but the murderer has plans, too, with a concealed gun, set up to kill Mr Moto.

The film also features (John Hamilton) as Philip Benton.


It was originally written as a Charlie Chan film called Charlie Chan at Ringside, but Warner Oland, who had played Chan in previous films, left the set due to illness. (That was the end of Oland's film career, and he died months later.)

Fox had spent $100,000 on the film already.[1]The script was rewritten as a Mr. Moto movie, featuring Keye Luke, in his one appearance in the Mr. Moto series, as Lee Chan, son of Charlie Chan. Lee Chan is Mr. Moto's student in his criminology class at San Francisco University. Mr. Moto mentions that he has heard from Charlie Chan in Honolulu. Mr. Moto says he and the head of the homicide squad are mere amateurs compared to Charlie Chan.[2]

Filming started January 1938.[3]


  1. ^ The De Marcos, Dancers, Want To Be Actors: Ballroom Specialists De- cline Film Offer That Re- fuse Them Lines to Speak. By Frederick C. Othman.. The Washington Post (1923-1954) [Washington, D.C] 09 Feb 1938: X16.
  2. ^ SCANDINAVIAN COUNTRIES WILL BE SCOURED FOR SCREEN SUBJECTS: Jack Oakie to Appear With Astaire, Rogers Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 28 Jan 1938: 10.
  3. ^ NEWS OF THE SCREEN: Marie Wilson Gets Leading Role in 'Boy Meets Girl'--Sonja Henie's 'Happy Landing' Opens Here Today Harlow Novel Is Scheduled Coast Scripts Of Local Origin La Rue-Barnett at Loew's State YIDDISH WEEK-END PLAYS ' Warsaw at Night' and 'A Groom Without a Bride' to Open Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 21 Jan 1938: 15.

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