Mysterious Mr. Moto

Mysterious Mr. Moto

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Norman Foster
Produced by Sol M. Wurtzel
Screenplay by Philip MacDonald
Norman Foster
Based on Mr. Moto
novel series
by John P. Marquand
Starring Peter Lorre
Mary Maguire
Henry Wilcoxon
Erik Rhodes
Music by Samuel Kaylin
Cinematography Virgil Miller
Edited by Norman Colbert
Distributed by Twentieth Century-Fox
Release dates
  • September 17, 1938 (1938-09-17)[1]
Running time
63 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Mysterious Mr. Moto, produced in 1938 by Twentieth Century Fox, is the fifth in a series of eight films starring Peter Lorre as Mr. Moto.[2] The film is based on the character of Mr. Moto created by John P. Marquand, from an original screenplay by Philip MacDonald and Norman Foster.

It was originally known as Mysterious Mr. Moto of Devil's Island.


The film opens with a daring escape from the French penal colony on Devil’s Island. Mr. Moto, pretending to be Ito Matsuka, a Japanese murderer, is in the company of Paul Brissac, who belongs to a group of assassins. Brissac changes his name to Romero when they arrive in London and Moto stays on as his houseboy.

Moto then uncovers a plot to assassinate pacifist industrialist Anton Darvak.



Henry Wilcoxon replaced Michael Whalen in the cast.[3] It was an early Hollywood role for Australian actor Mary Maguire.[4]

During filming Peter Lorre, as Moto, impersonated a seventy-year-old German painter.[5]

Home Video Release

This film, along with Think Fast, Mr. Moto, Thank You, Mr. Moto and Mr. Moto Takes a Chance, was released on DVD in 2006 by 20th Century Fox as part of The Mr. Moto Collection, Volume One.

See also


  1. SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD: RKO and Cantor Negotiating for Comedian to Star on Percentage Basis MGM GETS WIMAN SHOW Acquires Rights to 'I Married an Angel'--New Mr. Moto Film Opens Today Picture for Bing Crosby Of Local Origin Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] September 17, 1938: 20.
  2. NEWS OF THE SCREEN: George Arliss Will Appear in 'Suez' at 20th CenturyFox-Donald O'Connor Gets Role in Crosby Film Other Items at Fox Coast Scripts Of Local Origin Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 12 Mar 1938: 13.
  3. RICHARD DIX CAST FOR 'GROUND CREW': To Star in Picture Which RKO Will Make One of Its More Impressive Productions DICK POWELL GETS ROLE Will Appear in 'The Hottentot'-'Start Cheering' Opens at Rialto Here This Morning Frances Farmer Replaced Coast Scripts Of Local Origin Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 16 Mar 1938: 21.
  4. In Hollywood With HEDDA HOPPER. The Washington Post (1923-1954) [Washington, D.C] 07 Apr 1938: X26.
  5. Age Moto 40 Years In 20 Minutes The Washington Post (1923-1954) [Washington, D.C] 08 May 1938: TT4.

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